Monday, March 26, 2007

Beautiful Surprise

I was delighted to come home and find this beautiful bouquet of roses waiting for me at my nieghbor's house. They were sent to me by Terri to congratulate me on my master's degree. I am just so touched by her generosity and thoughtfulness. If you haven't checked out Terri's blog before, you should. She is a ray of sunshine and a wonderful example of faith. Her blog is funny and real. It's one of my favorites.

Thank you, Terri!

Sunday, March 25, 2007


The caption of this is supposed to read, "Well, Mr. Osborne, it may not be kidney stones after all." Ha!

I've been bothered by a kidney stone all weekend. I think it may finally be on its way out, thank goodness! I've been guzzling water and cranberry juice like they're going out of style. I guess I should be grateful that the pain has been sporadic and that I've been able to manage it here at home. Nearly, three years ago I had my first experience with kidney stones, and I had to go to the ER. It was the worst day of my life. I have never been in that much pain before or since.

Consequently, it's been a quiet weekend. I've put out my Easter decor and done my chores. The doggies just got back from the beauty parlor and they look and smell wonderful. By the time I get home from work tomorrow, I'm sure they will have sullied themselves by napping in the dirt. Oh, well...

Saturday, March 24, 2007

First Free Weekend

So, here I am at the beginning of my first free weekend since I finished my program, and what are some of the exciting things will I be doing this weekend?

  • Taking the car to Jiffy Lube
  • Mailing a package
  • Taking the dogs to the groomers
  • Laundry
  • Grocery shopping

I can hardly contain the excitement I feel! ;-)

Hopefully, there will be time for a pedicure, a walk (or two), and some pleasure reading. I do wish I had time to work in my garden. I'd really like to get some colorful annuals to fill in the flower beds in the backyard, but that will probably have to wait for another couple of weeks. Next weekend I'll live it up a little more in San Francisco. That's something to look forward to.

Have a good one!

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Walking Shoes

Yep, I've put another six miles on my walking shoes this week so far. Buffy has been my companion and she's been a real trooper. The weather was perfect for our walk today too - not too hot or cold. It feels good to come home and know that I don't have any school-related responsibilities, and that going for a walk is what I should be doing.

Not much else going on right now. Just passing the time until I get some time off. Seven more working days until Spring Break. I can't wait! I'm going to spend a few days in San Francisco with friends. If you're in the Bay Area and would like to meet a few of us adoption bloggers for dim sum on Sunday, April 1st, email me. My email link is in my profile.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

A New Season

I know spring is still a few days away, but I feel like it has already begun. I probably feel this way because I just submitted the final paper required for my master's class! After I post this, I am going to throw away/put away all the materials that are no long necessary because I am done! It will be a joyful start at some spring cleaning I intend to do this month.

Now, I'm still waiting on two final grades, and confirmation of my degree, but today is a milestone for me. I set out to complete this program and I have!


Saturday, March 17, 2007

Happy St. Patrick's Day

Don't forget to wear green or the leprechauns might pinch you! I don't think I'll be seeing any leprechauns today, as it's not a school day. ;-) Even so, I'll partake in the wearing o' the green. There's a little Irish in me on my father's side. Maybe I'll download some Celtic music to listen to whilst I write me last two papers? Sounds like a fine idea.

Yesterday, I had my first photofacial. I had decided last summer that I would do this to combat the redness in my skin. I've never had a dermatologist look at my skin before, but I'm pretty certain that it's a form of rosecea. All the research I did about rosecea indicated that topical treatments weren't effective and that IPL technology was the best treatment. I'll tell you it's a bit startling because the light is SO BRIGHT - even with eye goggles on! But the discomfort was minimal. My face was pretty red initially, but aside from a few brown spots (expected), it's looking and feeling normal today. The technician said it would take about a week for me to see the results. I am so not into needles and surgery, but I think IPL and laser treatments are wonderful ways to treat the signs of aging in a mostly non-invasive way. So, I'm excited to see how this turns out.

I ordered a copy of iRemember in an attempt to begin digital scrapbooking in the near future. When I looked into digital scrapbooking software last year, there really wasn't anything easy-to-use (for dummies like me) out there designed for Macintosh computers. This product has since been released and I hope I'll be able to do some fun things with it.

Well, I think that's about it. I need to eat some breakfast and get to work on those assignments. I will also have the pleasure of going to the dentist today for a teeth cleaning. I love going to the dentist! Really, I do!

Have a good weekend, everybody!

Friday, March 16, 2007

Thanks, Secret Pal!

This month's theme for the July Fireflies Secret Pal exchange was DVDs. My secret pal sent me these wonderful selections: I Love You Like Crazy Cakes (love the book!) and baby einstein: My First Signs. I'm really excited about signing with Jillian. I've seen so many other babies out there in blogland who are signing so well. It seems like a great way to give them some tools to communicate before they can speak.

My SP also included a beautiful card with a sweet sentiment.

Thank you, Secret Pal!

Earlier this week, I received a new wish for Jillian. You can see it here.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Is It Spring Break Yet? (Updated)

No, it's not, but I wish it were!

I've just finished Conference Week at school and I'm wiped out. It's never coincided with the first week of Daylight Savings Time, and I think that made it especially draining for me. Anyway, I'm all done now and it's just two weeks until Spring Break, at which time I'll be heading up to San Francisco to visit my good friend Teresa, and meet up with wzgirl for dim sum, too. I can't wait! Hey, if you're in the Bay Area, and would like to join us for dim sum, email me. We're still working on the details, but it's going to be on April 1st. Might be in Alameda, or in Chinatown. We haven't figured it all out yet. Mary-Mia and Lisa, hope you can make it! :-)

This weekend I need to crank out the last two assignments for my final master's class. I'm on track for another 'A' and I would be delighted to finish the program with a 4.0 GPA. It's just thrilling to think that in a couple of days I will be finished and I will have more free time. In anticipation of my increased free time, I visited the public library yesterday afternoon and checked out three books :

I'm a sucker for historical fiction. Can't you tell?

Sunday, March 11, 2007

A Little Something New

After finishing my paper this afternoon, I wanted to wander around the mall for a while. I find that walking around the mall is wonderfully mind-numbing at times. I don't even have to buy anything for it to work, but I did...

That's the latest scent from Lolita Lempicka, simply called L de Lolita Lempicka. It's heavenly! I love her scents because they are so soft. I get many compliments on this one, too:

I also like how different her bottles are. They are little works of art, don't you think?

Daylight Savings

I'm usually thrilled when Daylight Savings begins. I love having more daylight at the end of the workday because I'm usually motivated to do more after work than I would if it were dark. However, I also like this time of the year without Daylight Savings because the sun comes up so early that it's easier for me to wake up and get going. So, I'm going to miss that.

Yesterday, I wrote another paper and submitted it online. Today I must write another and submit it before 9 pm - shouldn't be a problem. Then I'll be down to two more papers before this thing is a wrap. This time next week, I should be pending approval for my master's degree. Oh, yeah!

I watched Marie Antoinette last night. I love period pieces, so I'd been wanting to see this one. I really enjoyed it. It was different because the soundtrack was modern - sort of punk music. I think I even heard some Adam Ant in there! That takes me back to the eighties. Anyway, visually it was a beautiful movie. I liked Kirsten Dunst's performance, and I loved seeing Versailles again. I can't believe they were given permission to film inside of Versailles. If you haven't been to Versailles, you will feel like you have after you see this movie. The day I was at Versailles was one of the hottest days I can ever remember. I practically melted while I walked around the grounds, and once we got inside the rooms were crowded with tourists and the air was hot and stuffy. I don't know how they lived out there in the summer with no air conditioning! Anyway, if you haven't caught this one yet I recommend renting it.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Just for Fun

I found this over at Kathy's blog and decided to give it a try. I think it's a pretty fun idea.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

There's No Place Like Home

Here's the latest on Miss Buffy:

She came home last night. I was advised to put her on a boiled chicken and rice diet for several days. So, well past my bedtime, I prepared a whole chicken and a pot of rice for her. She was VERY HYPER when she got home, and it soon became apparent that she was insisting on being fed. She hadn't eaten in more than 24 hours and she wasn't going to settle down until I gave her something to eat. So, I relented and gave her a very ripe banana and some cooked rice.

After eating and answering the call of nature she settled down and slept until 5 am. At that point, I gave her a small serving of rice and the giblets from the chicken. She kept running from her new elevated dog dishes in the kitchen (thanks for the tip, Doris!), to see Taylor eat her kibble. You would think she'd be happy with the rice and chicken, but she's a kibble lover. I think her days of eating a lot of kibble are over, though. I think I'll have to incorporate canned food into her diet.

The other instructions were to keep her in a quiet and non-stressful environment. Well, Buffy tends to create her own noise and activity, so I decided to take the day off and supervise her closely. She is currently napping peacefully in the patio room. I have to get over to school to get the things I need to finish report cards later, and I think I'll take her with me. The kids have a minimum day on Wednesdays, so we'll wait until they go home to limit the stimulation. I just don't want her to leave my sight right now.


Update: I spoke with my neighbor a little while ago and he said he hasn't given them anything since the last time I asked him not to. I have my doubts, but there's nothing I can do about it.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Happy Birthday, Buffy!

Today is Buffy's birthday. She is four now. That's 28 in dog years. She is spending her birthday back in the hospital. Her symptoms returned last night, and so we had to make another late night drive to the emergency animal hospital.

I spoke with the veterinarian a while ago, and she is concerned that Buffy's bloat is caused by a physiological problem. She thinks Buffy's stomach may have some motility issues. That means that her stomach isn't compressing the kibble and moving it into the intestines like it should. The vet has been observing Buffy and seeing what she can do on her own before pumping her stomach again. They are doing another x-ray to see if she's made any progress since the last x-ray was taken around midnight last night. To determine if this is a motility issue, the doctor may want to do an ultrasound later.

The doctor is perplexed and concerned. I am, too. If, after she's released from the hospital, changes to Buffy's diet don't resolve this problem, I'm afraid of the consequences. I can't keep taking her to the hospital like this - it's too expensive.

Anyway, I'm sad and worried about my birthday girl.

March Referrals

America World is pleased to announce the receipt of 19 healthy female
referrals today! Families receiving referrals were logged into the
China Center of Adoption Affairs on October 19th and 24th of 2005
(groups 233 and 234). These families waited roughly 16 months from
log in date to referral. We also received referrals for 2 families
who were expedited due to Chinese heritage who were logged in on April
14th, 2006. The little girls are currently located in the Jiangxi and
Guangdong Provinces and range in age from 6 to 15 months. Please join
us in congratulating these families, and in praying for them as they
prepare to travel.

Doesn't look like this ride is speeding up at all, does it? Sigh...

As always, I'm looking forward to those referral pictures!

Monday, March 05, 2007

Buffy Update


Some gross details ahead...

I'm happy to report that Buffy was able to come home early yesterday evening. The veterinarian decided to induce vomiting, and that seemed to do the trick. However, she found bone shards in Buffy's vomit. She said that if Buffy hadn't had so much food backed up in her, that the bone shards may very well have punctured her intestines and made her septic. Well, I haven't given my dogs any bones. I'm very careful about what they can have to chew on anymore because I want to avoid situations like this one.

The only thing that makes sense is that my next-door-neighbor has continued to toss them bones, even though I have asked him on at least two occasions not to. The last time he sort of brushed me off, and that made me angry, but I figured he wouldn't do it again. I guess I was wrong.

So, I'm waiting for an opportunity to politely ask him if he gave them bones in the last few days, and if he says he has, I'm going to show him my $1100 veterinary bill! That's right folks - eleven hundred bucks! I'm also going to ask that he pay the bill, and tell him that I may have to consider taking this to small claims court if he doesn't take responsibility.

"J" isn't a bad neighbor. He's pretty quiet and he takes pretty good care of his place even though he doesn't own it. But he obviously doesn't respect my authority and responsibility for my dogs and that's what makes me dislike him. "J" needs to get the message loud and clear that he has no right to feed my dogs anything without my approval.


Sunday, March 04, 2007

Eight Months

Tomorrow it will be eight months since my LID. Time continues to pass quickly. I am grateful for that. Unfortunately, I think one of the side effects of the long wait for me is that I have become somewhat detached from the whole thing. When I began this process the wait was eight months long. Then it stretched to 12 months by the time I was DTC, and I was okay with that. But, as the wait continues to grow, it's hard to maintain that level of excitement and enthusiasm I once had. I don't feel angry or discouraged so much anymore, just disappointed. Like everyone else on this slow boat to China, I just wish I knew when we'd be arriving.

Last night started out great. I had dinner out with a friend I work with. We splurged big time on dinner at Walt's Wharf in Seal Beach - one of my all time favs! It's a zoo there on the weekend, even when you get there early. I was there by 5:40 and we still had to wait more than an hour for our table. We were lucky to find a spot at the bar and we shared some calamari and champagne. I love champagne! Once we were seated, I ordered these amazing scallops that were sauteed and dusted with black truffles. They melted in my mouth! I love seafood, even after my recent trauma with the crab cakes!

By the time I got home, I let the dogs in, gave them each a Milkbone and crawled into bed to watch TV for a bit. A couple hours later, Buffy got me up for the first time of the night. I thought she went out to "get busy" (that's my euphemism for a potty break), and I expected that she'd come back in and sleep until 4 or 5 am (she doesn't sleep in...). But, she got me up three more times, and each time she went out and drank lots and lots of water. I took a good look at her and her abdomen was swollen. I felt her belly and it was tight as a drum - bloat, again!

By 2:30 am, we were on our way to the emergency animal hospital fifteen miles from here. She's been admitted and they are medically treating her condition - no surgery, so far! I'm really perplexed as to how she got "backed up" this time. When she had this in November, she had consumed a large amount of rawhide. I don't give the dogs rawhide anymore, and they eat small quantities of food (1 c.) in the morning and evening. I do remember reading that once a dog has had bloat, that they are likely to have it again. I guess I'll be switching her over to the same easy to digest food that Taylor eats, and supplementing her diet with the glucosamine and chondroitin pills. The food she currently eats has the glucosamine and chondroitin in it for her knees - she's got expensive knees...

Let me tell you, this dog is a money pit! I love her to bits, but she has cost me a small fortune. Not including the food, grooming, dog bedding, and toys ($$), her medical bills in four years have been outrageous. She required knee surgery when she was ten months old ($$$$), and has been hospitalized twice for bloat now ($$$).

Oh, yeah, I've spent another small fortune on training ($$$) for her, as well. We've been to puppy kindergarten, had one (pricey) consult with a trainer over her sleeping issues (worthless), and finally I hired an expensive (but worth every penny) trainer from Los Angeles when she was a year-and-a-half old because she was so hard for me to deal with.

In spite of all that, I do think Buffy, more than any of the four dogs I've owned on my own, has prepared me in someways for motherhood. She has challenged me with her behavior, required financial sacrifices, denied me a full night's sleep in the last four years, and loved me unconditionally. Come to think of it, her birthday is on Tuesday! She'll be four.

Happy birthday, Buffy. Get well and come home soon.

Well, maybe you could stay one more night at the hospital so that Mommy can get some rest.


Thursday, March 01, 2007

In the Name of Beauty

Over the holidays, I spent a Nordstrom giftcard on some L@ncome products and received a sample of this with my purchase:

I really enjoyed the way it made my skin feel. It is designed to fight wrinkles and I'm not fighting too many wrinkles just yet (thank goodness!), but this product just made my skin feel so supple and hydrated. Well, I was hooked, and so when my sample was almost gone I was ready to purchase some more. However, at the L@ncome counter my eyes nearly bugged out of my head when the saleswoman told me how much it was, and I walked away. But, it kept calling to me and I broke down a couple weeks later and ordered some online.

But because it has no SPF, I had to buy this, too:

Well, I didn't have to, but I chose to. It's SPF 30, that's pretty serious!

In the past, I've always used moisturizers that I could purchase from the drugstore or Tarjay and I was fine with that. But now I've been spoiled and I don't think there's any going back! Ack!

And, today I just scheduled my first in a series of PhotoFacials! I'm hoping they will be successful in eliminating the redness and discoloration I've developed in the last few years. I may have few wrinkles, but I've got other issues with my skin.

So, what are your favorite beauty products. I want to hear about good deals and/or the things you're willing to splurge on, ladies!