Wednesday, January 31, 2018

cookie time is upon us once again

in the midst of working through our sadness over molly's diagnosis, we have this to deal with:


oh yes.  it is indeed girl scout cookie time.  and while my overall feelings about girl scouts in general haven't changed much since last year, we are still girl scouts and we do still sell cookies.  funny thing though...they tell you that you can't *require* girls to sell them.  but when it's time to place the order for your starting inventory, they say "you can opt out, but if you do so, expect a phone call from council."  that doesn't sound threatening at all, does it??

but the girls seem to enjoy cookie season.  of course, this is because they experience none of the headaches that go along with it.  on their end, they experience the fun of selling a product that lots of people look forward to buying every year.  and yes, they do learn some pretty valuable life skills along the way.  like, my kid has learned how to deal with rejection and how to approach people and ask them politely to support her troop.  she's had the door shut in her face (super shitty) and others who happily give donations instead of taking cookies.  and she really loves being a girl scout, so we continue on.

since last year, i've taken over the official "leader" position for our troop because of the stupid politics.  it still amazes me how many hoops they put you through and how difficult they make it to manage a troop.  and...they tagged us for yet another audit of our accounting.  i had to go back and make copies of all of our bank statements and receipts for everything we'd spent money on and produce a spreadsheet with an explanation of what all the purchases had been for.  this is all pretty standard stuff, right?  no big deal.  BUT.  they had already received this shit from us in june when annual financial statements from all of the troops.  why on earth did we have to do it again?

oh well.  in any case, we've got girl scout cookies to sell.  and this year, we even have a personalized website that can be used if you're not local to us and would like to support your favorite girl scout and her troop.  on the website you can order cookies (although you do have to pay for shipping) or you can purchase boxes that will be donated to military troops.

i'm not allowed to post the link on any public social media, so if you look at this picture and feel totally compelled to send some cookie or donation love...well, just drop me an email and i'll get that link right to you:


look at that face.  how can you resist that face?  heh.

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

good golly, miss molly

molly came into our lives on christmas eve in 2004.  the old lady and i had done a lot of hoping and wishing and dreaming about adding a maltese to our family, and while the hub was initially resistant he surprised us with her at a christmas party.



he'd met her a few weeks prior, and so while it took him a while to warm to the idea of having a dog in the house, he was her favorite because she met him first.  but who could resist this adorable little furball?


she's been a part of our family for a little more than thirteen years now.  she's seen it all, loved us unconditionally through the years, been a faithful and constantly underfoot companion to all of us.

on friday, the vet called me to say that he felt that she was well enough to come home.  she'd been on the IV for a full 48 hours, had had several meals and her anal gland blockage cleared out. we had a few things to get done first, and then later that afternoon the girls and i went to pick up our doggy.

the vet took us into one of the exam rooms to go over her test results with us, and the bean sat down and zoned out as he started talking about blood tests and lab findings and stuff that didn't seem very interesting at first.  but as the old lady and i asked him to explain the numbers that concerned him, she started listening more closely and burst into tears when the diagnosis became clear:

molly is dying.

her kidneys are operating at roughly 40% right now, and the doctor told us that she'll probably live for a few months, maybe six.  maybe even a full year, if we're lucky.  but until then, we need to hook her up to a bag of fluids every other day that will help keep her hydrated and flush out the toxins that her kidneys aren't strong enough to clear out of her little body anymore.  she's lost about five pounds in the last year, which we'd attributed to regular morning walks at first.  we've had to change her food and had to stop giving her the treats that she loves so much.  and because none of us are able to stomach doing it ourselves, we'll be taking a trip to the vet's office every other day to have a thick needle inserted just underneath her skin to administer 150 ccs of fluids that are working as sort of a doggy dialysis.

she's been home for a few days now, and aside from the cone of shame she's sporting to keep her from gnawing at her bum, for the most part she's still her old happy self.  in fact, she's extra chipper, it seems.  she has her moments of running around and bouncing from one room to another, jumping up onto the couch in one shot instead of in several tries like we've seen her do in recent months.  i'm wondering if it's the meds she's on, or the extra fluids that she's now getting.  although we're definitely noticing that she tires quickly and spends a lot of time just laying down and resting.  i suppose it's because now we know that something is wrong, the signs are more evident to us when before we just chalked it up to old age.

poor baby.  she looks miserable, huh?  at least the cone is only on till friday.


we're trying to soak up as much molly as we can now.  her diagnosis has given us more of an appreciation for having her around, and i have to admit we'd kind of taken her for granted.  i always miss her when she isn't in the house, and so i suppose we'll just have to brace ourselves for the inevitable.

i miss her already.

Friday, January 26, 2018

keep sending the healthy doggy vibes

no update on molly except that she's stable and is eating.  that's a good sign, right?  not eating is usually the first sign that something's wrong.

please keep her in your thoughts.  i should hear something this afternoon and hopefully we'll take her home tonight.

Thursday, January 25, 2018

getting old really sucks

my mollydog is 13 years old.  she's been part of our family since before we were even officially a family, before the bean was born, she's seen so many of our ups and downs over the years.  she's a terrible guard dog, takes 20 minutes on what should be a 10-minute walk, still uses the whole house as her restroom, and is often a royal pain in the ass.  but she's our mollydog, we adore her and can't imagine life without her.

but i mean...she's 13. she still has her random bursts of energy where she runs around the house like a chicken with her head cut off, still jumps up onto the couch (although she does miss more often than she makes it), and loves her morning walks with the hub.  on the flip side, she spends a good amount of time sleeping on the couch or on her bed and we can tell that she can't see or hear as well as she used to.

and then when i picked her up from where she'd been boarded while we were in vegas last weekend, the staff told me that they noticed that she'd been gnawing on her backside and seemed to have trouble pooping.  damn.  fast forward to yesterday, when i finally got to take her to the vet.  after i explained what we were concerned about, they took a look at her and diagnosed her with an anal gland blockage - a fairly common issue, but would require anesthesia to fix properly.  and to go along with that, she had some dental issues that also needed to be taken care of, and so i approved all of the work to be done at the same time so that she'd only need to be put under once.

except that after they ran some tests to make sure that she was healthy enough to handle the anesthesia, they found some issues with her kidneys.  and also that she was anemic.  shit.  so then i had to let them keep her in the hospital for 24 hours so they could hook her up to an IV to get some fluids through her and then re-run the tests to see if her numbers improved.  i asked the doctor what the diagnosis could possibly be and he basically said it could be as simple as an infection that could be treated with meds, or it could be cancer or possibly kidney failure.

man...this sucks.  we won't know what's wrong with her until later this afternoon.  and of course, my mind has already taken me from rolling my eyes at having to watch her shuffle around the house wearing the cone of shame to the unhappy place of learning how to live without her.  i can't walk past her bed without crying, my eyes are so sore, and i've already had to use the old "oh, one of my eyelashes fell in my eye" line with the bean.  because of course, i don't want her to be worried or sad unless we actually know there's something to be worried or sad about.

i took this while we were waiting for the doctor to come in and check her out.


and before i left, when i thought she was just having her blockage fixed and her teeth taken care of, i got to hug her and tell her i loved her.

please keep my adorable, old lady pain in the ass doggy in your thoughts today.

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

working towards that nationals jacket

competition day was long and full of all sorts of activity. we kicked it off with a family breakfast at bouchon in the venetian.  i'd forgotten how lovely that hotel is, and the bean gazed at the faux artwork in awe.



 there was lots of deliciousness to choose from.


we started with an order of their beignets du jour:


and although i wanted some of that fresh bread, i knew i'd get too full for my entree.


i'd ordered the eggs benedict:


and the bean went with the american breakfast because she wanted to keep it fairly light and not chance any tummy issues with anything new.


the hub had gone with an omelette that he dug into before i could take a picture, but you can imagine what that looked like, right?  heh.

back at the hotel, the bean was scheduled to go up to the coach's suite for hair and makeup.  i'd brought one of her faux ponytails to use for competition, which had already been pre-approved by the coaches, and slicked her hair back into a high bun and attached it with her giant cheer bow.


the suite was bustling with activity as girls were having their hair pulled up, teased and curled and others were having their makeup done to the coaches' satisfaction.


we went back down to our room to relax a bit before she had to get into her uniform and meet up with the team again in the suite.  i snagged this before wishing them all luck and heading back down to spend some time with the hub.


we headed over to the bellagio to walk through their shops, do some peoplewatching and grab a drink and a snack at one of the bars.



when we got back to the orleans, i spent a little time just hanging out in the room while the hub went down to get in a little poker time.  and then about half an hour before the team's scheduled performance, i headed over to the arena.




the team had snagged a big section of seats down on the floor, and i sat there and watched a few teams perform before our girls took the stage.




they'd absolutely NAILED their routine. we didn't see a single wobble or fall in the whole 2:30 of it, and their efforts were rewarded when the coaches received this:


 a high score and zero deductions.  that was pretty exciting, and then we had three hours to kill before awards.  we decided to take the bean and headed back to caesar's and have dinner at carmine's.


the awards ceremony kicked off with lots of excitement - jamz staff performing onstage, throwing prizes out into the audience, all sorts of fun stuff.


and when the moment of truth came, we all listened nervously as the announcer rattled off the 3rd place team and when we weren't the runner-up, we knew they'd done it.





she was so excited to win that coveted jacket, and i was so happy for them all.

back in the room, we removed that headpiece and got her makeup off, and in no time - well...


 here's what we had to show for our day, heh.


she has two competitions left until the season ends.  she'd been pretty adamant that she wanted to take a break from cheer for a year, because this year has been pretty intense and she was a little burned out.  but as she's riding high on that win at nationals, she's kind of waffling a little.  i told her she has plenty of time to make a decision, and we left it up in the air for now.

maybe my life as a cheer mom isn't quite over yet after all.  guess we'll just have to wait and see.

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

definitely not the WOOHOO VEGAS kind of vegas trip

the bean's big jamz nationals weekend kicked off on friday, which she was super excited to "have" to take off from school.  with a mandatory practice with her cheer sisters at 2pm, we had no choice but to leave that morning for our 3-hour drive through the desert to beautiful las vegas.  she was up bright and early, packing up last minute items, making sure her electronics were all charged up, and about 45 minutes into our drive i turned around and found...this.


but i'm no better.  i tried so hard to stay awake, but you can't put food in my belly and sit me in a moving vehicle for a long period of time and expect me not to fall asleep at some point.  throw in a good magazine or two to read and i'm KO'd for at least an hour.  when i came to, i opened my eyes and found that we were already there.


(i realize that's a super random picture of the paris hotel's eiffel tower, but there you go)

we'd arrived with about an hour to spare, so we grabbed some lunch before heading over to the gym that the squad was using for practice.


the girls were scheduled to practice their routines for a couple of hours before their surprise team bonding outing - a ride on a party bus to the strip, where they'd be taken to the fashion show mall and into the sugar factory for a sweet treat to share together.  i took a couple of selfies before waving goodbye and heading off to the hotel with the hub to get us checked in.


we drove through a bit of the strip before taking a turn and heading to our hotel.


much to the hub's dismay, we were not staying somewhere fabulous on the strip.  we weren't even staying somewhere fabulous OFF the strip.  nope.  instead, purely for convenience, we were staying at the hotel attached to the arena where the competition was being held...


i'm so sorry if you're a regular at the ol' orleans, but damn.  it's kind of a shithole.  we stood in line with a million other cheer families to get checked in, only to find that our room wasn't quite ready for us.  so we dropped off our luggage at the bell desk and got the hell outta there.  we decided to go to caesar's palace and walk around the shops to get caught up on our steps for the day - being stuck in the car for three hours really killed our active calorie burn.



and as we strolled around the shops, the hub took care of some work calls.


at the aria, we made a stop and browsed through some fabulous red-soled footwear.


inside the hotel itself, we found the perfect spot for a quick sweet treat:




 and found a few minutes to sit down at our favorite quarter slot machines.


by then, we knew our room back at the orleans was ready.  so we hopped back in the car to go and grab our keys so that we'd be able to take the bean right in once we picked her up from her excursion.  of course, the parking lot was almost completely full with other families arriving for the weekend all at the same time and so the hub ended up dropping me off so i could just get the keys, have the luggage brought up and then head back out again to pick up our child.  the room wasn't terrible, but there was a really funky smell in the hallway.  ew.


a sobering reminder of what happened in this city just a few months ago.


the keys themselves were kinda fun, though:


and there were signs like this outside every elevator in the hotel.


we arrived at the sugar factory a little early and rode up the elevator with a server who was bringing this gigantic sundae up to a table - most likely one our kid was seated at.  heh.



i don't think she was quite ready to be picked up yet.


the place was super cute:



we knew she hadn't had dinner, so we went downstairs and grabbed some sushi.


and look, i even hit a fitness goal on the ol' apple watch!


since it was still pretty early, we decided to make one more stop with the bean:







there was plenty to look at in there.



 this section made us miss the old lady, who wasn't able to join us because she had to work.




this is a 1-pound solid hershey's kiss.  yowza.


she got to fill a bag with lots of tasty morsels before we headed outta there, and i had to have a few of these so i could see what they tasted like.


and then it was time to head back to the hotel, get her showered and settled down, and rest up for the next day.  the hub decided to head downstairs for a little poker action, while the bean and i fell into bed and passed out cold.

we sure know how to live it up in vegas, don't we?
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