Monday, January 30, 2012

Dog allergies, fun for one and all.

Did you know that Labradors are prone to skin allergies? Yeah, I didn't either. Until I got a Lab that is. Crap. Can I get a refund? I'll even pay the restocking fee.

Don't worry, I'm only kidding. I think.

This money-sucking trait didn't manifest right away. It waited about a year or so to make it's debut, giving you just enough time to become significantly attached to it's carrier, therefore insuring that you will cram hundreds of dollars of non-discretionary income down your pup's throat each year in its name.

In our case, I've been shoving four antibiotic pills down Sawyer's throat every day, three weeks a month, for the past three to four years. It's a blast. Really, you should try it sometime. For giggles.

This wasn't my first choice, but my cunning canine, quickly caught on and could spot a smelly antibiotic pill from a mile away. No matter what tasty morsel I used in a vain attempt to hide the pill, he would find it and spit it out like a bad piece of tuna.

I finally decided I'd had enough dog slobber and chew marks on my hands for one lifetime, so we decided to head down the even more expensive road of allergy shots. I was basically ready to try anything at this point to save my delicate lady hands and my sanity.

So, nearly $200 and a few weeks later, we anxiously awaited the results of his blood test to once and for all find out exactly what this pooch is allergic to and pay some pharmaceutical goonie to work up a sanity-saving-shot for us.

They tested for everything; grasses, weeds, dust mites, mold, on, and on...) You know what the results came back showing he was allergic to?


Say WHAT?! How is that possible?

Apparently this means one thing. A food allergy. (We were warned of this possibility before we shelled out the cash, but I barely considered it an option. I thought for sure this test was going to come back with a giant YES next to every allergen known to man. Conveniently, there are no easy blood tests to narrow down a food allergy. You have to do a food trial. Which means that your dog is on a STRICT food diet with ABSOLUTELY no table food.

....blank stare...

Did you know I have a two year old?

....blank stare...

Absolutely no table food? You might as well have just asked me to walk on water.

Our vet completely understood the dilemma, but sadly, that means our only option is to continue to merely treat the symptoms with pills.

Goodbye sanity. Goodbye lady hands.

Sawyer if you are reading this, you owe me. BIG. At a bare minimum, you could consider letting me rest my feet on your back every now and then, giving me back a meager six inches of my king size bed, or perhaps you'd consider passing a bit less gas.
For those of you out there considering adding a lovable Labrador to your family pack, let me offer a few suggestions: Pet health insurance for instance. I used to think this existed solely for crazy people, that's probably still the case, but I wouldn't brush it off so quickly if I were you. Or, perhaps opt for a nice gold fish instead. I hear their vet bills are a lot more manageable. Plus, there's the added bonus of not having to deal with a 70 pound "lap"dog, neon-yellow-carpet-staining-puke, an uninvited bed guest, or a multitude of foul smelling odors.

To add insult to injury, we're 99% sure he now has an ear infection. I wonder if you can open a tab at the Vet clinic?

Sweet Shot Day

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Project 52 - Week 4: Self Portrait

I decided to attempt a maternity-type shot for this week's self portrait theme. I already shared the last photo in this post earlier in the week for Sweet Shot Tuesday, but I loved it so much, I included it again! I don't have a tripod yet, so I set the camera on my patio table and attempted to use the remote trigger to take these. For some reason though, the remote wasn't working. In the end, I resorted to the old self timer and ran (briskly waddled) back and forth for each shot while the timer ticked down. I'm sure my neighbors were watching the spectacle thinking that I had lost my mind. Also, it may not look like it, but it was about 10 degrees the morning I was taking these. The sun is already down by the time I get home from work, so early morning was my only option if I wanted natural light. Brrrr! The things I do for weekly photo challenges! :)

project 52 p52 weekly photo challenge

Monday, January 23, 2012

Bumpdate: Week 29

Week 29 according to

How big is baby?:
Your baby's the size of a squash! Baby already measures about 15.2 to 16.7 inches long. Right now, she weighs about 2.5 to 3.8 pounds but she's still got a ways to go -- can you believe she'll triple in weight before birth?

Your baby at 29 weeks:
Her muscles and lungs are continuing to mature, and her head is growing bigger to make room for her developing brain. She's getting a little cramped in there, since she's growing so fast. But you probably already realize that, since you're getting all those jabs and kicks. She's growing white fat deposits under her skin, and her energy is surging because of it.

Week 29 according to me:

(Double duty post. Also using this shot for sweet shot Tuesday.)
Sweet Shot Day

Symptoms: Heartburn has made a bit of a uninvited comeback. I've also been having a lot of cramps (feels like menstrual cramps) over the past few weeks. I would say on average, it ranges somewhere between 5-20 cramps a day. I had an appointment with my doctor on Friday and she said that cramps sometimes happen with second pregnancies (since the uterus is more sensitive) and/or with active babies, but she want's to get an ultrasound next week just to rule out signs of pre-term labor (something about checking to see if my uterus was beginning to thin) which would mean bed rest. PLEASE no!

Maternity clothes?: Yes, almost exclusively except for a few shirts.

Sleep?: Sleeping is starting to get a little bit more uncomfortable; sore hips, back, sides, etc., but I know to enjoy even this sleep while I still can!

Movement?: Absolutely. Tons. I don't remember Sydney moving quite this much. I feel like she is almost constantly in some type of motion.

Food cravings?: Sugar. Sugar. Sugar. Hmmm....wonder if that has anything to do with all of the movement? :)

Food aversions?: Nope.

What’s different this time?: Cramps.

Labor signs?: Hopefully not!

I am loving: We've been having a lot of get-togethers with friends and family and I'm really enjoying spending time and surrounding myself with people that I care about. It feels good to be putting more energy into all of these relationships. Also, I'm loving that a LOT of my friends are pregnant right now too. It's so fun to go though this phase of our lives together!

What I miss: I know this may sound odd, but I've really been craving a good old sunny-side up egg.

What I’m looking forward to: A sunny-side up egg, longer days, meeting all of the new babies that are going to be a part of our lives, and spending more time as a family this summer.

What I’m freaking out about: The possibility, even if slim, of pre-term labor and/or bed rest. Uggh. Thursday better get here quick!

Saturday, January 21, 2012

First Snow

What a strange winter we've been having! We finally had our first measurable snow of the season just last week and already it's a distant memory as forty degree temps and thunderstorms followed a few days later, erasing any signs of mother nature's attempts to make January feel like January. (Not that I'm complaining!)

We didn't get a chance to take Sydney sledding, but otherwise we took full advantage of the few days of snow that we had to get outside and play!

Sydney loved the snow, but I have a four-legged child who is even more in love with the white fluffy stuff. This guy goes off his rocker when there is snow on the ground, running around in a giddy, snow induced, high-on-life blur.

We spent the following day with cousins enjoying the last of the quickly melting snow.

Hey Mom, how 'bout you put the camera down and help me up already.
Kameron was hell-bent on knocking the head of the poor snowman. Sydney could only stand and watch the tragedy unfold.

We've got a 40 degree weekend, jampacked full of fun events to look forward to, but right now I'm off to put Aristocats in the dvd player for the 10,000th time. Have a great weekend everyone!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Project 52 - Week 3: I Dreamed A Dream

Darcy mentioned that this week's theme was loosely based on the great "I Have a Dream" speech in honor of Martin Luther King, Jr. day. Here's the piece that inspired my photo this week:

"I have a dream that one day every valley shall be exalted, and every hill and mountain shall be made low, the rough places will be made plain, and the crooked places will be made straight; and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed and all flesh shall see it together."

Be sure to stop by my3boybarians and check out the other photos this week!

project 52 p52 weekly photo challenge

Friday, January 13, 2012

Project 52 - Week 2: Made With Love

Week 2 - Made With Love:

We've been plugging away at Sydney's new big girl room! In order to make space for little sister we decided to transition Sydney into a new room (currently her playroom) and into a real bed. The room is far from finished but here is a little peek at some of the details.

Still on the to-do-list: Hang shades and curtains, make and hang wall art, hang and decorate shelves, finish closet, find a lamp, small fan, and extra video monitor. 

But the most important part...Sydney loves it! People cautioned me against doing this (moving her into both a new room and a new bed at the same time.) but I decided to give it a try anyway, and lucky for us, so far it's been great! She loves to play in her new room and the transition from the crib to the bed has been effortless! The first night she got up three or four times to collect toys, but fell asleep within a half hour (she still plays with toys or books in bed for a little while before she falls asleep) . She's been in the new room for about a week now with no problems!

I have to admit, the first night that she slept in her big girl bed I teared up. I'm so proud of her, but I'm also a little sad to see her moving on to this new grownup phase.

Hopefully she will have enough time to adjust and really see this as "her room" so that when the baby comes and claims the old one she won't be too upset.  

project 52 p52 weekly photo challenge