This Mommy Runs on Caffeine

This Mommy Runs on Caffeine

January 22, 2010

A Piece of My Heart Is Gone

I've always grown up around animals- dogs, cats, rodents, horses, a turtle, you name it- fur, feathers, fangs (well, can't say that I'm very comfortable around snakes...)- our family has always had a four-legged companion of some sort- currently two dogs and two cats.  One of the dogs, Shyner was the first "all my own" doggie. I found her in 1996- she ran out in front of my car as I was coming home from the gym. I tried to find her owner, but to no avail, so I took her home and that begins the story of Shyner, our sweet 15-year old mini- Dalmatian. She has been my faithful companion for over 14 years- all of my adult life- and I can't really remember life without her in it.... and it pains my heart to say that the story has sadly ended.  My "first-born" has earned her angel wings and the loss has hit us hard.  I know that some people would scoff at the loss of an animal- especially in comparison to the devestation in Haiti from last week's earthquake- but I don't care (what they think, not about the earthquake- that's also sad).  It's been a week (hence me also being blog-absent) and although I'm not crying as much these days, having to get over this just plain sucks.

It was wonderful to have such a sweet little dog with us as long as we did; and I've known that she wouldn't be around forever (I sometimes fantasized about Kiera being able to grow up with Shyner by her side...) but I was hoping that the life or death decision wouldn't be left in my hands.  I had always hoped that she might pass away peacefully in her sleep- I can't begin to tell you when I began checking for her breathing in the middle of the night...It was just plain shitty that I had to make the absolute hardest decision in my life; and although I know that it was a very humane one, I've spent the last few days second guessing it.  Jason and I had talked about what we would do is she just wasn't the 'same' anymore, and we'd always agreed that no matter how much the thought of losing her was, we had to do what was best for our fur-baby.

Her quality of life was slowly slipping downhill: we've had to help her up and down the stairs for a few months; when we woke up with Kiera in the middle of the night, we also made sure to wake ShynShyn up and let her out to do her "business" and most recently we've had to cordon her in one of our bathrooms in case she had any mid-day 'accidents.'  But, you should have seen her when you brought home a Scooby Snack from MickeyD's... her head had no idea that it was 15.... it was her heart and hips that were aging...and she certainly still had a puppy's appetite and you best count all of your fingers after you fed her a treat!!  When she was diagnosed with an enlarged heart last April, we had discussed that we would do whatever she wanted as long as it was fair to her and that we weren't keeping her alive just to spare us from dealing with the pain of the loss.  She put up a brave front day after day and we had the privelege of having another nine months with her, even after she ate an entire bottle of her heart medicine!!!

Last Thursday I let her out before I went to bed and stood behind her as we climbed the stairs- we always had to support her backside so that she could keep the momentum- her hips were weakening and couldn't support her entire girly figure.  She huffed and puffed her way down the hall and when she got to the end of our bed, she suddenly collapsed and went limp.  I thought that she had already died, but she came to about 45 seconds later... I yelled at Jason to wake up and quickly explained to him what had happened.  We knew that we had to take her to the vet, but having a baby takes a bit more planning even with a semi-emergency.  We were able to drop Kiera off at GrandmaK's house on the way (I didn't want to have to worry about her while we were there), and then made a detour to Carl's Jr. to treat Shynie to a late nite Scooby Snack.  I was holding her on my lap and she got excited once we pulled up to the drive in window- she knew that the order was for her: one plain and dry Happy Star. 

The nearly 20 minute drive to the vet seemed to take forever (although not as long as the drive home).  I was in a fog the entire time, so Jason had to do most of the talking.  Shyner sniffed her way around the lobby while we were waiting... I was hoping that it was a sign that she was going to be okay; I knew deep down that it wasn't the case, but hoped is the optimal word here.  It was after midnite once we got there (read: extra after hours charge) and the next hour also dragged on.  They put us in a room that was not at all like normal examination rooms- a very comfy couch for us, and a blanket on the floor for our old girl. The vet came in and listened to her heart and lungs and confirmed our worst fears, without costly (that wasn't the issue) and agressive treatment, she didn't have a good prognosis.  Belive me, it had nothing to do with the cost, it was the fact that whatever treatment was done, if she survived it, would only extend her life for a few months.  Putting my loyal friend through painful procedures wasn't going to be in her best interest. 

I wrestled with whether to be in the room with Shyner at the end or not and eventually decided to stay.  I thought about Marley and Me- I remember watching it in the theatre on Christmas Day, 2008 (and very, very early in my pregnancy!) and bawling my eyes out along with 100 other patrons and thinking about Shyner.  I knew that would be us someday.... The vet was right, it was as painless as could be and Shyner drifted off, finally able to run and hop and play again and eat all of the cheeseburgers that she wants.  After one last scratch of her velvety soft ears, I put her black and white and pink polka dotted collar in my purse and we left the hospital... alone.  I knew when we left our house a few hours before that there was a 95% chance that we would not return with her, but I still held out hope.  The drive home took what seemed like hours- the empty and dark freeway was a symbol for my heart.  We picked up Kiera from Jason's mom's house (although Karen offered to keep her overnight, I wanted to have her by my side to keep my mind off of Shyner) and went home.  My head ached nearly as much as my hear from crying... I took some medicine and crawled into bed, with the little bed next to mine now empty. 

Needless to say, I didn't sleep very well and I knew that I would be worthless at work so I took a personal day.  I was relieved to have a four day weekend to mend my broken heart..... unfortunately even some retail therapy didn't work.... I was just too raw. Waking up to Kiera flashing me her sweet little smile helped a little, as did holding her tight, but it has been a long week.  Every day I've cried a little less... I thought that I would make it though Wednesday tear-free but there was a condolensce card in the mail from Shyner's regular vet- very sweet, but oh my gosh..... and even today, we got another card, this one from the emergency vet where we hugged our little Dalmatian one last time. It's taken me the entire week to write this blog entry-  it's hard to type through tears.  Shyner is the third pet that we've lost in less than a year- and although BooBoo was a hard one, this one is twice as hard.  It's been hard seeing the other pets mourn her as well- Dusty has been sleeping in her bed and Cynnie, despite the fact that we thought they weren't the best of friends, has lost her appetite, and has been moping aroudn the house for days. It's hard to explain to them what happened.... we'll all heal together.

Pretty soon we'll laugh at all of the memories of her intead of cry.  We aren't planning on getting another dog for awhile- when Kiera is older maybe... when ever that is, there will never be another Shyner.  I hope that she is happy now, wagging her tail and doing that crazy Dalamatian smile thing.  We'll miss you so much Shyner- you were the best dog ever. 

The Rainbow Bridge

inspired by a Norse legend

By the edge of a woods, at the foot of a hill,
Is a lush, green meadow where time stands still.
Where the friends of man and woman do run,
When their time on earth is over and done.
For here, between this world and the next,
Is a place where each beloved creature finds rest.
On this golden land, they wait and they play,
Till the Rainbow Bridge they cross over one day.
No more do they suffer, in pain or in sadness,
For here they are whole, their lives filled with gladness.
Their limbs are restored, their health renewed,
Their bodies have healed, with strength imbued.
They romp through the grass, without even a care,
Until one day they start, and sniff at the air.
All ears prick forward, eyes dart front and back,
Then all of a sudden, one breaks from the pack.
For just at that instant, their eyes have met;
Together again, both person and pet.
So they run to each other, these friends from long past,
The time of their parting is over at last.
The sadness they felt while they were apart,
Has turned into joy once more in each heart.
They embrace with a love that will last forever,
And then, side-by-side, they cross over… together.

January 13, 2010

Wordless Wednesday: Got Milk?

At 21 weeks old, Kiera is becoming so very alert and gets excited to see her bottle.... (that is if she isn't already cranky when it's in front of her!) These pictures were snapped at 4 a.m. this morning... this is the second bottle of this particular feeding as the first 5 oz didn't top her off.  She zeroed in on her bottle while having her diaper changed and was gazing at it lovingly!

January 8, 2010

An Update on Resolutions/ Some Friday Humor

An update on my resolutions:

So far, the resolution to be a good mom is holding true (yay!)- but not that it is hard work when it’s to such a sweet little soul like little our Kiera. She’s even teaching me how to be more patient ….. as she’s recovering from a little head cold, the teething is also heating up and she’s a little fussy….. and ravenous. Have you tried to reason with an infant to tell them that 9 oz is too much for their little 5 mo. old stomach to hold? Yep, that works real well…. I’m just prepared that the excess is coming straight back out right on Mommy’s cashmere sweater.... patience, my dear! (Resolution: wear non-work clothes when in proximity of your little angel…)

I am trying to save money…. Thanks to some of my fave mom blogs, they’re helping- I am going to update on my legalized stealing tomorrow because I left the receipts at home and can’t provide the actual proof without concrete numbers! ( :

I’ve been eating relatively healthy until today and I have to blame it on an e-mail that I got yesterday with advice from Dr. Oz: He says the way to achieve inner peace is to finish all the things you have started and have never finished. So, I looked around my house to see all the things I started and hadn't finished, and before leaving the house this morning, I finished off a bottle of White Zinfandel, a bottle of Rum, a package of Nutter Butters, the remainder of my Zoloft prescription, the rest of the Sugar Smacks, some Cheesy Poufs, and a box of scotchmallows. You have no idea how freaking good I feel right now….. He- a little Friday humor for you! Have a great weekend!

January 5, 2010

New Year's Resolution

It’s January 5th and I still haven’t set any resolutions for 2010. So, I’m a slacker- my lovely Christmas Cards are still sitting in my computer bag anxiously waiting to be mailed… at least the letter admitted that they would be late! Who am I kidding- I can’t remember one single year that I actually kept any resolutions that I did make and that was when life was so much simpler!!! I can’t imagine that now- with a full-time job, a direct sales business, a new family, hobbies and such- that I would be any more successful at keeping said resolutions.

Maybe I’ll quit smoking…. DONE. (Is that cheating considering that I don’t smoke?)

Okay, I’m going to not eat chicken anymore…. DONE. (Developed a strong aversion to chicken while I was pregnant and it still stands….)

In all seriousness, I could resolve to lose weight, better manage our money, volunteer for charity, reduce stress, get organized or all of the above, but it doesn’t mean jack if I really don’t want to do it. Not to mention I have to formulate a plan with measurable goals and be intentional about achieving those goals. It’s too much effort right now and some days I’m just lucky to have on appropriate and matching shoes (seriously- in the first week back to work from maternity leave, I left the house still wearing my slippers the first day, and the next I had on two different black boots….See?).

I do want to improve my life.  For example, getting healthy is a good start- both so that I can go shopping in a store that doesn’t carry fluffy sizes and also so that I can play and romp and run with my daughter without panting. As she has yet to master turning over, I have some wiggle room to achieve this goal. I don’t, however, want to go on a "diet" as you can’t maintain them long term and the thought of not being able to have (hey, I just brushed my teeth and am trying not to make a midnite dash to the kitchen….) if I so please makes me then want to eat the whole package. (Although, it’s my dear honey that you would catch eating out of the carton rather than me!) We did the South Beach Diet about six years ago when “low carb” was the big rage (for the second time) and it was successful in helping us to lose the weight, but somehow mashed 'faux-tatoes' just didn’t do it for me as I’m a fiend stalker fan of the carbs. The low carb diet makes me constantly think about food and my mental soundrack is straight Forrest Gump… ice cream sundae gumbo, peppermint mocha cocktail, cinnamon crunch bagel fettucine… (no shrimp, I’m allergic!). I do better just trying to lower the carb intake and eat more fruits and veggies (speaking of, my Farm Fresh to You Produce Box will be here tomorrow- yay!). I ate healthy today, and drank so much water that I’m hoping that the bathroom trips can count against my activity points??? One day at a time- this might only last until Donut Saturday! Another problem that I have to admit is that I am severely allergic to exercise. It makes me short of breath…. Er, yeah. Its not that I don’t like to exercise, its that I prefer so many other things, like root canals. And I get so self-conscious in the gym…. I should resolve to get over that. Thank goodness that donation that I've been making to the gym is tax deductible.....

And why should I set a resolution just because it’s the new Year? Every new Day is a good reason to start over…. So is having a wonderful little daughter to live for, and to be quite honest she is my only resolution this year. To be the best mother that I can be to her. If I have to get more organized (I’m super organized at work, not as much at home)to spend more quality time with her, I will; eat healthy to set a good example, I will (I will not try the strained peas though); if I have to keep clippin’ coupons to pad our budget so that she can be the best dressed baby on the block, so be it. It will all be done for her. And it will also be the one year that I maintain a resolution!!!!

January 2, 2010

The Hardest Part of Motherhood.... So Far

I really 'feel' like a mom. Not because I’ve carried and borne a child. Nor because I have laundered and folded (and also tossed into the corner) tiny little onesies and socks. Or changed poopy diapers and cleaned spit-up (for the hundredth time- already) from my shirt and surrounding furniture. Or that I clip coupons, freeze meals or browse craigslist and yard sales for good baby deals. I feel like a mom now because I have shed inevitable tears for my daughter. Not those of joy like from the first few hours after she was born, but tears of worry and sadness. I'm sure it all comes with the territory, but it doesn't mean that I have to like it!

Within the past few weeks, I’ve had several instances where being Kiera's Mommy has brought me to tears. The first were during her two-month-old shots (it might have been because I also got my flu shots at the same time) when she cried out in pain from the three needle sticks and icky crap they put in her mouth. Fortunately for us, it was short lived and Baby Kiera won’t remember it (I, on the other hand, will!). In comparison, her four-month shots were brutal. Only two needle pokes but they made her cry for nearly an hour. And it was a cry of anguish that I’ve not really heard before. 

We are very lucky parents- Kiera is a sweet natured little soul and very rarely cries for more than a few minutes- it’s usually because a) she’s hungry b) she’s tired and is fighting nappy time or c) there is something really wrong. This cry was d) none of the above.  It was a full-body sobbing, lip quivering, tears streaming down her cheeks, raspy throated wail. It didn’t even bother me that I was getting stared at by passers-by whom I sure were wondering why the hell I couldn’t shut my child up. (Hello people- I was at a doctors office- not Disneyland!) It hurt me to the core to see her like that even though I knew why she was so upset and the episode would be short lived. And it was- once she finally cried herself to sleep, she was same perky self when she woke up. She forgot; I didn’t.

Just two days later, my "mom-ness" was taken to a new level. I was doing a little last minute shopping with my own mom and called Jason to tell him that we were running late. He answered quickly and proceeded to tell me he had been in a car accident- and he had Kiera. Although he did tell me that it was relatively minor; I immediately felt sick to my stomach. I quickly found my mom and made a beeline to where he said they were. It took every ounce of will power to maintain a collected composure. All of the cars were moved to a nearby parking lot and even though there weren’t any emergency vehicles other than two police cars, I still lost it when I saw Jason. I was worried sick, physically sick over Kiera’s well being. I was worried about my husband too, but Kiera was of course my first concern.  I was worried beyond any level that I thought possible before I became a mother. Okay, so part of it was because of having to make a second claim with our insurance in a week- yes, seven days (some nice, nice-  I have another name for them that's best not written on a blog- person decided to back over the hood of my car in a parking lot and just drove away- $4,100 in damage later); and possibly having to replace the car seat of our Graco travel system; but the thought of anything happening to my daughter was sickening. About the accident: to make a long story short, an unlicensed, uninsured teenager failed to yield- or look, for that matter- while turning right on a red and sideswiped my husband; and in trying to avoid a more serious collision, he swerved and hit the SUV in the lane next to him. There were no injuries, and even the damage to the cars were minor, but it didn’t matter. Anyways, Kiera was fine- she cried because she could feel our agitation. A few hours later, she was smiling like she usually does. (On a side note: we received the police report, and the investigation has found that the red-light runner was 100% at fault- now we just have to see what our insurance company does. The damage to the car that Jason hit was a dent the size of an orange on the front quarter panel of the SUV. )