Monday, December 21, 2009

4 days? Seriously?

Ok, so does anyone else think this holiday season is FLYING BY?? Jeesh! Every year I tell myself I'm going to get all my shopping done early so I can relax, and every year I'm still (sort of) last minute! I did a little bit of shopping (mainly the toys for all the kids I have to buy for)before Thanksgiving, and THOUGHT I had the other things pretty much done by the first week of December. (minus the wrapping...)

It just seems like Thanksgiving was just last week,and now Christmas is 4 days away! FOUR! Tomorrow I need to run to the store (probably Walmart, as much as I like to avoid that place during the holidays) and get gift bags I forgot, along with a few groceries.

Then it's on to the gift wrapping, finishing up my cookie baking, and TRYING to relax in the process. I can only do so much at one time,so it seems like it's taken me forever -- Aly will only sit and watch cartoons for so long before she loses interest and comes upstairs or out to the kitchen to see what mommy's up to. I have no idea what I'm going to do next Christmas when my spare bedroom becomes the baby's room and I no longer have a place to store presents and do my gift-wrapping! Not to mention Aly will be older and start to nib around a bit. I don't want her finding all her presents in the house! I'll probably have to take everything to my parents' house or something. Who knows.Guess we'll cross that bridge when we come to it.

As for our Christmas plans, we're going to my Grandma's house (mom's mom) on Christmas Eve... every year our family goes over there, we've done that my whole life. Christmas Day will consist of 9am church, then we're heading over to Russ's mom's house around noonish for gifts/lunch... then once we get back to our house, my parents are coming over and bringing dinner! Turkey and ham and lots of yummy stuff. And oh yeah, more presents. They've even spoiled our dogs this year, from what my mom has told me :-) Needless to say, it'll be a busy, "go go go" kinda holiday. I told Russ that once our kids are older, we're going to have people come to US, and I'll host things. Plus hopefully in a few years we'll be in a new house and I'll actually have the room to have a lot of people over at one time for dinner. :-)

Well,I'm going to head to bed... gonna try to get as much done tomorrow as I can.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Crying so hard I can hardly breathe...

My parents got their pug dog, Otis Pugsley, back in 1993. I was 13 years old. I still remember the day so clearly... February 12, 1993 my mom, dad and I went to Ohio Valley Mall in St. Clairsville for a day of shopping. Of course, when we walked by Petland, I insisted that we just HAD to go in. You know, just to "look." We had just lost our dog Jamie (aka Boo Boo) to congestive heart failure in the beginning of January 1993. My parents didn't know whether they wanted another dog or not, but they said we could go in "just to look." We saw a little pug puppy in the store, which was a breed of dog my mom and I LOVED. I asked my parents if I could get the dog out to pet it, and they of course said no. While their backs were turned, I asked one of the girls working if she'd let me hold the pug. parents came back over to me, and to their surprise, there I was, holding the pug and totally falling in love with it. Though I missed Boo Boo and nothing could replace him in my heart, I SO wanted another dog.

We oohed and aahed over the dog for a bit, then reluctantly I had to say goodbye to the little guy because of course my parents said no...we didn't need another dog yet. So we walked down the mall a ways and decided to get something to eat. The WHOLE TIME we were in the restaurant, I was just CRYING MY EYES OUT....I wanted that dog so badly. (And I also mentioned it'd be a great birthday present for my mom, who has a Valentine's Day birthday!) All my whining and crying finally paid off, and my parents agreed that we could get the dog. I was ECSTATIC!! I practically ran back to the pet store. Once we got there, we got the dog out right away, and decided to name him Otis Pugsley, after the movie "The Adventures of Milo and Otis," which was popular at that time. (Well actually, we named him Milo for a day, til we realized Milo was the CAT in the movie. So we changed it to Otis. But anyway....)

Once we adopted Otis,they put the cutest little blue bow around his neck, and I proudly carried him through the mall. He was soooo tiny,probably 8-9 inches long at the time. I was in love with his little black mask and curly little tail. We walked down the mall to the Kmart there, and bought him a collar, dog bed, food, etc.

On the way home, he stayed in the back seat with me, in his little dog bed. I just stared at him the whole way home, and thought that he resembled Gizmo from the Gremlins. In a good way, of course. He just looked all around, wondering where it was we were taking him. I remember hearing my parents telling eachother, "I can't believe we got another dog...." lol

So that was the day we got Otis. It still feels like yesterday. Hard to believe it was 17 years ago. Little did we know he'd live such a long and full life with our family!

Today is Otis's 17th birthday. Unfortunately, it is not a happy day for our family. Two days ago, my parents took him to the vet because he's had infections in his mouth and recently some bleeding. They noticed an abscess on his gums, and it hasn't been getting any better with antibiotics. They decided to take him in to see if there was anything else that could be done. They discovered that the abscess is actually an agressive tumor that has already invaded the soft palate (back of the roof of the mouth.) The doctor said it won't get any better, and sent my parents home with some pain medicine to keep Otis comfortable, since he's been whining a lot lately. He didn't give a time frame he thinks Otis will live, nor did he recommend putting him to sleep or anything. He basically left that up to my parents, since they said Otis is still eating well and getting around ok.

Over the past few days, Otis is whining/crying a lot more, and my parents said it's been a struggle to give him his pain medicine. It's so bitter, he barely gets it down. My parents want to enjoy what little time with him they have left, but they obviously don't want him to suffer either. Tonight on the phone my mom said he is still eating, but not able to stand up very well. I told her that we have no idea how far the cancer has spread, and that he could very well be in a lot of pain. They wanted putting him to sleep to be the last option, but unfortunately that is going to happen sooner than later.

When I called my parents tonight, they said they've talked it over and tomorrow they are making the painful decision to have Otis put to sleep. They just can't bear to see him suffer any longer. So today they are loving him as much as they can and just showering him with hugs and kisses and lots of good food. Poor little guy...

I am just sobbing uncontrollably as I write this. Whenever in the past my mom has talked about losing Otis some day, it hasn't bothered me much. I think, "Ok, he's going to be 17, he's had an awesome life, and there's nothing we can say we WISH we did with him. He's done it all, practically... we gave him a great life." And that's always made me feel better. But now-- being face with it, right smack in the face-- knowing it's going to happen tomorrow-- I am crying like a baby. That's my little buddy, ya know? I mean, I was 13 when we got him and over half of my life includes memories of him. Whether a dog is young or very old-- it doesn't make any difference in how utterly devastated losing them makes you feel. This whole situation brings back a whole flood of emotions where losing our 9 month old boxer Max to lymphoma is concerned. Every emotion I felt then is all rushing back and it feels like we're losing him all over again too.

It's just so sad knowing this is his last night with his family. His last night snuggling up to my parents in bed at night. His last meals in the house... I know he's going to a better place where he won't be hurting or suffering anymore, but it doesn't make my heart hurt any less. Little did I know when I saw him last week over at my parents' house, it would be the last time I'd pet him and kiss his little head ever again.

I'll miss you little buddy... til we see eachother again. I love you.

**God, please give my parents strength to get through this tomorrow.**

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Halloween update, since I have pics now...

A little update with pictures, since I didn't have access to my pics last time I posted!

Here are some pictures of Alyson at Halloween... she was a little bumblebee. Russ and I took her over my parents' house, since we don't get many trick-or-treaters in our neighborhood. She LOVED LOVED LOVED giving out candy to all the trick-or-treaters! We gave out candy from the front porch, but she'd take handfuls and stand out on the sidewalk, waiting for the trick-or-treaters to come by! A few times I had to tell her that, no, she couldn't take something back OUT of someone's bag after giving them candy. She was trying to develop a candy exchange system, I "Here, you take this Reese's cup, and I want those chips...."

So here are the pics:

Aly (complete with chocolate face) with my cousin's daughter Olivia, dressed as Little Red Riding Hood.

Stuffing her face...

Waiting for trick-or-treaters...notice the chocolate smeared on her pants...haha!

Tootsie roll anyone? Or maybe you'd prefer some Dots?

I'll post more pics soon...Aly just woke up from her nap(Yes!! She took a NAP!! Yay!), so I gotta go upstairs now.

Hope everyone's having a great week so far.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

News :-)

Ok, I knew I hadn't updated in awhile, but jeez!!! Better get to it. Lots to update about, but I'll stick to the important one...

For those of you who haven't found out from my Facebook account (that's where I've been keeping updated with everyone, mostly!), Russ and I are expecting Baby Hunt #2! We found out right after coming back from NC in early September. I had a hunch I was pregnant, being that I was totally craving jalapeno poppers when we went out to eat on vacation, and I am SO NOT one who likes hot and spicy food.

As of today, I'm 13w1d pregnant and due on May 19th, 2010. Alyson will be just over 1 month from turning 3 years old! Russ and I are really excited about everything. He's really hoping for a boy this time around, his "Junior," as he calls him... but I will be happy either way. If it's another girl, I am totally set where clothes are concerned...the new baby will be in the same size during the same seasons...can't get any better than that.

I had my first ultrasound a few weeks ago, at a little over 11 weeks, and everything looked great. I'd post a pic, but I'm not on my own computer right now, so I don't have access to it... I'll do that soon. Baby's heartrate was 176bpm, so according to the old wive's tale, that's a "girl heartbeat"....but we'll see. With Alyson, I just KNEW she was a girl, there was no doubt in my mind from the very beginning. But with this one-- I have no idea. SOmething's telling me "boy" but I don't know.

I asked the ultrasound tech at my OB office when they usually do the gender ultrasounds, and she said 25 weeks. I REALLY can't wait that long!! That'll be the end of January or early February!! If that's the case, I'm gonna go somewhere around here and have an elective gender ultrasound done, maybe in Pittsburgh or something. I told the ultrasound girl that I'd like to find out before Christmas (I'll be 19 weeks the week of Christmas, and I found out with Aly at 18 weeks...) and she said, "I can take a look around for you then." So MAYBE they'll do one in the office early for me. I'd just like to know before'd be a great present :-)

Well, my lovely angel of a toddler is upstairs banging around, so I guess that means she doesn't want to take a nap...which equals her trashing her room. The past 4 days it has been a struggle to get her to take a nap. I think she's trying to get away from naps, but I'm trying to hang onto her naps with a death grip as long as I can!! At least for my own sanity...haha.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Picture time!

Here are pictures of our trip to Ocean City, MD in June.

Here are pics of Alyson's 2nd Birthday Party, 6/21/09 -- Dora the Explorer theme!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

2am rambles...

Ugh.... here it is, 2am and I'm STILL awake. I'm so extremely worn out by this sinus cold I have, but I can't seem to fall asleep. My eyes hurt, my ears ache, my throat is scratchy... and it sucks. No one should get sick in the summertime!!

Anyway, since I'm wide awake, I figured I might as well attempt to stay updated with my blog. I really need to update this with pictures from Aly's birthday, vacation, etc... I started a post with pictures last week, but when I went to preview my post, the pics were all screwed up, so I just saved it as a draft and haven't gotten back to it.

Anyway, here are the updates from the past week or so...

Starting with yesterday... we had a little scare where our boxer Cody was concerned. He and Lucy were napping in the living room while I talked on the phone with my mom... then I see Cody get up and start walking around, only he couldn't keep his balance for anything. I immediately called Russ to come home, luckily he was just next door in his office. I started saying Cody's name and he was just ZONED and wouldn't respond to me, and his pupils were all dilated. He'd try to lift his back legs and it seemed like he was sorta stomping around at one point, only he didn't have the strength in his legs to keep from wobbling around. I held onto him and he was trembling, poor thing. He got himself up on the couch and stayed there for a few minutes, while I called the vet and explained what was going on. They said we could bring him right in... thank God we only live a few minutes from the vet. So Russ opened the door to the basement where we keep the dogs' leashes, and Cody LEAPT off the couch, like nothing was even wrong!! The whole episode only lasted 5 minutes or so!

Since Alyson was napping, Russ took Cody by himself to the vet. He said Cody was still kinda weak and wouldn't jump out of the Navigator like he usually does... Russ had to lift him down (and he's about 90 pounds!) The vet said that more than likely it was a mild seizure. They checked his temp (their temp will increase during a seizure) and ended up drawing a CBC to check for any abnormalities where his labs are concerned. They said we'd find out the results by Wednesday, but the vet called us this afternoon and said everything was fine. He said just to keep an eye on Cody and that if he has another episode like that within the next 2-6 weeks, they can put him on medicine if need be. So we'll see. I'm just praying this was just a one-time thing and he won't have that happen again! He's back to his same ornery energetic self today, so I'm keeping my fingers crossed :-)

(cough cough sniffle sniffle, sneeze.... this cold sucks.....)

Anyway, so that was the excitement of the past few days. In other news... I'm trying to potty train Alyson. That's going really well. *rolls eyes*(Sense the SERIOUS SARCASM.) I just don't get it. Alyson knows when she goes to the bathroom and will occasionally look at me and go "poo" or "pee pee!" She knows how to put her potty seat on our toilet, she knows to take her pants/diaper off, and she even knows to get toilet paper... but she won't do a darn thing once she gets on the toilet. I guess she's *almost* ready but not quite there yet. I just don't want to MAKE her sit on the toilet and then have her not want to go on it at all because she associates it with me forcing her to do it, ya know?! *sigh* And what sucks is that now she's in the "I want to take my diaper off ALL THE TIME" stage. I brought out her big girl undies and she was all excited so I figured she'd want to keep them on, but no. They came right off too, within about 2 minutes. So that's our adventures in potty training for now... fun fun.

Well, I really need to try and get some sleep now... Alyson doesn't get the fact that mommy isn't feeling well and would love to sleep in for a change. She'll be up at her usual 8am or so, I'm sure... so that gives me less than six hours of sleep.

Nighty night!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Updates, good and not-so-good

Wow, it's been awhile since I've posted... as usual. A lot's been going on, so I'll try to give the short version of updates.

Most recently...
4th of July was awesome... we spent the day out on the boat on the good ol' Ohio River. The weather was beautiful, blue skies and sunny. We went out to dinner with friends, then back down to the boat to watch the fireworks on the river... good times! Aly went to my Grandma's with my mom and dad to watch the fireworks. My Gram lives close to where the fireworks are let off, so everyone usually goes over there and watches them from the backyard. I wasn't sure how Aly would do with being REALLY close to the fireworks, so I figured I'd wait til next year to take her with us. Come to find out, she LOVED the fireworks and just stared in awe at the sky, going "Woah! Wow wow!" when the big ones let off. Too cute.

What else to talk about that's been going on recently... Oh. We just got back from vacation last week... we spent some time in Ocean City, MD with friends of ours and their 3 kids. We stayed right on the boardwalk which was awesome! Lots of nightlife. Not that we could really enjoy it with 4 kids ages 4 and under, but it was still nice to sit out on the balcony late at night and enjoy some 'adult beverages.' haha But yeah, like I said-- 4 kids ages 4, going on 3, 2, and 18 months. Mass chaos all around! haha It was definitely a good time though. The beach was beautiful, and the weather cooperated the whole time we were there. Which was only 4 days, but long enough to get somewhat relaxed. (Before making the 8-hr trip fun.) I miss it! Russ, Aly and I are heading to the Outer Banks in September, so now I have THAT beach to look forward to :-)

As for Alyson, she's doing great. We had a Dora the Explorer birthday party for her on the 21st of June. She had a BLAST! We had a pinata in the shape of a #2, and all the kids loved it. The weather cooperated for that too, which was great because there were 30-some people there and the house would have been kinda crowded if it decided to rain!

Aly's 2-yr checkup at the pediatrician went well... she's 36 inches tall and weighs 34 pounds... higher than 100th percentile! My baby is off the charts. No wonder everyone always asks me if she's 3. She's gonna be a tall one. I figure I'm 5'5 and Russ is 6 ft, so she'll probably end up somewhere in between. She's just growing like a weed, and is into something new everyday. SO curious!!! Her latest antic was to flood our upstairs bathroom. Yeah... that was fun. You see, she always goes up the stairs and plays in her room, that's just an everyday thing. So i didn't think anything of it when she went up there the other day. Well, she had gone into the bathroom and decided to stick a bunch of baby wipes into the toilet and keep flushing and flushing and flushing. That toilet is pretty quiet so I didn't hear all this going on, I thought she was just playing in her room. But when the water started spilling onto the floor, I heard THAT. I thought she had turned the shower on, but no. I got to the top of the steps and saw water all over the floor about to head onto the hallway carpet!!! I had to turn the water off to the toilet and figure out what the heck she did. She was just laughing and laughing at the water falling onto the floor. Mommy, on the other hand, was NOT laughing. Ugh... eventually I got the situation under control, but not until after the extra water decided to drip down to the main floor by way of the counter over the stove, and then down to the basement. It basically made a path all the way down the house. NOT fun. I'm hoping we don't have anything like that happen ever again. I hope she got the toilet-plugging out of her system.

And we're thinking of having ANOTHER child?? haha

Yes, you read that right... we're officially "trying." Well, not TRYING trying, but we have the "if it happens it happens" attitude for now. We're not trying to prevent anything from happening. I was totally excited at the end of May to find out I was pregnant, only to have my excitement cut short by a miscarriage a week later. It was pretty crushing, because it is totally amazing how quickly you can come to embrace and love a child that you've never even met yet (and who is virtually the size of a pencil tip.) At first, I was surprised (because we weren't really expecting it and were actively house hunting at the time.) Then in the next breath I was TOTALLY excited, and Russ was too. To top it off, 2 days later my cousin/best friend found out SHE was pregnant, so we'd literally have been due days apart.

I knew to be cautious in the first weeks, but I still found myself planning for the future and how we'd redecorate our spare bedroom to make it the baby's room... it's just sad. But I know everything happens for a reason, even if we can't figure out what that reason is right now. The good thing about this whole situation, though, is that it really made us get our priorities in order and think about the future more. It REALLY brought my husband onboard where having another child is concerned. It was pretty much the furthest thing from his mind even a month ago, now he is all for trying. For now, we're putting our house-hunting on hold to focus on other things, like paying off bills!! My husband is in the process of putting up a huge building/garage on 10 acres he bought for his business, so that's taking up time and money. He's just running out of room where his garage is now, and his business is expanding, so that takes top priority over us buying a new house right now.

So now we're taking things day by day, and are excited to bring a new baby into this world when God decides to bless us with another one :-) Fingers crossed!

Well, I know there's still a lot to update on, but I need to get some things done around the house before Aly wakes up from her nap. Hope everyone (who still reads this or occasionally checks up on me) is doing well. Take care :-)

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Blah blah blah. That's how I feel today!

Well, as I write this my daughter is running around getting into everything and I have absolutely no energy to get up and chase after her! I started getting a sinus cold yesterday and today it's definitely here in full force. Aly had me up just about every hour lastnight, and it turns out this sinus thing got her too... she had a little snotty nose this morning when she woke up, along with coughing and sneezing. We spent a lot of time around little kids this past weekend and had a playdate on Monday, so I'm thinking we caught something one of those days. I guess we've been lucky though... this is only the 2nd sinus cold Aly's had since she's been born. She was about 4 months old the last time she was sick!

Needless to say, I've gotten nothing accomplished today, except for caring for my little Alyson! She's eating and drinking ok, and doesn't have a fever as of yet (and hopefully she DOESN'T get one!) so we're good there. Here's hoping. Tomorrow we're supposed to go to my in-laws' house for dinner, but I talked with my MIL today and said there's a chance we might not be able to make it. I don't want to get anyone else sick, since these colds just started. So we'll see... I just feel like my head is a big balloon and everywhere in my head where there are sinuses just HURTS! Also my muscles are aching, especially my back...that happened last time I had a sinus cold. It sucks! Oh well, I guess I'd rather we be sick now instead of next week. Russ and I are leaving for Cancun on Thursday already!! 8 weeks went by pretty fast! I'm looking forward to the trip... we (especially Russ!) need to get away for a few days. Aly is staying with my MIL for a few days, then my mom and dad are watching her Friday and Saturday nights. Luckily, she's used to staying places, and so far she doesn't cry when we leave her with anyone. I hope that doesn't happen, or it'll make ME cry!

Well, I'd better go see what Aly's into. She's bringing me pieces of candy and handing them to me, and I didn't know we had candy in the house....hmmm.... Never a dull moment.

Hope everyone (if anyone still checks my blog, being that I post 1 time a has a great Easter weekend! We're supposed to do lunch with my MIL and her husband, and then my parents are cooking dinner for us. :-) I can't wait to put Aly's little pink Easter dress on her! I'll be sure and post some pics soon.

Monday, March 16, 2009

my monthly post...

Guess I should post again sometime this century!!! I've been way too caught up in the whole Facebook craze lately, so that's where I've spent my catching up/blogging/updating time. I'm liking it a lot more than myspace these days. It's amazing the people you can find on there...seems like everybody and their brother is on facebook. Even the priest at my church is on

Anyway, not too much exciting to talk about, sadly! Same old same old. I've just been enjoying what little warm weather we've had lately. This weather's been a big tease!! We had about 4 or so days last week where it was in the 60's, then it got all cold again. Aly gets all excited to go outside and play on her swingset, then the next day she wonders why we're not going out because it's 30 degrees again!! Tomorrow is supposed to be in the mid-60's, so I'm looking forward to that! I'm so tired of cold weather...

In other news...

As for the house I've talked about on here time and time again, it came REALLY close to being a reality a few weeks ago. The realtor we've been dealing with called and told us the guy will take a lower price (FINALLY) so we put another offer in. The guy counteroffered with a price that's still a bit too high, considering all the work that needs to be done to the house before we move in (fence, deck, driveway). I mean, the house itself is move-in ready, but Russ is concerned with all the outside stuff that needs finished and that would tack on another $30-40k to what we'd be paying for the house.

So NOW, Russ decides he'd rather build a house. A guy he knows (who considers Russ to be like a son) has about 6 acres of land he's willing to sell Russ if he wants it. About 3-4 acres is flat, with the other 2 sloping/wooded. So that's an option now. I guess what we're doing now is just waiting (ha...seems like we've been waiting FOREVER!) to see what happens with the house, and whether the guy decides to finally lower the price to something reasonable. If that doesn't work out, Russ wants to buy the land and build in the next year or so. I was REALLY set on buying the move-in ready house, but when I think about building and having EXACTLY what we want, that sounds pretty darn good too!! There are pros and cons to each option. The one house is in a great neighborhood, very kid-friendly... and part of me wants that. A great place to raise kids, for Aly to go ride her bike, etc... I just keep thinking about what's best for our kids in the future. But building-- we'd have a ton of land to do whatever we want with, plenty of privacy... but no close neighbors or that neighborhood feeling. If we wanted to take a walk/ride bikes we'd have to go somewhere else and do it, because the road in front of the house isn't the place to do it. So I'm kinda torn. In the end I'll be happy with whatever decision is made... you gotta make sacrifices either way. So we'll see. :-)

Well, that's about it for now. I need to go get ready...Aly and I are going grocery shopping and then I need to go get some new Penguins stuff to wear for Sunday... Russ and I bought 4 tickets for Sunday's Penguins/Flyers hockey game in Pittsburgh... I'm SO EXCITED!! It's gonna be an awesome game!! :-)

Have a great week! I'll try to post again SOON! But when all else fails, you can find me on

Thursday, February 26, 2009

The good and the not-so-good

First off, thanks for the prayers for my Grandma... she's back at home now after spending about 6 days in the hospital with bronchitis. The doctor said she also has some emphysema which is contributing to her difficulty breathing. She had quit smoking about a year ago (after smoking for 50 years or so!), but unfortunately she's back to smoking again, though not as much as before.

Anyway, she was sent home from the hospital with oxygen and a portable tank, being that her breathing still wasn't up to par. The nurse checked her oxygen on room air prior to her being discharged, and it was only 87%, so she won herself an oxygen tank. She also has to have breathing treatments at home every so often. Since she has a really hard time seeing now (macular degeneration), my aunt and mom have been taking turns going over my Grandma's and giving her treatments to her. Gram has a doctor's appointment in 1 month, so she'll be on the oxygen at least until then. She's feeling much better though, thank GOD! Her birthday is tomorrow and she really wants to see everyone, so we are having a little family party for her tomorrow evening, just for an hour or two, so she doesn't get worn out. I called a local bakery and ordered her a white cake with raspberry filling and whipped icing, and it'll say "Happy 79th Birthday" on it. I was going to joke with her and have "Happy 30th" or something put on it, but I didn'

So that's the news with my Grandma. But I swear, when it rains it pours... The day my Grandma went in the hospital, I found out that the pastor at our church was admitted to a Pittsburgh hospital for emergency surgery!! He had been getting sick and throwing up, then come to find out he had a perforated bowel. Needless to say he had MAJOR bodywide infection and unfortunately he is allergic to a TON of things, so I don't know exactly which antibiotics they ended up using to treat him. He was very critical the first 24 hours, and was sedated and on a ventilator in ICU. I just received an email tonight saying that he's been moved to a step-down unit, is off the ventilator and is doing alot better. I guess the staff had to ask that his cell phone be taken away because he was CONSTANTLY on the phone after getting off the ventilator! He is SUCH a talker! Like he said in church one day, "I could find a brick wall and have a conversation with it!" I'm just so happy he's doing better...he's become such a friend of the family and I'd hate to see anything happen to him :-(

On a lighter note...

Russ and I have planned a short vacation for April!! Russ has been so stressed and has been on my back to plan a trip for us. I was just a little on the fence about the whole thing because he wanted it just to be the two of us, and I just HATE to leave Alyson! I know she'll be in great hands with my parents and Russ's mom, but I still hate leaving her. Russ REALLY needs to get away though, and really wanted to go somewhere in the Caribbean. We wanted a nonstop flight if possible, and remembered USA3000 airlines flies nonstop to Cancun and Punta Cana. (Anyone fly that airline before?) We ended up finding a nonstop flight from Pittsburgh to Cancun for mid-April.... I can't wait. We're only going for 3 nights, since "Alyson withdrawal" will surely have set in, even during that short period of time!! We ended up booking a suite at the Sun Palace in Cancun. It was completely renovated and reopened in January 2007 after being destroyed by Hurricane Wilma in October of 2006. The rooms all have private hot tubs in them (I can't wait to fill it all up with bubbles...hey, they provide them so why not!) The place looks gorgeous. I read practically every review and looked at a ton of pictures on, so I think I made a good choice. The place is ranked #3 of all the hotels/resorts in Cancun, so that can't be a bad thing!

Here are some pics:

View of the resort:

View of the beach:

View of the suite:

I'm really excited to go, and it will be nice to spend time alone with my husband. Plus, it'll be a darn good birthday gift! (My bday is the 13th, and we leave on the 16th) :-)

And what's a post without mentioning Alyson? (I really need to start updating HER blog that I started awhile back...) Well, Alyson is steadily growing into Little Miss Independent. She wants to do EVERYTHING on her own, and will let you know what she thinks (mainly by dropping down to her knees and bouncing up and down while whining...) if you try to tell her otherwise. She's doing SO great with feeding herself, but she still doesn't understand why mommy wants (well, NEEDS) to help her with the messy stuff. She's currently loving applesauce,Gogurt, jell-o fruit cups, Jr.Lunchables, and Mac and Oh, and Cocoa Crispies and Oatmeal Squares. She LOVES some cereal. Takes after her mommy in that aspect! (Probably because that's basically all I ate while I was pregnant---CEREAL!) Currently Alyson is obsessed with her bellybutton and showing it to EVERYONE (and wanting everyone to show her THEIR bellybutton!), and she's still playing with the dogs food and mixing it in their water. Also, anytime she finds a paper towel, dishrag, etc, she dips it in the dogs' water bowl and then goes running off like a mad woman, with a trail of water behind her. That's always fun to clean up. Earlier today since it was mild outside, she decided to make a few trips out the dog door and run out onto the deck. It's always something... I could go on and on.

How about I'm already looking around online for ideas for Aly's 2nd birthday party!! I'm thinking we're going with Strawberry Shortcake this year. Aly is SUCH a strawberry girl! She will eat a whole container of strawberries if you let her.

I just can't believe she's gonna be 2 in June.... pretty soon we're gonna have to start trying for baby #2! I'm starting to hear, "So are you ready for another one?" and "When are you having another baby?" and "Alyson needs a brother or sister" more and more lately. I'm ready for another baby, but I still need to get my husband to jump on board the baby train So we'll see.

Well, I'm getting tired so I'm gonna end this here. Hope everyone enjoys their weekends :-)

Wednesday, February 18, 2009


Here I go becoming a blog slacker again... better update a little.

First off, I hope everyone had a great Valentine's Day this past Saturday. Though a romantic "date night" with my husband would have been great, I was just as happy going out as a family on Friday night. We took Alyson out to dinner on Friday night, since we knew all the restaurants would more than likely be packed on Saturday. Russ kept asking me, "What do you want for Valentine's Day??" but I told him dinner was fine. I've never really made a big deal out of Valentine's Day. For such a long period in my life (pre-Russ) , February was just SUCH a crappy month for me for a lot of different reasons... so I'm just happy to have a wonderful guy to spend V-day with. Anyway, for V-day we ended up getting Alyson a cute pink teddy bear with a heart pillow that says "princess" on it, and a Strawberry Shortcake "Be My Valentine" book. I read the book to her, but I think it only kept her attention for, like, 2 pages. Oh well...

As for Alyson, she's STILL in that mischievous "I want to get into everything" stage... boy, does she keep me hopping!!! The girl DOES NOT STOP. I wish I had half her energy. She's just GO GO GO from the minute she gets up in the morning. Her latest antics include attempting to crawl out the dog door (she had stopped that, but now she redeveloped an interest in it....), and pouring the dog's food into their water bowl and stirring it around with a spatula she grabbed out of the silverware drawer.

Sorry if this post is jumping all over the place... I just don't have much to write about...that I can THINK of anyway. There are a few things I'd LIKE to talk about in here but it would take way too long to type out right now, and I'm getting too tired to think straight. I'll just continue this another time. Just figured I should update since it's been awhile.

Well, I'd better attempt to get some sleep. Tomorrow I'll be heading to the hospital to see my grandma... she had to be admitted today because she was having a lot of trouble breathing. Come to find out, she has bronchitis. She's had a lingering cough and it seems that she never fully recovered from the last cold she had. So now she'll be on IV antibiotics and supplemental oxygen. I don't know many details yet, but I'm sure I'll find out more tomorrow. My mom and my aunts all keep eachother informed, but by the time info gets passed from one person to the next to the next, and then *I* hear it, the info has always gotten a little mixed up from what was heard in the beginning. You know, kinda like that game "telephone." Anyway, any prayers would be appreciated :-)

Nighty night...

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Talk about DOWN TO THE WIRE!!!



Wow...what a game!!! By the end of the game I had a headache, was totally sick to my stomach, and had tears in my eyes! I couldn't sit down AT ALL for the last 3 minutes of the game. The dogs were looking at me like I was nuts because I kept jumping up and down and yelling at the They were staring at me as if to say, "Puh-leeeeeeeease SIT DOWN!!"

I'm just so happy the Steelers got a win... the "Six-Burgh Steelers" now have their six pack! Woo hoooooooooooo! :-)

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Book me on the next flight to Florida, please...

(A little update to this post first-- I started a blog for Alyson! It's called Adventures in Alysonland! I figured that way I have a place just to write about her. I put the link in my "Misc. Sites" category to the right, if you wanna check it out! Thanks!)

*****Now back to our regularly scheduled post*****

Ugh, I hate this weather we are having right now!!

We got a few inches of snow Monday night into Tuesday, which was fine.... the roads and everything were pretty clear during the day while there was a lull in the snow action. But TODAY... YUCK!! It started snowing again lastnight, and we had another 1/2 inch to inch of snow....but THEN overnight started the freezing rain, which is still going strong right now. Then later is another 1-3 inches of snow on top of the ice. Everything has about an inch of ice on it right now. I'll be lucky to get into my vehicle within the next few days. It doesn't help that my battery died the other day from cold weather, and ever since we jumped my car, the remote starter won't work. So now if I can't get into my car, I have no way to turn it on and attempt to defrost it. Needless to say, I'm not going ANYWHERE today. Or possibly tomorrow. Thank goodness I got out for awhile yesterday!!

The roads are a sheet of ice because all the road crews are running low on salt... I guess they just don't care if people slide all over the place. Some main roads aren't even getting plowed. One of Russ's employees went sliding in a work truck and wrapped it around a telephone pole this morning...he's fine, but it was just enough damage to the truck to put it out of commission for awhile. Russ is thrilled about that, lemme tell ya. Puts him in an even better mood than his sleep-deprived self was ALREADY in.

Ahh, I love winter..... I SO wish I was on a beach right now. Anyone up for flying to Cancun? Heck, I'll settle for staying in the US and just heading to Florida. But for now, it's just going to have to be a day spent in the house with my little girl and the dogs watching cartoons and Disney movies.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Stop snowing! (Uh, I mean, KEEP snowing!!)

This snow needs to STOP! Ugh. It's snowed basically 24-7 for the past few days. It's supposed to let up here pretty soon, but will be back in full force tomorrow. Lovely... Pretty soon I really AM gonna have to shovel my way out of the front door.

It just sucks to be stuck in the house BORED. I've been wanting to take some Christmas stuff back for the past few weeks!! Last week I ended up getting sick, then Aly started getting a little something sinus-related (which didn't turn into much, thank God!), and this week is snow snow and more snow. In the coming days, when it's not supposed to snow, it's still gonna be in the single digits temperature-wise, with lows of -3 and such. I just hate to take Aly out in that!! We were supposed to meet my parents for breakfast Friday morning, but it's supposed to be a high of 8 and a low of -3 or something like that. So we'll have to see about that...

I have to watch talking about all this snow stuff around Russ. I'll catch myself saying, "When is this snow gonna STOP?!?!" or "It's gonna snow AGAIN?!" and he'll look at me like I have two heads. He goes, "Honey, don't say that... this brings us money!This is what I DO." (His company salts and plows parking lots around our area, and in the Wheeling,WV area.) So basically I have to act like I don't mind it snowing 24-7 and being stuck in the house bored out of my But hey, if these snow squalls get us a little closer to being able to buy our new home-- let it snow, let it snow, let it snow! I just wish there were some breaks in between snow days, so I could see my husband for more than 10 minutes out of the day. I've hardly seen him the past few days :-( So yeah, in THAT aspect, I can't wait for the snow to stop!!

Speaking of our (possible) new home... Russ said our realtor J called him about our 'dream home' today... he said that the owner is willing to pay all closing costs and a few other fees, so the deal is looking better and better! We just might make an offer on it SOON! Russ is just waiting for the interest rate to dip down a little more, so he can lock a rate in with his banker. So we're getting a LITTLE closer to this house thing actually happening! Russ told J, "I'm lucky if I've slept for 10 hours all together in the past week, so I'll get back to you and we'll discuss everything after the snow's over and I get some sleep." He can hardly even think straight right now... he's been taking little naps in his truck, but that's about it. (He's been up since yesterday morning around 7am!) I keep saying I don't want to get my hopes up about this house, but it's so hard NOT to!!! I just keep hoping and praying. If things are meant to work out, they'll find a way!

Well, I'm gonna watch some Leno then try to head to bed. I'm just waiting to see whether Aly is gonna wake up soon or not. She's got 4 teeth coming in all at once, so the poor girl has been waking up around this time every night, and sometimes even a few more times. Usually she times it for right when I decide to go to bed. As soon as I get comfy under the covers, the crying starts.

Well, nighty night.

A little update... here's a survey thing I saw on Maria and Marisa's blogs. I copied it...hope you don't mind ;-)

So here's what you do, copy it to your own post, bold or change the color of the things you have done, and then tag 4 other people to do it. Sounds like fun, right??

1. Started your own blog
2. Slept under the stars
3. Played in a band
4. Visited Hawaii
5. Watched a meteor shower
6. Given more than you can afford to charity
7. Been to Disneyland (Does Disney WORLD count??)
8. Climbed a mountain
9. Held a praying mantis
10. Sang a solo
12. Visited Paris
13. Watched a lightning storm at sea
14. Taught yourself an art from scratch
15. Adopted a child
16. Had food poisoning
17. Walked to the top of the Statue of Liberty
18. Grown your own vegetables
19. Seen the Mona Lisa in France
20. Slept in an overnight train
21. Had a pillow fight
22. Hitchhiked
23. Taken a sick day when you’re not ill
24. Built a snow fort
25. Held a lamb
26. Gone skinny dipping
27. Run a marathon
28. Ridden in a gondola in Venice
29. Seen a sunrise or sunset
30. Hit a home run
31. Watched a total eclipse (solar)
32. Been on a cruise
33. Seen Niagara Falls in person
34. Visited the birthplace of your ancestors
35. Seen an Amish community
36. Taught yourself a new language
37. Had enough money to be truly satisfied
38. Seen the Leaning Tower of Pisa in person
39. Gone rock climbing
40. Seen Michelangelo’s David
41. Sung karaoke
42. Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt
43. Bought a stranger a meal at a restaurant
44. Visited Africa
45. Walked on a beach by moonlight
46. Been transported in an ambulance
47. Had your portrait painted
48. Gone deep sea fishing
49. Seen the Sistine Chapel in person
50. Been to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris
51. Gone scuba diving or snorkeling
52. Kissed in the rain
53. Played in the mud
55. Been in a movie
56. Visited the Great Wall of China
57. Started a business
58. Taken a martial arts class
59. Visited Russia
60. Served at a soup kitchen
61. Sold Girl Scout Cookies
62. Gone whale watching
63. Got flowers for no reason
66. Visited a Nazi Concentration Camp
67. Bounced a check
68. Flown in a helicopter
69.saved a favorite childhood toy
70. visited the Lincoln Memorial
71. Eaten caviar
72. Pieced a quilt
73. Stood in Times Square
74. Toured the Everglades
75. Been fired from a job
76. Seen the Changing of the Guards in London
77. Broken a bone
78. Been on a speeding motorcycle
79. Seen the Grand Canyon in person
80. Published a book
81. Visited the Vatican
82. Bought a brand new car
83. Walked in Jerusalem
84. Had your picture in the newspaper
85. Read the entire Bible
86. Visited the White House (I stood outside the gate, if that counts...)
87. Killed and prepared an animal for eating
88. Had chicken pox
89. Saved someone’s life
90. Sat on a jury
91. Met someone famous
92. Joined a book club
93. Lost a loved one
94. Had a baby
95. Seen the Alamo in person
96. Swam in the Great Salt Lake
97. Been involved in a lawsuit
98. Owned a cell phone
99. Been stung by a bee
100. Read an entire book in one day

Saturday, January 10, 2009

We're getting blasted with snow... a whole 3 inches.

I'm FINALLY feeling better today. Not 100% yet, but enough where I actually got out of the house and felt like I was in the land of the living today!!

So obviously I didn't make it to Wally-World to get groceries yesterday.... I got ready early this morning so I could get there somewhat early and *try* to beat the Friday crowds there.

So I get to the parking lot, and you would think it was the day after Thanksgiving...the place was frickin PACKED! I had to park way at the back of the parking lot. Reason being-- we were SUPPOSED to be getting a lot of snow (6-8 inches, which is the most we'd have gotten at one time in the past few years...)Evidentally the "supposed" weather forecast flipped everyone right the heck out, so everyone and their brother was trying to stock up on groceries and such before the snow hit.

And NOW the snow forecasted has decreased to 3-6 inches for our area, which is going to end up being more on the 3 inch end of things. Woah... what a LOT of snow! (Sense the sarcasm.) That's what always seems to happen around here... a ton of snow is predicted (like tonight, which they referred to the upcoming storm as "the worst storm in 2 years") and then it ends up being minimal and everyone flips out for nothing.

So we'll see... the worst of the storm is supposed to hit later Saturday morning. (well, THIS morning now,being that I'm writing this post after midnight...) You watch... now that they've said it's not going to be as bad as originally thought, we'll probably be blasted with a foot of snow and have to dig our way out of our front Great.

Well, I'm gonna try to get some sleep now. Getting a decent sleep has been foreign to me lately. Aly's been waking up more during the night, and also has been wanting to wake up for good WAY more early than I am willing to. Either she's teething some more, or she's starting to get sick... I hope it's the teething.

Have a good night!

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Sinus cold, nausea and stomach cramps, oh my!

This week has been rough!! I started getting a sinus cold over the weekend, then Tuesday morning I woke up TOTALLY nauseous, throwing up, etc. I ended up with a case of the flu on top of a sinus cold... fun stuff, I tell ya. I've had that lingering nauseated feeling for the past three days, but luckily it's getting better. I just keep having stomach cramps on and off that will leave as quickly as they come on. They'll just last a few seconds, like my whole upper stomach tenses up, and then they're gone. So I dunno what's up. Everyone I tell this to, including my husband, goes, "Are you pregnant?" It's like everyone hears the word "nausea" and automatically they think I'm pregnant! (Which I'm sure anyone reading this thought too! haha) But no, I'm not pregnant... that I know of yet! This is definitely not prego cramping! :-P

Despite how I feel today, I SO need to go grocery shopping. We're running out of a lot of things in the house, and I can't afford to wait much longer. I've had to put it off all week so far, so I guess today I'll just have to suck it up and take a trip to Walmart. My parents originally had offered to get me a few things at the store and bring them over, but now my dad's sick with a stomach bug too. Must be going around. Our good friends just got sick with it over the weekend too.

I just can't wait til flu season is OVER!! And to think, I told Russ a few months back, "No, I'm not gonna get a flu shot... I haven't had a flu shot for years, and it's been awhile since I've gotten a BAD case of the flu." Ha. Yep, should have gotten a flu I'm just glad I haven't gotten Aly sick. I think if she was going to catch it from me, it would have happened by now. What a relief!

On a different note... (since I have nothing exciting to talk about...)

Here are some pics of my little furbabies rockin' their new collars. I love 'em. I actually got them online from 3 Dirty Dawgz., which I discovered while looking around on Etsy one day. Because, you know, going to the local petstore to buy a collar would be too easy. lol Actually, I just loved how this website had so many DIFFERENT collars. The printed ones we've bought them around here fade so easily. But anyway... here are the pics.

Here's my princess Lucy in her pink crowns collar, and Cody the stud in his turquoise crowns collar!

Monday, January 5, 2009

Christmas and New Year's Pics

As promised, here they are.... (the New Year's pics are repeats from my previous post... I put all the pics into one slideshow so I could email it out to friends and family!)

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Happy 2009!

Well, I hope everyone had a great New Year's Eve and is having a wonderful 2009 so far :-)

On New Year's Eve, we went over our friends Dean and Joelle's house and celebrated with a bunch of our close friends. All of us basically have little kids around the same age, so obviously due to the little ones' bedtimes, we didn't all hang out until midnight. It was still a great time though. Aly was such a trooper...she was still awake and raring to go until about 11pm when she started yawning. We only live about 5 minutes away from Dean and Joelle's, so it didn't take long to get home. We put Aly to bed and Russ and I rang in the New Year by ourselves, watching the ball drop with Dick Clark and Ryan :-)

The New Year has been good so far... it was nice spending time with Russ's brother and our sister-in-law. They left on the 1st to go to Minneapolis, where her family is from, and on the 4th they are heading back to Alaska. We're all trying to persuade them to move down here... if not close to us, at least to the lower 48! (Don't think I mentioned this before, but my SIL is 4 months pregnant, so we all want to be able to see their baby more than once or twice a year!!) It'll probably be a few years before they move (if they DO move), since they have work commitments up there for the next 1 1/2 to 2 years. So we'll see.

What else to talk about....

OH. New Year's Resolutions. #1 has already gone partially out the window, but I'm getting better. I always make more than one resolution. This year's are:

1. Lose weight. (But since all the TV shows say to make SMALL goals that are realistic, the first part of that resolution I hope to do is "Exercise at least 3-4 times per week.")

2. Not procrastinate so much.

3. Keep in better touch with friends and family.

4. MAYBE.... give Aly a baby brother or sister??? (We'll have to see about that, because it takes more than just ME to do I'm ready, but I'm not so sure Russ is yet!)

So there are the resolutions...the ones I can think of right now, anyway.

I'll finish this up with some pictures of New Year's Eve.

Here is Aly opening up one of her presents from our friends.

The kids exchanging presents

Russ (in his little kids party hat!) and our friend Brandon

Me, Russ and Alyson

All of us...The Hunt/Klink/Bucci/Riley families (except for Dean's mom Stephanie, who was taking the pics for us!)

Alyson and Guy drinking their sparkling white grape juice (and LOVING it!)

Gotta get every last drop!