Archive for the ‘Champ’ Category

My thankful list would be incomplete if I didn’t include this furry guy.

“Hi! Youz want to pets me?”

“Look at dis head! Iz perfect for petting!”

“What you mean I need a baff? I already licked mysewf FIVE times today! Iz clean.”

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Do you see this face?

It is one of a murderous beast. Last night, just before bed, I let the dog out as per our usual nightly routine. When I went to let him in, however, he brought with him a gift! For me! I opened the screen door and as he passed me, I heard something that sounded like bone against teeth. (That’s the only way to describe it. I’m sorry.) I looked down, just as dropped something round and fuzzy on the cold, tile floor. This something had eyes, and they were looking directly at me. It also had ears. Long rabbit ears, but noticeably missing was the rest of the body. It was just a head, mangled around the neck but otherwise in perfect condition. I stood there, shocked, as I’ve never seen this dog dismember anything other than stuffed animals. Then I remembered that I should scold him. So I yelled, “NO! Bad dog!”  He seemed unphased, and decided to go lay down in the other room. Hmm…okay. Now what? I looked at the head again, laying right  in the middle of the hallway, staring at me with cold, dead eyes filled with terror. I decided to run upstairs, and wait for my husband to get out of the shower so he could deal with it. Except the head was laying right in my path. I considered going out the back door, around to the front of the house but the front door was locked. That, and I was topless. (Although I should point out that had the door been unlocked, I would have done it. Modesty be damned.) I had no choice. I had to cross paths with the head. I took one more look so I could calculate my steps and then put my hand in front of my face to block the image as I went past it. Once on the other side, I did one of those wiggly “ew, get it off of me” dance moves for good measure. Once out of the shower, my husband disposed of the head. He’s a good man. I hadn’t thought of it before, but I’m now adding “disposes of rabbit heads” to the list of “reasons why I got married.” In fact, it just might rank in the top ten.

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I haven’t transferred the vacay photos to the ‘puter yet but a recap post will be coming soon, promise! But I couldn’t let April 7 go by without acknowledging two very special moments in our life.

The first is the day we closed on our first house exactly four years ago today – April 7, 2006. Ever since my relationship with the hubs got serious, we dreamed of buying a house. We lived in two different apartments before we just went for it. When we closed, it was just about 6 weeks before our wedding. We spent all of April cleaning, painting, moving, and buying things – like new appliances, furniture, lawn care equipment…it was an expensive month to be sure but one of the best. The day we closed, I remember getting the key from our agent and walking into our house. Then we walked back out so the hubs could carry me over the threshold. I was determined to sleep there the first night, so we brought an air mattress and our little TV over there and talked in great detail about our grand plans for decorating and furniture layout. That weekend we painted. And painted. And painted some more. I remember getting up on Sunday and my whole body ached from all the painting. I remember hubby’s allergies were completely out of control, worse than I’d ever seen them, because he’s allergic to pollen – specifically oak pollen – and we have a GIANT oak tree in our yard that had just started blooming its leaves. I remember ordering a lot of fast food or takeout too. And I remember frequent – maybe 5 times a day – trips to Home Depot.  Good thing we have one about 5 minutes from our house. We were such newbies at this whole home ownership thing but it was one of the most exciting moments of my life. I still love our house. This is a photo of the house from the listing site, taken in winter. The tree and landscaping has changed quite a bit since then, but this is basically what it looked like when we moved in.

The same day of the same year, we also celebrate our furbaby’s birthday. We didn’t adopt him until June, shortly after our honeymoon, but the rescue organization we adopted him from estimated his birthday to be around April 6. We decided they were probably a day off and made his birthday April 7.

How cute was this little guy?

The quality sucks because these were taken on my little crappy camera phone. Some of you have probably heard this story but our camera was stolen on our honeymoon. On the way BACK too, so all 80-something photos we took of our honeymoon? Gone. I was so upset and depressed over it that I refused to buy another camera for a long time, because just the idea of shopping for new camera made me even more depressed. This overlapped with “new puppy time” so I have only a couple of photos of our furbaby as a puppy. We didn’t buy a new camera until almost Labor Day and by that time, our puppy wasn’t much of a puppy anymore.

And here’s our baby now:

Happy 4th birthday buddy!

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If you haven’t heard about the “Christmas Tour of Homes 2009” you should check it out at The Nester. Basically, bloggers everywhere took photos of their homes all decked out for the season and posted links so you can browse to your heart’s delight at other people’s Christmas decor. It’s a little voyeuristic, but also fun.

And because I’ve been taking a lot of photos around the house lately, I figured what better time than now to share them with you AND join in on the fun of Christmas Tour of Homes. (This is called “two birds, one stone”.)

So without further ado, the photos!

Let’s start with the outside.

I have a thing for penguins and candy canes.

Here’s the other half. View from the driveway.

This is my living room. Note the $20 Walgreens tree we bought during our very first Christmas together, which happened to be just three short months after we started dating. I’ve been meaning to upgrade but with every place we’ve lived, every year I say, “in the next place, we’ll get a better tree.” So, in the next house, I’ll get a better tree. For now, I kind of like this one. What’s different this year is the faux mantle with our stockings. That mantle (okay, it’s a shelf) was originally installed about a month ago to hold our U-verse box, but the box was too wide and is now mounted ABOVE the flatscreen pictured here. But instead of taking the shelf down, I decided to keep it there and use it as a faux mantle since we don’t have a real fireplace.

Now let me show you a few of my favorite ornaments.

The first time I met my FIL, I went Xmas shopping with the family and he asked me what cartoons I watched growing up. I said Care Bears. Later that day, he gave me this ornament. I love that it has the year on it, so I’ll always remember when that happened.

These next few are a little blurry but this is Champ’s ornament. We got this from my mom for Champ’s first Christmas and one day, when I wasn’t paying attention, I heard him chewing on something. He was still just a puppy and when I went to see what it was he was gnawing on, I found his ornament! Out of all the ornaments to pull off the tree and he takes the one that looks like him. Silly dog.

Bride and groom snow-people given to me by my SIL.

I picked this one up this past Fall when we were in San Francisco. Seeing it makes me wish I would’ve thought to collect ornaments from all of the places we visit instead of shot glasses. I guess it’s something we’ll  just have to start now.

Now onto the rest of the decorations!

Wreaths and snowman above the couch. Not pictured: big red bows adorning the top two corners of both windows.

Teddy bear music box given to me by my grandparents a couple of Christmases ago.

My nativity. I’ve never had a nativity set before and truth be told, I’m not big on the traditional nativity sets. I like white ceramic faceless scenes. It creeps me out to be sitting there, watching TV, and feel like one of the three wise men is staring me down. So I bought this simple wood carving the day after Thanksgiving this year and I just love it. Plus, it doesn’t take up much room.

Well, that’s pretty much it for my Christmas decor. I have a few more things that I left packed away. I just didn’t feel like dragging everything out this year. Especially since we didn’t host a party or anything.

Here’s one last photo of my tree, this time with a few presents and my dog. Because he makes every picture better, just by being in it.

And yes, that IS a santa hat as my tree topper. Merry Christmas!

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On My Own

For the first time in a long time, I will be on my own this weekend. I have the entire weekend all to myself. Well, me and this little giant furball.


I’ve been mentally preparing myself for a weekend alone for quite some time now, and I’ve come up with a long list of things to keep me busy. I know I won’t get to all of them, but with the proper planning, some good music, and a couple of cans of sugar-free Redbull, I might get through half of them.

Some of things on my mental to-do list include:

  • Working on the bathroom. I have a concrete slab for a floor right now that needs leveling before we can lay the tile. This will be the most time consuming project.
  • Laundry. It never ends.
  • Cooking. I want to attempt to make my first pot roast.
  • Baking. I’m really digging these Fiber One muffins. I’ve made the apple cinnamon ones before and now want to try the blueberry muffins. (Edited to add: Okay, I couldn’t wait. I went ahead and made them after I wrote this post. They are delicious.)
  • Installing a shelf. Now that we have AT&T U-verse, we also have extra receiver boxes and since my living room TV is a mounted flat screen, I had to buy an extra shelf for the extra receiver. (Edited to add: Also tackled this after writing this post. The shelf looks good, but the 18 different cables sticking out of the back of the box adds a good 4 inches to the width of the box so therefore the shelf is too skinny. So I awkwardly stuck the box on top of the hanging flat screen and just put a couple of decorative items on the shelf instead. I doubt this arrangement will last long.)
  • New driver’s license. This may also require a stop by the bank to get my social security card out of the safety deposit box.
  • Shopping. I don’t necessarily NEED to go shopping, but I could use a new pair of brown boots and a few new work-appropriate clothing items. So much of my stuff is old, faded, and raggy-looking.
  • Deep cleaning. I’m talking shampooing the carpet, wiping down the baseboards, scrubbing the tub…major stuff.
  • Organizing. I’m still working on printing off all of our vacation pics from our entire relationship. I’m up to Feb. 2007. I also need to re-organize all the papers and files that have been piling up in our office. I can’t even see the office desk anymore.
  • Raking leaves. The hubz and I made a tiny dent in this last weekend, but I’m sort of a weirdo in that I actually ENJOY raking leaves and he, well, doesn’t. So we only did it for maybe an hour before we called it a night.
  • Power washing. Our brand new power washer ended up breaking a couple of months ago after about the third use and we couldn’t find the receipt to take it back, so we took it to a repair shop and for a whopping $25, the guy fixed it. But we haven’t tested it out or used it since. I probably won’t get to this because I don’t know how to do anything other than press the spray button. The whole putting gas in it, priming it, and starting it up like a lawnmower? That’s boy work. I can do it, but I’m afraid I might blow myself up, or just break the damn thing. Again.
  • The gym. (HA!) I haven’t been since the Monday before Halloween. I NEED to get back into a routine with this, but considering all of the other activities I want to do, I don’t know how likely this is to happen.
  • I also need to visit my grandparents and see if I can help them with anything around their house. Oh and spend time with my poor neglected dog. I’ve been leaving him outside during the day in hopes that the neighbor kids will come over and play with him after school (they sometimes do that. He’s a big hit with the kids.)

Wow, just looking at that list makes me want to take a nap.

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The Furbaby’s New Bed

Last weekend, while waiting for Champ to finish up at the groomer, we decided to splurge on our little buddy and invest in a new bed. We hemmed and hawed over various beds and even took turns kneeling down on our top choices to make sure we were getting only the best for our furbaby.

When we brought it home, he sniffed at it and was, for the most part, generally afraid of this large, fluffy monstrosity that had replaced his old, much loved bed. But eventually, he warmed up to it:


Something doesn’t look quite right, does it?  Why yes, his butt IS hanging completely off the bed. So we made some adjustments.


Ahh…much better. Even if his head does look a little squished, I assure you, he is comfortable. So comfortable in fact, that he had absolutely NO desire to get out of bed and do his morning bathroom ritual.

And if you’re wondering why he’s surrounded by all these doors, it’s because we make him sleep in the hallway. I know. I KNOW. But the dog hair in the bedroom was a little too much for my sensitive allergies.

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Champ’s surgery last Friday went fine. Sure it looks like it had a lobotomy but he was only out of it for the first day, when I found him staring at the bookshelf as if he were contemplating if he wanted to read Harry Potter or a John Grisham novel. Decisions, decisions. He’s been on antibiotics and anti-inflamatories but is otherwise pretty normal. Until Monday night when he kept shaking his head in 10 second intervals. I checked his ears and noticed one was red and had a foul smell to it, which is a sure sign of a bacterial/yeast infection. I’ve heard of antibiotics causing yeast infections in women, but not dogs. I guess it’s not entirely out of the realm of possibility. And as much as I hated to see him fidget, I also hated the constant shaking sound, so we made an appointment with the vet for the next day after work. Sure enough, ear infection. So not only does he have a deep gash across the top of his head, but he also has an earache which I only seem to make worse with the ear drops they gave me and the now-daily ear cleanings, which require squirting steroid-laced liquid into his ear and wiping it out with cotton balls. I’m not sure which he hates worse, ear cleanings or having his temperature taken, but I’d probably say ear cleanings.

And of course, I’ve been so worried about him that I find myself waking up in the middle of the night to check on him. I know he’s in pain even though he can’t really communicate with me, and it makes me scared to think of how stressed out I’ll be when we have a baby and he/she gets sick or has an earache. You just feel so…helpless. I hate it.

Know what else I hate? Neglecting to blog about cool stuff. Like the awesome time we had with Nora and Irish at the Dave Matthews Band concert a couple of weeks ago. (You can read her recap post and see a pic of us on her blog here). I always love seeing Dave live but the hubs had never been to one of his concerts, and was subsequently not a big fan. I think he could only name one or two songs, if that. And now? Big fan. He borrowed all of my DMB CDs so he could listen to them in the car. And, I caught him singing one of my favorite songs (Satellite) just yesterday.

Which reminds me of the greatest thing to happen in the last couple of weeks…My husband is home every single night! It sounds weird when I say it out loud like that, as if my husband is usually out every night traipsing around with hookers doing blow. I mean, I guess he could be, but that’s not what I meant. Since last September, he’s been out of town Monday – Friday with the exception of vacations and a few random Wednesday nights for work. He’s essentially a traveling salesman and he hates it. I haven’t talked about it much because I didn’t want people knowing that I was home alone most weeknights (correction: home alone with a mean ferocious dog and a high tech security system. Ahem.) But he’s home now and life is good. I think the traveling was hardest on him because he missed home so much, but his mood has improved significantly and he’s actually HAPPY when he gets home from work instead of moaning and groaning to me on the phone about how much his job sucks.  This is his second week home and he STILL grins from ear to ear each evening when he gets home from work. “I’m HOME! On a Tuesday!” he says. It’s cute. I missed him greatly and weekends were cherished, precious time together, but now things can return to normal.

The only downside to all of this is that I now have to make REAL dinners. Apparently popcorn is not considered a meal to my husband.

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Warning: If you’re eating, you may want to stop. Or bookmark this post for when you’re not eating.

I had a perfectly uneventful, non-stressful day at work and expected my evening to go just as smoothly. I was a little tired from yesterday’s workout so I decided not to try and attempt the gym again tonight. I spent my entire commute home thinking about how to spend the rest of my night. I decided on a simple night of a low-cal dinner, maybe some laundry, blogging, and turn-in early for a little extra sleep.

So when I walked through the door, the last thing I expected was to be knocked almost senseless by a cloud of dog shit fumes. Apparently the dog was struck with a bad case of diarrhea and lost control of his bowels not once, but twice on my hardwood floors. Oh and he also threw up on the carpet. And if that wasn’t bad enough on it’s own, he apparently did this fairly early in the day because it was starting to, uh, harden around the edges. And my only point in divulging that amount of detail is to convey just how long the smell had been permeating and tainting the air within my home. There wasn’t a room in my house – not even the basement – that contained breathable air. I opened the windows, lit all my candles, sprayed air freshener and went to work while trying not to pass out. I’m surprised at how well my gag-reflexes stayed in check. Nearly an hour, three pairs of plastic gloves, and a half a roll of paper towels later, I did all I could. But the smell…it lingered. I was starving for dinner but the thought of eating anything in that environment just repulsed me, so I left – with the windows down and the candles burning – to go to the grocery store and kill some time.

Just a tip: Don’t go to the grocery store hungry. Also, don’t go pissed off, or you will end up with roughly four bottles of wine in your cart. Four bottles of wine, and ice cream.

I saw one of my neighbors at the store but pretended not to see her. The last thing I wanted to do was make chit chat while trying to ignore the smell of dog crap that must be clinging to my nose hairs. After half an hour, I could still smell it. I sniffed my hair, wondering if the fumes were like that of cigarette smoke that tends to cling to every fiber it comes in contact with.

I came home thankful to find that 1) my house was still standing and hadn’t been broken into and 2) the smell was gone, replaced with a mixture of apple pie and vanilla (from my candles). It was a tad frigid, but who’s going to complain about that when just a couple of hours ago it was a sweltering sauna of dog shit?

The most frustrating part of all of this though wasn’t the mess itself. It was the fact that my husband wouldn’t answer his damn phone. Nothing is more aggravating to me than having something urgent to tell him and then not being able to get a hold of him. He’s notorious for never having his cell phone on him. Usually I just hang up and don’t even bother with leaving a message (because he never checks those either. He just calls back.) but tonight, I had just spent an hour cleaning up dog mess and another hour away from home, waiting for the stench to clear out so I could come home and fix dinner. I was hungry, tired, and a tad on the irritated side, so I left him a message. A message that basically said he shouldn’t even have a cell phone since he never uses it. Except with a lot more cursings. A message that was probably so vile that if I would’ve threw in a few more f-bombs, it may have rivaled one of Christian Bale’s recent outbursts. Good thing he doesn’t know how to save voice mails and post them to the Internet.

But life gets even funnier. Thinking the worst was over, I wasn’t about to let a little (okay, like 5 lbs) of dog shit ruin my night, and my diet, not matter how much I wanted to use my unfortunate luck as an excuse to say “fuck it” and eat Steak N Shake. I came home and microwaved a piece of frozen fish. The first bite was a little chewy, but still edible. The second bite however left me with a fish bone stuck in the roof of my mouth, jammed so far up there that I wondered how close it came to hitting my brain. I threw the rest, including the other filet in the box, immediately in the trash. (Gordman’s frozen blackened/Cajun fish fillets? You’re on my shit list.)

So popcorn and wine it is! Except I didn’t check the label of the popcorn and ended up making kettle corn instead of regular light butter popcorn. Can nothing just go my way today?!  I think I’ll just go to bed before I hurt myself falling up the stairs.

*And for those of you who are genuinely concerned about the health of my dog – all two of you – I assure you he is fine. We fed him some leftover steak fat from last night’s dinner – something we rarely do – and apparently it didn’t sit too well with him. As strange as it sounds, I think my dog is steak-intolerant. This is only the second time he has ever had steak in his life. The first time ended with him projectile pooping in our car on our way back from Memphis. Trust me, that story is just as bad as it sounds. At the time, I didn’t think it could possibly be the steak, but today’s incident proves it. Steak = projectile pooping. So no more steak for him.

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But I could do without the cold, wet nose, especially in the winter time.

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Introducing Champ

About a month after we got married, and two months after we had moved into our house (with a fenced-in yard!) we decided to expand our family.

We got a puppy.

 A couple weeks later, and he looked like this:

They grow so fast, don’t they? Like weeds. Like incredibly furry, smelly, slobbering weeds.

The funny thing about dogs is that they’re a lot like people. Champ, for example, is not a morning dog. When we’re up showering and getting dressed for the day, he just lies there. Annoyed, if anything, that we are disrupting his peaceful slumber. And like your typical teenager, it takes several attempts to get him out of bed. We practically have to force him outside to do his business. After a grunt or two and a few stretches, he saunters to the door, takes a few steps off the patio, and barely lifts his leg for a few seconds before turning right back around and going back to bed.

Evenings are a completely different situation. If I’m home first, he’ll greet me and then resume his position as door guardian.

Once Ryan gets home, he greets him and then immediately expects him to drop what he’s doing and take him to the park. Champ’s absolute favorite thing is going to the park and fetching baseball. In fact, we can’t even say the word “park” without him going berserk. After jumping up and down for a few seconds, he stands in front of his table, alternating between staring at his leash and ball and staring at you.

Exhibit A: Staring at you

Exhibit B: Staring at leash and ball

This part always amuses me because he can’t actually SEE the leash or the ball, but he knows that’s where we keep them.

The rest of the evening, he just follows us around, usually with a toy or bone in tow. Champ is very rough on toys, which means we have to replace them often. His toy-of-the-moment is this floppy teddy bear.

I had to snap this picture rather quickly, because once he noticed I was suddenly interested in HIS bear, it looked like this:

And this

Notice his eye, suspiciously watching me from the side.

If in the mornings, he’s like a teenager, then at bedtime, he’s like a two year old. That bear? Goes to bed with him every night. I forgot to snap a picture of him sleeping in bed with his bear, but it looks strangely similar to this one, with his first toy.

Goodnight little buddy!

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