Friday, July 29, 2011

update on elliot.

Elliot had her surgery on Monday the 18th, and recovered remarkably well.  She had a day of sleep (Tuesday) and was pretty much back to her normal self on Wednesday.  Her appetite hasn't been huge, but we've pegged it as a result of the surgery, 2 weeks of antibiotics and being abandoned.  I wouldn't be hungry either!

She also had to wear her cone- it was so funny, and sad at the same time.  Poor Ellie!


However, on Sunday we got the results back from our vet, stating that the tumor was indeed malignant.  Our vet wasn't that great communicating with us, so I contacted the facility to see if we could see another vet.

We saw our new vet on Tuesday, and had a much better experience.  He told us that while it was 'bad' news, it was the best it could be.  He said her cancer was low grade, meaning not likely to have spread.  Also, the surgeon was able to get the tumor plus clear margins, stating that it was highly unlikely that it had spread.  He said based on the research he has done, chemo isn't a guarantee to help at all.  His suggestion was we'd just keep an eye on her, to see if any new tumors form.  This was something Ryan and I were happy to hear.  We weren't too excited about the prospect of chemo, and deciding if it was something we could do or not.

So to celebrate the better than expected news, we took the kids on a car ride- so happy they both get along!




So here's to Elliot, and many happy and healthy years to come!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

I want one!

Growing up I never had a playhouse.  We didn't even have one of those plastic ones.  But that didn't stop my sister, brothers and me from "playing house".  We'd get creative with everything and anything- using sheets and couch cushions, corners of a room, etc.  It worked just fine, and we all have turned out to be able to play "real house" so I am assuming a playhouse doesn't matter.

But I found these great playhouses today in an article slideshow on The New York Times.  I was blown away.  Check out this two-story, 170-square-foot, Cape Cod-style playhouse:

Credit: Megan Thompson Lovoi for The New York Times

The kitchen has running water...


and a stocked fridge!


I also loved this house- check out the white picket fence!


It has furnishings even an adult could love


and a kitchen fancier than mine!


Can you imagine?  I'd even take one now!

Friday, July 22, 2011

let's accessorize!

Elliot didn't pack much when she made the big move to our family.  All she brought was her collar, and it needed some help.  And, if Riley's collar collection is any indication of how much I love to dress up my pet's necks, then I have a long way to go.

I'm not a fan of dressing up dogs in clothes.  I know, I know, we've all seen Riley in a Snuggy and scarf- but that was all the name of Christmas [Side note- so EXCITED for this years card, as we get to include the new member of the family.  Have to get my juices flowing...]  So for me, their collar is my chance to dress them up a bit.

Originally I was going to go with a classic black leather collar.  Much like this one from Martha Stewart


But after purchasing one, I decided I wanted one with a little more spunk.  I also didn't think the cheap-o leather collars that I could afford would last long, and they didn't seem very comfortable.  So it was back to the drawing board.  I wanted a collar that had a metal belt-type buckle over the clip type.  I also didn't want it adjustable.  Ellie is teenie, and has quite the stop when she doesn't want to move, so I needed a collar that was going to stay put. So I started my search with an apple green color, of course.

I really liked the Hamilton collar from Amazon.com .  It seemed like a cute color, and the buckle and nylon looked real sturdy.  Problem was I couldn't find a leash that matched- which I sort of wanted.  And, maybe not everything has to be green...


If I was a millionaire, Ellie would wear this.  But, alas, $99 is about $89 too much.


LL Bean and Lands End had some cute collars, but they only had the plastic buckle type.  So then I went to etsy- which always turns out to be a great idea.  They had a plethora of plastic buckle adjustable collars, but one seller, Chloe's Collars had just what I was looking for! She had some great designs, such as these super girly ones:



But, I've never really been a super pink girl.  So then I found this one:




And loved it!  I love the colors, and I LOVED the teal.  I also am going to order just a plain teal leash (the same color as the inside).  She does make the same pattern for the leash, but I didn't want to be too over-the-top.

It even passed the Ryan test, so we couldn't be better!

I also needed to get a tag for her (and Riley).  And of course I had specifics for that too.  I really wanted a silver circle tag.


And I wanted it to be double sided so just their names were on the front, and their info on the back.  [I know, who cares about stuff like this...]  I also wanted Ellie's and Riley's to match, so I needed to find a place that offered different sizes.  Petco and PetSmart were a no go.  After a quick search online, I found this great site, TerrificPets.com where you can do just that!  And for just $6.45 a pop, I ordered my two.

Once all the bling and collar arrives, I'll post a pet pic!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

fooling the dog.

It's funny as you enter new life stages- new items become must haves.  Things that you would have never thought would have mattered to you.

But they do, and they change your life.

Much like my corner painter, or Goo Gone, or recycled toilet paper from Costco.  I know, all funny stuff to get giddy about.

And with the addition of our dog, Elliot, I have a new found obsession for Greenies Pill Pockets- and this has just come about in the past day.




Ellie has a personal pharmacy here at our house.  Between her glucosamine, allergy meds, antibiotics, steroids, etc- she has quite the cocktail.  And, as of Tuesday morning she decided she didn't want to take pills any longer.  I had remembered seeing the pill pockets at the vet, so I jumped in the car (still in my pjs mind you) and picked up two bags. [I'm slightly worried my dog parenting style will transcend to human kids...]

And I'm happy to report that they worked wonders.  They have the texture of cookie dough, so you can create a "pocket" around the pill.  It sure beats my messy peanut butter/cheese/bread concoctions that I had been using.

So thank you Pill Pockets- you've saved the day!

Friday, July 15, 2011

miss ellie.

On our anniversary day, Ryan and I filled out our application to be hopeful parents of an older golden retriever. We knew it would be awhile till we were placed (if at all with a dog)- but we were excited nonetheless.  The rescue said they would call us in a few weeks to follow up on our application.  It had gotten to the point where I was going to call and see where we were at, when a friend of ours posted this picture, asking if it was anyone's dog.


I immediately responded, if you don't find her owners, I'll take her.  And, I wasn't kidding.  Well, she called me later that night and asked if I wanted to come over and meet her.  So Ryan and I jumped in the car and head over.

She was so sweet, and small- and was just the dog we were looking for. She was found tied up to a tree, after being there all night- so her family ditched her.  We couldn't say no for a trial adoption.  We had to repair our fence, but said we'd come over and take her the next day (since they already had two dogs on their hands).

Our #1 concern was for this gal,


While we knew she wouldn't right away be ok with a new member in the house, we couldn't have a dog that was out to get her.

So we picked up the dog the next day, and crossed our fingers for a peaceful encounter.  The dog jumped in the car, and loved the ride (a definite must for any dog of mine) and we took her home.  We opened the door and found Riley sitting on the couch.  The dog came in, and walked right past her.  At first we thought maybe the dog couldn't see- but turns out, she just doesn't care about cats.  It was perfect!

Riley was taken aback at first- as she hasn't been around many dogs, but she has since settled in pretty well.  That weekend we took her to a local dog-friend downtown, and got coffee.


It was awesome.  I've always wanted a dog to take around with me. And as Ryan and I were sitting there, with our friend Matt, life felt content and great- it was nice!  She was so good on the leash, and let anyone pet her.  She also loved all the free cookies that the stores had.


So we had a great weekend with her, and took her everywhere we went, and boy oh boy does she love the car- gotta love our travel-friendly pets!


So Sunday we took her to the vet, and that's when the happy-go-lucky spirit ended.  She had a lump on her tummy, and we noticed it, and pointed it out to the vet. She immediately said "I don't like this- because it is on her mammary gland."  Me being me, started bawling (you'd think this was my life-long dog) as she explained the different routes we could take.  There is a 50% chance it is malignant- and the treatment for that would be a mammary gland removal chemo and radiation.  It's very intense for the dog, and what I've read, doesn't seem to be a guaranteed fix.  While we love our pets, we have to be realistic about their care and our finances.

So, we decided to do a blood test, get some x-rays done to see if we can see mass spreading, and take the lump out to test it.  She also needs to be spayed.  Her blood work and x-rays came back all clear- and her surgery is set for Monday.  We'll keep you posted on the outcome- but we hope miss Elliot (Ellie) can be a happy dog with us.

Moral of the story- listen to Bob Barker, and spay your pets!  If you don't they have a very, very high chance of getting mammary gland tumors!

And don't tie your pets to a tree.

By the way, the other great part of being dog-parents now?  Getting to buy the Martha Stewart line of pet products!



Tuesday, July 05, 2011

loving summer.

Last week we reviewed bits and pieces of our wedding.  And in real time, Ryan and I were celebrating and preparing for our trip to Oregon.

Our anniversary was low key this year.  On Saturday the 25th, Ryan went out with his bike crew to ride up Mount Diablo.  He is preparing for the MS Waves to Wine tour- what a stud.  So, he woke up and rode his bike.  I kept myself busy with working on some things around the house.


We also decided to put our property taxes to use, and get our library cards with the new county.  We both checked out books for our trip, and I was tempted to get this book:

Yep, that says knit your own royal wedding.

Sunday, we slept in, grabbed some yummy breakfast and coffee at Sideboard


and hung out around the house.  For dinner, we went to Wente.  This was the first time we had been there for dinner.  We started the night off with a cheap-o $5 wine tasting (and complementary champagne since I mentioned we were celebrating our anniversary).


Our dinner was so good, and we went all out, ordering wine, salad, entrees and a fancy smores dessert for me!  The night was great, and we were even able to watch someone else's wedding occur on the lawn.


Ryan got me this adorable necklace with our initials.  And let's be real- I sent him the link.


For our real anniversary, we picked up Italian take-out and relaxed to some bad tv.  It was a great night, and a nice low-key celebration for an overly expensive year (aka buying our house).

Tuesday we were able to get together with some dear friends from college for great pizza and conversations.

Then Thursday we packed our car and hit the road.  Since the drive to Oregon is far from fun, we like to break it up.  So we drove 5 hours to Yreka, spent the night, then woke up early Friday.

Riley came too (would you expect anything less?)  And yes, we are aware it is weird to travel with a cat.  But, she's pretty good in the car, and it gives her a change of scenery.

She likes to sit on the arm rest.  It's the perfect size for her.



When she gets really sleepy, she lets her arms and legs dangle, and she looks like this:


No road trip is complete without family photos:






And some corny home videos, aka showcasing how Riley not-so-secretly wants to kill me.



We didn't do such a great job documenting our trip- but Lindsey did, and started to write about it.

It explains why my husband is holding our cat on a pink leash.


Yep. That really happened.
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