Thursday, December 29, 2011

My Poor Puppy. She Likes Sticks Too Much

You probably know this by now, but this is me and my dog, Panda. She's my baby. She will be 2 next month, so she's still very much a puppy. As such, she likes to chew on things, but she's had enough time to figure out what we'll get mad at her for chewing on. 

Panda and me during pre-Christmas festivities
Moving right along, about a week ago now, Tim and I started to notice Panda was smelling funny - not really bad, but occasionally, she'd be nearby and one or both of us would catch a whiff of something odd. Then last weekend, on our driving down to San Diego, I sat in the back with her 1) because she gets car sick, and 2) we were driving my friend down and we didn't want to take any chances of Panda being sick on her. As I sat in the backseat with my very large pup, I noticed the smell was stronger, but I couldn't pinpoint where it was coming from - I couldn't even come close. It was almost like an aura, but if I stuck my nose in her fur, it didn't smell weird.
Over the course of the weekend, the smell slowly got worse. Tim's mom suggested it might be that we needed to get her anal glands emptied (? is that even the right term for that?) since it was kind of a fishy smell, which is often associated with that, but the smell didn't seem like it was coming from her tush.
His dad said something about her having stinky breath, but he mentioned his dog did too, and I generally try not to smell dogs' breath.

Tuesday night, Tim gave in and gave Panda a bath. When she got out of the bath smelling like baby shampoo and weird fishiness, we figured it was either her bum or her breath. I'm not sure how, but by the time we went to bed on Tuesday, we knew that her breath was the source of the stink - and she seemed to be doing a weird mouth-smacking thing, like her mouth was dry.
We had no idea what the solution for that could be. Maybe she was dehydrated? How could we get her to drink more water?

Last night when I got home from work, I was taken aback by how bad the smell had gotten. She likes to jump up on me when I open the door, so the breath-to-face contact made me cringe a bit and try to keep her mouth away from me. Then I noticed she was smacking her mouth a lot too.

Since she's essentially my child, I picked up the phone and called the vet. They said there are any number of reasons she could have smelly breath and be smacking her mouth, so I should take her in just to be sure. I looked her symptoms up on the interwebs and found it could be anything from dehydration to oral infection to tumors. I stepped away from the internet at the suggestion that my 2 year old puppy might have tumors. I checked her gums to see if maybe she needed her teeth cleaned, but they looked fine - nothing stuck in her gums as best I could see.

This morning we got up early and I took her to the vet. Within 30 seconds, the guy opens up her mouth and finds something similar to this lovely image I put together using Google image search and Paint. (I don't happen to have a photo of the roof of my dog's mouth on hand)

She had apparently gotten a hold of some bamboo or other similar stick, chewed it up, and got a big chunk of it stuck on the roof of her mouth. It was there for days and we didn't know about it. I feel so terrible for not even thinking to force her mouth open and check that something might have been stuck there.

The vet pulled it out, they flushed out the sores it left behind, pumped her with antibiotics, and gave her back to me, saying her breath should be back to normal soon.

I feel so much better now - even though we're a little poorer than we were when we woke up this morning. It was well worth it for the peace of mind.

I was still left with the following train of thought: Do people get things stuck in the roofs of their mouths? No? Because we have fingers? Can dogs use their paws to scratch the insides of the mouths? I guess not.

First Christmas Away

This year was Tim and my 2nd Christmas together. Last year we spent the weekend with my wonderful and crazy family, so this year it was Tim's turn to spend Christmas with his much more low key family. :) We're still working out how this is going to work with alternating Christmas with each family. This was my first year away from mine, and even though I'm glad my hubby got to spend it with his family, it broke my heart to be not be there to obnoxiously sing the 12 Days of Christmas with the Reinecker clan, or stuff my face with delicious "ethnic" food at the Handys'.

I still needed to give my family their gifts, so my mom got it planned and we all had dinner and opened presents on the 23rd. Here are some of the better shots from the night:
My bro-in-law, Ryan, Tim, me, & big sis, Colette drinking wine and feeling fine
Ryan opening his DIY Ultimate Iced Blended kit 
Tim opening one of his gifts from my fam
Mi con la mia Mamma. 
The gift Camille couldn't wait until gift-opening time to give me - amazing robot watch/necklace.
We got some pretty great gifts. Thank you, family, for being so generous this Christmas.

Saturday morning we took our time getting out of the house. We meant to leave by 10:30, but didn't end up on the road until 11:45. My little sister came by for breakfast since she was only going to be in town for 4 days, so that put us behind schedule for a bit since we hadn't packed when she called to say she was parking. My wonderful friend Deedee hitched a ride with us and we dropped her off in Carlsbad to spend Christmas with her 9-month-old niece (who is pretty much the cutest thing ever), then continued on our way to San Diego to spend Christmas eve and day with Tim's parents.

Christmas morning we got up and ate a delicious breakfast Tim made for us. Then the four of us sat down to exchange gifts. It was very nice and low key. It's definitely an adjustment from the Christmases I've had growing up. They got a few presents for the dogs too.
Panda stole Maddy's kangaroo. They got her a bear, but she slobbered all over it and moved on. 
We also took a walk up to the park near their house and let the dogs run around for a bit. The weather was absolutely beautiful. I wore a lightweight loose sweater that day and was starting to get uncomfortable toward the middle of our walk.
Tim's dad, Marlin, running around with the dogs on Christmas day
We drove back to the Valley on Monday morning, and spent the day running errands and getting ready for real life. I wish it was Christmas more often. I almost said every day, but man, that would be exhausting. :)

Monday, December 19, 2011

One Sheet, Two Projects

A few weeks back, my mom was cleaning out her linen closet and found that she had tons of double sheet sets, and not enough double beds for them. Since she remembered some of them belonged to my sisters and me, she called us up to come and claim them.
Mine, though lovely, were not exactly the best quality - not to mention I had four sheet sets and I only have one double bed at my house (before two weeks ago, I had no double beds at my house). So, I picked my favorite sets and planned to leave the others for good will. As it was, that was the day we were moving the desk from my parents, and we needed something to use as padding in the car. So, we grabbed one of the extra sheet sets and used them to protect the desk and car from each other.
When we got home, we had an extra set of sheets.

Rewind to last winter when we had our living room carpet installed and had to trim the bottoms of the doors to fit over the carpet, and were left with a tiny space under the door that lets all the cold air in during these frigid California winters - we hoped this would be fixed when we installed new door sweeps.
Fast forward to this weekend, Tim installed new door sweeps and they don't completely solve the problem, so - at his request - I made this bad boy:

I will admit I didn't want to do it. I don't like the way they look, and calling it a "draft dodger" is not something I plan to do, but it does work. Our house is tall and skinny so the bottom level is always cold and the upstairs is always hot. This lovely devise is actually helping to bring the temperatures closer together.

In case you were wondering where I got the stuffing for this project, the answer is... from the parts of Panda's bed that I cut off to make it fit into the corner under the stairs. Duh.

Since the cover was looking pretty beat up and I needed a solution to the gaping holes I'd cut along the sides - I didn't want to take the time to stitch up an ugly cover - I used the rest of that sheet to make a new cover for Panda's now re-sized bed.

She was very helpful. She kept coming over and sitting on it to make sure the fabric stayed in place. So considerate.

My Room!

Let me cut right to the chase...

When we moved in, the second bedroom looked like this:

A few weeks later, we got things organized and moved into it and it looked like this:

The walls were still that gnarly puke orange color, but we made it work for a while. Then there was some drama with the carpet. We didn't want to use the light colored carpet that would have to be pieced together for the living room, so instead of taking it back down to the garage, it ended up stored in here. Slowly, things just started to pile up in this room - like it was the place to put things to get them out of the way.

Then one weekend (two weeks ago, actually), Tim was inspired to fix the room and turn it into usable space, so we pulled everything out, primed, repainted, swapped the queen bed out for a double, got a bigger desk, moved all the worthwhile stuff back in, and tried to make some sense of it...

The room is actually a lot (a lot, a lot) more full of stuff right now, but its completely usable space, which is what I love. I can have my computer out. My sewing machine now has a permanent home on top of the desk, instead of in a box in the closet. I have been using this room as my own personal office/craft space. I pay bills in there, wrap Christmas presents, even nap - when the bed hasn't been taken over by Panda and other miscellaneous items.

It's pretty messy right now, but I love it.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Bar In Progress

One of the things we thought was kind of unique about our house - in addition to being bank owned and the amount of house we wanted for a whole lot less than we told ourselves we'd pay - was that it came with a wet bar. Unfortunately, it appeared as though this aspect of the house as not been touched since its original construction in 1975...

Since we moved in, we've been talking about tearing the awful mirrors down and making this thing look nice, but it always took a back seat to bigger projects - the living room, the bathrooms, my the office (which I will post about next).

Last Friday night, Tim caught the "do-er" bug.  So while I was at my aunt's helping with her Mark. party, he set about tearing down the mirrors, taking off the cabinets, and ripping off the counter top. The result was this...

The next day, we set out for Ikea to buy a slab of this stuff. It took all day, running around before we finally gave in and made the trip to Burbank, where we knew they'd have the butcher block in stock. They only had one shade available, so it was a good thing we liked it. We barely fit that thing in my car and then headed back to the West Valley to cut it to size - unfortunately, our wet bar is not standard counter depth. It took the rest of the weekend to get the counter top perfectly cut, including cutting the hole for the sink, and getting the sink...sunk.

The plan now is to scrape the walls and then re-texture them before we have some guys come out to paint the room. I also still need to finish touching up the paint on the cabinets before we can put them back on. I meant to do that today, but I didn't end up getting to it.
I pretty much love the new counter top. I'm really excited to see the wet bar finished. I'll definitely be posting pictures once it's done. :)

Friday, December 16, 2011

Better In Time For Christmas!

*knock on wood*

I'm still coughing, but I feel good. :)
I took yoga last night and it was marvelous. I only coughed once during the entire hour. Of course, then I stepped outside the studio and started hacking up a lung, but it seemed like yoga actually helped me - like the focus on breathing and stretching, etc. helps my lungs say "hey mucus, get out the way!" Makes sense.
I'm definitely gonna try to go every Tuesday and Thursday until my gym membership stops on Jan 8th.
Anyway, I have really missed being able to exercise. It's like my body is giving me the Christmas present of health...almost. Regardless, after being sick for so long, I really appreciate it.

Speaking of Christmas, its beginning to feel like Christmastime at my house. Our tree is up and I've got plenty of gifts wrapped underneath it. Most of them will be taken elsewhere to be opened, but its still nice to have them there...

They've also been playing White Christmas on AMC practically every day. I DVR'd it to watch at my leisure. This way I can watch for an hour, go do something else, and come back to Bing and Rosemary just where I left them.
So much of that movie is completely heartwarming. It makes me feel like a kid. I wanted to sing like Rosemary Clooney when I grew up, so now I sing along as I fold laundry and take the dog on walks. So what if I'm that weird lady who sings as she walks? I love every moment of it - even when I'm in between coughs and the notes come out a little crackly.

Hopefully I'll have some more posts as we get closer to Christmas. I've got a mini-holiday project in mind for next week. Plus on Wednesday I'm giving myself the gift of a pedicure.

Oh! and I have to mention this because I wouldn't be a good Mark. rep if I didn't - there is still time to place your orders and have them in time for Christmas! - you'll just have to expedite the shipping. And you can continue to buy yourself and your loved ones gifts whenever you want and not have to rush the shipping. :) Visit my eboutique for tons of great gift ideas - whether or not they're for Christmas!

Friday, December 9, 2011

Let me tell you something about being sick...

Unless I'm totally wrong, when you are a normal, healthy, nonsmoking woman in your 20's and you get sick, you are supposed to get better - and you are supposed to get better relatively quickly. And so, when I started to feel a tad bit under the weather the few days before Turkey Day, I thought, "Hey, no big, its just a bug and I'll kick it in the ass and be back on my feet in no time."
As we already know, I stayed home last Monday in my attempt to rest up so my body could get rid of said bug.
And for a while after that I wasn't feeling amazing, but I was better and I was making strides towards normal - my hopes of getting to the gym tomorrow or the next day or the next day seemed reasonable.

And here I am, 16 days after first mentioning aloud that I was not feeling awesome, and now, in addition to the lovely cough the developed over the last week, my original symptoms of grogginess, dizziness and congestion appear to have returned.

DOUBLE-U TEE EFF!?!?! (yes, I just spelled that out and defeated the entire purpose of abbreviating it in the first place)

This WHATEVER-THIS-IS is pissing me off. I would sincerely appreciate if it would get the heck out of my system.