Thursday Evening Family Portraits

We got the laptop webcam rolling today. We never, ever take pictures together. We always forget to make sure both adults make it into a picture together, so tonight was a nice impromptu photo session. We even got a few video clips recorded! yay!!

Family portrait with Gael unimpressed but OK about it.

Happy!

Gael then decided he was not interested in taking pictures, which of course was very amusing to his parents.

Suddenly Gael decided he wasn’t bored anymore. **Got Daddy’s ear!**

 

We also tried recording a clip from us narrating to Gael for when he’s older. :-)

Flea Update and Baby

Our luck ran dry. Edgar and I were still clean of any flea bites. But we saw bumps around Gael’s ankles and figured our poor baby wasn’t so lucky. The dog was already treated but he was still scratching. I figured we must have new infestations either coming in from the yard or some had laid eggs in our bedding couch or carpet. I thoroughly vacuumed, so much so that I blew out the circuit breaker in my old house a few times during it. Also I washed bundles and bundles of laundry on Sunday, while Edgar fumigated our back yard. Later he sprayed bug repellant to the house.

FYI about the bug spray: we’re pretty nature friendly – more Edgar than me. So when he bought the bug spray he struggled to find the least aggressive external bug spray as we don’t want to hurt any “good” bugs – bees and the like. He finally found one that was targeted to a few limited species of insects that included fleas and ticks.

Later on Sunday we noticed there were  more bumps on the baby’s skin and it was starting to look more like a rash. He was also extremely fussy – more so than ever. He was throwing up a lot more than was normal and his appetite was way down. He also had this front top teeth trying to cut through. So I figured everything was ganging up on him and making him uncomfortable. So obviously the only thing left for him to do was take it out on his parents and their sleep cycles.

However the daycare called on Monday afternoon and set forth a more logical – i.e. less convoluted – solution. Foot, mouth and hand disease. His doctor confirmed it the next day. But by that point he’d had it since Friday and he was winding down. Overall, he’s back to his lower maintenance self and we’re very happy about that. (Less happy about all the heaps and heaps of clean laundry that still need folding – that ended up being unnecessary to the problem at hand.)

Dog Grooming Surprise

Enter my nearly 3-year pup Joseph from stage right. See that lovable muppet below.

Joseph as my handsome car companion.

Joseph as my handsome car companion.

I’ve joked that I’d sooner get rid of my husband than this furry ball of love. I kid – obviously Edgar comes first; but the day Joey leaves my side is going to break me.

The first time I dropped off Joey for a grooming had me losing my cool during pick up. He looked cute - not stellar. But the bill was nearly $50. I picked a poodle knock-off when I was looking for a dog to adopt due to my allergies. So, I knew that meant a trade-off regarding the grooming commitment. But, man, for a cheap-o like me realizing I was looking at spending about $200 a year on haircuts for a dog was mind-blowing.

Let me put this in perspective for you: I do not spend more than $15 a time on haircuts for myself. And I only get about 2, maybe 3 a year. Also I cut my husband’s hair myself. Now, when I was into dyeing my hair, I would do it myself after buying the supplies from Sally’s Beauty Supplies – roughly $20 at 2 or 3 times a year. I haven’t dyed my hair in over a year. So in a family that spends roughly $90 annually (on an indulgent year) for human hair grooming, the concept of spending $200 on a dog is really, very painful.

So I invested in a nice caliber pet clipper within a  month of that grooming. It cost me $90 and has more than paid off. I’ve been doing that for well over a year and a half.

So that was how I got into grooming my dog. It’s a pain, time-consuming and patience draining for both me and Joe. But totally worth have a few hundred dollars going towards other things. Here’s Joey freshly groomed by yours truly.

joey groomedSaves me money - NORMALLY.

Yesterday, as I was finishing up his neck area – almost done, I found critters scattering from the clipper’s path. Fleas!

I called my sister, Laura. She’s an excellent reference for this. I’m not saying Laura has hygiene problems – the opposite of! It’s because she’s such a devoted doggy-mom and her dog is so high maintenance.  Mocha, her bulldog, has skin sensitivities and allergies in general – so Laura does not let any flea survive on Mocha. She knows what’s the good stuff. She recommended us to the vet to get Trifexis.

Not cheap but cheap as far as a long-term investment. I remember spending around $80 for a 6 month supply of heartworm prevention  Also any time Joey had fleas before I got Advantage at Petsmart for $70-ish for 3 doses. That was recommended by our trusted trainer there. He’s a friend of ours. But that was before becoming homeowners (no calling in the apartment office to say ‘hey, you got fleas; you should fumigate’) and parents (not risking Gael becoming lunch for any parasite). Homie, don’t play now!

So 6-month of dosages of Trifexis was $110. It covers both heartworm AND fleas/ticks. So worth it – as long as it does as advertised.
Now to see how well it works for Joe. I’ll be letting you know.

Mirror, Mirror

I’m trying to post every weekday, but since the day of my car ordeal life’s been getting in the way. Thursday night we went out to celebrate - Edgar was selected as the content lead for his ISD so we went out for dinner. Friday we packed to fly down to see our families for his mom’s birthday and for Mother’s Day.  And yesterday, I was busy wrestling my puppy for his quarterly at-home grooming session. I’ll post about that later…

My sister, Laura, bought a house just about 2 weeks before we closed on ours. I was super excited for her (and her husband). So when I saw this at Home Goods (for a very reasonable price), I thought it was perfect for her taste.

mirror-before

That’s what I thought until Laura kept showing me pictures of room decor that she liked. I figured I went with the wrong color/finish – too luxe, and not enough feminine. But I had already bought it.

Luckily, I had just gotten into home decor blogs – thanks to my excitement for getting my mitts on my own house to personalize. So I had just become a subscriber to “spray paint can fix nearly anything” and this became my first project. I figured a pearl-like finish and color would be just right. So some purchases later I present you with the below.

Mirror -after

I was very proud. All it took was some sand paper, spray primer, glossy off-white spray paint, and Martha Stewart’s metallic glaze in mercury. Plus some scrap news paper and Frog Tape painter’s tape for preventative prep work. Oh, and plenty of patience! I now know that sand paper and primer was very likely overkill – especially now that my dumb-butt read the spray paint can and see that it was primer and paint in one!! Ehh… Well at least I know my sister’s mirror’s paint job is never, ever, chipping off.

Still, it’s very pretty. And I’m very proud every time I see it, especially as my first home decor project. I even told Laura when she opened her house-warming gift that if she wasn’t 100% into it, I’d be more than happy to keep it.  But nope – all hers. That picture is actually in its home spot in her living room. It fits in very nicely with her new white, leather couches and silver coffee/end tables.

PS – IRONY NOTE: The originally shiny-black finish was perfect for the bedroom set she had already picked out and bought. I just didn’t know she had. It’s all lacquered black finish with mirrored details. So. Yeah… Turns out my gut instincts on her tastes were spot-on (at least for the bedroom).

FYI: Those with particularly good eyes will notice that the before and after pictures are different. I actually never took a before picture so this was the closest I found to her mirror before I attacked it with paint.

Downer, Bummer, Freaking Hummer

Or more accurately ‘Hyundai’ – in my case, a very basic issue gray 2008 hyundai elantra. That would be my car. Normally my car is a champ – a total trooper, a complete team player if  you prefer that phrase. So much so that I’ve nicknamed her Elly.

However she decided yesterday that she’d had the last straw with my harrassment. I didn’t realize that’s what she was doing. I thought she was just taking a very inconveniently timed nap. But no, Elly was saying “F- this, I got my own problems, B.” At least that’s what the NTB shop translated for me.

Let’s back petal 24 hours, shall we? On my way home from picking up the baby from daycare, I was less than 2 minutes away from my driveway. I was just picking up a little speed from the four way stop. Admittedly I was driving too close to the curb, when the step down from a storm drain pulled my car down into the curve and curb.

Normally, no problem. My poor Elly has seen more than her fair share of curbs. Seriously that poor sedan must think there’s not a curb I don’t like. She always withstand them. This is poor Elly before last week’s at home cosmetic facelift.

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And I had just bought new front tires two weeks back, so this was not what I expected. I heard a loud burst, swerved a moment and the felt my car barely rattling along. The baby was napping when this happened and then started crying pretty violently from the shake up and noise. Poor thing! I thought I’d lost the bumper. What did happen was a pretty massive tire blowout that dented the rim.

So after work I took it to the shop. They recommended an alignment check. So I had an hour to kill. Seriously the only good part of all of this was that hour. The steakhouse next to the NTB has $3 margaritas on the rocks. Luckily, I had three of those bad boys before I walked back to the shop for the results.

So while I thought it was just a simple tire replacement, I got the news that Elly needs new struts. The quotes on parts and labor for that was over $600!! Separate from the $78 I spent on replacing that tire! On the plus side, I saved money from a rim repair by giving them the OK to take a sledgehammer to that bad boy and force it back in place. I was so bummed the whole way home with my quote in hand that even Macklemore on the radio couldn’t cheer me up.

Luckily, when I came home my boys were totally able to cheer me up. The baby is so silly at this age, babbling up a storm. So the car’s a problem to solve another day.

Bluebonnets

Edgar and I have tradition which we’ve done for the past couple of years. We a “photoshoot” of ourselves outside with the bluebonnets while they’re in bloom here in North Texas during the early spring.  There’s no bluebonnets in our hometown in deep south Texas so they’re still a treat for us.

This “photoshoot” qualifies for quotation marks because it’s so impromptu and low tech. We literally drive around the highways till we see a patch of wildflowers we like with sufficient shoulder on the highway for us to ditch the car for a while to take the pictures. The last two years were also taken with nothing fancier than the camera function in our cell phones.

This year I was particularly hung up on not missing it. Since those flowers slip away without any warning after a month. This year we have our baby boy to shoot pictures of. I couldn’t miss his bluebonnet pictures, especially because he caught them last year in my belly! So here’s the top runners of our baby.

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