Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Catch Up #2: Harper's Health

Thank goodness this is in the past!
 Harper has come a long way.  She still is as skinny as a runway model, and you can see her ribs.  She still can't have any treats or fat, and she takes enzymes with every meal.  HOWEVER, she's back to having every ounce of energy she used to, and no longer has to go in for B-12 shots every week...or ever. 

Last week we took her in for follow-up blood work, and have established that all of her levels are as good as they are going to get (meaning no more shots, yay!), and one more very important thing:  WE CAN SPAY HER!!!!  We won't have to go through heat again!  No more diapers!  (at least not for the dog)

Diaper time

So, the poor girl is scheduled to get sliced open on Thursday.  I feel terrible about forcing an animal to go through an "elective" surgery, but not terrible enough to risk adding to the pet population.  Particularly with her genes carrying all these health issues!  (Yes, we have contacted the breeder to let her know what happened, and no, we never heard back.  We do know she's having a very rough time personally right now, though, so, hopefully she just takes it under advisement never to use that stud again.) 

All this new-found energy is causing trouble, though!  Now that the basement is finished we are back to longer walks, but she's still a bit of a maniac.  She LOVED having another dog to play with this past week, but Brutus couldn't keep up with her.  He'd play for awhile, but then want to stop, at which point she would become a kangaroo, and leap over him repeatedly while barking.  Until he hid under the coffee table.  Then she'd just bark at him.  She also can't be left out even as long as it takes for me to shower.  Yesterday, she emptied the entire kitchen garbage can, and shredded or ingested its contents.  Of course, this also meant her digestion was thrown out of whack, and she threw up all over the crate while I was at work, and "picking up her poop" on the walk was impossible. 

So glad my girl's back, though!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Catch up #1: Thanksgiving

I've had visitors coming/going/staying/eating/who knows they could have been putting on a circus....for over a week.  I was a little busy trying to be the best little hostess I could be.  My parents arrived 9 days ago (to help finish basement renovations), my brother and sister-in-law on Wednesday, then Chris's parents Saturday, when Jim & Sara also left, and then both sets of parents left today.  Phew.  Therefore...sparse blog posts.  But here's a quick peek at Thanksgiving day.

Mom and Harper reading a good book.  (Infidel by Ayaan Hirsi Ali - I haven't read it, but I did start the trend by buying it for my aunt.  Who recommended it to my mom.  Who tried to then recommend it to me.)

Around the dinner table.  No, I don't have a full-size dining room set.  They are all seated at my little 4-person table in a variety of chairs.  That's supposed to be eclectic and fashion-forward, right?

Of this?  I can only take credit for the mashed potatoes and green bean casserole.  (And apple pie later, which was awesome, but not pictured.)  Thanks to my mom, husband, and Sara who put in the hard labor.  (There's another table not pictured with a few pies, rolls, cranberry sauce, gravy, and yams.)

REALLY hoping someone will drop something.

Swear I was having fun...even if I look like I haven't slept in about a year.

Had to get a "family" shot with the fur-babies.   They probably would've been willing to pass on this one.

But, man, does my mom love her furry grand-kids.  Hopefully the human grand-kid rates as well!

I hope that everyone else's Thanksgiving was just as wonderful! 

Monday, November 22, 2010

Baby Showers

No, not mine, obviously!  Little soon for that!  This weekend I went to my friend Cathy's baby shower, where I got some much-needed, but somewhat terrifying perspective from one picture:

This is the "Pregnant Ladies" photo from the shower.  Four of us were pregnant.  Christine (8 months), Cathy (6 months), Jessie (8 months), and me (3 months)...  I look like I snuck into the picture!  Admittedly I intentionally wore a flowy dress that hid everything, but still!  I had felt huge already until I saw this. 

It was such a great shower!  Mrs. G, Christine, and Catherine did a wonderful job hosting, and I hope mine is half as fun!  Here's a selection of pictures:

Congrats, you guys!

Friday, November 19, 2010

Week 13

This picture should also be known as "I know I look like crap, I was just spackling for 2 hours, then got dragged down a hill on my butt by that terror in the corner".  Ok, maybe that's a little long.  We'll just call it 13 weeks.  I know I look smaller here.  I promise, I'm not shrinking, it's the work clothes.

It's not entirely Harper's fault that she's currently a maniac.  We have not been exercising her as much as she needs.  I have felt too sick, and Chris has been spending every second he can find trying to finish the basement before Thanksgiving.  Obviously, we're doing pretty well, since we're on to spackling.

So...few stats/questions:

How am I feeling?  Still not great.  Gotten sick at least once a day every day this week.  Woo!

Weight gain?  We're up to 1.5 pounds on the official doctor scale.  Right where I should be.

How's the Lion?  No trouble finding the heartbeat on Wednesday, and he was still moving around like crazy, so the doctor kept having to chase him down.  Sounds like all is well.

Highlight of the week?  Reassuring appointment

Low-point of the week?  Well, two different times.  Same scenario.  Chris asks me to do something, I say, "If I do I will puke."  He says, "I really need you to do it."  And...whammo.  Once was "move my car" and the other was "hold this piece of drywall."  Sigh.  I'm useless. 

But...guess what...MY PARENTS ARRIVE TONIGHT!!!!  Maybe my mother will finally believe that I can't just "decide" I'm not sick anymore.  Think she was joking.  I'm just still really ready for morning sickness to be over.   

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Thankful Thursday II

Ok, so this is admittedly a struggle for me today, but I will persevere.  Check out The Glamorous Life of a Housewife for everyone's posts. 

16.  That my company finally got the internet back up.

17.  For my counter of "how long since I puked" - only about 2 hours, but hey, it's something

18.  That the medicine bottle the dog chewed while I was in the shower was empty.

19.  That the bill she destroyed still had the total visible.

20.  That my cube neighbor stopped eating cheerios after her third bowl.  Maybe the puke counter will last longer now. 

21.  That we have most of the drywall up.

22.  That my parents arrive tomorrow and, hopefully, I will be able to rest with less guilt. 

23.  That the monthly doctors appointment yesterday was completely uneventful.  Still a lovely sounding heartbeat.  Yay!

24.  Oh, yeah, for the Lion.  ;)

25.  For Ireland seemingly avoiding their economic crisis.  Hoping the rest of the world pulls it together, too!

26.  That the garbage men were so kind to take the massive amounts of rotten wood we put out.  For about the 10th week in a row.

27.  For heavy blankets.  I'm cold-blooded, and a relish piling them on in the winter.

28.  Rainstorms.  Even if they started this whole basement mess, I still love the rain.

29.  Tums.  'nuf said.

30.  Cheesy movies.

Phew.  Made it to 30.  Have a great Thursday!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Book Recommendation: Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day

I have seen many blogs touting the wonders of this book, and it is admittedly why I wanted to buy it, but I need to add my voice to the crowd.  Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day is truly all it is cracked up to be, and a staple of my cookbook collection. 

I always enjoyed making my own bread, but this book makes it much more efficient and doable on any week-day.  Their innovation is that you can make a large quantity of moist dough which is then kept in the fridge for up to TWO WEEKS, and only needs a 40 minute rise before going into the oven.  Each batch of dough produces about 4 loaves.  I OFTEN will make the bread before work, and have it available for the day.  Pictured is their standard boule bread, though I did add some wheat flour to the mix. 

It's also a life-saver when due to your refusal to give up Cheerios, you have to eat 2nd breakfast.  Sigh.  I'm a fool.  But I'm a fool that really believes that you'd love this cookbook, too.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

The Most Important Question

If it wasn't the first question, almost everyone who was told about the Lion would soon ask, "So what team will he root for?"  According to Chris, "It's a Penn State fan, or it gets sent back."  I, obviously, respectfully disagree.  I also think we will NOT go with Sean's suggestion that we place the newborn on top of a fence and see which way it falls.

How will we decide?  By which baby clothes are cutest, of course.  Click on the link to be taken to the site.  So, let's take a look:

Best Notre Dame options:

Best Villanova options:

Penn State:

Ohio State:

Ok, that theory obviously didn't work.  Because I have to admit the Penn State stuff is the cutest.  So, I'll work on another and get back to you.  For now?  A onesie we can all agree on:

Monday, November 15, 2010

The Weekend's Progress

Chris deserves a round of applause.  As do his friends Kyle and Matt.  Kyle came into town on Saturday to help Chris frame, and they knocked out all the framing you see.  They also installed the door.  We had ripped out EVERYTHING.  There was no wall between the laundry room and living area, no half walls, no stairs...you get the point.  While they were working, I went to hardware stores twice for them, ran a bunch of errands, cleaned, and made homemade wheat bread and lentil soup for lunch.  Which...while tasty...was a fail because I didn't realize Kyle was doing a low-carb diet right now.  Sorry!  

Sunday, Matt came over, and they laid the vapor barrier and subfloor, and put the risers and treads on the stairs.  It's starting to look like a room!  What did I do?  Another 2 trips to hardware stores (grr...wish we could just get everything AT ONCE), grocery store, ironing, cleaning, and had to feed them TWICE.  Menu for Sunday?  Chopped up some potatoes for baked fries seasoned with Lowry's and cheesesteaks with peppers and onions for lunch.  Stew with some of the fresh bread for dinner.  Oh, and did I mention Chris gave me his illness?   I was a little cranky.  And am still coughing.  I'd like to point out that coughing while pregnant is just awful.  First, you cough, then you double over in pain because it sets off round ligament pains, THEN you start to gag and try not to throw up whatever's in your stomach.  Every...single...time.  BAH.   

For some reason, Chris wouldn't let me help too much with construction.  I obviously helped some with loading materials into trucks, but the only thing I did in the room was hold a brace for the stairs while Chris screwed it in.  However, it sounds like I get to drywall tonight.  Woo hoo!  Haven't done that since we tore out the bathroom.  Hopefully I'm feeling ok, and will get to feel remotely useful.  

Anyway, I'm proud of where we're at, and hopefully it will get back to looking like a finished basement in time for all our company next week.  AHHHH!  My parents are generous enough to have offered to come up early to help us this weekend, so we have a prayer.  Full steam ahead!

Friday, November 12, 2010

So We Have News

So...we have some news.  And...seeing as most of you who read (or that I know read) have already been informed of this...it is not such shocking news.  And...if you're like my Aunt Polly, you'd claim you had already guessed.  A year ago.  Which obviously isn't possible.  Because I'm only three months pregnant.

You heard right.  I'm 12+ weeks along, due May 27th, and entering the 2nd trimester.  Hallelujah!  The first trimester WAS NOT FUN.  AT ALL.  I may have told Chris about a million times that I didn't know why anyone would ever choose to get pregnant, and that I would never do it again.  Fortunately, I don't feel quite as miserable as I did in those early days.  I had it all.  Bad morning sickness, slow "digestion", extreme fatigue, aversions, feeling like my body was taken over by an alien being, that whole she-bang.  That may have been part of why I stopped posting as much.  I was not the most cheerful person from it all, and Harper being sick, and the basement disaster, and Chris studying, and...blah.  And I just couldn't find much else to think about, much less write.

You may remember that I wrote a post for Chris's 30th birthday about how the universe was trying to tell me something, since the whole world was pregnant.  I also said I was choosing not to disclose our thoughts on the matter.  Well, at the time our thoughts were, we'll worry about it after Chris takes his test.  Little did we know that I would take a test THE NEXT DAY that would be positive.  Talk about irony.  Here's what I looked like the day of the test (at 5 weeks pregnant):

Not super different, but here I am today (12 weeks, 2 days):

As for stats....I have LOST 2 pounds.  Ok, I lost FIVE pounds from morning sickness, managed to gain it back, but have been losing again recently (as in 2 pounds THIS week).  ARGH.  I'm really trying to eat, but it doesn't always...go well.  I have been feeling substantially better, and getting sick less frequently, so hopefully things will normalize soon.  I also have started at least walking again.  Running was definitely out for awhile, but I'm hopeful that maybe someday soon I'll be able to?  I jog around the dog park occasionally with Harper.  And that's not too bad.  I am still in regular clothes, though all the size 4's have been retired.  And the 6's are starting to get uncomfortable.  Can I tell you how grateful I am that I lost so much weight last year and have a closet full of 8's?   

As for food...the "Little Lion" as we refer to him/her/it is a definite carnivore.  Vegetarianism was out the window almost immediately.  I wanted animal flesh.  Which still disturbs me, but so be it.  I also can't STAND the sight of vegetables.  Particularly tomatoes.  There are three things guaranteed to make me sick: 1) TOMATOES, 2) Beans, and 3) Cheerios.  Random list, right?  And none of them are guarantees.  Well, except Cheerios.  That's just like taking ipecac.  And poor Chris...he can't STAND the sound of vomiting and will literally RUN to the other end of the house.  There's no hair-holding going on in the Pjoy house!    

How's the Lion doing?  Pretty darn well as far as we know!  We had an ultrasound at 9 weeks (that was actually external, score!) that was MUCH more clear than you'd anticipate.  There was a definite head, body, 4 limbs, and strong heartbeat.  (I'm going with he.  Everyone THINKS the Lion is a "he", and it's easier, so...yeah)  He was also BOUNCING off the walls.  Oh I'm in trouble.  Seriously, already behaving like a ping-pong ball at 9 weeks?  Karma's a b*&%^.  I may have been a hyper-active child myself, and see some tiring days in my future.  We have no reason to believe that anything's wrong, so he's probably still banging away in there.  I have another appointment next week, but no ultrasound.  Hopefully we'll get to hear a heartbeat.  I actually haven't HEARD it yet.  Just seen it.  So I'm anxious for that day.

What's been weird?  Other than everything?  I've turned into Chris with food.  I crave meat and sweets.  Which is the exact opposite of "normal" me.  And I've probably only eaten 3 pickles TOTAL since finding out.  Which...is just bizarre.  I miss my daily jar.  ;)  Chris has loved it.  He's had every favorite meal.  Although, even he started requesting some vegetarian fare after a few weeks straight of meat.  Which absolutely cracked me up.  Never thought I'd see the day.  However, having all his favorite foods and copious amounts of chocolate around has led to jokes that he will be gaining more weight than me.  I think he's worried.

I guess I'll stop.  I need something to post about in the future.  Glad the cat's out of the bag!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Thankful Thursday

I didn't do a full month of thankfulness on facebook this year (I hear my facebook friends thanking me), so here's 15, as was started by Whitney at The Glamorous Life of a Housewife.

1.  My husband who is so very hardworking and driven.

2.  The fact that he is healthy again and made it into work today!

3.  My fur-babies.

4.  The fact that HARPER is healthy again.  Well, as healthy as she'll get.  She's still taking a lot of medicine, but all is good.

5.  The fact that I have NOT gotten sick.  (knocking on wood)  And we're ignoring that I have thrown up twice in 2 days.  So not sick.

6.  That I have a packet of hot chocolate waiting to be made.

7.  That I have plenty of food available to me besides hot chocolate.

8.  That even if it is moldy and aggravating, I have a safe roof over my head and four walls to keep us warm.

9.  That my extended family is coming to my house for Thanksgiving.

10.  That it is Veteran's Day and we can remember the sacrifices so many have made.

11.  That my orchestra sounds truly wonderful this year.  Concert season is coming up!  You should come out to a performance.  They're free and will get you in the Christmas spirit!  The Audubon Symphony Orchestra

12.  For all my supportive friends.

13.  That TWO dear friends have gotten engaged recently to their long-time boyfriends.

14.  That my mother is doing so well!

15.  That it may be "Hate Week" according to my husband, but I haven't had to hear TOO much about Ohio State and Penn State.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Weekend Wrap-Up

I stalled writing this in the hopes that I would come up with some pictures, but as has been all too frequent occurrence recently, I failed to upload any.  The weekend was actually pretty eventful, though.

Friday we WENT OUT TO EAT.  Ok, this may not seem like a big deal to some of you, but it's rare for us.  It wasn't the greatest meal, but I didn't have to cook it, and we just got to sit, talk, and enjoy ourselves.  I demolished entirely too much food, and was a happy, chubby, little weekender.

Saturday was the bigger day.  Matt was at our house by 7:30 am, and then we hit the road to visit State College.  We made pretty good time, got there, and set up our tailgate.  Our neighbors made the mistake of asking Matt about beer, which meant that he talked brewing the entire rest of the afternoon with them, though they admittedly seemed interested.  Chris was harassed about forgetting mustard for the sausages, since Matt and I feel strongly that it is necessary, and Chris thinks condiments are an abomination.  And right before we went into the game, we stopped by the tailgate of Chris's former RA, Kelly, and she was quite persuasive about us needing to try her tacos.  Which of course I did.  You can't wave salsa in front of this girl and get away with it.

The game was, obviously, phenomenal.  Penn State looked terrible in the first half, and the stadium was dead, but a different team took the field the second half.  I don't think anyone in the stands had a voice left.  It was so loud!  It also wasn't ALL that cold.  Of course I was wearing 5 layers, but it was BEARABLE.  We even stayed through the ceremony honoring Joe's 400th win.  The video was incredibly moving, and you really should watch it.  I may have cried.

Mike and Megan (and their boys) watched Harper while we were away, and we're so proud of her!  She is always great with them, but she really had some wonderful moments.  Sam is 1.5?  And Will is 8 months?  I'm guessing.  So, Harper walked with a stroller for the first time, and did well.  Will took her toy, and she sat in front of him, and waited for him to drop it.  And when Mike and Sam took her to the dog park, and other dogs showed up, she sat down next to Sam to protect him from them.  Apparently, there was a lot of Harper-love going on in the house.  I'm so glad, since they had to put down their 9 year old dachshund about 2 weeks ago.  RIP Ziggy! 

The drive home was painful for Chris, as he was exhausted, but he's a rock star.  So...I tried to entertain Harper for a bit before going to sleep, but I didn't last long.  Matt stayed overnight, so the next morning he and Chris went back to tearing out framing, drywall, stairs...everything from the contaminated, moldy basement.  I went and ran some much-needed errands.  More of a typical, busy, weekend day.

Anyway, there's a quick, picture-less (sorry!) weekend update.  Hope yours was great, too!

Friday, November 5, 2010

Dogs have the Memories of....Elephants?

I'm not sure this is a true statement, but I was floored when we went to the dog park on Wednesday.  Harper was being a maniac...bouncing with energy, even before we got to the park.  When we arrived, however, she darted straight to the center of the fenced area and started jumping ALL OVER a woman.  I was slightly horrified.  I went over and apologized profusely, but the woman laughed and said, "Don't worry about it, I'm used to it.  I'm a dog walker."  At that point, I said, "C'mon, Harper, let's leave her alone."  To which the woman gushed, "Harper!  I knew I knew this dog!"

Turns out that she works for the dog walking service that we use and when I used to travel out of state weekly to go to a client site earlier this year, she was the one that would walk the dog.  I finished that project in...April maybe?  It's been awhile.  But Harper still definitely knew who Robin was!  (It is also reassuring that obviously she was well taken care of and a big fan of her walker!)

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Politics and Marriage

Anyone who knows me knows that I am a gung-ho Democrat.  So, revealing my vote from yesterday isn't particularly startling.  But, I'm not so much talking about my disappointment over PA electing every single Republican they could, but whether politics should play a role in a marriage.

Chris is slightly more middle of the road than me, but generally is pretty left-ist, too.  However, he has been thoroughly convinced (perhaps, in part, by me) that the previous couple of years with no checks and balances were a bad idea.  Even I will fully admit that too many policies went through without adequate debate.  Chris started to feel that, even if he agreed with Democrats' principles, Republicans needed to be elected so that the process would be slowed down.  I, on the other hand, believe that we will merely experience a stalemate for the next two years, and that's not moving anyone "forward". 

I voted at lunch.  As we're cooking dinner, Chris revealed he hadn't yet, but was thinking about going and voting Republican.  I told him that I would be furious with him.  This led to a discussion on how much a wife should attempt to influence her husband's actions, particularly when it involves voting.  My stance, is that I chose our relationship on the basis of shared values and beliefs, and had we NOT shared those values and beliefs, I likely would not have chosen to marry him.  His stance was that I shouldn't try and control him.  I think both are valid.  I did proceed with the following questions:

"Do you believe we should stop stem cell research?"  "No"  (#1 in my mind right now!)
"Do you believe companies who outsource should get tax breaks?"  "No"
"Do you believe the government should not support the poor?"  "No"
"Do you believe only the wealthy should have access to health care?"  "No"
"Do you believe that there should be environmental controls on energy companies?"  "Yes"

I can't remember the entire rundown of questions I asked, but surely enough, he still fell pretty "left".  At that point, he decided to not vote, and save himself from the harassment.  I don't know how I feel about this.  I don't want to feel like I twisted his arm, but my political beliefs are important to me, as is sharing that with him.

Do you think how your spouse votes should be off limits?  Or is it a core value and discussion that should be held? 

Monday, November 1, 2010

All By My Se-eh-elf

Yes, I was just singing as I typed that.  This weekend, I was all on my own.  And loved it.  Chris wrapped up his test...didn't feel so great about it...and headed off to State College with the boys.  And my car. 

I...did very little.  I did 4 loads of laundry (and then 2 more after Chris got home) because our washer and dryer had been disconnected while the concrete dried in our basement.  For two weeks.  For the first 3 loads, I couldn't figure out why the clothes were coming out boiling hot.  Especially when we run it on "cold".  Then, my brilliant mind bothered to check the water line hook-ups and discovered the contractors had attached them backwards.  Ah...I'm a quick one sometimes. 

I drove Chris's car for the first time by myself!!!  I'm very proud because it is a stick, and it took me entirely too long to learn how to do this.  I stalled it twice, but at least Harper and I survived and made it to the dog park.  And SHE had a big day because I didn't bring a ball and she actually interacted with other dogs!  Gasp!

I'm currently reading The Girl Who Played with Fire.  Enjoying it. 

I watched The Happening, which was filmed right outside my office, and actually almost enjoyed it.  I had heard it was terrible, but it creeped me out enough that I wasn't so thrilled to have watched it by myself, in the dark. 

I had breakfast with a good friend I hadn't seen in a month.  Good times, good times.

I handed out a lot of Halloween candy.  I probably had 100 trick-or-treaters!  My neighborhood must be thought of as a good place to hit.  The dog was insane and barked at every one of them. 

I washed my car after Chris got home because it reeked of boys, beer, and boys who had eaten chili and beer.  It visibly had an entire bottle of beer dumped down the front windshield.  It's better, but I'm still smelling the nastiness today.  The husband may be banned from taking my nice, new car in the future. 

Well, there's a choppy, quick rundown of events.  Hope your weekend was fun, too!