Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Our First Wedding Anniversary started with a murder. As all good anniversaries do. We had to get up before the smart phone had struck 5 in order to be up in Boulder for the hot air balloon ride we had planned...and I am not a morning person. As we headed out the door (on time!) the cat rounded the corner out of the guest room with a giant (giant!) bird. This thing had to be at least a third of the size of the cat. As she headed up the stairs we realized she planned to murder this thing in our bedroom. Nothing says romance...

Thankfully, my knight in shining armor dealt with the bird murder and we were off. The good news is that it was all up  from there (did you catch the pun?).

I have a pretty serious fear of heights so there was always a possibility that I was going to spend the ride sitting in the bottom of the basket but that wasn't the case at all. The rise is so gradual that it feels really stable. 

 The views were quite pretty. At points we could see all the way to Denver. 

It wasn't intentional but, as Truman pointed out, the balloon ride was actually kind of a lovely metaphor for marriage. There are some ups and some downs. Some things you'd rather not deal with (in this case an annoying balloon captain named Frank) and some breathtaking moments.

Thanks to Lindsay for the awesome glasses! 

The balloon ride was only part of a really amazing weekend. We grabbed happy hour with friends, saw the musical American Idiot, went backpacking, walked around the Boulder Creek Festival, and finished it all off with a great dinner at a local hibachi place. It was the perfect way to to celebrate a really good year. I can't imagine life without my wonderful partner and I hope there are many more of these celebrations to come. 

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Katy's First Camping Trip

Our friend Jeremiah coordinates a hiking group and he's been asking us to join for a while. Well, we didn't have plans for Saturday night and when I saw that he had a "beginners" backpacking trip we decided we should check it out. It was Katy's first camping trip and, being that she's a pretty gentle soul, I thought the tent might make her nervous...but she did great! Even through the rain and thunder. We had so much fun on the trip that we signed up to go again in a couple weeks. 

Lost Creek Wilderness Area

She could be a dog model for puppy outdoor wear. Also, this jacket actually did keep her dry-ish. 



Taking selfies in the tent while we waited for an afternoon storm to pass. Katy is a licker.

Handy pouches that you can store wine in...without your husband having to carry glass for 2 miles. :)

 Isn't this the cutest thing you've ever seen!? Dog in a sleeping bag! We got an adorable sleeping bag (made for a child) at a thrift store and Katy loves it. She was so tired after her exciting day of hiking that she stayed in it almost all night. 

 The group. 

The rest of the campers decided to hike for a bit but we left after breakfast to walk back to the car. I was nervous about the skies opening up again and having to ride home with a wet dog. And yes, Olivia decided to stay home. She hates camping.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

That blog post that talks about being a grown up while using the word "selfie"

Like most Americans, I measure my success in accumulation of stuff. Ok, that's only sort of true. But furniture in particular does seem to be a measure of grown-up-ness. I remember the pride I felt when my first apartment had matching furniture. N matter that it was all from Ikea, that shit matched! 

Well the journey continues. I've had this sad little tv stand for years (the only reason it doesn't have one of those giant 1990s tvs on it is that we inherited this lovely little flat screen from Truman's grandfather when he passed away). When my roomie left Denver she took her sweet tv and tv stand with her so I aquired a cheapy from target or Craig's List or something. 

Anyhow, when we moved to our house in 2012 it felt silly to replace a perfectly good tv stand...and yet, our tv wall always made the house feel a bit like a dorm. 

So this week we finally got a new tv stand! This one is actual wood and originally from Pottery Barn (which, as far as I am concerned, it sort of the definition of adult furniture). It still came to us via Craig's List but I'm choosing to believe that the second hand acquisition is more a measure of our commitment to the environment than our lack of adulthood. In reality it just reflects that we're totally unwilling to pay $1,200 for something for our TV to sit on but the commitment to the environment thing sounds better. But I digress... isn't it pretty!?

As an added bonus there's wine storage in the bottom. Now our wine doesn't have to live in a cardboard box in the middle of our living room. Seriously, grown ups FTW. And also, yes, we have cases of wine delivered.

And there's room for the cute family selfie that we took last year. We're going to have to take an updated one with Katy in it at some point...but do you have any idea how hard it is to get a cat in a selfie with two dogs?

Movin' on up.

Saturday, May 10, 2014

The Pug Mix Liver Health Saga

If we're facebook friends then you know that Olivia's had some health issues lately and they've sort of consumed our life. Because, well, Olivia is kind of the center of my world most the time.

Gettin' our nap on, circa 2007

Anyhow, about 2 months ago we took Olivia in for a routine teeth cleaning. They did the pre-anesthesia blood work and her liver levels came back high. Our vet wanted to make sure her liver was ok before putting her under so he gave her some nutrition supplements and an antibiotic and then retested her blood two weeks later. Bad news: about $150 bucks later her liver levels got worse, not better.

Next step: ultrasound

The vet then suggested that we do an ultasound to take a look at her liver. The good news: no lumps or bumps on her liver, Olivia probably doesn't have cancer. The bad news: still no clue what's up with her liver, oh and there's a 2cm bump on her spleen. The vet recommends a liver biopsy and spleenectomy at an estimated cost of two thousand dollars. Keep in mind, at this point she's totally asymptomatic, if we hadn't taken her in for a teeth cleaning we would be none the wiser.

Next step: doggie internal medicine specialist

Yes, in her life my little pound puppy has now been to see a doggie neurologist (remember that time her back legs stopped working?) and a doggie internist (did I mention she's kind of the center of my world most the time?). Internal medicine specialist says the spleen thing is pretty small and she's not that worried. The liver issue is likely either (a) an infection or (b) hepatitis of the liver which is basically an autoimmune issue they would treat with steroids. She still recommends the biopsy which will be $3,500 if we have the board certified specialist do it. I ask if, instead of cutting open my 10 year old dog, we can just treat for the most likely things. The specialist says yes but decides to do a "quick" ultrasound to look at the liver one more time and we agree to run blood work one more time to get a new baseline before we start treatment. Groovy.

Two days later she calls back to say (1) that the ultrasound showed that her live is big enough to do a biopsy (there was some doubt, it turns out that small dogs have small livers), (2) her liver levels got inexplicably better but are still high, and (3) the mass in her spleen now has liquid in it.

The bad news: now with the liver levels are changing the vet doesn't feel good about just throwing drugs at the problem and would really like us to get a biopsy. Even more scary...spleen cancer can fucking kill your dog. Like soon. Quote from the vet, "Olivia isn't a breed that commonly gets spleen cancer but if it is spleen cancer it spreads really quickly. For example, if this was a breed that spleen cancer is common in like a lab, I would say your dog very likely has a cancer that could spread quickly and be fatal within a few months." Well that'll kinda freak a girl out. The specialist does say that a spleenectomy is a really common surgery in dogs and that I don't need a specialist to do it.

I call the original vet back to see about scheduling surgery. They can't do it for 2 weeks. I have vision of cancer spreading all over my dogs body.

We call a community clinic type vet a former coworker had used. They can do the surgery tomorrow. It'll be $700.

Olivia had to stay overnight at the vet's office after her surgery...I think Katy missed her. 

Next step: spleen removal and liver biopsy. 

So, last Thursday Olivia got her spleen taken out and her liver biopsied. Truman picked her up from Planned Pethood on Friday afternoon and (silly us) we didn't actually check out her incision until Friday night. Well it looked really scary. Like belly full of blood scary. We were a little freaked out that there was internal bleeding or something (I'll spare you the camera phone pictures). Dog Web MD is enlisted and I text pictures to a friend who trains vet techs. David and the internet say we're probably ok but to take her to the vet if her gums seem cold or it starts looks worse. It actually does look a little worse in the morning so we head back to the community clinic vet.

The vet says it's probably ok but gives us some clotting meds just in case. We spend the whole next weekend not leaving the house and watching TV from the floor so that the dog doesn't try to jump up to the couch.

Next step: recheck on Tuesday

Honestly, the fact that our dog was still alive 4 days after surgery was making me feel like we'd made it into the clear. If she was bleeding internally for 4 days she probably would have exhibited a symtom or two...or so I reasoned. The good news is that at our re-check on Tuesday the vet agreed, our girl was on the mend.

Next step: biopsy results

On Friday morning the vet finally left a message with biopsy results. It is some sort of autoimmune issues. Apparently this is something that can happen to dogs as they get older. We'll have to chat with the vet in more detail on Monday and work out a treatment plan. Her liver wont get better but it's likely that regular medication can slow the damage that's being done.

In the meantime she's got about 5 more days of rockin' the cone. While we're home we've decided to just put a t-shirt on her so that she can't lick the incision (which does seem to be healing nicely). We think that a t-shirt is probably more comfy than a plastic cone. And it has the added bonus of being adorable. Oh, and by the way, she never did get her teeth cleaned.

Friday, May 9, 2014

Inadvertently Creepy (aka just call me Kate)

It's no secret that princess Kate  the Duchess of Cambridge is kind of my fashion crush. I recently realized how much my life (inadvertently) from hers. And then I realized I might be a little bit of a creeper.

Of course, it started with the ring (which Truman picked out)

...then I realized our dog looks just like Lupo...

...then there was this dress which I wore to the NARAL Pro-Choice Colorado dinner. I ordered it on an online clearance site without even realizing it was a copy cat...

...and the only intentional one was this awesome fascinator I picked up for the Latinas First Foundation lunch (because, it you are going to go to a hat-themed lunch is should definitely be princess inspired). 

I have decided that instead of thinking I'm some sort of creepy stalker I will choose to believe that we simple share impeccable taste and a great sense of style.