Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Just a quick note

Gibson is much better now, he is back to being a normal puppy now, but more on that next time.

I think we are going to need to get a toilet lock. My precious little girl loves to come in the bathroom while I put my makeup on and play "drums" on the top of the toilet. The other day, I had no reason to think she was doing anything different, but when I turned around, I find this:

I guess she thought her beloved kitty needed a bath. Well, he is DEFINITELY getting one now!! As far as her playing the "drums" on the toilet lid, it is the cutest thing I think I have ever seen. She dances and just pats her little hands...it is just too cute. Tonight I was trying to catch her on camera doing it (she calls it "Dums") but she was camera shy. She would stop as soon as the red light came on....Since I have figured out how to upload video, I will try to do so more often. I think I am only allowed one minute of video per video posted, but I will investigate that further.
Hope you got as good a laugh from Raia's toilet kitty as I did. I felt silly running to grab the camera when I found it in there, but, well, I thought it was hilarious :)

Glad Game:
1.) SO GLAD Gibson is back 100%, he has been so fun!
2.) I am glad that my husband has such a wonderful job, we are truly blessed with that.
3.) I am glad for all my side/part time jobs that are keeping me busy this summer.
4.) I am so glad I have such wonderful friends in my life right now. I think I have better friends NOW than I have ever had in my entire life. And they are all wholesome, good people.
5.) I am glad that we all FINALLY have health insurance!! Yeah!!!

Thanks for checking in!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

My little helper

I usually fuss at Nathan for letting Raia get all wet with the hose, but found out today just how fun it is. We were out watering our straw/dead grass/lawn, and ended up playing instead...it was a blast! She is such a big helper, as you will see :)

Haha! Please forgive my raspy voice at the end - I am sick and have lost my voice!

Glad Game:
1.) I am glad Raia had fun today, and me too.
2.) I am glad Gibson is pretty much over whatever made him so sick; he still has a cough and is kind of itchy, but otherwise is like a normal puppy! Weird, but I'll take it!
3.) I am glad Nathan will be home tomorrow.
4.) I am glad Nathan has such a great job.
5.) I am glad I have such wonderful friends and family!

Thanks for checking in!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Quick update on Gibson...

I took him to a vet in Tomball yesterday, a little over an hour drive from us (but still in the same county, ugh!). The vet was absolutely wonderful, she explained everything really well for me, and didn't dash every hope I had for his recovery like the other vet did. She said she couldn't say for certain that it was distemper, that it may very well be a bad case of kennel cough. He also has mange, the bad kind that humans can get (eeek!!). BUT...he is on new antibiotics, and a cough medicine, and she gave me Advantage for the mange (who knew?!). Today, he is like a brand new puppy! It actually started about 2 hours after I gave him his new meds last night, he started perking up; he has been eating, drinking, doing his business, he is up walking around and exploring, wagging his tail, he even wants to play with the cat now! I can't believe how he has made this quick turnaround, I am so happy! I know in my heart that this may only be temporary, but if he feels better for only a little while, and can be a puppy like he has never been able to do before, then it is so worth it!

This first picture was taken a few days ago, when he had almost no strength...he was so sick.

This picture was taken today, and sorry it isn't the greatest picture, he wouldn't stay still long enough! But check out that tail - some serious waggin' goin' on back there! Hooray!!

Thanks so much for checking in...
Before I go, a quick Glad Game:
1.) Of course, I am glad Gibson seems to be getting better!
2.) I am glad the animal shelter paid the bill for the vet since we are still in our 10 day fostering period!
3.) I am glad I have had so many people praying for Gibson, and sending good thoughts our way!
4.) I am so glad I didn't listen to the first vet.
5.) I am glad I don't have to stick Gibson with needles anymore, I think it stressed me out just as much as it did him!


Monday, June 22, 2009

A little late...

I am horrible when it comes to holidays, and birthdays, anniversaries, etc. Sometimes I get so wrapped up in life that I forget to stop and take a minute to wish the ones I love a Happy Father's Day, or a Happy Birthday, and for that I am so sorry. For a while I had gotten a little better, sending cards and emails and such, but this year has been pretty rough. Sorry :(

So, without further ado:

Dad, Happy Father's Day to you! You have always been a great Dad to me, and it all started when you picked ME to be your daughter! I am honored to have you as my Dad, you always amaze me with your Jeopardy! skills, never missing a question, or how cool it is that you can just think up music in your head and then write it all down and it becomes "Murky Dismal" or some such great piece of music. I love all your silly puns, and your love for puppy dogs, and so many other things. I hope you had a wonderful day, Dad! I love you so very much!

Nathan, Happy Father's Day to you! It sucks that you are 1,000 miles away on Father's Day, but you are doing what any good father would do - you are working hard to provide for our little family, and learning all you can to be the best at what you do! You ARE the best at what you do, in everything, even if I try to overlook that sometimes, you are a great father. Thank you so much for being a good Dad to our beautiful little girl. One day, she will be able to thank you herself. We both love you with all our hearts!

Sara & Raia

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Gibson Update

Please send up little puppy prayers, as Gibson is not doing too well. I took him to the vet Thursday for a check up (since we had just gotten him) and I suspected he had Kennel Cough. He got antibiotics, and some dewormer, apparently he has "every worm known to man"...YUCK! Well, Friday I noticed he was still acting kind of droopy, very lethargic; I had to make him get up to go out. I took him back to the vet, and she diagnosed Distemper. I was heartbroken. There is no test for Distemper, and treatment is VERY expensive. Their estimate was around $2000. I just wanted to bring him home and spend one more night with our little guy, give him lots of love since he had a rough start in life. I had gone onto our local message board/chat room, Kingwood Underground, to ask questions about kennel cough the night before the diagnosis, so I went back to give an update, and had an outpouring of support from many of the other KU'ers. One lady brought me a bag of IV fluids and taught me how to administer it (scary, I know!) along with a probiotic for his belly and some extra vitamin supplement, and another sweet lady I know from work who is also a KU'er brought me a vitamin and mineral supplement for Gibson. I had another lady call me to tell me how to contact yet another lady about getting Gibson to a vet free of charge. And I have received many private messages from a lady that works in/for one of the local shelters trying to help me out with Gibson. This all may sound rather confusing, but just know that many people have reached out to help our little guy. The lady who brought me the IV liquids was once a cop, and has worked with a lady from a rescue group. Neither one thought Gibson had Distemper. He just isn't showing all the symptoms. Sure, he is showing some, like the fever and lethargy, but that could be the nasty worms he's fighting off, or the kennel cough he's dealing with. I'm keeping my fingers crossed.
I went back to the shelter today to get some more meds for Gibson. We are still in our 10 day window of fostering to adopt, so they will help with meds, and even pay vet costs if you use their vets (I knew this beforehand, but all their vets are an hour or more away from us...hindsight is 20/20). They didn't seem to think it is Distemper either. They told me to keep Gibson on his original antibiotic, that it was better than the one they were going to give me, and they also gave me some more needles for the IV line, and to keep him hydrated, and to keep him fed, even if I have to do it myslef.
After all this, Gibson is still hanging in there. We have to force feed him by watering his wet food way down and use a syringe to squirt it in his mouth because he is not eating. We do this with his water, too. We are giving him his medicines twice a day, as well as doing one unit of IV fluid twice a day. He is about the same as he was yesterday, but this morning he got up a few times and actually followed me around wagging his tail for a few minutes. He has been peeing when he goes out, so I guess that's good. No poo in two days though.
Even though we are still in our 10 day window with the shelter, I refuse to take him back there. So many people would though, and it breaks my heart to even think about it. He is a part of our little family now, and Raia loves him so much! She doesn't understand why she can't play with him yet, I tell her she can only pet and be very gentle, because he doesn't feel good. She just wants to bear hug him, though, poor dog.
Anyway, sorry this post was so long. The other night when I was posting the 'Introducing GIBSON' thread, I even thought to myself "I better hold off...what if something happens?" Ugh! Just keep Gibson in your prayers if you think about it.
On top of all this madness, Raia spiked a fever of 103 today, and I have had a sore throat all day. I was a little dizzy this morning, but that has passed, so who knows what's going around our house right now.


Glad Game:
1.) I am glad we have Gibson here, and he has gotten to know that feeling of family and love.
2.) I am glad so many people have reached out to help Gibson, and have given me hope.
3.) I am glad Nathan is going out of town for a week - we need a break.
4.) I am glad I have such wonderful friends in my life.
5.) I am glad it is bedtime...I am tired.

Thanks for checking in. Hopefully I will have better news next time I post. <3

Friday, June 19, 2009


Meet Gibson, our newest furry family member! While I can't say I was on board with this newest addition to begin with, the little guy has certainly got me wrapped around his little paw!

After the Pomeranian puppy we found and took in for a few hours a few weeks ago, Nathan has been convinced that Raia needs a puppy friend. After our history with pets, if you know us, I'm sure you will feel my reluctance through the computer screen, but after many talks, and after I was assured that this puppy would be well taken care of, I agreed. We decided to adopt from a local animal shelter, and let me just say here that I was not prepared for what we saw inside. The place was huge. We walked though room after room after room of dogs. We were there for a good two hours and still didn't see all of them. I overheard a lady at the front desk on the phone telling a caller that they take in over 2,500 animals per month. Luckily, they have a lot of volunteers (but still not nearly enough) to come in and feed, water, walk, and most importantly FOSTER these beautiful animals. They do what they can, God bless them. I left there so sad, wishing we could take more than just one home.
The room we found Gibson in was too awful to walk into when we first tried. They were cleaning it, and poor Raia was gagging from the smell, so we had to leave. I'm so glad we went back when they were done. The smell was much better, and as we were walking past all the kennels we came across Gibson. We had originally gone into the shelter wanting a small dog, preferably female, and young. The place was packed with large breed dogs (so many...). Every dog that I liked, I knew was too big, and Nathan would kindly remind me with a, "No, lets look for a smaller one". When we came across Gibson, I thought he was so good looking, and he was a young dog, and when I said to Nathan "Oooh, that one is pretty", I thought for sure he would say no, but he just asked how big he would get. Anyway, long story short, we got Gibson. He ended up having to stay at the shelter a few more days to be neutered and get his shots, but he is HOME now, and we just love him. He is a puppy, and will be a medium-large sized dog, and yeah, he is male, but he is absolutely the best dog. His breed is classified as Queensland Heeler, or Blue Heeler. He hasn't chewed anything (yet), he hasn't had any accidents (yet), and he is super tolerant of Raia (so far...we are keeping a close eye on both of them!) He has been HOME now for two days, and he seems to be happy. I took him to the vet today, and although he does not yet have a clean bill of health, I think he will soon overcome his traumatic stay at the animal shelter. He has kennel cough, and will get antibiotics twice a day for that, and worms (yuck!) that will require medicine over the next two weeks. He also need to gain a few pounds. I think we got lucky that he didn't come out of that shelter with much worse, bless his heart.
If you have pets, please SPAY or NEUTER them. If you don't, please consider visiting your local shelter and see about FOSTERING a dog or cat until they can find a forever home. And if you have room in your home, and your heart, ADOPT one. It will make a difference in the life of a helpless animal.

To make a donation to the Montgomery County Animal Service Center send to:
8535 State Hwy 242
Conroe, TX 77385

Or you could donate to your local shelter. A few dollars goes a long way!
Off my soap box now :)

Onto the Glad Game:
1.) I am glad that Gibson has taken to us so well.
2.) I am glad Nathan is enjoying his new job!
3.) I am glad summer is finally here! (Even though it is SO HOT!!! We could use a little rain!)
4.) I am glad Raia is over pink eye. Yeah, I didn't blog about that, but she had pink eye for about 4 days - yuck!
5.) I am glad...let's just leave it at that tonight....

Thanks for checking in!


Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Father's Day Pictures

My sweet photographer friend has done it once again! These pictures turned out GREAT! CLICK HERE and enter the word 'raiadaddy' as the password.

If you'd like to vist Jeni's photography blog, CLICK HERE. She has been Raia's photographer since Raia was 8 months old, and she has a God given talent. Enjoy!

Saturday, June 13, 2009


I don't really have that much to post today, just a few pictures. Also, Nathan just had Father's Day pictures taken with Raia, I will hopefully have those up in the next few days, too. I'm not sure about what rights I have and if I can put them on the blog...we will see.

Raia on her rocking horse!

Coming in for BIG HUGS!

The cat wanted to say hi...apparently since Nathan has started going out of town, she thinks that the kitchen table is now the best place to hang out. Oh well...

Now, for the Glad Game.
1.) I am glad it is the weekend, maybe today we can go feed the ducks at the lake.
2.) I am glad Nathan is home.
3.) I am glad Aunt Flo and Mom were finally able to access my blog!!
4.) I am glad I have such good friends in my life!
5.) I am glad we were able to get pictures made with Raia and her Daddy. I know they will be great!

Thanks for checking in!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Dear Grandma,

It is 2am, and I can't sleep. Tomorrow (today, really) marks 11 years that you have been gone. I miss you so much. When I was little you would play silly games with me, always making me giggle with your false teeth, or wiggling your ears, which by the way, I've never seen anyone else ever do that! You didn't mind that I colored on the bottom of your coffee table while pretending it was a car - I had to draw the gas tank, the oil pan, and all the other parts of a car so I could "work" on it from underneath like the mechanics do. I wish I still had that coffee table. You always let me help when making your special 7 Layer "Schlocate" Cake, man those were good! The first time I had one remotely similar to yours after you died, it made me cry, knowing I'd never ever taste yours again. When we would come visit you, after the 4 hour trip, our first meal together was always your wonderful spaghetti, and I am so thankful that Aunt Flo can make it just like you did!
Spending the night with you was great. I loved snuggling with you in your bed, and as we would fall asleep I HAD to drape my leg across you, I guess to make sure you didn't leave me during the night, I don't know. It was so comforting to have you there. In the mornings you'd get up so early, I couldn't even imagine how a person could get up that early, but you did. And you would play solitaire for a long time on the kitchen counter while having coffee. Eventually I would wander into the living room/kitchen area and lie on the couch until breakfast was ready.
Skipping ahead a little here. I remember you teaching me how to drive in your HUGE car! "Turn left here" you said....so I turn the wheel ALL THE WAY LEFT and we find ourselves in someone's front yard, but you just laugh. "Let's go back to the stadium and practice some more in the parking lot"....yeah, that was a good idea!
There were so many things I loved about you, so many memories. You loved me so much, and I didn't realize that until it was much too late. Maybe that's the way things work, I don't know. I often wonder if you'd be proud of me now? I've made some huge mistakes, and stupid decisions. I miss your guidance. I miss your voice, your love, your support. Lord knows I could have used it. I only have memories of you, all of them wonderful.
Your house was such a blessing to me. After my first husband, and that entire fiasco, Dothan became my only safe haven, Aunt Flo being a huge part in me finding my way, and you letting me "have" your house free and clear was more than I could ever have asked for. I was able to escape a terribly abusive husband, and make a life for myself and my infant son (with Aunt Flo's help). That is just one example of your love for me, and I am so sorry I pissed it away like I did. I won't go there now....That's not what this post is about.
Thank you so much for being MY grandmother. Thank you for loving me through all my faults, and only wanting the best for me no matter how rotten I was. I miss you so much. You were such a special lady, and I hope that I turn out to be half the woman that you were. I hope that in some way, somewhere, you are proud of me.
I love you, Grandma. Always.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Trip to the Zoo

On Saturday, we decided to have some family time since Nathan was home for the weekend. We went to the Houston Zoo. It is nice living in/near a big city with lots of fun things to do, especially for kids. I didn't take many pictures, and the ones I did take are pretty poor in quality. Did I mention that our camera isn't the best? It's convenient, a neat little camera, but the quality just is not great. Maybe one of these days we will have a nice digital camera!
Anyway, enjoy the pictures!

This is the view we have coming into the city. It is really quite beautiful.

Passing Minute Maid Park..."Hi!!"

Raia and a couple of new friends in the petting zoo. Look at the billy goat's toothy grin! So cute!

This guy/gal was big, but very docile. Hardly noticed we were there. Sorry for all the back shots of Raia, she just wanted to "pet, pet".

Cutest. Fox. Ever.

This was the neatest tank full of jellyfish, they were about 6 inches across.

HUGE Angel Fish!!

Me and Daddy in the aquarium...the only cool building around! It was so hot outside!

Last, but not least: this little guy. Cute little chipmunk critter, not sure what he is.

Thanks for checking in!

The pirate themed cake I was going to do...? The lady canceled on me. Bummer. It was going to be a neat treasure chest cake.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

This post is for Daddy!!

Hi Daddy! I miss you a lot, and wish you were home to play "cave" with me, or to push me on my little car, mommy just doesn't do it quite like you can! I wanted to show you just how cute I looked today in my little red dress and my new red bow! And guess what? I kept in in my hair almost all day!

Mommy wanted to take me for a walk today, but it has started raining. It's always more fun when I have both mommy and daddy along for the walk, anyway.
I hope you are having lots of fun on your trip and learning lots for this neat new job you have! I have been really enjoying riding in the mini van, daddy, there is so much room and I can see EVERYTHING out the windows!
Well, it is time to eat dinner. I love you! See you soon!
Noggin Berries

Here is one more picture for you:

"'Dis is mah mean face!"

What is on my heart

I hope that my friend won't mind me talking about her in my post today, and telling her story. Some people may wonder what the buttons on the right side of my page are for, and why they are there. My sweet friend Rita, who I met while working at the little children's and maternity consignment boutique, recently lost her precious 5 month old baby boy to a disease called Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA) Type 1. It is genetic, and there is no cure. SMA is the #1 genetic killer of children/babies under the age of 2, and one out of 30-40 people are carriers (scary, huh?) In telling her story I will hopefully be making some impact on the general public, and hopefully be gaining signatures on the petition, making people AWARE, and if just ONE person gets tested before becoming pregnant, then I have done something.
When I met Rita, she and I just kind of clicked, I knew how great she was from the start. She is a beautiful person inside and out, and does so many things for our community, for people in need, and well, she is just a neat person. Since Eli was so little, and she was working at the store to kind of get a little break once a week for 4 hours, she would leave him at home with his daddy. I might mention here that at the store we are allowed and encouraged to bring our kids to work with us; there is a play area for the kids, and it is just nice to not have to pay for childcare while you work. Anyway, back to Rita. We had a Mom's Night Out event at the store in Nov. (huge sale) and Rita brought Eli in to show him off. It was the first, and sadly, the only time I would meet Eli. I am SO thankful that I did, though. He was such a cute little guy, looked just like his mama. I remember thinking as I looked into his infant carrier what a bright spirit he had about him, he was so content and was taking in everything around him. I was so taken by him, and I let him hold my finger for a few minutes while I goo-goo-gah-gah'ed at him, wishing Raia was still that small. Rita had always thought there might be something going on with Eli, because he was having problems eating. They thought it might be the formula, or reflux, a variety of different things. In early December, the doctor suggested having Eli tested for Cystic Fibrosis. The test was negative for CF. Eli's health continued to decline, and he was put in the hospital just after Christmas. His poor Mommy fought so hard for him; he was being poked and prodded at every turn, to the point he couldn't even bear to see a white coat. He was so tired. Rita was tired. She just wanted to bring her baby home. In early January the SMA diagnosis was confirmed. Devastating news. I was in Alabama when I got the email. I remember coming home and logging onto facebook to talk to Rita. We would stay up late chatting (still do, as a matter of fact) those first few days after I got home from AL. I think it was 7 or 8 days after his SMA diagnosis was confirmed that Rita was finally able to bring him home from the hospital. She wanted to bring him HOME, where they could spend whatever time they had left in a place where Eli was comfortable and a place that was familiar to him. They only got 4 hours. Eli was in his mommy's arms when he left this world, and I am positive there is no other place he'd have rather been.
Since Eli's passing, I have been researching SMA, I have been reading blogs of other families who have children with SMA, and as you read the blogs you see other links to similar blogs and lots of these "buttons"; it is almost like a ladder for you non-computer people. One link leads to another, leads to another, leads to another. In my effort to do SOMETHING to fight this deadly genetic disease, I have added some "buttons" from my favorite blogs. That way anyone reading MY blog can also visit the ones I think are worth visiting (especially the petition one, if you haven't signed it by now, DO SO!). On my right hand sidebar you see "buttons" for Gwendolyn's Blog, one for signing the SMA petition (DO IT NOW!!!), one for Baby Jonah who is dealing with another birth defect called EB, and a few other buttons. I have really gotten to "know" baby Gwendolyn through her parents' blog and have come to love her. She reminds me so much of Raia - she is one month younger than Raia, she LOVES Elmo (and the entire Sesame Street gang) just like Raia does, I think they even kind of look a little alike, but it took me a few months to see it. Visit her blog by clicking on the button to learn more about her journey.
There is one blog that I read sometimes, it is by a mother with many children (biological and foster). She plays a game, I guess that's what it is, called the Glad Game. At the end of each post she makes a list of things she is glad about. I think I may start doing the same thing, because some days it is hard to see the good for all the bad in this world.
I am sorry that this post has been so long, I really just wanted to explain the buttons and tell you what was on my heart. I hope if nothing else, at least you will go sign the petition.

Now, for the Glad Game:
1.) I am glad that my daughter is healthy and happy.
2.) I am glad that I met Rita, and am able to call her a true friend.
3.) I am glad that I was able to meet Eli, and that he has made such an impact on my life (for the good).
4.) I am glad that I have such a great place to work where I can have Raia with me, and I get to meet all kinds of wonderful mommies and babies.
5.) I am glad that I have internet access.
6.) Last but not least, I am glad that Raia loves Elmo; without Elmo, this post would not have been possible!!

Thanks for checking in!

In loving memory of Eli, 8/2/2008-1/14/2009

Monday, June 1, 2009

Middle of the night...

I can't sleep. Nathan isn't here, and every little thing I hear has me on edge. I check Raia about every 5 minutes to make sure she is still breathing. It must just be the nervousness I'm feeling, I don't know. It could also be the quiet that fills the house, as Nathan is not here to fill it with his beastly snores. Never thought I'd miss that....
I am so proud of myself. I successfully got Raia and myself home in one piece from the airport in a MINI VAN!!! Nathan made sure to tell me how to navigate myself out of the airport, follow signs, drive slow, watch traffic, watch my speed, read the signs (again) and sure enough, it was easy as pie. I think I could have done it without all the preparation, but glad I got it anyway.
Nathan is doing fine so far in Minnesota. He went out to eat tonight with all the trainees, sounded like he was ready for the week ahead. Apparently, the company he works for is huge. I'm really proud of him (even though I don't tell him nearly enough) for working so hard and for always wanting to do better and move up in whatever job he has.
This past week I have done 2 cakes, one for Nathan's boss and one for my sweet sister-in-law.

This one was for Nathan's boss. Her friend's son was graduating. I'm not too happy with how uneven the paw prints were, but hey, I'm sure it was tasty!

This one was for my sister-in-law, who absolutely LOVES horses, and she also LOVES Nolan Ryan. Just my luck that I'd find a picture of Mr. Ryan riding a horse. I was able to combine her two favorites perfectly! I hope she was surprised and liked it!

Next weekend I have a pirate themed birthday cake to do, so stay tuned for more cake pics!
That's all I have for now, I think I will attempt sleep again. Thanks for checking in!