Friday, August 31, 2007

One Expensive Game of Bowling

As much as I've talked about bowling in the last few months, you'd think we bowl all the time. In fact, until this year, we'd been bowling only once or twice in our first 12 years of marriage. However, last night we bowled for the FIFTH time since February! We're practically little Lebowskis at this point! :)

This most recent bowling excursion was our second outing of its type with our Journey Group friends, so of course it was loads of fun. We went to Jaybowl in the Kansas Union, which is only $2.50 a game for KU students/staff and $3.o0 a game to the general public, so it's ultra cheap. Unfortunately, there's construction going on in the parking lot below the Union next to the stadium, so Chad and I parked in the self-pay parking garage next door. Although it was after 7 p.m., all the signs indicated you had to pay any time except the weekend, so we went to the pay station and put in about an hour and 15 minutes worth of coins. We weren't really sure how diligently the KU parking department patrols this parking lot, but were thinking we'd only be bowling one, maybe two games, so making it back out in just over an hour didn't seem too unreasonable.

Our first game went by so quickly we had plenty of time for a second, but the second game took quite a bit longer after two separate lane malfunctions needed employee intervention to remedy. After adding in a little post-game social time, we headed back to the parking lot just before 9:00--just over 30 minutes after our parking time had expired. Unbelievably, there was already a $20 ticket waiting on our windshield. Even more unbelievably, it had been issued 6 minutes after our time had run out.

Really, we shouldn't be surprised at all by the apparent E.S.P. of the KU parking department when it comes to illegal parking. I must have received 20 tickets in my four years of college, and often times it was for parking in a restricted lot for a 5 minutes dash into a campus building. It never failed that I would get busted then, so I don't know why I'm surprised we got busted now. I guess we erroneously assumed that because it was the evening, and because there were all of 5 cars in the entire 1st level of the garage, and because there were no other available lots nearby, that maybe KU Parking would have mercy on us. We couldn't have been more wrong. The parking department is an always has been one of the more evil entities on campus!!

Chad did fill out an online form trying to contest the ticket (citing the bowling delays due to malfunctioning lanes), but we're not holding out much hope. We're probably just going to have to accept the fact that it was an expensive night of bowling. At least I can say I bowled my best game of the year last night! According to my previous post on bowling, my PR in the lanes was 105 (at least of the outings I blogged about). Last night I bowled a 126 in my second game! I love having a blog so I can remember important statistics like these, as well as rant about annoying things like parking tickets!

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Centipede Excitement

Early this morning I was startled by one of my coworkers shouting, "Quick! Come look at this!" This isn't a phrase you hear very often in the computer nerd department at KUEA, so I jumped up from my chair and went running into the hallway. As my friend Everett was walking into his office, he had spotted a large centipede crawling around the corner into the office next door. This thing was by far the most enormous bug I've ever seen in our building (although we do have a lot of bugs in the nerd department since we're on the ground floor), and it was absolutely disgusting. He moved super fast and was adept at quickly finding a hiding spot under the door where it was nice and dark. I grabbed my Palm Pilot so I could take a picture, but I could only get about half of him since he always darted back into the darkness when someone moved the door, and my Palm most certainly doesn't have a high resolution or high speed camera! Although you can't see him very well in these pictures, we guessed he was 4-5 inches long. That's a huge amount of creepiness!

As my brave coworkers Brian and Kiran attempted to capture the poisonous creature in a large envelope (I wouldn't have touched that thing with a ten foot pole), Brian emerged from his office with the centipede at arms length perched on the end of the envelope, right in front of my face. I'm sure I looked like a complete idiot, but I screamed like a little girl and ran the other direction. Thankfully, Kiran pushed it completely into the envelope somehow and then released it outside, so the disaster was averted relatively quickly.

After our bug crisis, we stood around for a few moments pondering the disturbing question of how many other centipedes were hiding in the dark places of our office building. For the rest of the morning, I most definitely had that creepy-crawly feeling you get when you've had a bug of some sort crawling on you. I kept looking under my desk at all the wires and cables keeping my computer alive, wondering how many centipedes were making their home in there. Needless to say, I sat cross-legged in my chair for most of the morning to avoid any huge centipedes crawling up my pant leg. Thank goodness the pest control people will be coming in soon!!!

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Square Watermelons

Someone sent me these pictures the other day, and I thought they were quite fascinating! Upon Googling the subject, I found that the story about these odd fruits is actually six years old, so I'm a little behind the times, apparently! To find out more info, you can check out one of the stories I found about how these watermelons came to be square, but the gist is that Japanese farmers decided to put them in little glass boxes while they were growing. Apparently this was necessary because Japanese refrigerator space is very scarce, and these little beauties have been made the perfect size for a standard fridge in Japan. The only problem is that they cost about 3 times as much as a normal watermelon in that country--about 83 U.S. dollars! I love watermelon and I think theses are pretty cool, but I'm pretty sure I wouldn't pay triple the price for one of these babies! :)

Monday, August 27, 2007

The Best Husband Ever

I don't mean to brag about my husband, but I just have to brag about my husband. He had to go out of town for the night, but he did about the nicest thing ever for me this morning. It probably wouldn't sound like the biggest deal if you didn't know the whole story, so here's the whole story.

Since we were on vacation last weekend, we purposefully didn't go to the grocery before we left, because we didn't want any food to go bad while we were gone. We got back in the wee hours of Tuesday morning, and then our subsequent evenings went softball/baby shower/Journey Group, so even though we had very little food in the house, there wasn't really time for grocery shopping on those nights. We sustained ourselves on zone bars and a few random frozen items in the freezer, and then thought we'd finally make it to the store on Friday evening. Instead, we decided to order pizza and watch a movie on Friday, which we thought would be a better Friday date than going to the grocery store.

So Saturday morning, I got up at 5:30 and walked 10 miles with my friend Amber, while Chad went off on a golf outing with some friends of his from high school. After Amber and I returned, I took a quick shower, and then took Fresco to a shelter event for a couple of hours so that he could get some exposure to potential families. After dropping him off at home and snarfing down some leftover pizza, I went back to the shelter for 3 hours to take pictures of the new adoptable dogs. I headed home for another shower, fed the dogs, ate more cold pizza, and started uploading all the pictures I'd taken earlier in the day. I was pretty pooped from all the activity, so I really spent most of the evening laying in bed with the laptop, uploading dog pictures and watching a movie, while Chad spent the night in K.C. with his buddies.

Sunday morning I got up at 6 and started out on another walk. The three dogs and I went about 3.5 miles, and then Hope and Celtic came home and Fresco and I were off for another 3.5 mile loop. I came home and got all ready for church, but then Chad showed up right as I was leaving, and since I missed him so much I decided to skip church entirely, so I didn't have to leave him again. We went to Jack's for an early lunch, and then I headed back to the shelter while all the guys in his fantasy football league met him there for their fantasy NFL draft (nerds). :) I left the shelter after a couple of hours to meet a potential Fresco adopter at our house at 4, and then immediately showered and got ready for our softball double header at 6. After two sweaty softball games, we headed home, where Chad ate his leftover pizza for dinner, and I ate all of his crusts, since there was really not much in the house to eat. I spent the rest of the evening working on the dogs pictures I'd taken earlier in the day.

All of this back story is probably very unnecessary, but it just didn't seem sufficient to say that we had a busy weekend. It seems ludicrous to say that we didn't have time to go to the store, but it really felt that way with all that was going on!

So this morning I got up at 5:30 to take the dogs for an extra long walk. I had a double header again tonight, and since Chad had a meeting in Wichita and wouldn't be here this evening, I knew that Fresco would have to be kenneled while I was softball after being kenneled all day, so I wanted him to have plenty of exercise. Chad left the house just a few minutes ahead of me, and then after I'd been at work about an hour I got a phone call, but the caller ID said it was from our house, which confused me because Chad was supposed to be at work. My dear little hubby was calling to tell me that he'd taken off work this morning to go to the grocery store, since he knew I wouldn't have time to go in between work and my game tonight, and he was worried that I hadn't been eating well the last several days. He knows that I'm such a non-picky eater that I could basically survive for days on peanut butter and pickle sandwiches (I seriously eat those, by the way), but he couldn't stand to see me do it! I thought it was so sweet!

I got home for lunch today and had all kinds of things to choose from: yogurt, my favorite fruits, cereal, deli meat, cheese and crackers--it was awesome!!! I had a great turkey sandwich thanks to my dear husband! I know I'm biased, but I think he's the best! :)

Friday, August 24, 2007

Like a Drunken Sailor

It's not every day that your doctor says you look like a drunken sailor. Yesterday morning I went to see my anesthesiologist to get steroid injection #4, which I had hoped I wouldn't ever need. Since I hadn't had any noticeable improvement since the last injection 2 weeks ago, on Thursday the doctor decided to pull out all the stops. He did three injections this time: one in my tailbone like he'd done the previous two visits, and one in each of my sacroiliac joints, which have to be located using an x-ray. Along with the new shot locations, Dr. N. added a higher dose of longer lasting Novocain in each of the injections, which certainly took its toll on my legs! I was able to walk back to the recovery room on my own, but within minutes I had lost much of the feeling from my rear all the way down to my feet. I enjoyed an unexpected morning of laying in the recovery room watching Comedy Central, which was kind of nice! Nurse Courtney brought me all sorts of snacks and took good care of me!

After at least an hour of laying around, my legs started regaining some feeling and Courtney helped me in an attempt to get up. I thought I was fine until I put all my weight on my legs and almost fell over! It was the freakiest feeling! That's what prompted Dr. N.'s drunken sailor comment--he's very funny and personable. I would really recommend him if you ever need a good anesthesiologist! He said that some people aren't affected all that much by the extra Novocain (they used to give it with all steroid shots apparently), but clearly my body absorbed it much better than some people's. After almost another hour of laying around, Chad came by the office to pick me up and drive me home, which was lucky since he just happened to be in town for a meeting! After lounging around the house another hour or so, I finally made it back to work about 1:30. I was still walking a little funny, but at least I wasn't falling over anymore!

I had really hoped to be pain free after the third injection so I wouldn't have to do this fourth one. There was huge improvement after the first shot, getting me back to my pre-July 4th pain level. After the second shot, I had some minor improvement so that I was no longer relying as much on ice packs and my TENS unit while sitting at work. After the third shot, there wasn't really any noticeable difference, so I'm still in pain while sitting, but for the most part it's tolerable. I'm just kind of sad because I wanted to be pain free and not just in a tolerable amount of pain!

There's still obviously a chance that the last caudal injection and the SI joint injections will make a difference, so all hope is not lost! The doctor said SI joint injections usually only help about 50% of the time, but he thought it was still worth a shot (no pun intended). I'm thinking anything is worth a shot at this point!

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Almost Belated Birthday!

I almost missed it!! It's been such a busy day that I'm just now am getting the chance to say happy birthday to my dear friend Erin! As Erin mentioned on her blog a couple of weeks ago, we have been friends for a very long time, and she is one of the few friends I have from high school that I still talk to on a regular basis. I'm so thankful that our friendship has lasted through the years! Our friendship was and is based on many shared interests, the most entertaining of which was quoting movies! Erin and I can quote movies with the best of them! We have so many crazy memories, and although I won't bore everyone with our high school stories, I can at least provide some good laughing material with some high school pictures! Thankfully, Erin lives in Mississippi, so she is too far away to strangle me once she sees these! :)

Classic hair from around 1988.

I think this was our Junior year, probably 1989.

I know my head is cut off, but it's the one time in my life I was almost as tan as Erin! :)

Our Senior year, fall of 1989, showing off our red tongues from blow pops!

Unfortunately, I have very few pictures of us that are even remotely recent, since I hardly ever get to see Erin these days! This is one taken 3 years ago in the summer of 2004, just so you can see that she did grow up to be a normal adult. :)

I have a few friends who still claim I look like I'm in my 20s (I think they're just trying to be nice), but Erin is one of those people who REALLY could still pass for a college student--even after having two adorable kids! Just a couple of years ago a clerk at a store guessed she was 17 or something ridiculous like that! It's insane! When we were kids we hated it so much when people guessed we were younger than our age, and now I cherish those moments when people think I'm still 30. I'm jealous because I know Erin gets a lot more of those comments these days than I do!

Happy 35th, Paiger!!! :)

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Happy Hope Day!

Today is the observed birthday of our sweet and furry "daughter" Hope! We don't actually have any idea when Hope was born--neither the year nor month--but we celebrate on August 22 because it was two years ago today that she came home to be our foster dog (you can read the long story on how that came to pass here). At the time, the shelter staff guessed her to be 5-7 years old, but after we got to know her a little more we decided she was closer to five, which means that this year we're celebrating her 7th birthday, even though she really could be anywhere from 6 to 10 years old!

When we brought Fresco home, Hope initially acted much younger than her 7 or so years, because she was SOOOO into wrestling and playing with him. The fact that she wears out fairly quickly definitely makes her seem older--that and the fact that recently she's put on a TON of weight! We had increased her food intake back March when she dropped so much weight during her chemotherapy, and just in the last few weeks we noticed that she was starting to get some love handles. We reduced her food back to the pre-chemo amount, but it certainly hasn't helped at all--in fact, in the last couple of weeks she's been looking downright obese! We can't decide if it's just because we're comparing her to the super skinny Fresco or if she really is continuing to put on weight. When I took her (and the other dogs) out to Chad's softball game last night, several people even commented that she was a hefty girl! I'm thinking maybe it's the new glucosamine tablets that I've been giving her and Celtic that might be adding the extra calories to her diet, so I'm going to cut those out and see if she (and Celtic) don't drop a few pounds. Either way, our chunky girl's definitely not getting any extra snacks for her birthday! :)

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Scenic Ohio

For any of you who are picture-crazy like I am, I've uploaded the photos from our trip over the weekend. Beware--there are lots!

If you'd rather check out the slideshow from our Picasa page, where the pictures will be a little bigger, you can click here instead. Enjoy!

Monday, August 20, 2007

Happy Belated B-Day to Heather!!

In the midst of our travels over the last few days I forgot to blog about something extremely important! My dear friend Heather had a birthday on Friday, and while I didn't actually forget her birthday (I at least remembered to send her a card), I was so busy babbling about our first day in Ohio, I forgot to actually give her a shout out on the old blog! Happy late birthday, friend!

If you've met my friend Heather, you know she's one of the most gentle, kind, caring and patient people you will ever meet! She has been the toddler teacher at Raintree for many years (has it been 10 already?), and seriously, you have to have the patience of Job to work with toddlers each and every day! Of course they all adore her because she's a wonderfully caring teacher. She's also super gentle and caring with animals of ALL shapes and sizes, including spiders and insects and snakes--oh my! Heather is the only person I've ever met who will capture a spider inside the house so that she can release it outside instead of just squishing it. She's also the only woman I've ever met who is brave enough to kill a poisonous snake who ventured too close to her house and family!

Heather's love for nature extends to her beautiful flower gardens, as well as to outdoor activities such as camping and canoeing. She's a wonderful host and is always entertaining us out at the beautiful home that she and Grant designed, built and decorated all on their own. She is nothing if not hard-working--there is always some sort of big project involving lots of manual labor going on at their house! Between managing their home projects and their almost teenage daughter, Heather stays super busy!

Clearly Heather is an amazing woman, and I feel like Chad and I are extremely lucky that she's one of our best friends! Hope you had a great _9th birthday, dear friend! :)

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Sports and (Not So Much) Leisure

Today has been a day of tons of activity here in southern Ohio! I needed to get some training miles in today after only walking about 6 miles yesterday (about 3 on our hike and another 3 with Chad and Eric in the evening), so after sleeping in a little this morning, Chad and Dad and Mim and I headed over to the hike/bike path in the area that extends at least 15 miles through Athens and neighboring towns. Chad, Dad and Mim all jumped on bicycles, and I took off on foot. The weather was definitely warmer today, but still very tolerable, especially since the path was very nicely lined with trees. I went about 5 miles down the path with frequent visits from Chad and Dad, who doubled back every once in a while to keep me company. I turned around and walked the 3 miles back to a little old town called Eclipse where there is a tiny little home-cooking soul food restaurant called Jana's. Dad and Mim went back to the house to pick up Eric and then met Chad and I back at the restaurant for a fantastic lunch!

After a quick rest back at the house, we headed over to the community rec center where Chad and Eric shot some hoops while Dad and I enjoyed a rousing game of tennis. I hadn't played tennis in at least 10 years, but it was so much fun! It took us a while to work out the kinks, but we didn't do half bad considering we hadn't played forever! I love playing tennis and I think I definitely think I should do it more often!

After a dinner of pizza at the "best" pizza in Athens, I kicked Dad's tail in a game of gin, and then Eric and I proceeded to work Dad and Mim in darts as well. It's been a day full of sports and activities, and I must say I'm pretty darn pooped at this point! I should definitely sleep well tonight!

Saturday, August 18, 2007


I can't believe how cool it is here in Ohio! I had no idea the climate would be so different than in Kansas. We had looked at the forecast online and knew it would get down into the low 60s overnight, but I didn't realize I'd need long sleeves so much! This morning I put on the one and only long sleeve t-shirt I brought when we set out for a hiking trip in nearby Hocking Hills State Park. The scenery was beautiful (I'll load some pictures later, of course) and the weather was absolutely gorgeous. The narrow, winding roads that got us there made us for a slightly bumpy ride for Chad and Eric and I since we were wedged tightly in the back seat, but it really is a pretty area of the country.

While the weather is certainly lovely, I wish I'd brought some more warm clothing! Chad and I are headed out this evening to finish out my walking for the day and I really could use some sweat pants! I'm not accustomed to such cool weather in the middle of August!

Friday, August 17, 2007

What I Did On My Summer Vacation

We arrived at the Columbus airport this morning at about 1 a.m. after a fairly uneventful flight on the newest airline in the air. The worst part about the trip had nothing to do with Skybus at all, but was due to our poorly timed arrival at KCI. We gave ourselves an hour to get there and thought we'd need another 30 or so minutes to get from long-term parking to the terminal. It took us less than an hour to get to the parking lot and only another 15 minutes or so to catch a bus to the terminal, and since the airport was pratically deserted at 8:45 at night, it took us all of 2 minutes to check our one bag (we'd done online check-in at home before we left). We ended up being ready to take off over an hour before our gate even opened. This wouldn't have been a big deal in a normal airport, but at KCI, there was NOTHING open. Not a newsstand, not a gift shop, not a snack bar, not a vending machine...I mean nothing except a sports bar that ended up closing at 9:00. It was a ghost town. We walked up and down the deserted terminal for 30 or so minutes and sat and played on our electronic devices for another 30 minutes before going through security, where I had to throw away some hand lotion and hand sanitizer because I didn't have a plastic baggie to put them in (apparently liquids are "safer" if they are enclosed in a thin piece of plastic...go figure). After another 30 minutes or so we finally started boarding, and a mere hour and a half later, we were landing in Ohio. The flight attendants all look as though they were just out of college (and were wearing rather unprofessional-looking black t-shirts), but other than that it was a fairly normal flight.

About 30 minutes after we arrived, Eric's flight from Burbank came in, and after picking up our baggage and hitting a nearby McDonald's for my starving husband and brother, we headed back to Athens, where we arrived at about 3:30 a.m. Needless to say, we slept in until almost 11 this morning. My brother, however, who was still on L.A. time, didn't roll out of bed until Chad woke him at 2 p.m.

The weather is MUCH nicer here than in Lawrence, so even though we didn't head out until almost noon, Dad joined me for a 3 mile training walk before we enjoyed some tasty quiche that Dad's wife Mim made earlier in the morning. The day has otherwise been extremely relaxing, with the most entertaining portion of my day so far being the hour or so I spent taking picures with the "Photo Booth" of my dad's new MacBook Pro. I was laughing so hard I was crying. Here are just a few of my favorites I had to share:

Dad and I just getting started

Let the distortions begin...Chad gets in on the action

Dad and I are cartoons!

Now we've been drawn by pencils!

Man, I have some pretty big hair these days!

My Jay Leno impression

I'm a muppet!! This is the picture that started my hysterical laughing.

Dad and I are becoming one!

Now I'm a Simpsons character!

I can see into the future with that eyeball

What I imagine I would look like as an alien.

There were so many others, but I won't bore you with every single one. I hope enjoyed my distortedness as much as I did!! :)

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Taking the Bus to the Bus

Things have been so busy the last couple of weeks I haven't even had the chance to talk about our vacation that starts today. In about 5 minutes, we're taking off for the airport to fly on the new Skybus airlines to the Columbus airport. Our bags are packed, our house is clean, our dogsitter (yeah Mom!) is on the way this evening and our foster dog is at the boarding kennel (which is a whole other story)--I think we're ready! We're headed to my father's home in Ohio to meet up with my brother and spend a long weekend hanging out together. Hopefully I'll have some good pictures and interesting blogs about the trip soon!

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

It's So Wicked Hot

I can't believe how hot it's been here the last couple of weeks. Tonight when I came home at about 6:30 the bank clock said 103 degrees. Last night when I went out to watched Chad's softball game around 7:00 it was over 100 degrees. The absolute worst was Sunday, when we had a softball game at 6 p.m. and it was 97 degrees, but the humidity was super high and there was absolutely no wind. I honestly can't remember ever being that hot! Somehow it felt so much worse than the subsequent days of 100+ temps, and when I checked the "past observations" on, I understood why. This is what I found:

If you plug that into this handy dandy heat index calculator that I found on the web you come up with a heat index 111-112 degrees. That's with 0 mph wind with 0 mph gusts, on a ridiculously dry ball field. It was so miserable, I thought my skin was going to burst into flames at any second. Okay, so maybe I'm exaggerating just a tad, but it was still awful!

Chad missed out on this miserable experience because he was baking in some miserable Midwest heat of his own. He was in Tulsa watching Tiger win the PGA Championship on Saturday and Sunday. While it was super duper hot in Tulsa as well, Intellicast tells me that on Sunday in Tulsa, the heat index was only 105-106, and there was a breeze of 7 m.p.h. While Chad couldn't have been quite as hot as we were on the ball field, he certainly had to endure this weather for a much longer period as he walked all over the Southern Hills golf course for two days. By drinking about 15 bottles of water each day, Chad and his friend Dante survived the hottest PGA major on record:


Sunday's high temperature in Tulsa, Okla., reached 102 degrees, officially making the 2007 PGA Championship the hottest Grand Slam event on record.

The four-day average maximum stood at 101.0, with every day registering triple digits.

Sunday appeared even hotter at Southern Hills. Shortly after Tiger Woods teed off Sunday, TV cameras showed a thermometer on the course pointing just shy of 110.

Not that Tulsa wasn't already atop the charts. According to a study commissioned by Golf World magazine, the previous hottest major was the 1970 PGA at Southern Hills, where the average high was 100.3.

In fact, four of the seven hottest majors in history now have been held at Southern Hills. The 1982 PGA ranks fifth (97.0 degrees), with the 1958 U.S. Open tied for sixth (96.6).

While that's not really a record they enjoyed being a part of, since Chad is such a big Tiger fan, I think it was all worth it for him to see Tiger win!

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Surprise Pictures

My friend Amber is awesome. Not only did she put together the amazing decorations for my surprise party last Thursday (with some hands-on help from Cara and Kristin), but she also served as one of the event photographers! She uploaded the pictures this week so I wanted to share them with everyone. When you see my attire and general appearance, please keep in mind that this was a surprise, so I didn't exactly know I was going to be out in public!! I thought we were just hanging out at Pat's out so I was dressed very casually, to say the least!

The cake that my husband ordered was hilarious, and Amber got some great pictures of it. She also brought awesome pink Gerber daisies and my friend Faith brought some gorgeous flowers as well. Along with the pink and white balloons and streamers (pink was Chad's idea), Amber picked up some special confetti in the shape of my name--it was so cute and I wish I'd remembered to have her take a close up picture of it too! You can kind of see it in the cake picture if you look really hard!

It was all so unnecessarily elaborate I still can't quite believe it. It would have been wonderful just to have some good friends there, but having Chad and Amber go all out was just icing on the cake. Well actually, Rhett Miller was the icing on the cake! :)

Tummy Troubles

Thankfully, it seems Fresco is feeling a little better today. Although he did vomit a couple more times during the night, this morning he felt well enough take our two mile walk, so I determined he probably wasn't in desperate need of emergency care. He refused breakfast, but then had a small biscuit when it was time for me to leave for work. When I came home for lunch, I was happy to find that he hadn't thrown up anymore, and he even took a bite of his leftover breakfast. I called the vet's office to discuss his situation, and the vet tech made me feel a little better when she said she doubted a small corner of his blanket could have caused an obstruction. I decided to wait and see how the rest of the day went before taking him in.

When Chad arrived home this evening, although Fresco had thrown up some grass that he'd eaten at lunch in his kennel, I was very happy to hear Chad's report that some of that grass made it through as well, if you know what I mean! ;) I think that's pretty good evidence that his intestines aren't complete obstructed, at least!! Yeah! Chad said he even ran around the yard with Hope a little like he was almost ready to wrestle again!

The bad news is that he's still refusing to eat. We even cooked him some white rice, since vets often recommend that as the first food for dogs after a stomach problem. The rice unfortunately didn't interest him at all, and his stomach is still so upset (or just empty) I can actually hear it gurgling from four feet away. Poor little guy! If he doesn't eat breakfast in the morning, I'm most definitely taking him into the vet ASAP. This skinny little guy can't afford to go too many more days without some nourishment!

You can just tell by his sad picture that he feels super crummy. And yes, he is on our bed. We weren't planning to be such pushovers, but after he got sick this week we just couldn't resist. Those sweet hound dog eyes were pleading with us to let him stay up there with his foster siblings. Somehow he just seems calmer and in less distress when he's snuggled on the bed, so I guess as long as we're not trying to sleep there, that's where he'll be!!

Monday, August 13, 2007

Poor Little Fresco

Our poor little foster dog has had a really rough day. Over the weekend he got to go to daycare when I went to KC on Saturday night with Mom, and on Sunday he came home happy and all pooped out. He ate a healthy dinner and went to bed, but when I went to let him out of his kennel this morning, he had thrown up his entire dinner, and had no interest in eating breakfast. We went for a walk this morning and he seemed okay, but an hour or so later he vomited again. When Chad came home and let the dogs out at lunch, he hadn't thrown up anymore but then he had diarrhea. He wouldn't eat anything for dinner either, and he had diarrhea again. Tonight when we got home from softball he threw up a third time. The poor baby is so incredibly lethargic and I'm so worried about him! I hate to overreact when he's only been sick for a day, but I'm having such a hard time not thinking that there's something really wrong!

Chad is convinced that he's just having a hard time adjusting to the new food he's eating at our house, or that maybe that he picked up a stomach bug at daycare. My fear is that he's ingested some of the blanket that was in his kennel to give him some padding (a couple of the corners had been chewed on when we were gone) and has an intestinal blockage, which is incredibly serious. We're going to take him to the vet in the morning to see if they can figure out what's wrong. If you think about it, say a little prayer tonight or tomorrow for Fresco!

Sunday, August 12, 2007

20,000 of Our Closest Friends

What a day!! This morning the Cancer Hating Boob Savers participated in the largest ever Race for the Cure in Kansas City. This was a huge event last year with around 10,000 participants, but this year there were over 20,000 people walking and running in ridiculously hot weather! It was absolutely insane!

While the huge volume of participants obviously means more money than ever was raised for a very important cause, it certainly made for a much more crowded and slightly less enjoyable event! First of all, it took forever to get down to Union Station no matter which direction you were coming from, since obviously most of those 20K people were trying to take the same 3 or so exits to the area. Mom and I thought we were being smart by staying in hotel that was only about 3 miles away so we wouldn't have such a long drive this morning, but then in an idiotic move on my part, I followed the directions from Mapquest that took us back to the interstate instead of just driving straight through town! It took us 40 minutes to drive 3 miles because of the massive traffic jam!! We parked about a half mile away and hoofed it to our meeting place, and even though we were at least 15 minutes late, thankfully everyone else had hit the same traffic and we were still the first team members there!

The walk itself can be described in two words: crowded and hot!! When the walkers actually got started at around 8:00, the reported heat index was already almost 90, and was over 90 once we were finished walking an hour later. With all of those bodies together on city streets in the downtown area, I'm sure the temperature was even higher than actually recorded! There was hardly any breeze to speak of, and only about 1/3 of the course was in the shade. I was so proud of my mom, because although she has a hard time with high blood pressure when the temperature gets too high, she made it the entire 3.1 miles and kept up a pace that was over 3 miles an hour! She could have taken the 1 mile route or easily cut several blocks off the course, but she sweat it out with my friend JoAnna and I and made it the entire way!

Unfortunately, the heat and crowds made hanging around after the race to enjoy the giveaways, survivor parade and other festivities (like the survivor tent that Mom, JoAnna and my friend Laurie were never able to enjoy) pretty much unthinkable. No one had any interest in standing in line in the hot sun for free snacks and gifts! Instead, our team headed over to a nearby brunch buffet and enjoyed the air conditioning, some good food and lots of water! Unfortunately, JoAnna missed out because she didn't even make it out of the parking garage until after we were finished eating! Now that's a serious traffic problem!

Overall I think everyone still had fun despite the less than ideal conditions. However, Mom and I decided that next year--if we participate next year--we would definitely stay at the Hyatt or the Westin since those are right across the street from Union Station so we wouldn't have to fight any traffic. Hopefully next year some other people will be turned off by the crowds and it won't be quite as huge, and hopefully the event also won't be held on a day when the high is 102 degrees!!

For more pictures of the event, check out our Picasa page!

Friday, August 10, 2007


Last night my husband pulled off something he's generally not very good at: keeping a surprise. Somehow, he managed to organize a birthday party for me with about 20 our of friends without me suspecting a thing. He got a lot of help from our friend Amber, who picked up the cake and bought tons of decorations, and then beautified the loft at our favorite restaurant with help from our friends Kristin and Cara. I was so shocked!! I thought we were going to our regular Thursday night church group, but when he missed the turn to our friend Pat's new house he had to confess that we were having a "social night" with our Journey Group instead of doing our regular study. Still, I thought it would just be the 8 of us hanging out for the evening. I was so amazed to find so many other friends as well, along with my mom and Chad's mom too! It was a wonderful evening and I was so thankful to all of those people who came out to wish me a happy birthday!

It was a very thoughtful gesture by my dear husband, even though I really could do without celebrating b-days at all these days! I guess he felt it was necessary because it was a semi-large birthday, but I think that's all the more reason to forget them! Either way, there were a couple of people there with cameras, so hopefully I'll have pictures of the occasion to share soon!

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Fresco the Foster Dog

Today we have undertaken a new and rather large endeavor. His name is Fresco. You might remember Fresco from my blog about him back in April after I took him to the Pet Expo in KC. Just a week or so after I'd fallen for him, he was adopted, and just a few days later I saw him walking down the street with his new "mom" and their baby in a stroller. I was so happy for him because it looked like he'd found a great forever family. However, over the weekend my friend JoAnna and I were volunteering when she gave me the bad news: Fresco had been returned by his adopters. Apparently he had a small Chihuahua mix for a "sibling," and in an altercation over a prized bone, the other dog's leg had been temporarily injured. I just couldn't believe that he did anything to hurt his Chi friend on purpose, but JoAnna's understanding was that he might be euthanized because of it. I was devastated by the thought of this wonderful dog being put down.

Since Monday is the day of the week that the the vet comes to the shelter to euthanize animals, I called and left a message for the director first thing Monday morning, telling her that I was interested in fostering Fresco. I was worried that she might consider him dangerous and/or unadoptable and have him put down immediately, or refuse to allow me to take him home unless I planned on keeping him permanently. I was rather shocked when one of the shelter staff members called me back to tell me the director said it was okay!

I couldn't pick Fresco up that night because I had a softball game, and last night I had to drive to KC to get my Race for the Cure team packet immediately after work, so tonight was the night I finally went to pick up our new charge. I was so nervous about getting him, not because I thought he would be a big problem (although he's coming at a slightly inconvenient time since we're going on vacation next week and still haven't found a dogsitter for our own dogs), but because I worry so much about how this situation will affect Celtic. He's never loved our foster dogs, partially because he's got little man's syndrome and is always intimidated by the big ones, and partially because they tend to take away from the attention he would normally be getting. After his brother died last year, I really thought we would never foster again while Celtic was still around, just for the sake of his mental and physical health, but I just didn't know what else to do for poor little Fresco!

So tonight we brought our one year old foster pup home, and as I guessed she would be, Hope was absolutely thrilled with the visitor! She had a great time wrestling and chasing him all around the yard, and we even had to break up a few wrestling matches going on in the house. Since Fresco is part Boxer, he throws some amazing punches and has some great moves, so Hope quickly realized that she'd rather play chase with him than wrestle! After getting whapped in the head a couple of times she decided she wasn't quite as excited about her new foster brother as she initially thought!!

As he's done with almost all of his foster siblings, Celtic started off by growling at Fresco every time he came close, but after a little outside playtime and some extensive sniffing, he seems to be doing better already. We just have to make sure he still is getting tons of attention because Fresco is definitely a huge attention hog!

I'll write more about our lanky, goofy little munchkin very soon!!

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Race for the Cure

Tonight I'm going to try and very quickly share what I was so excited to talk about last night, even though now it might not seem so exciting. The back story is this: a few weeks ago I put together a team for the Susan G. Komen for a Cure Race for the Cure in Kansas City, which is this Sunday, August 12. This was an event that I participated in last year along with a team that my friend Amber was on, which was captained by her good friend and cousin-in-law Amy. Chad had also participated in the event with our friend Nolan and our friend Robyn, and the three of them registered a team using Robyn's creative team name: the Cancer Hating Boob Savers. It was such a cool and very huge event, I definitely wanted to participate again this year, and I also wanted my mom to be able to enjoy the festivities. When it came time to register this year, Robyn was without Internet access and very busy with her new job, so I went ahead and registered the team and invited friends to join. Ten of those friends accepted my invitation, including my mom, who is very excited to walk in her first 5K ever!

So to make a long story short, since I was way late registering the team, I didn't get the chance to have team t-shirts made, which was a fun thing that Amy did for the team I was on last year. Then a week or so ago I got a brilliant idea: I should buy those t-shirt iron on sheets that you can just run through your printer, along with some cheap Hanes undershirts, and then design a logo for us. When I finally finished the logo last night and then printed out my first decal and ironed it on, I was SOOOOO excited because I thought the final product turned out pretty darn good! Check it out!! :)

So last night I printed out 5 more decals and tonight I ironed on 3 more shirts, and they are still looking pretty good, although the black ink must be running low in my printer because the whole batch of 5 turned out to have purple lettering instead of black!! Oh well, hopefully they still look okay! Even if they're cheap t-shirts that only last for one day, I think it will be worth it to have great team spirit on Sunday! :)

Monday, August 06, 2007


I was so darn tired today. I've not been getting enough sleep the last couple of weeks and I've been fighting a sore throat as a result. This morning I had ridiculous bags under my eyes that didn't go away all day! The softball season started up again yesterday, and after 3 games in 2 days, I'm also ridiculously sore after not playing for a month. I've got several very exciting things I want to blog about, but I just don't have the energy to do it tonight--I'm going to bed instead. Stay tuned for some items of interest (at least to me) in the next couple of days!!! :)

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Football Fanatic

Those of you who know my husband know he's a big football fan. When it comes to his beloved Pittsburgh Steelers, he turns into a football fanatic. Over the weekend, he had me cracking up with some fanaticism that I just had to share, even though initially he thought I shouldn't blog about this because it might make him seem a little crazy. He finally decided that maybe the story was sort of amusing and therefore blogworthy, so I'll try to give you a little back story so that it makes a little more sense.

This October, the KU football team is playing Colorado in Boulder. The next day, the Denver Broncos are playing the Pittsburgh Steelers in Denver. This equates to a lot of interesting football for us in one exciting weekend. Our friend Terry, who has season tickets to the Broncos games, suggested that we should all make a weekend trip to CO to watch both events. We got KU tickets for our group through Terry, but since Terry already had his tickets for the NFL game, we were left to our own devices to acquire Steelers/Broncos tickets.

So several weeks ago Chad started doing research, trying to figure out the least expensive way to purchase tickets for this game. On StubHub, where ticket holders try to sell their own extra tickets, they were running around $150 a piece, which didn't seem like such a great deal for seats probably in the nosebleed section. Chad checked out the Steelers website, which said that the Broncos would be in charge of selling tickets for their own home game. He went to the Broncos website, where he started reading about how we could purchase single game tickets. The tickets were to go on sale on Ticketmaster and at the Denver stadium on July 28 at 11 a.m., but the website said their would be a limited number of mostly single seat tickets available, which didn't sound too promising. As Chad continued to scroll down the page, he noticed something about the Broncos half-price ticket policy. It said:

In accordance with the Legislation authorizing the construction of INVESCO Field at Mile High, the Broncos will offer 2,000 half-price tickets for each game of the 2007 season.

As he read a little more about this program, he found that there were very specific restrictions on these tickets: each household could only purchase up to 4 tickets for one game of the season; they were only available on Ticketmaster and went on sale at 2 p.m. Central on the 28th; you have to pick them up at will call with the ID of the purchaser; and after you pick them up you will be escorted into the stadium to prevent you from scalping them for a higher price. Sounded like a great deal to us!

So Chad's plan was to make an attempt to purchase the half-price tickets, but as the 28th grew closer he got more and more nervous about it. What if he got busy doing something else that day and forgot when 2:00 rolled around? What if there are thousands of people who all go online at that same time and purchase all of the tickets ahead of us? What if the website crashes or the electricity goes out or our cable modem freaks out or his clicking finger becomes paralyzed???? WHAT IF?????

So Saturday rolled around, and Chad set alarms on the clock and his Blackberry just in case. At 10 in the morning, our friend Dante called in the middle of his round of golf, just to remind Chad that 2 p.m. was right around the corner. When the regular priced tickets went on sale at noon our time, Chad went through a "dry run" on the Ticketmaster website, just so he'd be familiar with the way the process worked and as efficient as possible when the actual purchasing moment arrived. He became even more nervous about the volume of traffic on the site as during the dry run, since during his "training" he couldn't even get to the page where the tickets are actually purchased--he would only get a screen that said "
There were no tickets available that matched your request." He was pretty confident that the half-price tickets were going to sell out pretty fast, so he created a Ticketmaster account for me as well, so we could both be trying to purchase tickets at the same time!

In preparation for the actual 2:00 purchase time, Chad set the kitchen timer for 1:30 and carried it around the house with him. When it went off, he grabbed me and the laptop and we went downstairs to where the desktop resides and set up our battle station. He gave me a demonstration of how I would select the number of tickets, type in the secret code word, and then wait to see if I "got in" to make the purchase. He would first try purchasing 4 tickets so our Colorado friends Steve and Becky could go along with us, while I tried purchasing 2 at the same time just in case there weren't 4 available. If he "got in" with 4, then I wouldn't complete the transaction of 2, but would only proceed if he couldn't get 4. It was a carefully crafted plan that had to be executed with complete precision! I began to get nervous at this point as well!

For the next 15 minutes, we sat and waited. Chad was brimming with nervous excitement, just like I imagine he'd been before his first junior high football game. He made me laugh so hard (for about the 10th time that day) when he said, "You know, getting half-price tickets would be really great, but at this point it's really more about the competition." His ultimate goal was just beating out all those other people for those coveted 2,000 cheap seats!

While we were waiting, I started playing FreeCell, since I wasn't "allowed" to do anything on the Internet in case I couldn't get back to Ticketmaster in time. At 1:55, I was instructed to shut down my card game and put on my real game face. When Chad's computer clock read 1:59, he made his first attempt at quantity selection and tried 4 tickets, then entered the secret code word. I subsequently tried 2 tickets, but just as I was ready to enter my code word, Chad uttered those two exciting words: "I'm in!" He selected the best available seats and hit the purchase button, and a few seconds later the screen popped up that his transaction was complete! Time: 2:01 p.m. He instantly jumped from his chair with his fists in the air and began singing We Are the Champions.

As I laughed in hysterics, Chad quoted one of his favorite movie lines, saying "I just never gave up hope" (you get brownie points with him if you can name the movie) in reference to his perseverance towards this goal.
About 20 minutes later, just so we could see how difficult this task had actually been, we tried once more to select tickets on the Ticketmaster site, and there were none available. Chad called Dante and a few other friends to report his amazing achievement: 4 tickets to a Sunday night NFL game for a mere $151.

So yes, clearly my husband is slightly crazy, but I find his passion about
certain things extremely endearing. Not to mention that his antics often have me rolling on the floor laughing. You might call him a little loony, but I call him extremely lovable!! Mile High Stadium, here we come!! :)

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Shaq's Big Results

I'm not necessarily a fan of Shaquille O'Neal, and I'm certainly not a fan of reality television, but when Chad and I saw a promo for Shaq's Big Challenge a few months ago, we agreed that it was kind of a neat idea. I never actually watched an episode, but Monday on Good Morning America they featured kids from the show who had successfully lost weight with Shaq's help. It was so amazing and moving it almost brought tears to my eyes, so I just had to share. You can check out the video of the kids on GMA here. :)