Friday, February 25, 2011

The Whites

Now that Celtic Watch 2011 has ended so happily, I can actually get back to blogging about our regular mundane life. Namely, I can blog about our laundry--in particular, the whites. Exciting, I know. This is what happens in our house when you sort the laundry on the closet floor but haven't had the chance to actually put said laundry into the washer.

The laundry becomes Hope's dog bed, despite the fact that there are three other dog beds within a 20 foot radius. This just in: Hope is weird.

There's one other thing that happens in our house when you leave the dirty whites unattended.

Celtic turns dirty socks into coveted toys, carrying them all over the house, hiding them from Fresco and Hope, and treating them like little stuffed animals. It's weird too, but so darn adorable. Clearly he's feeling way better.

Since I like to try and give my pups equal face time on the blog, I have to share an equally adorable picture of our baby Fresco, even though it has nothing to do with the laundry. This totally looks staged, I know, but the other day when we had all these extra blankets in the bedroom from my night on the floor with Celtic, I was using one on the bed and Fresco was laying next to me. When I got up and threw the blanket off myself, Fresco somehow ended up like this.

Seriously, could he be any cuter? He laid there wrapped up in the blanket until Chad pulled it off his face. He's such an agreeable little munchkin!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Wobbly Walking

I'm super excited to report that our little guy's recovery took a 180 degree turn today! As you can see from the picture, today Celtic actually began standing and walking on his own. Although the day started much the same as yesterday, with Celtic moping in bed until after noon, when I took him outside for his first potty break things began to change. With the help of our homemade support sling like this one, he walked all over the yard as we enjoyed the beautiful weather. I tried to get him to lay down in the sunshine with his brother for a while, but after just a few minutes he got up on his own and headed for the door. With sling assistance, he walked all the way to the door, up the ramp in the garage, into the kitchen to the water bowl, and across the bedroom to the dog bed. I parked him in his little bed and headed back to the kitchen to get dinner into the crock pot, and a couple of seconds later I realize that Celtic is standing right next to me! He'd gotten up on his own and walked all the way into the kitchen to beg for treats! Now that's the Celtic we know and love!

I tried to get him to lay down in the kitchen to no avail, so I carried Celtic back to our bed, thinking he would stay put this time. As I'm finishing up the dinner preparations, I see Celtic standing up and heading down the little steps up to our bed--all on his own! I ran to help him, but he made it to the bottom on his own without falling. He was absolutely determined to come search for food I might be dropping in the kitchen. I realized the only way I could keep him resting in bed the rest of the afternoon was by staying in bed with him!

I helped him outside again after dinner, and this time I let him roam the yard a little without his sling and he did just fine. He eventually laid down in the grass for a while and enjoyed the beautiful weather before I helped him back inside and into bed. When Chad got home from work and we both ended up in the kitchen, seconds later Celtic was down the steps and walking into the kitchen on his own. I think he was trying to show off his improved mobility!

We tried to keep him in bed most of the evening to rest, but even while resting he demonstrated other behaviors that are completely back to normal--namely his insistence on being petted all the time. He was a complete nuisance most of the evening with his pawing, nudging and flailing as he attempted to get attention. That's our boy.

Thanks again to everyone for the emails, phone calls, texts and comments to let us know you were thinking of him! We appreciate all your thoughts and prayers--which have definitely been answered!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Little Man

I was hoping that tonight I'd be able to post a terrific update on our little man, but unfortunately we've had kind of a one step forward, one step back kind of day. I guess we can be thankful it wasn't two steps back though! In the middle of the night we were pleasantly surprised (albeit a little big startled) to find that Celtic had gotten up on his own and taken several steps toward the door under his own power. That was huge progress from the day before, for sure. Unfortunately, when we got up a few hours later he refused to eat breakfast and was super lethargic, which was a huge bummer. All day long he laid in bed and didn't show much interest in anything. He seemed super depressed and had lots of episodes of panting, so I'm worried that his pain isn't really under control. He looked darn cute in his little pile of blankets with the stuffed doggie Chad shoved into his arms, but he was definitely pretty bummed out, as were we.

With that said, as the day went on, he gained a little more energy and life, and even walked a few more steps one other time this evening before his wobbly little back legs gave out. He ate his dinner with no problems, and his spunky personality shined through a little when he growled at his brother, protecting his new little dog toy that he pretended not to like. Hopefully tomorrow that spunkiness will be back in full force and the use of his legs will continue to improve as well!

Thanks to all of our wonderful friends and family members for all the emails and phone calls the last couple of days to check on us. We appreciate the love, positive thoughts and prayers so much!

Monday, February 21, 2011

Sleepless Night

On Saturday night I was editing pictures from our weekend trip to St. Louis, with every intention of sharing them in a blog post on Sunday. Sunday, however, had other plans for us. Our little old man Celtic had seemed slightly more stiff than normal the previous evening, but Sunday morning he woke up at his normal early hour and ate breakfast and went outside. He came back in and went back to bed with us for another hour or so before we got up to go to church, which was also completely normal. When we got home from church, however, it was clear that something was wrong. He was still laying on the bed, but Chad noticed that the dog treat I'd given him before we left was still sitting next to him uneaten. For Celtic not to eat is super unusual and super worrisome.

Chad tried to get him to get up, but Celtic refused. Even when Chad picked him up off the bed and stood him on the floor, Celtic wouldn't go anywhere. He didn't cry or whimper, but he laid back down right where he was. A few minutes later though, he got up and moved himself a few feet to the dog bed, so we started thinking that Celtic might just be hamming it up for the attention, which he has definitely been known to do in his life.

Thinking he might be faking, we tried to coax him up again to no avail, so Chad carried him outside to potty. He took a few steps and lifted his leg, but then turned right around so Chad could carry him back in to his dog bed. He still refused water and even leftover hash browns from our brunch, so we started contemplating a trip to the emergency vet, because Celtic is certainly not that good of an actor. We decided to wait a few more hours to see if he would improve on his own first, so I went off to a baby shower and Chad took off for the driving range.

When Chad arrived home from golfing, he tried to get Celtic up to potty again, but this time Celtic couldn't even stand. Since he was clearly getting worse, Chad texted and called me to come home, but unfortunately my ringer was off during the shower. When he didn't hear back from me in 20 minutes, he hopped in the car and drove over to the shower to get me. I was obviously a little alarmed to see him, so needless to say I gave my friend Karen a quick hug, said thanks to the hostess and ran out the door! We zoomed home, got Celtic in the car and were on our way to Stone House Animal Hospital in Topeka.

Poor Celtic was alarmingly lethargic and unresponsive during the drive, and even after we arrived he didn't show any interest in any of the people and pets in the waiting room. Chad carried him into the exam room and laid him on the table and he didn't display the tiniest bit of resistance or curiosity about his surroundings. We were happy to have Dr. Carder, the vet who fought so hard to save Celtic's brother Steeler 4 1/2 years ago, come in to give Celtic an exam. He didn't seem to think there was actually any true paralysis, since Celtic seemed to react to touches of his feet and tail, but touches of Celtic's spine seemed to cause a lot of pain. His hope was that it was some sort of spinal injury that would heal with some steroids and lots of rest. He said it was also possible that Celtic had something more serious going on, such as a tumor on his spinal cord, but there's no way to tell without a CAT scan, which could only be done at K-State's Veterinary Hospital. His recommendation was to wait a day to see if the steroids started working, and then decide whether to take him to K-State if he doesn't improve.

So Dr. Carder gave Celtic a shot of steroids, a shot of painkillers, and a third shot of a muscle relaxer, just to sedate him enough to drain his bladder, so that he could rest his back the rest of the night without getting up again to potty. Once Celtic was pretty much out of it, they wheeled him back to the treatment room, which happened to be the same room where we watched Steeler die that fateful night in 2006. As if the day hadn't been emotional enough, I about lost it when I walked into that room. I turned right around and went back to the exam room, telling myself that Celtic wouldn't know I was missing since he wasn't awake anyway.

After his bladder was done draining, the vet tech supplied me with Celtic's oral steroids and I paid our bill while Chad pulled the car around back so our little man could be loaded into it. When I finally got out to the car after standing in line (it was super busy Sunday afternoon in the emergency clinic), Celtic was loaded in, but he wasn't doing well. He was only taking about one labored breath every ten seconds or so, and Chad and I weren't at all comfortable with driving him home that way. I went back in and got the vet tech, who then went and got the vet, who came out to check on Celtic in the car. Dr. Carder agreed that his labored breathing was very abnormal and thought that Celtic had just become so relaxed with the sedative he was forgetting to breath. His heartbeat was strong and his circulation was okay, but the doctor went and grabbed yet another shot to reverse the sedative. After about 5 minutes of us and the vet watching his breathing carefully, Celtic finally woke up and started breathing regularly again, so Chad and I started breathing regularly too!

After we got home and put Celtic to bed, our worries still weren't over. We still couldn't get him to eat, move, respond, drink water or even lift his head. He just laid there staring into space, refusing to sleep and also refusing to acknowledge us. We petted and rubbed and loved on him all evening, but by bedtime things had just gotten worse. He had started panting, which generally indicates a dog is in pain, and the shallow pants soon turned into labored breathing. He was so listless and lifeless, Chad and I tried to prepare ourselves for the worst, since we weren't even sure he was going to make it through the night. I made myself a bed on the floor next to him, where I slept fitfully, waking up every few minutes to check and see if he was still breathing. Needless to say, it was a bit of a sleepless night.

Crazily enough, at about 3 a.m. I opened my eyes to see Celtic staring at me, with his head raised a little and his eyes bright. He acted like he wanted to get up, so I offered him some water and was thrilled that he drank heartily! After a few drinks he calmed back down into his bed and relaxed, staring off into space again.

When I woke up at 6:30 Celtic was awake, alert, responsive and hungry. He ate his breakfast in bed and drank more water before Chad carried him out to potty, and although he still couldn't really stand on his own, he kind of moved his legs like he was walking when Chad lifted his tummy with a towel. He's spent most of his day in bed and still isn't walking on his own, but each time he's gone outside today he's moved those little legs more and more. He's eating well and totally interested in any food item anywhere in the house, and his stubborn and determined personality is definitely shining through again. Yesterday we were worried we'd lost our little man, but today we are definitely more hopeful. We know his troubles aren't over yet, but we're thankful that today was better than yesterday and praying that tomorrow will be better than today. We know we can't keep Celtic with us forever, but it just seems too soon to lose him considering he was sprinting around in the snow just barely over a month ago!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011


On Friday Chad and I went to KC to visit our friends Vikkie and Brett and their newest bundle of joy, Abram Reo. Our intention was to bring the new parents a home cooked dinner, but since Chad had a hankering for Oklahoma Joe's, we ended up bringing them restaurant food instead. We can hardly resist OK Joe's when we're in the general vicinity, and thankfully Vikkie and Brett like it too, so hopefully they didn't mind too much.

Really there's no other point to this story except that it was great to hang out with these fun friends we don't get to see enough, and it was so fun to meet their adorable little son, who was less than two weeks old. I had a blast taking pictures of his perfect little face and could have done it for hours if Chad hadn't eventually dragged me away. The pictures would have been tons better if I'd had some natural light, but there are still a few that were pretty cute. Maybe Vikkie will let me come back sometime soon during the day when the light is better and have a practice photo session with Abe and his big brother Hutch (whose birthday is today--happy birthday, Hutch!), who was at Grandpa's house on Friday. Until then, here are just a few pictures of cute little Abram!

Monday, February 14, 2011


For Valentine's Day, I'd like to give a shout out to my Valentine and best friend of the last 18 years. I love you, Bestest! Thanks for being my Valentine!

Personalize funny videos and birthday eCards at JibJab!

This present is really pretty lame compared to the awesome V-Day gift my wonderful husband got me, which he had me open last night: two tickets to the Old 97's show in St. Louis this coming Friday! Road trip for us--I'm so excited!

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Planning for a Parent Party

Clearly I've done a really crappy job keeping up with my blog lately, and I know that confuses a lot of my friends who are picturing me as retired these days. I'm sure it sounds strange, but the last few weeks have just been so busy I've had very little free time. I spend a couple of afternoons a week in Topeka with my mom and another afternoon during the week with my little friend Eli, and the other two days of the week are filled up with errands and housework. It's crazy how I can fill my days up so easily without ever turning on the TV!

One of the things that's been keeping me busy lately is party planning, as I've been working on preparations for a big upcoming event--my mom's 65th birthday party! My brother and I decided that for Mom's big birthday we wanted to have a gathering of all her close friends and family members, since we've never done anything like that for her before. Sixty-five seemed like the perfect age for a big party, so I put together invitations, gathered emails and mailing addresses, and have since been taking lots of RSVPs. We already have 25 confirmed guests and another 10 or so that are probable. It should be so much fun! Here's the invitation I sent out via email that I designed myself, which I thought turned out okay. I did another version without Mom's picture that went out through the mail.

It will be so wonderful to see so many of Mom's dearest friends--many of whom we haven't seen in years! I'm so looking forward to the big event, and also looking forward to planning the food, entertainment and decorations. It won't be anything too terribly elaborate, but it still should be fun!

Tuesday, February 08, 2011

Black and Gold to Crimson and Blue

Obviously, Chad and I were super disappointed in the outcome of the Super Bowl on Sunday, since our Pittsburgh Steelers were not victorious. I was super proud of my dear husband though, because he didn't let the Steelers loss upset his entire week--or even his entire evening! Since his Steelers had already won a couple of recent Super Bowls, and since they weren't really favored to win this one, and since their starting Pro Bowl center was out injured, and since the Steelers didn't really play well enough to deserve the win, I guess he was more prepared for the final score. He was able to take the loss in stride and not lament too much about it, which was nice for both of us.

We didn't actually get to watch any of the game together, since Chad was upstairs in our bedroom and I was downstairs entertaining our guests, which included our friends Nate and Leigh Ann, my friend Andrea and her family, and our friend Emily and her family, who were visiting Lawrence from Salt Lake City. It was great to see Emily and get to visit with friends and enjoy lots of good food, but needless to say, with 7 adults, 3 kids, a baby and some occasional dogs in the basement, I didn't get to focus on the game a ton. I didn't get to see many commercials either, but from what I hear they weren't that funny anyway.

While Chad and I were both decked out in our black and gold for the Steelers on Sunday, we definitely had to change our colors for yesterday's basketball game, since our Jayhawks took on the evil Missouri Tigers, who also sport black and gold. Thankfully this game went our way, and although it wasn't nearly as important as the Super Bowl, it felt great to stomp those Tigers by almost 20 points.

Speaking of awesome Jayhawks, a friend posted this video from last night's game onto Facebook today, and I think it's pretty darn cool. Just recently I was telling my friend Amber that it was my dream to be part of a flash mob someday--I just love the "spontaneity" and the joy they bring!

Wednesday, February 02, 2011

97's at The Bottleneck

All this talk by me about my important blog post may have misled my tens of readers into thinking it was something important to normal people as opposed to something important to just me! As you can see from the title, I was just very excited to share the story of what made last weekend awesome--our 10th live Old 97's show!

Seeing the 97's at The Bottleneck was a little nostalgic for me, because just over 10 years ago this was the first place we ever saw them, after our friend Jason sent us a few bootleg CDs of their concerts and then invited us to the show. The rest is history, a history which I don't really need to repeat since I already chronicled the whole thing here. In fact, as I was looking for that particular post I realized how many times I've actually blogged about them. It's kind of insane and I'm really slightly embarrassed. I can just see them Googling themselves and finding this blog and then recognizing me as the crazy-eyed person who rambled incoherently to Murry in Kansas City last summer. They're probably slightly frightened at my obsessiveness, which wouldn't be that weird since my husband is slightly frightened by it too.

So ANYWAY, clearly we had a fantastic time at the show, and I'd be repeating myself if I told you how great they were live. They played 9 of the 12 songs from their new album, which meant that we missed a lot of the old classics (Niteclub, guys...everyone in the audience was cheering for Niteclub!), but almost all of the new ones they played we really liked. Even those that we liked just a little on the new CD, we liked tons more live. While there were tons of old songs I missed, I at least got to hear my most favorite song ever--Four Leaf Clover--which they hadn't played in several of the last shows I'd been to.

What made the show even more fun was my location, since I left Chad and our other friends to push my way to the front immediately after the opening band was finished. I made it to the second row, which was fine since clearly the people in the first row were also hard core fans who'd waited there during the entire opening act as well. Since I was alone, I quickly made friends with a woman by herself who looked about my age (I realized she was just a little older when she talked about her daughter's recent wedding!) who is from New York but now lives in Olathe. She was at her sixth 97's show and was wearing a t-shirt signed by the whole band. She was just about as serious as I was about being there--it was great to meet a fellow superfan!

Besides the great performance, we also had a terrific time hanging out with our friend Jason and his mom, dad, sister, brother and future sister-in-law until the wee hours of the morning. Spending time with his family is always a plus! While we were sitting around at the Bottleneck out after the show, Murry came out into the bar and I went over to take his picture again--this time not for myself but for Jason's sister Brittany. I specifically kept my mouth shut and just ran the camera, knowing full well that I'd sound like a complete moron if I said anything to him. At least I learned from my mistake last time!

A little later as Murry was heading out to their tour bus parked out front, he walked right up to Jason's parents and started chatting with them. He was just so nice! We all thought he probably recognized them since they are at so many 97's shows in the area and they are almost always the oldest people there. We got a picture of Murry with them as well, and then in probably the most hilarious moment of the evening, Jason's future sister-in-law Morgan offered Murry and the band a place to stay for the night. Murry very graciously declined, but somehow the conversation still turned into a discussion of their accommodations and the fact that they had an extra shower and the band was welcome to use it. Uh--awkward but hilarious! It was so nice to see someone else babble incoherently in Murry's presence!

As usual, the pictures with my point-and-shoot camera were pretty terrible, so I picked just a few from the night that I doctored up with Photoshop to make them a tiny bit interesting. There are a few others from after the show too--although I didn't capture the exact moment that Morgan invited Murry into her shower. Classic!

Tuesday, February 01, 2011

The Blizzard of 2011

The "important" post I mentioned yesterday will have to wait one more day thanks to this breaking news--today we had winter storm #3 in Lawrence, and it turned out to be the biggest blizzard I can remember! Once again I kind of doubted we would actually have the crazy storm the weather people were predicting, and I was especially skeptical when I woke up at 5:30 a.m. to absolutely no snow on the ground. I went back to bed for a couple of hours, and when I awoke again the snow had started. Within an hour or so it was coming down hard and the wind was howling, and it didn't stop snowing until more than 12 hours later. I kept shooting little video clips of the snow coming down because it looked like it couldn't come down any harder, but then an hour or so later I'd look outside and it would be coming down even harder! Needless to say I shot a lot of videos today. I think we must have gotten 6-8 inches, but it was hard to tell with all the drifting!

Thankfully the entire city pretty much shut down, and Chad was able to work from home instead of driving to Topeka. Even though the wind chill was way below zero and the snow was not stopping, my ambitious husband went out and tried to shovel a couple of times to stay ahead of the task, but the effort was pretty futile. After weathering the elements for a while, he decided that he wanted to take the storm head-on and drive to Kwik Shop to get a fountain soda. I expressed my concerns that this was a horrible idea, but I gave in and agreed to go on the adventure with him as long as I could get my new favorite treat--Orange Leaf Frozen Yogurt--which is right across from Kwik Shop.

Once we got down the driveway and onto the street we realized this adventure might take a while. The snow was deep and blowing hard, and even our 4 wheel drive Escape had a difficult time with traction. It was slow going, but we eventually made it to Kwik Shop without getting stuck, but we decided to scrap our additional Orange Leaf and possible Hy-Vee plans, since visibility was so bad we couldn't even see Orange Leaf across the street!

After our blizzard adventure was over I decided to put all my little video clips together so that I could share the experience with everyone. I probably had about 10 total minutes of video, which I edited down to about 7 minutes. My husband (the broadcast journalism major) informed me that it was entirely too long and needed lots more editing, so the final cut is less than three minutes long--which is certainly luckier for all of you. Of course, if you live in the Midwest, you're probably having your own blizzard experience and don't need to watch ours!

If you enjoyed the music, please check out decker. The song is from Chad's cousin Brandon's latest CD, which is fantastic!