It's the most wonderful time of the year.

Saturday, December 29, 2012

I Grew A Human

So I grew a human – Lady Baby DMX – and she is finally on the outside! She’s been on the outside for quite some time now, but I haven’t had much time to write about it. Now that she is on the outside, we are calling her Eleanor, or Elle for short, and I super like her a lot.

Elle was actually born on our fourth wedding anniversary (as well as on our friend Avery’s birthday…and our friend Hailey’s birthday…and our friend Delaney’s birthday)! What are the chances?? It seems there is some magnetic force field around November 1st in our group of friends. 

Growing a human was tough but getting the human out was re-damn-diculous. I won’t go through the whole “birth story” because I don’t think you care, but here are the highlights:
  • I was induced. Don’t ask why. I don’t know. The doctor offered and I said hells-to-the-yes. She was measuring a little big and I think that had something to do with it. Or maybe the doctor could just see it in my eyes. I was totally uncomfortable and ready to get the show on the road.
  • Once they started the Pitocin, it took right around 12 hours for her to make her appearance – two of those 12 hours were pushing. Pushing is hard work, yo.
  • I said yes to Morphine and I’m not ashamed of it.
  • Morphine doesn’t work for everyone. I seem to be one of those people.
  • I said yes to that epidural pretty quickly and I’m not ashamed of it.
  • Epidurals don’t help back labor.
  • I had back labor.
  • Back labor may or may not make you sob uncontrollably and insist that you can’t do it anymore. Christopher tried to be helpful and tell me I could do it, but when you are in that much pain and *maybe* sobbing uncontrollably, those kind words just seem ridiculous and may or may not just make you mad.
  • Christopher and I agreed that he would stand at waist level or behind the whole time. About 10-15 minutes into pushing he was checking everything out and watched for the duration. In fact, he stood so close that he got splashed with baby juice when she FINALLY came out. (Unless that’s TMI and gross to you. In which case – What baby juice??? I would never share such information. I don’t know what you are talking about.) (Also, that’s what happens when you go off plan!) If I wasn’t in so much pain I probably would have found it a little more funny.
  • Eleanor Ireland (Eleanor after Eleanor Roosevelt and Ireland because we liked the name) was born at 10:27pm, weighed 8lbs. 12oz., and was 20.5 inches long. It took me about five minutes to become completely smitten with her. 

Christopher and I have been spending some time wondering if Elle is cute. WE think she is cute…but she’s ours. Our parents think she’s cute (in fact, INSIST that she's cute), but they are biased as well - perhaps even more so than we are (after all, we are open to the theory that she might not be cute). Our friends *tell* us she is cute but nobody is going to tell us our baby isn’t cute…so how do we know?!?! Dudes, not all babies are cute. We all know it. And the parents of ugly babies still think their babies are cute. You know what I'm talking about. 

Things I have learned:
  • Not all Pampers are created equal.
  • Breastfeeding is also re-damn-diculous. I don’t know how animals in the wild survive. In fact, I may go so far as to say that I think the emotional and psychological damage it inflicts on the mother may be greater than the health benefit to the baby. Take that, Le Leche League.
  • Fisher Price thinks this is called the “Rock and Play” but it’s actually called “the best $65 the Nixons have ever spent.”
  • The baby startle reflex, also known as the moro reflex, is AWESOME!!!
  • I am oddly compelled to taste everything that she has to taste so…berry flavored gas drops are surprisingly pleasant, orange flavored Diflucan isn’t great but it’s okay, Gripe Water is offensive, pacifier wipes don’t really taste like anything – unless you taste the actual wipe and then it feels weird on your tongue.
  • Jaundice lights might be cute but they are a pain in the rear.

attended her first 5k on Thanksgiving and watched Daddy cross the finish line at the Turkey Strut in Winston.

picked out her first Christmas tree at the Farmer’s Market.

had a special beer brewed in her honor WITH special label.

met her great grandmother 

and of course her grandparents

and Aunt Bethany and Uncle Keith

has spent some quality time meeting the animals...

Buster Cat Nixon, 

Miss. Tuesday, 

and Leroy!

attended her first half marathon and watched Daddy cross the finish line at the Mistletoe Half Marathon in Winston.

got her first pair of Christmas pajamas.

opened her first Christmas presents. 

got dressed up for Christmas Eve Mass at St. Leo’s 

and P.S. had a cute ruffled bum. 

At Christmas dinner the other day, Uncle Keith asked, "So, uhm...I've been meaning to ask, but wasn't really sure how...uh - you have been taking REAL pictures of her as well, right? Not just Instagram pictures, right? I mean - you don't want her to grow up and ask, 'You had really nice, 8 mega-pixel cameras. Why does everything look like crap taken in the 70's?'" Hahaha! Yes - we are taking "real" pictures too but Instagram is FUN! 

Soooo...I'm sure I'm forgetting lots of stuff, but that stuff will just serve for more blog fodder later on. 

Welcome, Eleanor! We are so glad you are here! 

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

UPDATE: Jimmy John’s Hates Unborn Babies AND Beautiful, Exotic Animals; Loves Mitt Romney

Wow guys. Just when I thought the Jimmy John’s sitch couldn’t get any worse…it did. Damn it. After posting the original “Jimmy John’s Hates Unborn Babies” blog post, I decided to do a little research. (Okay, okay. I was looking for other articles or posts in which I could share my blog post.) Anyway. I came across some very disturbing pictures of ol’ Jimmy John.

You all know how I pink puffy heart animals – of all kinds – as long as they have less than eight legs. Correction: as long as they have less than seven legs (after all – a seven-legged animal is just a spider that barely got away). You might think that with my love of animals I would HATE hunting. This is not true at all! I mean – I will never hunt. Ever. I would die inside. But I don’t think any less of other people for hunting. (As long as they use the meat they hunt.) In fact…when I really start to think about it – I probably like hunting more than grocery shopping. I shop at Whole Foods so I can buy “happy dead animals.” They totally get me with their “animal wellness rating.” I will TOTALLY spend $2 more per pound on the same damn meat if the animal was one number happier before it died. Marketing scam, you say? I don’t know. Maybe. I have done some research on it and I think it could be legit and it makes me feel better about me – so let me have it.

Anyway – back to the whole hunting thing. If I could think of the best way for my meat to die before I eat it, it would be roaming around in its happy natural habitat and then BAM! They don’t even know what hit them before they become dinner. It’s total sadsies, but so is the 85/15 ground beef you just bought at the grocery store.

So there you have it. I’m cool with hunting. I kind of hate the pictures I have seen of people standing over/sitting on their big catch or grasping antlers with a huge smile on their face. That seems a little perverse. And I don’t want you to share the deconstruction process with me on facebook. PLEASE do not do that shit. That’s just gross. But other than that…? I’m cool with hunting…within reason.

So - while learning a bit more about Jimmy John’s I came across these pictures. O.M.G. They took my breath away. He killed not one, but two elephants, a beautiful jaguar and a massive bear. (Also, from these pictures, I see that he gets his sandwiches with extra mayo.) And that’s just what’s shown on this site. I didn’t even think it was legal to hunt elephants! Killing these beautiful, exotic animals did him no good. He can’t use that meat. Perhaps local villagers will use it?? I don’t know. Perhaps. Regardless, I find shelling out probably thousands of dollars for the “fun” of killing something so beautiful to be sick. And where’s the “sport” in killing an elephant? A five year old could do that. It’s a MASSIVE beast that can’t move all that fast (much like Jimmy John, himself). 

Unsure about elephants? You have GOT to check out this report from Chelsea Clinton that was just on NBC Nightly News: Giving a Second Chance to Orphaned Elephants (grab tissues for 1:20 when I'm preeeetty sure that baby elephant kisses his dead mother). 

And on to the next topic…I’m sliding a wee bit into the political, which I don’t like to do. Too much of a touchy subject, but I’m going to go light on it (much like Jimmy John should do with the mayo).

I also learned that Jimmy John is a huge Mitt Romney supporter. Do with that what you will. I know plenty of people that plan to vote for him and that is super fantastic! That’s what America is about – vote for the person you find to be the best candidate. I will say though - most of the people I know voting for Mitt Romney are doing so simply because of that – they find him to be the best candidate. That is to say, better than the other candidate. I honestly didn’t think there were that many people out there all, “Daaaaaaymn! That Mitt Romney is the BOMB!” But I guess that’s how Jimmy John feels because he supports him monetarily and sandwichly.

Jimmy John's provides sandwiches for Mitt Romney’s staff while they are on the campaign trail. Think about this – Mitt Romney’s wife has spent approximately 200 weeks of her life NOT being able to eat Jimmy John’s (you know – had Jimmy John’s been around when she was preggers). That’s almost two years. What do you think about that, Mitt Romney? 

Oh, for crying out loud! While trying to find out how many daughters-in-law Mitt Romney has (so I could guesstimate how many months between them they wouldn't be able to eat Jimmy John's) I came across these pictures of his son and daughter-in-law dressed as Todd and Sarah Palin. I just need to close the computer before it gets worse. 

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Turn That Frown Upside Down

So I looked through my past several blogs and I have pretty much been complaining about stuff. Sadsies. Why didn't any of you say anything? I swear I haven't been walking around for the past several months totally pissed off. Anyway - time for some HAPPY stuff! 

First, Lindsey sent me this awesome video the other day. 

Leroy totally wants a tortoise now. No. A sea turtle. To live in our pool... Yes, our pool! Oh, Christopher! 

And we can't forget about Lady Baby DMX! She's pretty darn cool, right? We haven't done too much to her room yet, but we did paint and put a crib together. 


And I've still been taking pictures for Project Pearl! Project Pearl has been doing fantastic! They were just voted #1 2012 Readers' Choice Nonprofit by the Winston Salem Journal AND adoptions have been up 30%! How neat is that?!? Here are some of my fave pictures that I have taken (not necessarily favorite animals, but favorite pictures...there are too many favorite animals!).

(joey actually lives with my friend and coworker, john, now!)

So there you go - a few more happy things. But if for some reason you liked the complaining, let me know. I'm sure I can think of something else that has annoyed me over the past week or two. ;-) 

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Jimmy John's Hates Unborn Babies

What’s that, you say? Who hates unborn babies, you say?? Jimmy John’s. #fact

You guys know how much I love JJ’s. I was distraught when they stopped allowing you to get peppers on the side. I tried to come up with a reasonable solution (though nobody ever took notice). I wrote a whole two part series comparing their delivery guy to Super Man and the follow up, trying to get Ouida to lift her JJ’s ban (PS – Ouida – ban away now, if you would like.) Anyway – my point is that I love them and I think they have the best sandwich on earth. Except that now I hate them and think they have the best sandwich on earth.

On my very first OB visit, when Lady Baby DMX was just a wee mouse-looking bean on the ultrasound, I said to the nurse, and then a few minutes later the doctor, “I LOVE Jimmy John’s, but I’m not supposed to eat lunch meat…right? Even though I love Jimmy John’s?” No unheated lunch meat.

Fast forward to this past Saturday when Christopher and I decided to stop at Jimmy John’s (the one on Hanes Mall Blvd.) on the way home from Durham. We were going to bring the sandwiches home and I had a plan. It was a plan that had been in the works for a while and I was actually going to act on it tonight! I was so excited. But it was foiled. When I got home I submitted the following complaint to JJ’s through their website:

I LOVE Jimmy John's. I eat there about twice a week, every week. I'm pregnant now and every pregnant person knows that you can't eat lunch meat for fear of possible listeria contamination. It's the first thing they tell you not to eat on the CDC website - (unless it is heated until steaming). Jimmy John's was literally one of my concerns at my first OB visit - "I can't eat lunch meat, but I LOVE Jimmy John's." My doctor said "just have them heat it up for you." Obviously my doctor knows nothing about Jimmy John's. It can't be freaky fast if people are taking time to toast sandwiches. 

Anyway - for the past six months I have been eating the Veggie with an occasional Tuna or BLT mixed in (as you're not really supposed to eat bacon either - nitrates, and I don't love Tuna). It's getting kind of old, especially since my favorite is the #2. 

Today we stopped at not my normal JJ's (normal is 4th street) and I thought - if they aren't busy, I'm going to go ahead and ask them if they can just make me a #2, but wrap the roast beef up separately so that I can heat the meat up when I get home. (Thinking about heating the whole sandwich - making HOT MAYO - makes me want to gag.) I walked in and there were two couples eating, nobody in line and nobody coming in behind me. I asked if they could keep the meat separate and they said no. I explained that I was pregnant and not supposed to eat lunchmeat unless it was heated first. A lovely blonde boy standing behind the cashier immediately piped up and said, "Let me go ask if we can do that." He went to the back, to I assume the manager, and came back and said they weren't allowed to. After some figuring between my husband, the blonde boy and myself, we settled on the roast beef with mayo packets - I heated up the sandwich when I got home, let it cool a little and then put the mayo on. It was good, but it would have been a ton better if the microwave hadn't made the lettuce limp and the tomatoes soggy on the bread. 

My point here is, SERIOUSLY??? Granted, while the chances are slim, eating lunch meat, as it is served in your restaurant, could kill my unborn baby. I am a totally loyal customer. I am obviously pregnant. I purposely waited to ask for this favor until I was showing so that they wouldn't think I was making up some strange story. It is pretty much unfathomable that a pregnant woman can go into your restaurant and explain a medical condition that prohibits her from eating your food, as it is - but still wants to buy it! - all she is asking for is to wrap a piece of the sandwich separately. And then is told no. That's not reasonable. 

I would love to tell you that I'm not going to eat at JJ's anymore, but that would be a lie. I love it too much. But I would really like for you, as a company, to reconsider some of these odd policies. This is not a strange condition that has been presented before you. Pregnancy is pretty darn common and I would think you would want to make your product accessible to as many people as possible. 

I was expecting a pretty quick response, but I had to submit the complaint four different ways before I heard something. This morning (five days later) I had an email from customer service saying they were sorry I had a bad experience and hoped I would give them another chance. AND THEN went on to tell me all the many reasons, in detail (including an entire paragraph each on #1 consistency, #2 speed, and #3 simplicity), why the manager was right for not giving me my meat on the side. She did say they “train our people to give the customer what they want the first time, then explain the menu for the next visit.” Really? So that’s the only place here that you have gone wrong, JJ’s? That he didn’t appease me once? She also noted that they would be sending a business coach over to that location to make sure that the manager’s approach is corrected. LAME! (I really wish I could copy her whole email here for you – it was ridiculous, but it had one of those stupid privacy notices at the bottom of it and that’s the last thing I need – Jimmy John’s contacting me to tell me take my blog post down AND that they hate Lady Baby DMX.)

Needing to have the last word, I wrote back (Please note she stated, under #3 simplicity, that it would be too much trouble to keep "appropriate containers" on hand to package ingredients separately and under #1 consistency she noted that it would confuse customers if one person took a sandwich back to their office with SPROUTS on the side of the sandwich - then the next person might also expect them on the side of the sandwich. Yeah. Okay, crazy lady. I'm really sure that would send people scratching their heads. They don't think anything about leaving off the tomatoes on Christopher's sandwich. So does that mean when Christopher takes his sandwich back to his office, his coworkers are confused when they order a sub and there are tomatoes on it? I think not.):

Hi Heather, 

Thank you for your response. So as I understand your email, you will be sending a business coach to that location to tell the manager that he should have appeased me once, while making it clear he wouldn't again? That seems like a bigger waste of your money than the $0.005 sheet of paper (ahem, I'm sorry - "appropriate container") it would have taken to wrap my roast beef separately. Please - save your paper money and your business coach money and just send him an email congratulating him on sticking to the "Consistency/Speed/Simplicity" motto.

Also amusing is your reference of sprouts - which you don't serve anymore after a salmonella incident. Jimmy John's dropped sprouts (a produce item with known increased salmonella risk), yet you are perfectly fine telling a pregnant person, essentially to eat it how it is or don't eat it at all. Who cares about listeria. Nice. 

How about training your owners and managers to have some compassion and use their best judgment in special circumstances? Thank goodness for the ADA - otherwise I'm sure you would be telling that blind person to tie their service dog up to the lamppost outside. It's cute - the sandwich makers might take time out of their sandwich making to look up at it, thus affecting the Speed component. And what if they got distracted by the dog and put the tomato on top of the meat instead of under it?? Now Speed AND Consistency are out the window! ACK!  

If you will now excuse me, I have a blog post to write. 


P.S. I will still eat Jimmy John's. It will be with disdain and contempt, but I will eat there. (The disdain and contempt will come ON THE SIDE because I can add those ingredients anywhere I want.)

And before any of you smarties out there tell me that JJ’s goes through their meat so quickly that it’s unlikely there would be a listeria contamination, let me mention – I get that. Totally get it, totally believe it. But how stupid and guilty would I feel if I we were wrong?? 

You know who loves the pregnant ladies? Firehouse Subs. They heat their meat until steaming. And everyone knows firemen save babies - not feed them listeria meat. PLUS! The Firehouse Subs here in Winston (on Stratford) has one of those fancy drink machines with PLENTY of caffeine free drink options! Everyone go show Firehouse Subs and their delicious steaming meat some love. (That’s what she said.) 

Friday, July 6, 2012

Lady Baby DMX, Good Morning America and Molly

Covering three topics here so settle in. First up, Lady Baby DMX. That’s the tiny person I am growing. We did find out that she’s a lady – I don’t know why anyone would want to be “surprised.” We were totally surprised when the ultrasound tech said, “It’s a girl!” And now I can buy dresses and pink things instead of overdosing on green and yellow.  

You may be wondering about the [nick]name. Well, it’s only from one of the best movies ever, Baby Mama. You can see the clip here:

A lot of stuff at work has been seriously making me go, “GRRRRRRR!” lately and I’m a little concerned that I might be passing the angry on to the baby. Thus, we got Baby DMX and then later, Lady Baby DMX. I think it's kind of catchy. 

Next up: Good Morning America. Ugh! It stinks! Well, what really stinks is the local morning programming. I used to look at people who watch Good Morning America (and quite frankly I still do) and think, “What is wrong with you??? How would you choose stinky CBS’s Good Morning America over the Today Show???” Well. Then the Today Show fired Ann Curry. I LOVE Ann Curry. So - much like when NBC gave Conan the boot, and much like when it came out what super slime Tiger Woods is, I put a ban on the Today Show. Christopher is really quite kind to [for the most part] abide by my Jay Leno and Tiger Woods bans. I thought I might have a little trouble with a Today Show ban, but I think he [in theory] supports the ban.

That fateful Thursday, I got online to figure out what channel CBS was so that I could turn our bedroom TV to Good Morning America in the morning. Then I realized Good Morning America is on ABC. Who knew? Then I figured out what channel ABC was. It’s been rough so far. ABC’s local programming is horrendous. It’s not even news. It’s a “business update” which resembles something a high school communications program would put together to proceed the Pledge of Allegiance each morning. I can barely tolerate it. I almost secretly, and without telling anyone, switched over to NBC this morning. But I didn’t. And I won’t…I don’t think.

Basically NBC has no soul and I hate that they have such fantastic primetime programming and legitimate morning news. I hate it in the same way I hate that Chic-fil-A doesn’t like gay people while at the same time having such fantastic chicken sandwiches and peach milkshakes. (I need to ban Chic-fil-A too. This has been a long-running dilemma for me. Christopher has already told me that he supports my individual ban, but could not participate himself due to the deliciousness. I get it.) Anyway, Ann Curry is awesometown. So what that the Today Show’s ratings dropped a little. I hardly think that was because of Ann Curry. Maybe it was because the Today Show is a little bit turning into Entertainment Tonight in the morning. A lot of people don’t like that.

While keeping a VERY close eye on this last week, I also learned that there have been a ton of rumors (which I somehow missed) that Matt Lauer and Natalie Morales had an affair a while ago…and that one of her kids might be Matt Lauer’s. ARE YOU KIDDING ME??? Ugh! Seriously? Why?

I unfollowed the Today Show, Matt Lauer, Savannah Guthrie and Natalie Morales on all my social media channels. Take that, Today Show. I still follow Al Roker. I like him a lot and I hope he doesn’t have stupid affairs with coworkers.

And finally, on to a sweeter, fluffier topic! Molly! A coworker of Christopher’s was going out of town and needed someone to watch her doggie, Molly. Christopher came home with her on Monday evening and she is precious! I went to the front door and there was a darling golden retriever sitting at the front door with a stuffed bunny in her mouth. She was so excited to meet new people and was so friendly.

Buster, Tuesday and Leroy were all on the stairs. Tuesday made herself scarce and fast. Buster puffed himself up real big and arched his back…but didn’t move. His eyes were HUGE. His eyes said “What the SHIT did you just DO?!?!?!” while also showing a sign of having just been betrayed on the deepest level. Leroy held his own.

Turns out that bunny you see in Molly’s mouth is actually a security bunny. Like a child has a security blanket, Molly has a security bunny. It’s kind of one of the sweetest things I have ever seen. She runs and gets it every time she leaves the house. She even takes it outside to pee. She squats and pees with a bunny in her mouth. Christopher tried to take her outside without it the other day and she was frantically trying to get to it. Once Christopher let go of her collar, she grabbed the bunny and was ready to go.

She LOVES attention much like Leroy, however, 75 pounds of attention needing is a lot different than five pounds of attention needing. I do super like her though! She does all these cute doggie things like laying her head on your lap when she wants to be pet and putting her paw up on you to remind you that she is there and nobody is scratching her noggin at the moment. Another super fun fact about Molly: she has a fantastic bladder! I love it! We leave the house and come back hours later and there are no puddles on the floor. What a novel idea. If only Leroy knew how easy it could be to stay out of his crate when we leave the house… 

Monday, June 4, 2012

Need an Emergency? We've Got One.

Geesh, guys. This is another really long blog post. I don't know why I continually assume you are that interested in my life, but I hate to tell a half-story...

We didn't have anything better to do this weekend (other than go to Arizona for a work conference followed by a mini-vacation and trip to the Grand Canyon) so we decided we would fit in as many "emergency" and after-hours calls and visits to medical establishments that we could. It was a blast. And by "blast," I mean "unfortunate weekend." 

Thursday evening my top teeth hurt terribly. It was so bad, it kept me up all night. As I had been having some seasonal allergy crap in my head earlier in the week, paired with the fact that the pain subsided if I either laid down or sat up I assumed it was sinus-related. I felt great Friday (aside from being dead tired). Obviously just the sinus thing right?

Friday teeth started to hurt again. Bad. What was worse, one particular tooth hurt x10 - one that they were "keeping an eye on" for a root canal. Crap. I called my dentist after hours. I felt a little bad about it, but I was getting ready to be clear across the country for an entire week! He said the sinus thing was a possibility and that he would call in a prescription for amoxicillin that I could bring with me and take if I thought it was getting worse. Fantastic. 

I didn't sleep Friday night and, by the time I got up Saturday morning, I was in so much pain that I knew anything that did not involve a root canal and ASAP wasn't an option. This was give-up-government-secrets bad. Christopher came into the kitchen as I was trying to make a saltwater mouthwash (This is a bullshit solution, by the way. It did nothing.) I said "I don't think we can go to Arizona. At least not tomorrow." He asked why. I looked at him like he had a hole in his head. After I stopped crying (mostly from the pain and a little from the fact that Arizona was not happening as scheduled) I called the dentist again. He said, "Well, with you going to Arizona tomorrow, our options are a little limited." I also looked at him like he had a hole in his head, but he couldn't see me because we were talking on the phone. I told him Arizona was not happening until my tooth was fixed. 

You would really think they would have better emergency services for something so painful it would have made Jack Bauer cry, but they didn't. I was going to have to wait until Monday. And my dentist wasn't sure which pain meds would be okay to prescribe since I am pregnant. (Oh - did I not tell you all that I am pregnant? I had planned some sort of a cute blog post around that, but oh well. This post made it first.) 

I decided to call my OB. Also after hours. They have an interesting process in which you call the answering service and they take a bunch of information to have a nurse call you. And then a nurse calls you to take a bunch more information for a secondary nurse to call you. Then the secondary nurse calls you to get some more information to call the doctor on call. Then they call the doctor on call. Then they call you back. And then you get vicodin! Yay! I feel a little bad about taking narcotics while pregnant, but again - Jack Bauer would have told terrorists where they could find the president in hiding. Additionally, it seems that vicodin is a waaaay better option than Advil. Weird, right? Anyway, it hurt all weekend, but the vicodin made it mostly tolerable. 

Saturday Leroy was acting weird. Sunday he was pathetic. He was completely restless, pacing, whimpering. It was terrible. To the emergency vet it is! They looked him over really well and said his anal glands were really full and needed to be expressed. No problem! They did that and sent him home with a little pain medicine. He was actually worse when he got home even though we gave him pain medicine. The medicine made him so tired that in the midst of his pacing, he would fall asleep standing up and face plant in the floor. We brought him back to the vet. They did blood work and x-rays and took his blood pressure (btw, it costs $68 to take a dog's blood pressure. Of everything we paid for, that seemed the most ridiculous. A set of two x-rays is $125, but blood pressure is $68? What?) Anyway - blood work came back great! The x-rays were a little suspect as his intestines were totally full. They kept him overnight, gave him fluids and some medicine to make his intestines contract and clear out. We even went to Walmart at 10pm to get Miralax for him (the vet recommended it, but they don't keep any there). 

At 8am this morning the vet said we could come pick him up! Yay! She thought he was doing much better and a second x-ray showed that his intestines looked much better. We got to the vet's office and they had changed their mind. He seemed to be in a lot of pain and they thought it was a spinal problem - something with a disc. They suggested an MRI. Geesh. After talking through all the options we decided to get the MRI. 

Then we went and got my root canal! My mom happened to be in Greensboro and came and waited in the waiting room which was really nice. The root canal was less than fun, but so much less bad than I thought it would be. I got to wear extra lead vests for the x-rays and got a different anesthetic that didn't have epinephrin in it and actually turned out to ROCK because it doesn't last as long and I felt my tongue again long before I normally would have. 

As as side note: when he put the topical anesthetic on my gum I had a flashback to 6th grade Lip Smackers. I had to ask, "Iahs dis anastheethic fravorthed??" He proudly declared, "Pina Colada!" with a big smile. I would not recommend the Pina Colada anesthetic. 

The root canal hurt a couple times but was mostly like getting a cavity filled - which is what everyone told me but I didn't believe them. The sucky thing is that they just put a temporary filling in and now I have to go back to my dentist to get the temporary filling drilled out and a permanent filling put in with a crown on it. The endodontist told me about the infection that was seeping out of my tooth as he drilled in. I immediately started panicking a little thinking "Eeeeew! Don't let it touch my tongue! Pleasedon'tletittouchmytongue!" Can you imagine what rotting tooth nerve infection mixed with Pina Colada anesthetic would taste like?!?!?!? Gross! 

I made it out okay, but he said I would continue to be sore for a few days because of the infection and because I couldn't take anything to reduce the swelling and inflammation (pregnant). So - flying to Arizona late for the conference really wasn't recommended. I'm bummed but I'm also a little glad that I will be able to keep an eye on Leroy. I really did want to see our cool blogger panel and the Grand Canyon though... 

The good news is that we talked to the vet and he said that Leroy's spine is perfect! Yay! They did a spinal tap and we won't have the results back from that until late tomorrow afternoon, but we brought him home this afternoon and he seems to be a lot better than Saturday and Sunday. I think he's still a little groggy from the anesthesia but he has eaten and he is sleeping well. He's gone outside a couple times and seems SO much more comfortable. Fingers crossed for a healthy puppy! Hopefully it was just his intestines, but after a spinal problem was brought up with "possible paralysis if not caught in time," we couldn't just leave it. Also, without the MRI, we were going to have to operate under the assumption it WAS spinal and keep him confined to his crate for two weeks with the exception of 4-5 potty breaks per day. Leroy would would have been devastated. 

(resting on the couch this afternoon with his naked back spot from the spinal tap)

And another side note: despite charging $68 for a blood pressure reading, we were really impressed with Carolina Veterinary Specialist! They are actually an emergency vet AND specialist center. They have neurology specialists (that Leroy saw for his spine) and ophthalmologists and a bunch of really nice, cool people. And outside of the $68 for a blood pressure reading, their prices seemed to be what I would expect at our regular vet. Additionally, our regular vet, Animal Ark works closely with them. Animal Ark basically rocks and if they recommend them, I think they are probably pretty good! I hope we don't have to see them again, but I would totally recommend them if you need them. 

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Jay Ryan, Intercontinental

When I was trapped in effing Chicago with no underwear several weeks ago, we stayed at the Intercontinental. When we checked into our rooms, I looked at the wall, picked up the phone and called Ouida.

Ginger: Do you have the same MOST FABULOUS PRINT IN THE WORLD on your wall that I have on my wall?

Ouida: I was just getting ready to call you and ask you the same thing...yellow bears?

Ginger: YES!!!

{see here}

I heart this print so hard. The signature on the bottom was rather vague and unfamiliar, "The Bird Machine" and "Chicago." I took a picture with my phone and googled the shit out of that, along with, "yellow bears red birds tree" when I got home. I finally found it! It turns out this is a print of a screen print by a fabulous artist named Jay Ryan. I found his store...print not for sale. I also learned that this piece was commissioned by the Intercontinental. Very crafty, Intercontinental! I found contact information for the artist's company and emailed them. They told me that it was a limited edition and sold out quickly (obviously - it's AWESOMETOWN) and my best bet was to keep an eye on eBay.

Fast forward to last week and what do I finally find on eBay? The Jay Ryan Intercontinental print! I was soooo excited! The seller didn't have a "buy now" option like almost every other Jay Ryan print offered, but I kept an eye on it and started bidding after someone else bid. I was totally outbid...several times...automatically, but some eBay coaching from B-Tim and Ouida calmed me down and we decided I should wait until the last minute to swoop in and snatch this print up. I set a reminder on my calendar and for the past five days I have been "snoozing" "Jay Ryan Intercontinental." Tonight was the night. I got in there and I just couldn't wait any longer...we were just short of two hours left, but I couldn't wait any longer - I had to submit another bid!!! I did and guess what...the seller blocked my bid! Uhm...? What?

I emailed him and was like, "Hi - I tried to bid on this and was blocked - blah, blah, blah." I figured once I emailed him and let him know I was a real person he would be like, "okay - no problem, access granted."

I got "sorry, I usually don't let bidders with zero feedback bid on my auctions. nothing personal but I find they bid on auctions just to bid them up and then they never pay." Asshole. I can't help it that I've never wanted used crap from eBay before (like your Pearl Jam concert t-shirs. Hey - guess what - 1999 called and...nah - too easy). And you know what else? Whatever your print sells for (you know - within reason), you could have gotten $3 more than that if you had let me bid. Grrrrr, maple-leaf-music, grrrrrrr.

Anyway - my point is this: if anyone sees this print for sale anywhere, let me know, yo! I want to buy it!

Monday, February 13, 2012

Best Commercial EVER

I don't eat at Chipolte much anymore. I used to like it, but then I got seriously sick after eating it once. However, after this commercial, I think I am going to give it a try again. I LOVE this commercial. This has been on YouTube for the past five months and I just saw it last night on TV. This totally should have been a Super Bowl commercial.

guess Willie Nelson is better than Coldplay? I mean, Willie Nelson is not better than Coldplay, but for this particular instance, perhaps he is? Sure. Let's go with that.}

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Anchovy Peanut Butter

“I knew, when I looked at the weather on Tuesday, that you wouldn’t make it home on Friday,” said Christopher.

While I was super glad to be home and see Christopher, I couldn’t help looking at him like he had a third eye. “I knew ONE YEAR AGO THIS WEEK, when Chauncey said, ‘We’ll do Sales Kickoff in Chicago next year,’ that I wouldn’t make it home on Friday,” I said.

Let’s fly 200 people into Chicago. In January. What could possibly go wrong there?

We had our annual Sales Kickoff this past week. It has always been in Winston Salem (home of chilly, but mild winters) but with the change of our company headquarters to Chicago, the executive team decided to have the meeting in Chicago. (See above paragraph.)

We got in on Monday and it was rainy and nasty. We went to get lunch and walked around a bit to see Marilyn. This is when I ruined my favorite pair of shoes. It was completely my fault. I only have so many cute shoes and approximately .5 pair of them is cold/wet weather appropriate (that’s not .5%, that’s one pair that is vaguely appropriate, but not really). Between the salt, the dirty rain, the snow, the pigeon shit and the homeless people urine we had to walk through (no, I’m not being melodramatic about a big city; we took a wrong turn and literally had to walk through a ton of pigeon poo and rivers of pee from the homeless people we passed on the way), my favorite pair of shoes – a super cute pair of ballet flats - were ruined.

(marilyn - her feet were filthy, much like mine)

We went out for a company dinner on Monday and I had pizza and a couple glasses of wine with some of my favorite people.

We were in meetings all day on Tuesday and then went out for another company dinner – Big Bowl.

We were in meetings all day on Wednesday and then a group of us went to dinner at RL Restaurant. It was pretty fantastic. I loved the atmosphere – neat artwork completely covering the walls and BOOKS where there was no artwork! Nice fireplaces and great food. We split some escargot and I got a salad with salmon and some dauphinoise potatoes…and wine. Everything was fantastic and I will definitely go back. After dinner we went to the Signature Room at the top of the John Hancock building for some drinks.

On Thursday I saw the news in the morning. Including the weather. Not looking so great for Friday’s flight, but remember – I knew this was going to happen one. year. ago. We were in training all day and we had planned to go ice-skating after our training. At the end of the training, there was lots of talk of snow and changing flights. With the weather advisory in place, United wasn’t charging fees to switch your flight. It sounded like a pretty good idea. I had my girl Eva’s first birthday on Saturday and didn’t want to miss that…and I really didn’t want to get stuck in Chicago over the weekend. Chicago is nice (during months April through September), but visiting Chicago for a weekend and getting stuck there for a weekend are two completely different things. Getting stuck in Turks & Caicos would suck. I went ahead and moved my flight up. I took the earliest flight that would still let me attend the majority of the meetings on Friday.

After our training, Ouida and I decided, last minute, to tag along with Ross and John over to Wrigley Stadium. We met in the lobby and while we were waiting for Ouida my phone rang. It was Christopher.

“Don’t get too freaked out, I don’t know the extent of it yet, but our house was broken in to.”

“What did they take??? NO! WHEREARETHEANIMALS???”

Christopher had Leroy. He had Buster. He couldn’t find Tuesday.

Christopher said he couldn’t tell, at first glance, what they had taken – he was waiting for the sheriff to arrive. I talked to him for about five minutes, mostly explaining the importance of finding Tuesday, before the sheriff got there and he had to go. I was pretty much freaking out and it was the only thing I could think about all night. I was thinking about Tuesday, what they might have done to Buster and Leroy and all the stuff that was in our house that they could have taken. It was OVER TWO HOURS before Christopher got back to me. They still hadn’t found Tuesday anywhere. For some reason, with all the awesome-ass shit we have in our house they only took a few things (that we can tell so far). But they went through absolutely everything. Everything. Drawers were hanging open and dumped out on our bed, things were moved, lights were on, TVs were on…but still there. Weird, right? If Christopher or I had even the most slightly of important jobs (like CIA spies), I would think they were looking for a top-secret flash drive.

By this time in Chicago, we had frozen our extremities off at Wrigley and been ice-skating (I didn’t actually skate – it was too cold and I wouldn’t have been able to concentrate on staying vertical). We went to eat at Harry Caray’s Steakhouse.

Back home Christopher, two sets of neighbors, Christopher’s parents, Christopher’s sister and brother-in-law and three police officers were searching everywhere imaginable for Tuesday. We have some pretty awesome neighbors. And I’m pleasantly surprised that the officers also looked.

I checked my phone in the middle of dinner and I had a voicemail from Christopher and a text from my dad saying that they found Miss. Tuesday! Phew! She had been in the house somewhere. Christopher said they looked absolutely everywhere and he can’t imagine where she was hiding, but she must have been pretty scared because she wouldn’t even come out for food (this cat lives for food). One minute she couldn't be found and the next (rather five+ hours later), Kathy saw her creeping across the living room.

I HATE that these ass holes were in our house and touched everything that we own. I HATE it. I HATE even more that they scared the shit out our animals. They are still on edge. When I came home I opened a package that came in the mail. Buster and Tuesday were in the kitchen and the sound of the tape pulling away from the box sent them running. When someone comes in the house now, Tuesday hides. Buster seems the least phased. I can’t help but think that he probably rubbed against their legs a couple times and then bitch slapped them, mid-thigh and ran.

Friday came and I was SO ready to get home! Thank God I switched my flight! We went to our meeting and slipped out a little early. The roads were getting a bit icky but we made it to the airport in amazing time! I realized that I really hate United Airlines. A lot. (I might actually write a separate blog post about them.) Five of the six of us got checked in. Lindsey and John went through our travel agency to rebook their flights (you will see as we get further into this story that that was their first mistake). For some reason, the person that rebooked their flights gave them some sort of weird joint/shared ticket…as in they shared a ticket and whoever checked in first got it. That is the most ridiculous thing I have ever heard. It sounds like some crap off of Amazing Race – whoever gets there firsts, gets the ticket. John checked in first. Lindsey was shit out of luck. More calls to the travel agency finally got her a ticket but she barely made it to the gate. We were all sitting on the plane, watching the door, waiting for her to board before they shut the door, but it never happened. Instead the pilot got on the intercom and announced that the weather had deteriorated quickly and we were not going to be able to take off until conditions improve. We got off the plane. We waited. Nothing. We went to Chilis and got drinks and lunch. Ouida even got a drink. Then our phones start blowing up. They were reboarding. Ouida got our bill paid in record time and we flew down the terminal and on the plane. The pilot tells us that they are going to de-ice the plane and then we will have to take off within five to ten minutes after the de-icing. Are you kidding me? In what scenario could that ever work? Then the flight attendant comes on to clarify: this doesn’t mean that we are actually leaving. This might not work. Oh? You don’t say? The pilot comes on again and says the de-icing isn’t working and they are waiting to hear from World-something-or-another to determine other methods. He then says, “I would be lying to you if I told you I knew what that means, so….” Yeah.

Then guess what happens? They cancel our flight. While we’re on the plane, I am on the phone trying to get in touch with United to rebook. I get a text from Lindsey that says we have hotel rooms at the Westin for the night (our travel agent booked them). Score. Then Lindsey comes down the aisle saying that our travel agency is rebooking our flights and we don’t have to worry about it. We got off the plane…without luggage. I’m sure you have heard that United breaks guitars, but they also kidnap luggage. They wouldn’t give us our luggage back. We are stuck in Chicago with no luggage. No toothpaste. No pajamas. No contact solution. No clean underwear. No medicine. No deodorant. Nothing. I have my computer bag and my purse. My house was just broken into - all I want to do is go home.

Again, flying 200 people to Chicago in January. Ouida likened it to Anchovy Peanut Butter. Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should.

We still hadn’t heard about our flights and start to get a little nervous so Lindsey starts to call the agency. Lindsey was pretty awesome making phone calls and figuring all this stuff out. Too bad the people she was talking to weren't as awesome. They tell us that the first available flight is 8:00pm the next night. No, that will not work. They give us a 1:00pm flight to Charlotte and a rental car.

We find the hotel shuttles and head to the Westin. I am the first to get up the counter. I tell them we have a block of 10 rooms booked. Name, Parsons. The girl at the desk tells me that we don’t arrive until tomorrow. “But we have arrived today. See? I’m standing right in front of you.” And guess what else? They are completely sold out! Of course they are. Lindsey calls the travel agency, but that doesn't result in much.

I found and booked another hotel and went there, checked in and hit up the little store at the hotel. I’m sure you will not be surprised to hear that a 3 ounce bottle of contact solution was $11.99. It doesn’t matter though – SRt will be picking that up for me.

There were a couple nice restaurants at the hotel so we picked one and got some dinner. There was a lovely gentleman at the table next to us that bought us our first round of drinks. (He may or may not have heard Ouida scoff at him for getting in the middle of our group at the hotel.) We ate and then went back to our rooms. I went to bed at about midnight, but then my phone rang at 3am. It was Ouida. For some reason John was up and checking flights and he saw that the 9am flight to Greensboro was half-open. Odd how our travel agency missed that one, right? We all switched our flights, with the exception of Ross. By the time he got through, they said it was booked. We all went to the airport at 5:30 am to get Ross on standby. We got there and he actually got a ticket. And then we waited. And then waited some more. 9am came and went. The planes spent the night in the hanger and they were working to get them out. Whateves. Someone didn't start early enough.

We finally took off around noon. About an hour into the fight, we hit the most violent turbulence I had felt since our trip to New York last year. In fact, while it lasted nowhere near as long as the NY flight, I think it may have been a bit more violent.

We finally arrived in Greensboro, with three hours of sleep, wearing dirty clothes and dirty underwear. Surprisingly our luggage was there waiting on us. When we landed we had an email from our CEO with the following quote: “Life is not about waiting for the storm to pass, but about learning how to dance in the rain.” Ah-hem. Not appreciated.

I have never been so glad to be home, but I couldn’t relax until I was actually in my house. I couldn’t help but expect that we were going to get in a car wreck on the way home (it probably would have been scheduled by our travel agency). It was that kind of trip.

During this whole ordeal, not once did my boss call or email to check on us – see if we were making it out okay (WE WERE NOT, thank you very much).

Good things about this trip:

  • I made new friends!
  • I got to spend some quality time with people I don’t hang out with enough.
  • I was reminded what awesome neighbors we have.
  • Getting HOME, seeing my Boo and snuggling with my maminals.

Regrets for the trip:

  • I regret that the hotel store didn’t sell underwear. I would have loved to turn in an expense report to my boss for “panties" (and also, I would have loved to have had clean underwear).
  • I regret that we relied on our travel agency to help us. That was stupid. We should have known better.
  • I regret that I didn’t buy better, weather appropriate shoes before I took this trip.