Tuesday, March 30, 2010

welcome to the Todd family, Barkley

Barkley Where-is-she (Daniel gave her that middle name) Todd was born January 22, 2010 and joined our family on March, 25, 2010.  She is one of four females born to a set of imperial shih tzu parents.  She will grow to be 5 pounds or less, according to the breeder. 

She was welcomed home by Jackson and Tyson who share mixed feelings about her.  Jackson is still warming up to her and trying to figure out her role in our family.  He isn't necessarily happy or sad about having another dog enter into our lives, but he is being protective of what is rightly his.  Sunday he was able to semi-play with her by doing his "butt to the face" move.  Monday morning while I was getting ready for work Jackson started barking at her to get her to play with him instead of Tyson.  In some ways, it feels like he is trying to handle her with care since she is so tiny.

On the other hand, there is Tyson who thinks his sole mission in life is to protect and guard Barkley at all times.  It really is precious to see him herd her around by literally walking over her.  I call him our "Curious George" child and he continues to do this by checking on her every movement and cry.  As soon as he comes inside from doing his business, he isn't interested in getting a treat.  Nope, he is set on knowing where Barkley is and if she is okay.  He loves to play with her and there have been a couple of times when he has been too rough.  It is hard for him to play gently.  He has even made Jackson squeal a few times in the past.  Poor, Tyson.  If only he were smaller, then he would feel more "at home" in his body.

Barkley LOVES her new older brothers.  She doesn't understand why Jackson isn't playing with her as much as Tyson is, but she obviously still loves him.  Her favorite thing to do besides pee and poop on the carpet is to run as fast and hard as she can from the kitchen through the living room into the computer room and dive under the computer chair.  She looks like a little rabbit when she runs and she breathes heavily when running.  It's so hilarious!  I have tried to video it, but seeing it in person is so much better. 

Friday night Daniel and I took her to PetSmart for a collar, leash (which I doubt we will ever use), pink blanket, weird-looking lamb, pink beanie baby dog, duck teething toy, mini-chewies, and puppy/baby-looking wipes.  Oh yeah...and puppy food.  I think she will be set on food for a while since she is still eating on the bag that the breeder gave us.  She slept pretty much through the entire experience except when dogs were barking.  She is not a huge fan of hearing other dogs bark.  It scares her.

Saturday late afternoon Daniel and I took her back to PetSmart to the Banfield Vet.  Holy cow, Barkley!  You are expensive especially since you have never been vaccinated.  We set her up on a health plan where she will receive 4 sets of shot along with her spaying at 6 months.  We will also get her microchipped when she is spayed since we are spending an arm and leg on her.  I don't want to lose her. 

She was very brave while getting her shot; that's what the vet said.  She loved meeting the vet and his assistants.  Drum roll please....Barkley weighs....still drum rolling....a whopping....2.4 pounds!  She is getting so big!

Nevermind, I lied...her favorite thing to do is live the life of a rockstar:  sleep during the day and party hard at night.  Fright night we went to bed at 12ish and she woke up at 3:30.  I took her to pee, drink water, and eat.  We had to play a little bit, but it was back to sleep until somewhere around 6.  I put her in the tub and she cried until Daniel got up at 7:18.  He let me sleep until 10:30.  Saturday night I went to bed at 1AM after she FINALLY laid down.  She woke up at 3 and we did the routine of pee, drink, eat, and this time play.  I ran around the house for about 15 minutes with her chasing me to wear her out.  We went back to bed at 4:30-4:45ish.  Then she woke up again at 7.  I put her back in the tub and she cried for an hour.  Enough was enough so I put her in Jackson's crate until I finally got up around 10.  Sunday night I got smart and just stuck her in Jackson's box at the beginning of the night.  We can't have this waking up every 2 hours to play in the middle of the night.  Once she learns to sleep through the night, then she can sleep in the bed with us.

She always has to be held and will put her front paws on your leg if she is not in your arms.  She doesn't stay awake long if she is being held and it out in no time.  She cries a lot too:  if she isn't being held, if she is hungry, if she is thirsty, if she can't find you, if she can't run into the computer room and dive under the chair.  When she isn't crying, she's loving to look in the mirror.  Her little tail will wag a mile a minute.

Thank you, Daniel, for my birthday present!

Monday, March 29, 2010

Thursday, March 25: the best and worst day

After spending a wonderful weekend at the beach for Sissy's first homecoming (2 weekends ago), Daniel and I settled back into the normal every day life.  We had a wonderful time with Sis, Mamski, and Jane during our "That's What She Said" weekend. 

While walking around Mamski's new place of employment on Friday, we discovered a pet adoption place.  Apparently, Daniel has had puppy fever as much as I have had because he would really pressuring me into getting a puppy for my upcoming birthday.  I wasn't interested in the chow-chow mix that was there so I thought that was the end of that.

The following Monday I found a poodle mix female on Petfinder and emailed her picture to Daniel.  Well, that opened the can.  Daniel and I started researching the kinds of dogs that I would want as a birthday present.  We saw lots of puppies and LOTS of high prices.  Who knew that people were paying close to $2000 for a little puppy?  crazy talk!

After calling and having people email me pictures on Tuesday, I saw a picture of a little girl imperial shih tzu who I couldn't live without.  After contacting the breeder a few times, we made plans to meet Thursday evening at Jeff State.  Isn't she precious?  (This is the picture from the breeder.)  I named her Barkley.

And the story doesn't end there...
Thursday's forecast was a chance of severe weather from 1pm until midnight.  There hadn't been too many storms around Birmingham that day and the worst of it was stroms with heavy rain.  After Daniel dropped me off at work to pick up my car, we headed to the house.  It was close to 7pm when we exited the Alabaster exit on 65.  Daniel proceeded to take a picture of a possible tornado without calling to tell me.  Obviously I was in a different world thinking about our new addition. 

As we turned on 1st Avenue and made our way up the hill, I noticed a dark cloud come down.  I decided to call Daniel to see what he thought of the tornado-like cloud.  As I am calling him, I look up and in front of my car and see debris swirling about in the air and trees laying horizontal.  Daniel answers and I ask "hey, are we under a tornado?"  I was waiting for him with something along the lines of "no, it's no biggie."  Instead he answers "Uh, yes, I think so.  HURRY AND GET HOME!"  We both start flying down the hill with the wind blowing like I had never felt before.  I seriously thought that I would be taken up in my car, and it was the end.  I was only going to spend an hour with the dog that I have always wanted.  A transformer blew in front of Daniel and a tree fell on the other side of the road.  Daniel ran a red light and we finally made it home safely. 

As Daniel was unloading his truck, all I could do was sit in my car shaking.  I had never been so scared in all my life.  We were truly blessed to be watched over by God.  Daniel ran inside and turned on 33/40 as James Spann was saying that there was a possible tornado 4 minutes outside of Maylene.  Uh, yes, James Spann.  And we drove under it!

Just as we were starting to calm down from the tornado excitement, the pizza girl arrived.  She informed us of our new resident:  a bird nesting in our front door wreath.  She was an angry bird and desperately wanted inside the house.  Thanksfully Daniel took care of that situation yesterday.  No more moma bird, eggs, or nest.

I hope Barkley doesn't think we have this kind of excitement on a daily, weekly, or even monthly basis.  I am so happy and grateful that we are all safe.

...stay tuned for pictures/stories of Barkley.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

a new season

Is it just me or has this been a long winter?  cold.  rainy.  cloudy.  snowy.  and all around blah.

I am impatiently awaiting the arrival of Saturday for the official welcoming of SPRING!  Now the weather can officially change over into the spring as well.  Please, mother nature, automatically switch the weather especially the temperature to spring-like conditions.  k, thanks.

I have never been more ready for sunshine and warm in all of my (almost) 26 years of living.

Speaking of "almost" 26...yep...it's time for a birthday countdown update.  This is the first year that I haven't consistently kept up with a countdown.  Is 26 really that bad?  It seems like it will be.  There's exactly 3 weeks from today to get your final gifts. 

In some earlier posts, I was really gung-ho about what I wanted this year..now, not so much.  I really would like a new camera though.  My flash is super sketchy and only works when it feels like it.  Other than that, I do need a new spring/summer wardrobe.  and "need" is the key word.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

here comes the sun

For the past week or so, it seems like life has been a real drag.  Maybe it's the weather, but I am ready for the sunshine to brighten up my world again. 

After a horrifying day at work on March 5th, AL Ops found that we had lost 2 members due to downsizing.  We are still struggling on how to go on without them since both were crucial to our everyday operations.  Only by the grace of God are we slowly making due with the knowledge we were left with.  I will miss them both very much.

This past weekend Daniel and I spent some much needed time together by traveling around Birmingham together.  Friday night we had a date at Habanero's and went to Lowe's to stock up on backyard transformation supplies.  Saturday was the day that my car finally got new tires!  While NTB took 7 hours to switch them out, we searched for pavers.  Not too much luck, but we were able to narrow down our options.

After nearly a year of being unemployed, my mom was offered a job today!  She is now employed by Emerald Grande Real Estate in Destin.  This is a HUGE prayer answered and a relief off our backs.  I am so happy that I feel like crying!  yay!  Congrats, Mamski!

Just when life seems dim on every occasion, the sun peeks out.  Today's good news is definitely a sign for brighter days even if the sunshine stays hidden behind clouds.

Monday, March 8, 2010

lesser of 2 evils

This past Saturday my adventure of becoming a professional organizer continued.  I spent a few hours at Jane's cleaning out her hall linen closet.  We both felt pretty lousy so that's why I only did one hall closet instead of both.

I thought I was chosing the lesser of 2 evils, but somehow the linen closet became super scary.  There was a huge mountain of twirled up bedsheets and semi-folded towels crammed into the closet.  It's beyond me how my own flesh and blood can live like that.  I guess that is why I am here:  to help out my Aunt when in need.

Enjoy the makeover!
The Before
looking into the linen closet

looking into the other side of the linen closet

top two shelves

bottom half of the closet

Cody thought that I was making a quiet place for him to sleep.

The After

looking into the right side of the linen closet

top two shelves

middle part of the linen closet

looking at the floor

looking into the left side

the final product!

Sunday, March 7, 2010

The Final Season in Beard-Eaves Memorial Coliseum

To say our good-byes in high Auburn spirits, Dad, Daniel, and I spent last Saturday evening (February 27th) at the AU vs. LSU basketball game.  It was the final Saturday game ever played in Beard-Eaves Memorial Coliseum.  Both Dad and Daniel had never been to an Auburn basketball game before.  Since I am the seasoned vet with having attended 2 basketball games my sophomore year of college (one against Alabama and the other against Kentucky, both of which we lost), I felt like it was my alumni duty to be there as history unfolded:  both for Dad and Daniel and for Auburn.

We left our house around 2:30 in the afternoon headed for the best sandwich place EVER, Momma G's.  Apparently there is more than one location now in Auburn, but we ate at the original.  Y'know the ol' dumpy one right across from Lowder Hall (my home away from home...Lowder Hall not Momma G's).  It felt like another lifetime when I use to stand at the corner of Donahue and Magnolia waiting for the light to change in order to cross the street headed to class.  It was weird standing there with Dad and Daniel with no backpack, but I still had on my Wallabies.  :)  Daniel had never been to Momma G's before, but I think he liked it once we were able to sit down with our food.  I could really go for a Momma's Love right now with some of Momma's Nachos.  mmmm.  just to taste all of those calories.

After stuffing our faces, we drove around for 10 minutes trying to decide where to actually park.  With the new construction of the Auburn Arena and Village dorms, there is no more C parking!  Where in the world do all of the students park now?  I am SOOOOO thankful that I got out of there before parking became worse than it already was.  We finally ended up parking about 5 rows from where we had initially parked for Momma G's.  At least we tried looking for a closer spot.

We made it to our seats with 10 minutes to spare before tip-off.  Supposedly we had seats in the lower level, but there was nothing lower about being the 5th row from the top!  Thankfully, I was able to keep my seat for the entire game, because it might have been disasterous with no railing! 

view from our seats

The atmosphere at a basketball game versus a football game is infinitely different.  Auburn tries to bring some of the same excitements into the basketball game as football games.  For example, 2 videos played:  one before the players came out and another right before tip-off.  The pep band, cheerleaders, and Tiger Paws are there to provide entertainment and spirit.  I must admit that the LSU fans showed more spirit than the Auburn fans.  In fact, if they hadn't have been there, then the Auburn fans would have fallen asleep due to the lack of excitement.


The Tigers played an outstanding game never trailing the LS-Who Tigers once in the game.  They were spot on with their 3's.  What an amazing memory to have of Beard-Eaves.  I have so many memories of being there over the past 8 years.  My favorite B-E memory still is my college graduation.  There's nothing that can top that!

74-59 victory over LSU

Daniel and me

Dad and me

Thanks for the memories, Beard-Eaves!


Wednesday, March 3, 2010

C'mon, Easter!

Two months of 2010 are in the history books, my friends.  And that means that my time limit for my weight loss goal of 10 pounds before the end of May is almost halfway over. 


How, you may ask, is it going?  ummm, AWESOMELY.  Better than expected.  As of 2/27, I am down 5.7 pounds.  Let me take a moment and brag on how wonderful that is.  Y'see, I have never purposefully tried (hard) to lose weight before.  In fact, I never knew that it could be done.  But it can and I am extremely proud of the nearly 6 pounds that have evaporated into thin (no pun intended) air.

Now back to reality:
The celebration can't last too much longer because I still have more pounds to lose.  And I can't lie about still being motivated like I was on Day 1.  The motivation has slipped, and I am slacking a bit on the exercising.  I know that if I want to see results like I have seen these past 2 months, then I have got to step it up again.

Easier said than done, but definitely do-able.  With the no sweets for Lent still going strong, I think that I can achieve more weight loss in a reasonable amount of time. 

Plus Daniel told me the other day that once Lent is over he is taking me to Yogurt Mountain and Dunkin' Donuts.  (!!!!!!!!!!!)  C'mon and be here already, Easter!