Tuesday, January 31, 2017

100th Day of School

We celebrated the 100th day of school today, with several different arts/crafts/counting stations, all around the number 100. Pretty cute! Callum really enjoyed it. πŸ’―πŸ‘ŠπŸΌ

Saturday, January 28, 2017

Ice skating!

Callum and I spent the afternoon at an ice skating rink, for one of his friend's birthday parties! The entire way to the party, and as we walked in, he kept telling me over and over again how he did NOT want to ice skate.

Ok ok, I got it. We can just watch.
But, I'll grab us some skates anyway, just in case.

I am NOT skating Mom!!

No prob buddy.

5 minutes later....

Mom! I want to try skating!

Cool! Sounds good to me.

So, I laced him up and off he went! By the end of the party he was letting go of the wall and trying to skate on his own. Every few minutes he'd get super comfortable and speed up, and then lose his balance and fall. So, he had a handful of spills toward the end that shook him a little.

But, after a few minutes of rest, he'd get back out again! It was so fun to see him keep trying and enjoying himself so much. I'm sure that having a handful of friends around helped too! :)

(I got out on the ice for a few minutes myself - I made it about halfway around and then decided nope, not going to keep up with this and risk falling and hurting my back! It was just way too awkward!) :)

By the end of the party Callum was asking me if he could have his birthday party there... I'm not sure if they are open year round (the rink we were on was outside, but apparently they have an indoor rink too), but if they are, I may have to look into it!

Bored at basketball

Someone was bored while watching his brother play basketball today (Logan's team lost, but they all played really well!!). πŸ‘πŸΌπŸ˜Š

Thai, it's what's for dinner

When the boys got home from school yesterday I told them they couldn't get too comfy, because we needed to head to Target to shop for birthday presents. I had counted up the birthday parties we have to go to these next couple of weeks - FIVE!!! Crazy right?!? (And that's with us out of town a couple weeks in February too!)

They grumbled at the idea of walking thru a store buying gifts (and none for themselves, such a sad sad life they lead), but were actually pretty good helping pick out gifts for their friends and getting through it. By the end, as the boys sat in the card aisle laughing and sharing birthday cards that they each found and liked, I didn't think I'd be able to drag them out of there! ;-)

It was pretty late and I knew they'd be in sour shape once we got home, if we didn't eat soon. So, I found a cute little Thai restaurant nearby for us to try out. We had a pretty nice dinner and enjoyed the evening together. I haven't posted many pics of the boys recently, so figured I'd share these that we took as we waited for our food. :)

Brrrrr ❄️❄️❄️

In addition to tons of rain, thunder and lightening, the boys and I have had some exciting fun watching HAIL come splattering down all over our backyard.

It also continues to stay quite cold at night, even without the rain. I've had to break up large chunks of ice that form on the top of our pool cover and sweep it off in the mornings!

Luckily, I happen to like umbrellas!

I volunteer every few weeks, to walk the neighborhood 1st graders, from their morning Math Wizards class (which takes place at our community center), to the nearby bus stop after their class is done/before their school begins.

Luckily, I happen to like umbrellas - so I always have plenty to hand out to the kids when I meet them for our walk, which they totally love. :)

These are a few of the pics I took on our walk a couple of weeks ago (it was raining off and on, and then started pouring as we stood waiting for the bus). It's a little hectic keeping track of ~14 (mostly boys who like to run ahead), but for the most part they behave and listen to me (it probably helps that they know I'm one of the moms who means what I say and won't let them get away with any shit). ;-)

Stormy weather!

In addition to caring for sick dogs and sick kids, we've been weathering some pretty crazy storms too!

I had just dropped Callum off at Math Wizards (a class he takes with other neighborhood kids, before school), and thought I'd just run to the local coffee shop quickly and pick up some caffeine, before heading back to Math Wizards (it was my day to walk the kids to the bus stop).

It was cloudy, but dry, when I dropped Callum off... and no more than 5 minutes later, it was pouring like crazy, with thunder and lightening to boot! Because it hadn't been raining, I didn't have an umbrella or anything! So I sat in the car and texted Jon this pic, as I waited for it to subside (it didn't, so I ended up running in and getting soaking wet instead). ;-)

Look who was feeling much better after a day home sick!

Pretty please?

Logan was home sick from school - and I had told him if he stayed home from school he wouldn't be allowed any iPad or video game time. Just rest.

So, while I was on the phone with a contractor, he presented me this note. :)

A sick house

I just realized I haven't blogged in a couple of weeks! So, I'll try to catch up.

This pic is from a couple of weeks ago, after a late night and morning of crummy nausea - Callum had gotten super ill the night before and threw up in the middle of the night (always fun when it's on you and splattering all over the floor and you're half asleep trying to bathe him and clean the bedroom!)

It turned out to be a 24 hour thing, thank goodness. So, he missed the next day of school, but recovered later that weekend.

Unfortunately, Logan got sick a few days later so then I was playing nurse, caring for him for a few days. And THEN, Callum caught whatever that head cold was that Logan was (and is still) fighting. And then I got a bit of it and now Jon is battling it. Fun times!!! ;-)

Monday, January 9, 2017

Grumpy Monday Blues

As if the dog issues haven't been enough, I had this little grumpy dude to deal with, this morning (first day back to school - woot!!).

He was upset about.... who the heck knows! (I still don't). And decided to sulk, covered up and in hiding, under our coffee table. *sigh*

Yayyyyyyy Back to School Monday mornings! ;-)

2 dogs down for the count

Because one dog running around in his cone of shame wasn't enough in our household, we now have two!

Odin has suffered from an enormous (and unusual) amount of sebaceous cysts (Elkhounds tend to get cysts but just a couple in their entire lifetime - not riddled across their entire body at all times, like poor Odin).

These cysts are benign, but *can* get infected (usually because he'll bite at it, it opens and then an infection ensues shortly after). So, I'm constantly cleaning them, clipping his fur around them (because his double coat thick fur contributes to the infections) and medicating if I think an infection may be starting.

On Saturday night, during my usual cleaning routine, I ran my hand, quite accidentally, down the inside "armpit" of his forearm, near the inside of his elbow. Odin immediately yelped and nipped at me (which he never does). I had Jon help me lay him down so I could take a look at the inside of his leg and sure enough, he had a cyst that looked quite infected and irritable (and ready to pop!! Yuck). I decided to leave it alone because I didn't want to hurt him....

On Sunday morning, while letting him outside, I noticed his shoulder and forearm were extremely swollen! Like, 3x the size of his other leg!! I gently felt his leg and examined it (which he was quite nervous about and getting ready to nip at me again) and could see the cyst had burst open but his entire leg was quite swollen, hot and red underneath. I decided we better take him to the emergency vet because it was clearly infected and seemed to be quite horrible, having taken over most of his leg overnight (poor guy). :(

So, I spent most of Sunday back and forth with the emergency vet. They were alarmed at how severe his infection was - and told me he was in a considerable amount of pain (which made me feel like shit, for the record!! But they did say it's really hard to gauge pain in dogs because they hide it so well and will rarely actually vocalize it). *sigh*

They sedated him while they poked around and cleaned out the wound as best they could. They also did some labwork and took a sample of the cyst to run at the lab (just in case! But we're all pretty sure it's going to come back benign as all his others are) While he was under they gave him some antibiotics and pain meds - and then also sent me home with several bottles of meds as well.

Because his leg was still infected, they didn't close the wound up - so instead bandaged it up with a stitched dressing (essentially stitched a bandage onto the wound so it'll stay on for a couple of days). But, because he has a dressing and open wound, we need to take him in every 24-48 hours to examine the wound and redress him, while we wait for the anibiotics to do their job and kick the infection to the curb.

Once the infection is gone, in a week or so, we will likely need to do surgery, and have the cyst removed. Because of where it's located, the vets are worried it could reopen in the future and create another bad infection all over again. So the best thing to do with nasty cysts like this one, is remove them (something we've done for a few bad ones in the past, so it's not unknown to us).

Still, the whole ordeal has really worn me out and added another layer of stress on both Jon and I (not to mention all dogs!) this past weekend. So much for relaxing a couple last days of the holiday before returning to school/work! :)

I'm now chatting with several of the vets on a first name basis....and taking multiple calls from them a day. Luckily, they're really easy to talk to and are so loving and caring about our zoo. And, thankfully, both dogs seem to be doing tons better minute by minute, hour by hour (and day by day). :)

Saturday, January 7, 2017

Ruff life

When we were in Texas, we arranged a boarding service to take in our dogs. I like to call it "Doggy Camp" since it's a 10 acre piece of land in the mountains where they can pretty much run and play freely with other dogs their size.

When they came home on Thursday, I noticed Grover was scratching his neck pretty regularly. I assumed he had a flea bite (not unusual given they just rolled in from Doggy Camp where it was muddy and dirty and filled with other dogs)....so we bathed all of them to clean them up. After bathing, I noticed Grover's neck was actually pretty red and agitated and he had what looked like a puncture wound! (Right where he had been scratching)

I couldn't imagine what dog would want to attack him - he's seriously the most passive and lovable little guy - so I was pretty upset. I rushed him to our vet who squeezed us in between their packed schedule. They shaved him down and we could see another puncture wound plus a lot of abrasions and extremely red/raw skin. It looked awful. He also had a very high fever. :(

The techs cleaned him and gave him some fluids to help calm the fever down, while we waited to see the vet. I noticed the skin on the top of his head and in his ears looked red, like he was developing a rash, too. It was a really odd set of symptoms.

When the vet looked him over, she was also a little puzzled by it all. She examined the wound more closely and decided it wasn't actually a puncture wound (tho it definitely looked like one at first glance), but probably more likely a sore. Since Grover wasn't with us for the last 10 days, it was hard for any of us to know what really happened (I had also been furiously texting with the boarder to find out if there had been any scuffles or other odd behavior but she said he was as happy as could be!)....

Anyway, she thinks it's probably a sore which he then scratched and/or somehow got infected (given he was on a huge ranch during a rainstorm didn't help his chances of keeping it clean)....the fever was due to the infection, as was the rash, which she thinks was his body's way of reacting to it all.

She loaded him up on antibiotics, antihistamine and anti-inflammatory meds (and sent me home with several bottles as well) before we headed back home. They also outfitted him with a funny little cloth to keep around his neck that makes him look like an old woman :) and when we're not home (which, luckily, hasn't been too often since he hates the cone and walks into everything with it), we put a cone on him too, all to try and keep him from scratching his neck which would seep and bleed the first day, but is sooooo much better now and is starting to heal.

Poor Grover.

The good news is, he's getting TONS of attention and is totally milking it by snoozing on the bed with me 24/7. (But, as you can see, Tobey gets jealous of all the attention on Grover and usually wiggles his way in between us so that he can be closer to me than anyone). ;-)

Friday, January 6, 2017

Getting some exercise before the storm

It was cold and rainy when we got back but we got a brief reprieve of the rain yesterday and today. However, it got MUCH colder today (like 30's most of the day cold!) as we look at another storm coming tonight.

The boys have been pretty stir crazy, so after Callum's ortho follow up (where they gave him the all clear to resume normal activity again!), we grabbed some groceries, ate (a late) lunch, and then played some hoops for a bit before we decided to turn in (dang it was cold!). :)

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Made it!

After a 90 min delay (from weather in SFO) and then a very long turbulent landing, we finally made it home! Phew!!

We had an awesome visit in TX, but also looking forward to sleeping in our own beds tonight. :)

Sunday, January 1, 2017

1186 pieces!

These boys have been so focused for the last couple of nights (esp Callum!) working on their new Lego set: Jestro's Volcano Lair

They just finished and couldn't be prouder. Cheers to a fun New Year!