Saturday, May 14, 2011


We lost our dog Haley very unexpectedly on Thursday May 12. Tuesday night, when Paul went to put her in her kennel for bed, she was drooling and anxious, not wanting to go in her kennel. While it isn't normal, it also wasn't unheard of. She would sometimes get worked up about something outside and not want to come in.
Wednesday morning, she was standing up in her kennel, which is unusual, she normally would be lying down and not get up until we let her out. When Paul let her out, she was drenched in drool and wandered around in circles as if she was confused or something. I went over to pet her and she jumped, as if she was shocked that I went to touch her. We left the back door open and she eventually decided to go outside and was pacing the yard and acting confused.
Paul made an appointment and took her into the vet at 11:30. Her temperature was high, 106 and they wanted to keep her until the evening. However, they also said that she might need to be hospitalized over night and if that was needed, we would have to take her to another facility as they aren't equipped to handle overnighters. We decided that we would just go ahead and take her to a facility that could take her overnight as she didn't seem to be getting any better.
After Paul got her to the animal hospital and they took her back, she had a seizure. They gave her antiseizure and valium and had to stay overnight. We called to check on her and they said she was sleeping and hadn't had any more seizures. We were concerned, but cautiously optimistic.
Thursday morning, Paul went to pick her up at 8:00 as scheduled. She had been up and walking around and the vet said all of her vitals were good, all of the initial bloodwork tests came back good. He prescribed her antiseizure meds and was ready to send her home. Then she went to sleep and didn't want to wake up.
They decided to keep her for a couple of more hours and Paul went to run an errand. Within 20 minutes, the vet called and told him he needed to come back. He called me at work and I arranged for a sub and left. Haley was gone before either of us could make it back. Fortunately, Paul was able to spend time with her that morning, but we never expected we would have to say goodbye so soon.
They don't know what happened. They vet thinks Valley Fever spores may have gotten into her brain as the problem was obviously neurological, but we are still waiting for those test results. He said if those tests are negative, it is probably a brain tumor. I think maybe she was bitten by a black widow as we have them all over. She also had no symptoms of anything until Tuesday night and they came on so suddenly. Paul also said she was nipping at an area on her side. I don't think I've ever heard a cough from her, she was the healthiest dog ever!

Needless to say, we are heartbroken. We adopted Haley from the Arizona Animal Welfare League in the Spring of 2004. We wanted another dog and knew that we wanted to rescue a dog from a shelter, but we also knew that we wanted to stay away from breeds that were known for aggression. The shelters are overrun with pit bulls. Many of them seem like very nice dogs, but we couldn't risk it with the kids. We finally found the skinny black and white pointer that seemed perfect. We had to run home to get Princess to do a doggy introduction, but when we got back, another family was meeting her yard. We stuck around and the other family wasn't able to take her because they had a cat (Haley was not a fan of the felines!). We were able to get the 32 pound black and white pointer.
AAWL had rescued her from the pound where she was on the euthanasia list because she was deemed "reactive" in their temperment tests. Nothing could be further from the truth. Haley was great! She loved kids more than just about anything and was a wonderful companion for the boys. She never showed any aggression whatsoever towards us. She did get into an occassional tiff with Princess when Princess would try to eat her food, but that was it. She loved to be outside and would patrol the yard when we were out to make sure it was safe. She was a counter surfer and would quickly grab any food within reach whenever she could, but she very rarely did anything wrong.

We loved Haley very much and I'm certain we will never find another dog like her. While I'm glad she didn't suffer for too long, her time with us was much shorter than we thought it would be. We love you, Haley girl!

Monday, March 7, 2011

Loose tooth!

Hunter discovered his first loose tooth today!

Monday, June 28, 2010


It's been a long time since I've posted and I've wanted to update on family life, but just don't have the time right now. Soon, I promise.

I came across this poem in another blog and want to share it:

To the Child in My Heart
C. Parrot

O precious, tiny, sweet little one
You will always be to me
So perfect, pure and innocent
Just as you were meant to be

We dreamed of you and of your life
And all that it would be
We waited and longed for you to come
And join our family

We never had the chance to play
To laugh, to rock, to wiggle
We long to hold you, touch you now
And listen to you giggle

I’ll always be your mother
He’ll always be your dad
You will always be our child
The child that we had

But now you’re gone…but yet you’re here
We sense you everywhere
You are our sorrow and our joy
There’s love in every tear

Just know our love goes deep and strong
We’ll forget you never
The child we had but never had
And yet will have forever.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Sweet 16

It's hard to believe that it's been 16 years. Our precious little angel would be 16 today. We should be celebrating, having a sweet 16 party. Instead we continued our annual tradition of visiting our daughter at the cemetery on her birthday. We usually bring a stuffed toy, but we don't leave them anymore because the cemetery workers remove them. So we bring them home. We have a balloon release.
We try to make the best of it, but the best is so bad that "the best of it" is really an oxmoron. The pain is still so fresh. The memories can be so vivid that it's almost like I'm reliving those moments. The boys miss and love their sister so much. We all love and miss Jasmine so much.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Jedi Training Academy

Dakota and Hunter are both huge Star Wars fans, so seeing the Jedi Training Academy was at the top of our list of things to do this year at Disneyland. Dakota did it two years ago, but Hunter hasn't seen it since he was young. The first time we tried, it got cancelled due to technical difficulties. This might seem bad, but to make up for it, they had the Jedis, Darth Vader and Darth Maul come out for pictures and autographs, which NEVER happens. We were lucky enough to have get in line quickly and meet all of the characters. Fortunately, the Disney Photo Pass photographers were on hand and took pictures, because ours were stolen by the previously mentioned craphead(s). Hunter was a bit nervous, especially with Darth Maul, but we managed to get him in the pictures.

We stuck around for the next session. No technical difficulties this time and both Dakota and Hunter were selected to participate. Of course, we had to tell the Jedi Master that Hunter was four, but it was just a tiny fib. Both of them battled Darth Vader, which is good, because I'm not sure Hunter could have handled Darth Maul! They were both brave Jedis and did a great job! They had a build your own lightsaber station at the shop outside of the Star Tours ride. I did have great pictures of them building their own Darth Maul (double sided) light sabers, but, well you already know... We now have something like 10 lightsabers at our house! I am so proud of my boys going up in front of all of those people and battling those scary guys!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Sometimes Bribery is the Best Option (or Potty Talk, Part Deux)

Disclaimer: This picture is a recreation of the original that was lost when a big crap-head stole our stuff at Disneyland (the story was featured in a previous post).
We had an extra long Disneyland vacation this year. We bought annual passes and wanted to make sure that we were there long enough to get our moneys worth in case we couldn't make it back before the passes expire. We were originally going to stay for eight days, but due to the above mentioned crap-head(s), we stayed an additional day to try to recreate some of the photographs from the previous days.
This particular pose came about when we were in A Bug's Land at California Adventure, but was recreated in the line for Pirates of the Carribean. Hunter spied a cotton candy cart and decided he wanted some. Paul decided to make a deal with him. If he would poop, he could have cotton candy. Now, Hunter is going through the Freudian anal retentive stage of development, which also means that he is on a mission to never ever poop again. Not in Pull-Ups, not on a potty, so getting him to do it at all is a challenge. He has had his share of what he calls "butt medicine" followed by us forcing him to sit on the potty until it happens.
On this particular day, as soon as Paul told Hunter what he had to do to get the cotton candy, he was all for it. Hunter ran over to me and told me that he was going to get cotton candy when he pooped on the potty and proceeded to demonstrate for me how he would accomplish this miraculous feat! That would be the pose he is striking in the picture, how he poops on the potty. Paul then took Hunter into the restroom. Hunter came out telling me he "pooped a giant water bottle!" Apparently, that is what it looked like.
The bribery has continued since and I am amazed at how easily Hunter is able to perform for whatever it is that he wants. He pooped "two soccer balls" for a pirate sword, and another "giant water bottle" for something else. Hopefully, we won't be bribing him when he is a teenager, but for the time being, it works!

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Bad Blogger

I know I have been a bad blogger lately. I am slapping myself on the hand as I write this. I have been busy with school (my education that is), school (this reference is to my job) and vacation.

We had a great vacation in Disneyland until what was supposed to be our last day. We went on Splash Mountain at about 8:15 that evening. When we were almost on the ride, Paul asked me if I had the cameras, which in five years of going to Disneyland we have never forgotten to take with us. I did not. Neither did he. I tried to reassure myself that everything would be okay. The camera bag was covered up with our jackets and in FIVE YEARS of going to Disneyland, no one had ever messed with our stroller.

We got off the ride and the stroller was gone. After meeting with security and looking everywhere, they finally located our stroller in the restrooms by the New Orleans train station. Our cameras were gone. The souveniers we had just bought were gone. Even our soft sided cooler with water and our bag of snacks were gone! Our jackets and clothing were all that were left. They even took Hunter's pirate hook that Paul bought for him for $3 at Disneyland (which means that it would have cost about 75 cents in real life) and Dakota's $6 Nightmare Before Christmas back scratcher (approximately $1.75 in real life). Those weren't even in bags, they actually had to take them out of the seat of the stroller and put them in the bags! A few minutes later a security guard recovered our food and cooler at the restaurant around the corner.

We filed claims with lost and found and a police report. We learned that we were the third reported victims that evening, and another report was coming in as we were with the detective. Apparently a group of crapheads (we've called them much worse, but I'm trying to keep the blog family friendly) were going around the park and grabbing strollers, rolling them into a restroom and taking as much as they could. Of course, the ONE time I forgot the cameras in FIVE YEARS of going to Disneyland!

Two people were detained and there car was searched, but they were never able to turn up our cameras. They had the video and picture from the whole vacation as well as from when Dakota won the student of the quarter award at school. Fortunately, we had purchased annual passes, so we decided to stay an extra day to find out if our cameras turned up and to recreate some of our memories (we ran to Target and got a new camera). Unfortunately, we couldn't recreate when both Dakota and Hunter were picked to do the Jedi Training Academy and battled Darth Vader, or our trip to the Aquarium of the Pacific, but we did do lunch at Ariel's Grotto and got to meet 5 princesses and the boys learned how to bow and do a dance (it was really fun, even with boys).

We decided that we would purchase a CD of all of our Photo Pass pictures that they took so we could have some pictures of nine days at Disneyland. Paul explained to the clerk what had happened and wanted to know if we could get some photos replaced that we had purchased with vouchers, and were stolen with our other things. She made a phone call and Disney was kind enough to comp us the photo CD (which cost $60).

So, we did have a great vacation until our stuff was stolen. The lesson here is: don't forget to bring the camera on the ride. You can bet we won't forget again!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Best Friends

I've been slacking in the blogging department recently, several visits from out-of-town family, work obligations and starting a new class (2nd to the last one!) have kept me busy.

Tonight Hunter came into the family room and out of the blue said "Kota is my best friend". Kota is of course Dakota. It was so sweet I almost cried. He really did this picture justice! They fight a lot, as most siblings do, and have been extra grouchy as of late, but they really do love each other. Dakota also likes to read to Hunter and tonight he willing gave up his seat at the dinner table to prevent a tantrum from Hunter. Not that he would have ended up banished to another room or something. Hunter has just decided that Dakota's spot is the best spot at our table. They are great kids!

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Ordinary Girl

I just finished my last assignment for my Research Design class, so I finally have some time to blog! I'm so relieved. It was a tough class and I only have two more to go.
A couple of weeks ago, on the week-end, Paul and I were awakened by Dakota singing very loudly. He loves to listen to his MP3 player and sing along to the songs. Only on this morning he wasn't just singing, he was serenading the dogs. He ran through a couple of Abba tunes and then I heard him say "Here's one you'll really like, Princess. It's about a girl like you", and he began singing Ordinary Girl by Greenday to her. It was just too cute!

Sunday, January 18, 2009

We Rock!

I think Paul has been secretly wanting to get Guitar Hero for himself, but won't admit it. He tried to convince Dakota to buy it with his Christmas money a couple of days after Christmas, but Dakota had never played it and wouldn't do it. Then we went to Amie and Bryan's for Steve's birthday. They got Guitar Hero for Christmas and our kids got a taste of the game and loved it.
Fast forward to today. Paul cashed in some credit card points and earned a Best Buy gift card, so today while I was making dinner he slipped out to Best Buy without the kids noticing. He came back with Guitar Hero World Tour, the full band edition! Dakota was on the couch playing Hunter's Leapster. Paul brought it in and sat it on the floor about 10 feet away from Dakota. He didn't even look up. It sat there for a good 15 minutes before Dakota finally noticed it. He started screaming, he was soooo excited!
So tonight we have been honing our rock star skills. We started out with some Beastie Boys, No Sleep Til Brooklyn. It didn't go well. We were booed off the stage. That was followed by REM, The One I Love, we went a bit longer before we got booed off. It's really a blast! Dakota sang the Linkin' Park song from Transformers, then Hunter sang the same song. Dakota did One Way or Another, by Blondie. Of course now they don't want to go to bed! When we finally got through a song, the game puts the words "You Rock" on the screen. Paul turned to Hunter and said, "You Rock!", and Hunter said, "I Rock!". Too cute!
The last picture is the first song. Hunter contributed by biting his toenails instead of singing. Lovely, huh? He did get into it after he took care of the toenail. Apparently we need to trim his toenails more frequently! The boy has priorities.