Monday, May 31, 2010

Adventures with the Cat or $500 Later

I have some wonderful pictures to post of the amazing shower my bridesmaid threw for me this weekend, but I am waiting to get some other photos from some of the other girls before I do so.

So for now you get our adventures with Fudgie the cat!

Adam has a cat named Fudgie. It is his cat by default. It was his mom's cat, but then she up and moved to Hawaii and that story is for another day. So Adam is the owner of Fudgie. He has been feeding her and playing with her for the last 4 years, but in her whole 7 years she has never really been cared for the way a cat is supposed to be cared for. And she has never visited a vet or had her shots.

The problem is that I am allergic to cats. But some cats are worse than others. Sometimes I am fine like when I go to Kristin's house. But when I visited sister-Erin's house in Morocco I was in terrible shape after 2 hours. So we decided to bring her to my house to see how I reacted to her. When I spend time with her at Adam's, it isn't really a good judge because there has been so much construction that there is a ton of dust in the air. But the problem with bringing her to my house was that she scratches quite a bit and I don't want my stuff scratched! So we researched online and found these "Soft Claws" (and no, we didn't get the bright pink ones...this time).

Last week sister-Erin came over to help trim her nails, because that also hasn't been done. Then yesterday morning we decided to put on the Soft Claws and it went really well. Before we did that we went to the Pet Store and got her a climbing/scratching post thing and also some toys and a new litter box (just a really cheap one). Then we brought her over to my house. She seemed to be shedding a TON yesterday. Imagine picking her up and your shirt immediately covered in a blanket of fur. Seriously. It was 4 times worse than the worst shedding you can imagine. So I was brushing and brushing her and each stroke of the brush took off a huge clump. It was getting everywhere and I didn't want that fur ALL over my house.

You can see the little plastic tips on her claws here. She totally let me put them on no problem!

So Adam ran up to the pet store again and got something called the "fur-inator" or something like that that is supposed to be really good for getting rid of loose hair and the undercoat. So we were using that and getting rid of a ton of hair, but it was still everywhere. Meanwhile we noticed white dandruff-like flakes on her. We googled it and of course came up with all kinds of scary and disgusting things it could be and I said, "She is NOT walking around my house if she has bugs on her". So then we locked her in the bathroom and headed up to the Pet Store again.

We talked to a lady there that recommended a moisturizing shampoo that we bought. I still was worried about bugs though and so we stopped at the Vet that is attached to the Pet Store. They had an appointment still open that day and since Fudgie had never been to the vet and had no shots, we decided this was as good time as any to take her.

So we headed home to look for the cat carrier in the barn (which we miraculously found immediately). We brought her to the Vet and she did super well! The vet checked her out and she looked really good. No bugs and the white stuff was indeed dandruff from dry skin. So she prescribed a special spray conditioner. The vet was worried about her size though, because she is tiny. She is only 5.7 pounds and a grown cat. So they wanted to do $215 worth of tests on top of her vaccines and special spray. I was leery about agreeing to it, but Adam pointed out that if it was something easy like her thyroid, we could fix the problem with medicine every month. So we did the tests.

Rinsing out the cat carrier

Fudgie sat in my lap on the way to the vet and then we put her in the carrier to take her inside.
Her first doctor visit!

She was so cute just sitting in her cage.

We brought her home and decided to give her the bath, which she handled like a champ! We washed her with the shampoo and then sprayed on the conditioner. She looked so adorable all wet. She was so good the whole time. In fact, we were starting to get a little worried about how calm she had been through everything all day.

All shampooed

And rinsed!

We made a home for her in my bathroom with a cheap litter box, her bed, and a mat with her food dishes. I want to buy pretty food dishes if we keep her, but for now this will do.

Her little set up

Later Sunday night we got a call from the Vet that the bloodwork came back and her Thyroid was fine, but her calcium was high. It could be just high calcium but it could be cancer. =( They want to do another calcium test and then if that is high then do ultrasounds and xrays. I think we will do the second calcium test, but we draw the line at xrays and ultrasounds. She is happy and living a good life now.

Monday she was doing great and back to her normal self. She is exploring my house and having a grand ole time. We are praying that everything is fine with her and she just continues to be the happy sweet cat she has always been. And that I am not too allergic to her!
Any pieces of cat-owner advice you can share would be greatly appreciated!

Saturday, May 29, 2010

My birthday, my test, and my job!

May 23rd was my 27th birthday! It came up so fast because of all of the wedding planing, house remodeling, and school finishing. for the past 5 years, my friend Bridget and I have celebrated our birthdays together. I almost said there wasn't time for birthdays this year, but Bridget told me that there is always time for birthdays. We went out to a local bar and invited our favorite people for a low key night of drinking, bags, and karaoke!

Unfortunately Adam wasn't available to attend the Biggest Bash of the Year Part 5 because his Bachelor Party ended up being scheduled for that night! I was still able to have fun celebrating without him!

Bridget and me

Amy came out for the night and spent the night at my house

Two of my future sisters-in-law (Heidi and Jessica)! I love these girls!

Late that night we started getting texts and calls from the boys. The Bachelor Party was going back to Adam's bro's (Tony and Jessica's) house and we met them back there. It was a super super late night. I felt really old because I am NEVER out that late!

Adam's bro Tony, Adam's friend Angelo, and Adam

The next day, after sleeping until 11:30, I spent the afternoon at my Mom and Dad's house and then Adam came over and we all went out to a yummy Italian meal.

Me and my sister-Erin!

Back at the house opening up fun presents
I spent the rest of the night with Erin and Amy studying for the last test I had to take for my teaching certificate....the dreaded History CLEP. I had been studying for weeks and the information I needed to know was so random and I was getting uber stressed out. Amy and Erin spent all night quizzing me and then Monday morning I went and took the test.
So I am all done with everything that needed to be done for that certificate.
Yesterday about 4:25 I got a call from HR and they were doing teacher recall and I was offered my current position back. I was shouting and dancing and jumping and calling and texting like crazy for about 20 minutes. I am so thrilled. This week just couldn't get any better!

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Sanding the Floors


This is a VERY photo heavy post. Very. Very.

But I am so excited.

So I had to do it.

We have been going back and forth for a while now about refinishing the floors ourselves or having someone do it. We like to DIY as much as possible to save $$, however, this project was quite daunting. Not to mention the fact that most people have told us, "Don't do it, you will ruin your floors" and "It is not worth trying yourself". Especially when we found out an orbital sander wouldn't cut it.

So a few weeks ago we made the decision to hire a crew. Partly because we were worried about the level of difficulty but mostly because of the time crunch. We want high quality work (hopefully we won't ever do this again!) but also need the floors done before we can do ANYTHING in the house. Adam found a great crew and I would give them rave reviews to anyone who is looking to refinish their floors. They are fast, efficient and do awesome work.

The first day they came in and repaired and completely sanded the entire upstairs. The second day, they stained the upstairs and sanded the downstairs. The third day the put the first coat of Poly on the upstairs and then finished the sanding on the downstairs.

They had to do a lot of repair work to some bad areas, the stairs, and they had a ton of putty-ing to do inbetween boards that had minute gaps between them. They did way more than we ever would have and it looks amazing!

In order to get 2,200 square feet of floors sanded, there can be nothing on the floors. There are only two little rooms in the house without wood floors (not counting the bathrooms) and EVERYTHING is shoved into those rooms and stacked precariously high. But the dining room table was causing a problem because it is really big and certainly wouldn't fit ANYWHERE. Late late the night before the sanders started, Adam and his bro were finishing up and they came up with this brilliant idea:

Yup! They clamped it to the built in bookshelves on the wall!
Also late that night Adam remembered that he had to move a vent in the master bedroom. It was originally located in the back wall, but we removed that wall to make more space in the room (the wall was part of the closet in the room next door). So that left the vent in the middle of the floor which just wouldn't do. So he moved it back by the wall that night.

New vent!
Here you can see the inside of 'The Door That Never Was"

Picking out stain colors was SO hard. We ended up choosing the top middle one. The sander had them all laid out on the floor. But then I wanted another option so we went to Menard's and got another choice. My parents came over and one of Adam's bros came over to voice an opinion!
The Bedroom

Here they are putting on the stain color. One guy mopped on large sections of the stain. Another cut in the edges with a brush. And another was on his knees wiping. They did the entire upstairs in 35 minutes!

Deciding that I love it!

The finished room!

Our beautiful stained floors!

The Third Bedroom

Before sanding

After they are sanded. Huge improvement!

The Second Bedroom

Before any sanding

After they were sanded

All stained!
The Hallway

After getting sanded

The view from the master bedroom

Finished hallway!

Adam was amazed by all of the equipment they used. He said it made him realize this was much better left to the professionals!
Thanks for taking the time to look at my million and two pictures. I ALWAYS have a touch of buyer's remorse so I am constantly second guessing the choice of color. Should we have gone with the more brown color? The lighter? Less red? Less dark? Is it perfect? I can't help it! But every time I do go over there, they just look beautiful. But I have to ask that if you see them in real life, please fawn over them, because it will make me feel much better!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Dresses, Veils, and Cake, Oh My!

On Thursday I spent the day with my sister doing all kinds of wedding related things. She has a lot of wedding catching up to do! Since we got in so late Wednesday night, I slept in Thursday and then went to work for a teacher appreciation luncheon. Then I headed over to Mom and Dad's to meet Erin.

First order of business:
Try on her bridesmaid dress-It fits! (wiping away the sweat on my brow in relief)
Try on my dress for her-I still love it!

Here is a little sneak peak of me in my dress! Adam doesn't read my blog so he will never know, but it is just the tiniest sneak peak anyway!

After that, we headed to a bridal salon to try on veils. Mom and I had gone the week before but decided it would be silly to pick a veil without Erin since she would be home so soon! Mom and I had gone to two places and then we headed back here with Erin in tow. The one I liked before, I absolutely loved that day! So we ended up getting a veil and a headpiece for me! I LOVE checking items off the "to do" list!

Me and Erin with my veil!

Our final wedding related task for the day was to go to our reception hotel and do another cake tasting. Yup, another. The hotel changed which bakery they are using, so we got another chance to eat cake! We could have stayed with the old one, but we figured tasting cake never hurts anyone! We got to try 3 cakes and 3 fillings and they were all yummy. We finalized our cake type and design and we are all good to go in the dessert area.
Even though, really....who eats cake at a wedding? Not me usually. I am too full from dinner. I usually pick out the filling (and man, are we going to have some yummy filling!!!!) and leave the rest. Adam loves cake though; he always eats it!
Me, Adam, Erin, and Mom

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Getting Together

Last week (I know, I am very late), my college girlfriends came over to hang out. I was very lucky because the four of us live 45-60 minutes apart from each other, but really, I am the best central location. So they all came to my house. I had to clean, but I didn't have to drive! We just got together to hang out and chat and see each other. I feel so lucky that 5 years out of college I feel that we are even closer than before. Especially considering the dating, breakups, marriages and babies!

Layla taking good care of her baby doll in Zander's car seat!

We had spaghetti for dinner so Miss Layla was in her after dinner spaghetti wear! I would ask her to say "cheese" and she would. And then promptly turn her head away!
Amanda, Katie, and I taking our turns holding little Zander. He was put in his pajamas for the ride home. He was so fun and smiley (not with his pacifier in his mouth of course)!

Friday, May 14, 2010

Scrapbook Idea

So you know how you get Christmas cards with adorable pictures on them of your family and friends? And you want to keep them because they are cute pictures? But you don't know what to do with them? So you stash them in random places around your house? Because you don't want to throw them out?

Well I do.

I was talking with Kristin recently about this and she gave me the best idea ever! She decided to make a scrapbook out of them. But not a scrapbook in the traditional sense of a ton of work and needing cute ideas and doo-dads and stickers. Just a scrapbook, paper, and tape. And the pictures of course.

I recently took her idea and went with it. I just used Christmas paper and plain colors that matched and taped the pictures on by year. It was SUPER fast and I am thrilled to have a place to keep all of these pictures to see family and friends change over the years. Especially now with all the babies in my life.

Here are two sets of pages from my Christmas scrapbook:

As you can see, I really did nothing fancy. I just taped them on (2 or 3 on a page depending what fit). It went so quickly and was low stress since I wasn't trying to do anything fancy.
I also decided to make another album for all the other fun cards I get: birth announcements, thank you cards, birthday party invitations, save the dates, photos of kids as they get older, etc.

Here are two sets of pages from that scrapbook (That I literally did in 20 minutes on Wednesday night while waiting to leave to pick up my sis from the airport).

I am so excited to have these! They will be so easy and inexpensive to keep up. But what a great keepsake and memory of all of these adorable pictures!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

My sister is home!!!!!!!!

Yesterday, May 12, at 10:00 at night, my sister Erin came home from 27 months in the Peace Corps!!

She was supposed to arrive at O'Hare from JFK at 10:00 at night. Then it was pushed to 10:10. When she arrived at JFK, she found that her flight to ORD had been cancelled!!!! She was devastated. But a wonderful Delta agent worked some magic, got her a quick (expensive) cab ride to LaGuardia, and got her on a flight to Midway. Apparently there was low visibility into ORD but not Midway??? Her new flight was supposed to arrive at 9:20, pushed back to 9:46, but we had to leave even earlier because Midway is a bit of a trek.

I haven't been to Midway in any adult memory, but it was pretty empty and we walked up the escalator to right where they come down the hallway. We were all very anxious to see her. The monitor said that her flight was "on time" at 9:20 even though it was 9:45 and there was no sign of them. Dad kept checking on his phone and about 10:00, it finally said "landed"!

Mom was very anxious and kept holding up the sign whenever any people came by!

A police officer was riding around on a segway IN the airport. I wanted one.

Mom and Dad waiting with the sign!

Me taking a picture by the sign that said we weren't supposed to be there. But other people were. And there were no officials anyway. But Dad said the picture was now evidence that we knew we weren't supposed to be there if we got caught! Oh well!

We saw her coming down the long hallway!!!
(The tall blonde in the middle)

The moment she realized we had a sign!

I got to hug her first because I was closer and then Mom!

And Dad

Heading out of the airport. There wasn't any luggage to pick up because she has no idea where it was. Cairo? JFK? LaGuardia? Then there was something about Atlanta??? This shall be interesting.

Back at the house Erin and Dad shared a glass of wine. It has been a while for her since it is illegal for Moroccans to drink!

On the phone with Mommom and Poppop in CA. It was OK to call them at 11:30 at night because it was only 9:30 in CA!
We stayed up until after 1:00 chatting and then decided it was time to get some sleep. I headed home and got to bed shortly before 2:00. Which is why I took the day off today! I am heading to work to our teacher appreciation luncheon and then back to Mom and Dad's to hang with Erin all day!
SHE IS HOME*!!!!!!!!!!
*Until August when she goes to grad school in NYC