Posts tagged ‘Family’

The Importance of Spaying Your Pet

CAUTION: This is going to be a very long entry, as I’ve had a long, stressful week and I’m not good at breaking my thoughts down into fewer words. πŸ˜‰

I got my cat Gracie 7 years ago as of this August. A girl from school had a cat who had a litter of kittens, and she and her family were looking to find them homes free of charge. Me, being a cat lover, was all over that, naturally. Despite having 2 cats at home already, my 22 year old, carefree self thought another cat would be a wonderful addition. I was still in school and unemployed, but since I was already feeding and taking care of the other 2 cats financially I figured adding one more to the group wouldn’t be an issue. In that aspect, I was right. When Gracie got to be around 6 months old my mother was asking me when I was going to get her spayed. I looked into it, and it wasn’t exactly cheap. There were clinics around that did offer lower prices for the surgery, but I was just starting a new job (that didn’t exactly pay the best) and because she was a strictly indoor cat I decided to push it off. For the next couple of heat cycles the same topic came into question, and it was always the same logic- she’s not outdoors or around male cats that aren’t neutered, so it’s not a pressing issue. I was warned about the possibility of her being at a greater risks for certain types of female cancers (reproductive, mammary, etc.) when she became older, and even though I never, ever thought that was no big deal, I wasn’t particularly worried about it. After all, it was a risk, not a guarantee, and older cats tend to have some sort of ailment to cause them to pass away. I did look into it seriously about a year or two ago, when I finally seemed to have a stable income, but as I searched the internet for information I found a lot of risks about spaying an older cat, which worried me and turned me off to the idea.

Fast forward to last Saturday. I got up early to get ready for work, and from what I can recall Gracie seemed her usual self. Of our 2 cats, she’s the one that follows me around most, stays with me every night and therefore wakes up with me every morning. It was super early so I was rushing around trying to get ready (as is normally the case) and though I know she was there and I remember interacting with her before I left, I didn’t really notice her acting any differently. After work I came home, we ran to the grocery store, cooked dinner, and I went out to take advantage of Memorial Day sales and bought a new bed. It was a pretty busy day, so I didn’t have time to notice in the midst of everything that Gracie had been hiding. That night my boyfriend and I rented a movie, and as I always do, I went to look for Gracie so she could come in and cuddle with us. I checked every possible hiding spot she’s been known to be in, and when I didn’t see her there we got out the treats and shook them. Still no Gracie, which was the first time I realized something wasn’t right. She is always ALL OVER treats. I can’t even go into the cupboard we keep them in for something else without her showing up and waiting for a snack. We finally found her and carried her into the room, gave her a few treats, and she still showed no interest. She also seemed very quiet and just all around lethargic. She’s normally very energetic, affectionate, and VERY vocal. At this point it was very late on Saturday night. I googled a few local 24/7 vet hospitals and after getting an idea of their pricing ultimately decided to wait until morning to see if she seems better. I didn’t want to pay hundreds of dollars for something that could’ve been nothing. I hardly slept due to my worry and anxiety, and woke up early Sunday morning to check on her. She was still acting the same, so the process of finding a vet open on a Sunday (not to mention a holiday weekend) began. Google pointed me to the Banfield Pet Hospital which is located within Pet Smart stores. I remembered a coworker of mine using them for her dog and giving great reviews, so I figured that was my best bet. There’s a Pet Smart literally 2 minutes away from my house, so instead of calling I decided to just pop in when they opened so I could ask questions and see if they had any openings. I also wanted to pick up some canned cat food since she usually prefers that over the usual dry food, and because she wasn’t drinking either I figured if I could get her to eat this it at least would give her some moisture.

I get there and explained my situation to the girl at the desk as best as I could. I hate to say it, as I didn’t have all that much interaction with her, but she wasn’t the friendliest. I didn’t see her do it, but I just felt like she was rolling her eyes at me the entire conversation. Anyway, she said they didn’t have an opening until the next day at 2pm, and from what I was explaining to her it didn’t sound like an emergency situation at the time as long as I could get her to eat and drink something that day. I took the appointment, bought my cans of food, and returned home. Gracie still showed no interest in the canned food, so at this point I was at a loss. Her appointment was in over 24 hours, and not knowing what was wrong with her I was worried she wouldn’t even make it to that point. Luckily my coworker suggested I try calling the Pet Smart she goes to. Despite it being 30-40 minutes away, I felt I had no choice. By some grace of God they had an opening that day, and shortly after I made that they called me and offered me an even sooner time after someone else cancelled. Needless to say we packed up Gracie and headed out there immediately. As I was putting her into the carrier, I noticed some discharge coming from her rear, which made me even happier to be getting her in ASAP.

When we got there we were pretty much taken in immediately. They did a standard exam- temperature, weight, blood work, etc.- as I explained her symptoms and my concerns. Because she wasn’t spayed, their first suspicion was an infected uterus. Her temperature was a bit raised as was her white blood cell count, which are both key indicators of an infection. They explained to me that the only cure was surgery, essentially an emergency spaying procedure, where they remove the reproductive organs. Spaying, while invasive, is a generally simple procedure. However, with her being sick, somewhat dehydrated, and the uterus being swollen due to the infection (aka pyometra), it made the surgery extremely risky (and therefore much, much more expensive than your average desexing opertation). I was able to sign her up for a monthly insurance plan they have, which cut a lot of the prices down, but I was still responsible for $60 that day, and $550 for her surgery. That was hard to swallow both emotionally and financially, but without the surgery she would’ve died within days. Because they were fairly certain at that point that it was a pyometra they did allow me to bypass having XRays done, which saved me $180. I was skeptical, but ultimately nixed them just in case something else went wrong and I needed the extra money. I’m convinced the Dr. we saw is a living saint. Not only did she come in early first thing the next morning to do the surgery (they just didn’t have the time that day), but it was also on a holiday. Since they don’t do overnight stays there, they sent her home with me with a prescription for antibiotics to start her on. This made me a nervous wreck. We knew what was wrong and had her set up the next morning for what needed to be done, but there was still no guarantee that she’d make it through the night. Giving her the medicine was no easy feat, either. They were out of liquid, so twice a day I have to basically shove a pill down the back of her throat and rinse it down with a syringe full of water.

The next morning we took her in at 7am and dropped her off. I pretty much slept in a couple 20-30 minute intervals the previous night, so by the time we got back after taking her I was exhausted. Even still, I couldn’t really fall asleep until they called, which was about 3 hours later. The Dr. explained that it was indeed a pyometra and that everything so far was going good. She was waking up from surgery, and they’d be keeping her until about 4:30 for monitoring and to keep her on an IV of fluids. I was elated. Even though there was still time for complications to arise, the hard part was over. I was really concerned about the anesthesia because she’s a really, really small cat. It turns out the discharge coming from her bottom was a good thing, as gross as it sounds. It meant the infection was draining a bit rather than filling up the uterus, which would’ve made it larger, harder to remove and far more prone to rupture and ultimately spreading the infection throughout her torso. We got so lucky in so many ways. At first I was thinking how the timing was so bad financially (we were on vacation less than 2 weeks prior, and I had just purchased a new bed) but the timing actually worked. I actually had the money in my savings to cover the cost of surgery, I was off work for Memorial Day and therefore able to take her in without worrying about calling off, and it didn’t happen while we were on vacation. She would’ve likely been dead before or soon after we got back if that were the case.

As soon as I got her home, she seemed almost like her old self. She was excited, meowing, and ate some canned food almost immediately. While this was very comforting, it was also worrisome considering I was told she’d probably be extremely lethargic and sleepy and may not regain her appetite until the next day. And here she was already trying to jump around on things, which isn’t good for her incision. We took her back in the next morning because the Dr. wanted to check her red blood cell count, which was a bit low before surgery, and it seemed to be rising back to normal. It’s been 4 days since her operation now, and pretty much everything has been going very well (knock on wood!). My main concern this week was that she didn’t poop despite the fact that she’s been eating regularly. Drinking has been a little more of a struggle, but she’s a little diva and tends to dislike drinking water out of bowls, haha. I was able to trick her by giving her ice water in a regular drinking cup, because I swear she only likes water if it’s coming out of the faucet or in a cup that I plan to drink. πŸ˜› When they called me to check up on her 2 days post-op I mentioned that she hasn’t pooped yet. They said her antibiotics, pain meds, and the fact she didn’t eat much prior to surgery would back her up, but if it doesn’t change in a couple of days to call them. When I still didn’t see anything in the litter box (besides pee) last night I set my alarm so I could wake up and call them as soon as they opened at 8 this morning. Sure enough, 2 hours prior to my alarm going off I was woken up to the sound of her digging around in the litter pan, and she pooped. I never thought I’d get so excited over my cat pooping (and simultaneously leaving a pile of litter on my floor) but I was elated and had to wake up my son and boyfriend to tell them the good news, lol!

Needless to say, she is doing excellent, and I couldn’t be happier. She’s not a fan of the e-collar she has to wear but she’s becoming more and more used to it. I know there are still freak complications that could arise, and we still have to make sure her incision heals properly without any issues, but for the first time I have nothing but hope and positive thoughts. Money is going to be tight for a while, and who knows how long it will take me to build my savings back up, but it is more than worth it to have my cuddly, sweet little Gracie with me and hopefully with me for at least the next 10 years. ❀

For more information on Gracie's condition and for other risk factors of not spaying your pet, just google Pyometra. It's extremely dangerous, and fatal if it's not caught and dealt with immediately. Even if surgery is performed, there's still a chance they will not make it through the surgery and/or recovery. We were extremely lucky in that Gracie's liver, kidneys, and other organs were not yet damaged by her infection and lack of eating and drinking prior to the surgery. Moral of the story? Spay/Neuter your pets! Yes, it does prevent unwanted pregnancies, but there are several health benefits that string from having it done as well. You may think that $200-$300 seems like a lot at the time, but it’s far more affordable than a $700 emergency, high risk, surgery, and definitely more affordable than losing your pet.


May 30, 2014 at 12:36 pm Leave a comment

Dear Death, Go Fuck Yourself

2013 is only 1 month old, and it seems like there has already been so much death around me. Luckily only one those deaths truly effected my day to day life, but there is still 11 months left. I’m hoping the year from here on out is smooth sailing, but I can’t help but wonder if the number 13 is trying to prove itself as a real bad luck charm. And it doesn’t help that my dad is having surgery one week from today. He’s just having a small, totally benign, mass removed from his chest but I don’t like the idea of him or anyone I love having any kind of surgery!

So, here is why this year has me freaked out already. My father’s aunt passed away in early January. We had visited with her literally one week before that, while we were visiting my dad’s side of the family for the holidays. She has been sick for a while, and sure didn’t look good when we saw her, but it was still weird for her to have went so soon after. On the 9th, I came home from work to my eldest kitty-baby not doing well at all. She was almost 18, and has been steadily losing weight for months, but this time it was much worse. Her meow sounded awful, she didn’t want to eat (which was VERY rare for her!), and could hardly walk the little bit she actually got up. I’ve had pets die before (hamsters, fish, and 2 cats were hit by cars when I was younger) but I’ve never been faced with the decision to actually have one put to sleep. I know most people say it’s what’s best, and that you’re doing them a favor if they’re in pain, but I really struggled with it actually being my decision to end her life. It was hard… so hard. I got her when I was 10, so she clearly has been a part of my life for a long time. I can only hope I did the right thing and that she’s in peace now, and I definitely hug my remaining two kitties a little longer each and every night. RIP Miss Harley, my sweet angel baby. ❀

Anyway, aside from those two, one of my co-workers lost her mother two weeks ago. I've overheard a few clients telling the stylists about deaths in their family, my best friend's aunt nearly died due to a surgery complication, and this past Sunday a kid my brother was friends with up through middle school died in a car accident. He was only 26, and wrecked on a road I drive on nearly every single day, to and from work. So scary, and such a shame. Ugh, bring on February (as long as it means improvements)!

To add a bit of positivity to this post, I did file my taxes this morning. It was such an accomplishment for me considering I’m usually the asshole on April 15th rushing to get them done at the last minute. It was super easy, and literally took me like 20 minutes. I used the same website that I used last year, and assuming that this year goes through without any problems, I will definitely continue to use them in the future. It cost only $17.95 to e-file both the state and federal taxes, plus I’m getting back WAY more than I had anticipated, and all directly deposited into my checking account within 21 days. I only worked for 6 months last year, and they didn’t seem to be taking very much out of each paycheck, so I was pleasantly surprised!

January 31, 2013 at 9:47 pm Leave a comment

Kinda Late…

I may not have blogged for a while, and January may be half over already, but I love me some memes to get me through my boredom. So, here is my 2012 wrap up!

1.What did you do in 2012 that you’d never done before?
Nothing super special that I can think of at the moment. And if it’s not sticking out in my head, chances are it wasn’t very exciting. I did get to see Madonna in concert in November, which was cool. And considering that was apparently the first time she’s performed in Pittsburgh since 1985, that’s obviously something I’ve never done before.

2.Did you keep your new years’ resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
I don’t recall if I made any half-assed resolutions last year. If so, it’s safe to say I didn’t keep them. This year I planned on dieting (which lasted all of one lunch hour- but I WILL get back on the ball) and start saving money from each paycheck.

3.Did anyone close to you give birth?
I know several people that had babies, and my cousin had her daughter in August, but no one particularly close. I’m somewhat close with my cousin, but she lives 3-4 hours away so I don’t see her very often.

4.Did anyone close to you die?
Not in 2012, no. This year has been awful with people I know passing away and it’s only 17 days old!

5.What countries did you visit?
None. I didn’t even travel out of Pennsylvania. Sad.

6.What would you like to have in 2013 that you lacked in 2012?
More peace of mind, and definitely a more stable income. And if you want to throw my own house in there, please do.

7.What date from 2012 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
November 6th was the Madonna concert, but I only remember the exact date because it was the same night as the presidential election, and she was all kinds of excited when she found out Obama was re-elected. Also 4th of July, only because I had a job interview the very next day that I felt really good about, and started my new job a few days later! πŸ™‚

8.What was your biggest achievement of the year?
Finally landing a new job after about 8 months of being unemployed. It’s not the best paying job in the world but I really do love it.

9.What was your biggest failure?
Probably my diet. I did start “dieting” in early June, and by August lost about 10 lbs. It’s not a huge accomplishment, but it was a start. Then came the holidays and while I luckily didn’t pack the lbs. back on, I’m still well above my ideal weight and my eating habits are back to crap.

10.Did you suffer illness or injury?
Nope, not really.

11.What was the best thing you bought?
I can’t recall anything note-worthy.

12.Whose behavior merited celebration?
Mine, in the sense that I finally found a job and managed to work the crazy hours that came with another receptionist getting fired after a few months. They were still barely 40 hour weeks, but it was 6 days a week, which was tough.

13.Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
Jon’s brother… such a sad, sad individual.

14.Where did most of your money go?
Food! Groceries can be expensive, not to mention a lot of the time we order out because I’m too lazy or tired to cook, haha. Plus, I’m not one for packing my lunch very often, so buying food at work took a toll on my bank account, too.

15.What events did you get really, really, really excited about?
I was excited to start my new job, to see Madonna live, and for all of the holidays!

16.What song will always remind you of 2012?
Probably “Broken” by Seether and Amy Lee, and “A Whole New World” from Aladdin- they became staple karaoke songs when we hung out with our friends, lol.

17.Compared to this time last year, are you:
i.Happier or Sadder? I’d like to think happier.
ii.Thinner or Fatter? Thinner, but still fat, lol.
iii.Richer or Poorer? Richer, but not rich by any means.

18.What do you wish you’d done more of?
Spend time with Tyler. There’s always more time to be spent with your child!

19.What do you wish you’d done less of?
Bitching. I tend to bitch about a lot, and even if a lot of the time it’s well-deserved, life’s too short to complain about everything.

20.How will you be spending Christmas?
Christmas day me, Tyler, Jon, my mom, and my brother went to my other brother and his fiance’s apartment, along with her parents, for Christmas dinner. Jon and I left after a few hours and came back to my house to relax and watched Ted. πŸ™‚

21.Who did you spend the most time on the phone with?
Either Jon or my Dad. I’m so not a phone person…

22.Did you fall in love in 2012?
No more than the past several years!

23. How many one-night stands?

24. What was your favorite TV program?
I started watching a ton of TV shows this year, mostly thanks to Netflix, which is weird for me since I usually hate trying to keep up with stuff on TV. Dexter and Pretty Little Liars would probably be my favorites, but I also religiously watched Nip/Tuck, The Secret Life of the American Teenager, Make It Or Break It, America’s Next Top Model, Californication, Girls, Revenge, The Voice, The X Factor, and multiple shows on the Food Network.

25. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?
I don’t think so.

26. What was the best book you read?
None. Pathetic, isn’t it? I may have read some of “The Carrie Diaries,” but I can’t remember if I bought that in 2011 or 2012. Either way, I didn’t make it any further than chapter 5, and now that it’s a TV show I’ll probably just watch that to get my Sex and the City fix.

27. What was your greatest musical discovery or rediscovery?
Nothing, really. I haven’t heard anything on the radio this year that particularly got me excited. I won’t deny that I know the words to Justin Bieber’s two big singles… can’t lie, haha.

28. What did you want and get?
A job! πŸ™‚

29. What did you want and not get?
My own place, but that wasn’t to be expected this year.

30. What were your favorite films of this year?
I think I actually went to the movies once to see Titanic 3D, which wasn’t new… I can’t think of any new movies that I loved, either.

31.What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
I turned 27, and I honestly can’t remember what I did. Probably not much, to be honest.

32. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
Reaching my goal weight and/or finally moving into my own place.

33. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2012?
Anything bright, colorful, animal print, and sparkly!

34. What kept you sane?
Jon, Tyler, and my kitties.

35. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most/least?
The usual… Britney Spears, Justin Timberlake, Christina Aguilera… my 3 all-time favorites!

36. What political issue stirred you the most?
Meh… I’m not into politics. Yes, I care about my future and especially my son’s future, but I just cannot stand getting into it with people about something that once upon a time was personal. And I cannot stand when others get into it about political issues, either. Both parties end up sounding like complete morons.

37. Whom did you miss?
No one, really. I mean I always miss all of my family and friends that don’t live close, but it is what it is.

38. Who was the best new person you met?
Hmm, I do love pretty much everyone that I work with. They are a great group of ladies, which makes the job that much easier. πŸ™‚

39. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2012:
Persistance pays off! (In regards to my job hunt- I interviewed with the salon in May and got a call saying the position they were hiring for was no longer available since the girl who was leaving decided to stay. In July I noticed another ad posted on Craigslist so I called immediately, and it paid off!)

40. Do you have any lost feelings of others.
For others in general, yes. People seem to be getting crazier and crazier by the day.

Hope you all had a great 2012 (and holiday season, since I was too busy to even think about blogging in December) and much love and luck into the new year!

January 17, 2013 at 11:57 am Leave a comment

Happy Thanksgiving!

So, the last blog I posted was basically apologizing for being M.I.A and promising to start writing more… fast forward to over a month later, and here I am, about to promise and apologize for the same things…. πŸ™‚ I’ve been working 6 days a week since another receptionist I was working with got fired. Someone new started on Tuesday, but it could be over a month until she’s trained enough to be on her own. That pretty much has been my life in a nutshell, but other than that, work has been really good so I can’t complain. Halloween was kind of a dud, so that didn’t really seem blog-worthy. Our trick or treating was cancelled on behalf of Hurricane/Superstorm Sandy (even though we just got rain, and nothing near what I guess they were anticipating), and a few of our friends, Jon, and I just kind of hung out the previous weekend and played around with some weird make-up and had some drinks. No parties, sadly. Jon’s birthday was November 3rd, but his cousin’s wedding was the same day. The wedding was actually pretty fun, though, as there was bowling, as well as drinking and dancing, after the meal… haha. I’m not at all into politics, so no use writing about how bad people that get sticks up their asses around election time piss me off. I did get to see Madonna in concert on November 6th, though, which wasn’t a terribly great show however it was super cool to see her live. I’ve always been a pretty big fan of hers, and even though I’m not too familiar with her newer music, it was still a great time. She sang ‘Like A Prayer’ so that was good enough for me. I read in an article that it was the first time she’s performed in Pittsburgh since 1985, the year I was born, so it was awesome that I got to see her. She’s getting up there in age, so who knows how many tours she’ll be able to do after this one.

Well, I hope everyone has a wonderful Thanksgiving tomorrow! Jon, Tyler, my mom, and possibly my brothers will be going to my grandfather’s tomorrow for an early meal. I do have to work at 8:45am on Friday, but thankfully I’m no longer in retail. In fact, the only reason I have to work that early is because I’m covering for another receptionist who had requested off. No biggie, and it’ll be calm for me. πŸ™‚ I do not envy those in retail… seriously. That was pure hell. Right now Jon and I are off to our friend’s house for a bonfire to celebrate one of the biggest party nights of the year! Luckily it’s in the same neighborhood as me, so we don’t have to worry about driving drunk and DUI checkpoints… everyone be safe and enjoy!

November 21, 2012 at 10:42 pm Leave a comment

Happy Labor Day!

I hope everyone is having a relaxing Labor Day, or at least had a nice Labor Day weekend! The best part of my new job is actually having off on holidays! We even closed a few hours early on Saturday, even though Labor Day wasn’t until today. At my last job, we weren’t closed very often at all- only Thanksgiving and Christmas. I worked Easter, 4th of July, and every other holiday. I even had to work until about 5 or so on Christmas Eve and New Years Eve- it blew, big time. Tyler went with my mom to my grandfather’s house for a mini-cookout, so I’m just sitting here relaxing by myself all day, which is actually quite nice. It’s going to suck being a day short when my paycheck comes, but I’ll deal. Sometimes you need some time to yourself to not have to do anything at all. πŸ™‚ Normally we go to Jon’s house to stay for the weekend, but we caught a break this week and just stayed at my house. My mom took Tyler with her and my grandfather on Saturday to an annual rib cook-off so it seemed kind of silly to go to Jon’s on Friday night only to have to drive back to my house Saturday morning, then back to his house that night, and all the way back out here again on Sunday so Jon could go to work. It’s only about a 15 minute drive from his house to mine, but it adds up when gas is almost $4 a gallon. I ended up going into work Saturday for my co-worker who apparently wasn’t feeling well, anyway, so it all worked out. And it was nice to not have to deal with Jon’s crowded house for a week. His parents have been on his ass a lot lately for various things, plus his brother, sister-in-law, and nephew live there, and when Tyler and his cousin get together it can get really, really annoying as they don’t always “play nice.” Throw in the usual drama that seems to follow his family around, and it gets to be a bit much for me to handle (quietly, anyway) every week.

The next couple of weeks are going to suck financially. I didn’t work a lot the past few weeks since there were 4 receptionists working, so my paycheck was a bit low. One of the girls just went back to school, though, so from here on out I’ll be getting decent hours, luckily. Aside from my crappy paycheck, Jon owes his parents $250. We got two new tires for his car a couple of weeks ago, which ended up being almost $600 due to other problems that needed fixed, and his mom put it on her credit card since we obviously weren’t going to be able to swing that at once. Also, Jon has to buy a new toilet for his bathroom, which is going to be around $100. We’re probably going to have to wait until next payday for that, as we’re already really low on money right now. Ugh, I have such a love/hate relationship with money. I love it when I have it, but it’s the worst feeling in the world when I don’t. I guess that’s how everyone is, though.

Even though we just went to the zoo not too long ago, we’re going to try to plan a trip to Living Treasures in the next month or so. I’ve never been there so I’m really excited. It’s basically a zoo, a bit smaller, but you get to see the animals up close. It’ll be cool, but at the same time I think the animals are in much smaller, enclosed areas, which won’t be cool. I love animals, and would love to see exotic animals up close, but not if it’s causing them to live miserable lives. We’ll see how it is when we go. A few of Jon’s friends were supposed to come with us to the zoo originally, but due to weather and other conflicts Jon, Tyler, and I ended up going by ourselves, so we’re going to wait for a weekend when we’re all off and Tyler isn’t in school to go so everyone can come. We also want to wait for the weather to cool off a little, so we’re not walking around in high heat, which will also make the animals more comfortable and be up and active. It’s about an hour or two away, so we’ll probably make a whole day out of it. I think there’s some shopping outlets up that way, and a state park.

P.S. Check out my new Tumblr page! πŸ™‚ I signed up almost a year ago, but didn’t get around to really posting anything until recently. It’s mostly going to be a collection of quotes and pictures that I like, mostly relating to movies, Britney Spears, and *N Sync, lol. What can I say, I still love my 90’s popstars!!!

September 3, 2012 at 5:23 pm Leave a comment

School & Pineapple Smoothies

I promise the title of this entry will make more sense as you read along. πŸ™‚ I had a fun and somewhat relaxing 4 days off, but yesterday it was back to the grind. The worst thing about having that many days off in a row is going back to work. Don’t get me wrong, I’m thrilled to be making money again and my job really isn’t bad at all while I’m there, but there were a few times I had to remind myself how miserable I was not working and how antsy I had become just sitting around the house most days. Friday we met my dad and stepmom for a delicious dinner. He surprised me by giving me a stack of gift cards as a “Christmas in July” sort of thing (even though it was August), and they couldn’t have come at a better time! Earlier that day Jon took his car in to get the long overdue 2 new tires we’ve been needing, and ended up needing a new alignment and tire rod (or something…) which cost about $600. Nice. Luckily, his mom has a Goodyear credit card that’s accepted at the garage he went to, so we’re paying her in installments, which helps a lot. Not to mention Jon’s car insurance was due this pay, so that’s $73 more that we didn’t have to spend. He gave us a bunch of restaurant gift cards (Cheesecake Factory, Friday’s, Chili’s, and Olive Garden = om nom nom!), Target, and some gas cards. Very nice, indeed! Plus, I have a $25 gift card to Macy’s that I earned on that I have yet to use. I’ve already done a lot of damage on the Target and gas cards, and we got take-out from Chili’s Saturday and I got Friday’s last night, but hey, that’s what they’re for!

On Saturday we sucked it up, woke up before 9am, and went to the zoo. I had originally wanted to go Friday, since weekdays tend to be a little less crowded and to be completely honest I can’t stand people in those kind of situations. I go there to see the animals, not to wait in line and get frustrated with pushy people, lines, and parents who allow their children to run around and do whatever the hell they want. Unfortunately, it rained and stormed most of Friday, so Saturday it was, because I’ve been dying to go for almost 2 years and I wasn’t waiting anymore. The zoo opens at 9:30am, and we got there around 10ish, so it wasn’t too bad. Still more people than I would have liked, but not nearly as bad as I’ve seen in the past. To my delight, it wasn’t as expensive as I had thought it was going to be. I could’ve sworn the last time I was there it was getting close to $20 with Tyler being just as much as an adult entrance, and prices seem to go up each year, so I was expecting the worst. It was $14 for adults, and $12 for Tyler. Still sounds crazy that we paid $40 to go walk around and look at animals, but I validate that by thinking, “At least a lot of the money goes towards the wellbeing of the animals.” In that case, I’m happy to pay. I always love the zoo, aside from the overwhelming smell of “nature” at some of the exhibits, lol. The elephants, who are usually the worst smell-wise, have an outdoor area, as well as a small indoor area where the zookeepers bring them in from time to time for various reasons. I usually bypass the indoor section because they smell bad enough outside, but that particular day they brought one of the elephants inside to hose it down and whatnot. Normally that wouldn’t interest me, either, but the elephant they brought in just so happened to be the one that had a baby not too long ago, so the baby was inside with it. And I just can’t pass up baby animals! About 6 months ago one of the sea otters had a baby, too. There are actually “It’s a boy!” billboards and ads all over the greater Pittsburgh area, so I was super excited to see this cutie. He was a lot bigger than I had anticipated (maybe about 35lb. or so?) but still adorable. They had him inside in his own little area. He was swimming around in circles in what looked like a baby pool, holding a little dumbbell and interacting with everyone, and barking! At least it sounded like a dog bark, only at the pitch of a cat meow, if that makes sense, haha. I don’t know if there’s a proper term for the noise otters make, lol, but whatever it is, it was loud yet so cute. My favorite exhibit is always the penguins (and the big cats, whenever any of them get off of their lazy butts and actually do something! The tigers/leopard/snow leopard/lions are almost always plopped in a corner somewhere sleeping when I’m there!). We stayed and watched them for a good 10 minutes, at least. They’re always so cute and funny to watch, which is why they are one of my top favorite animals. I loved watching them “dive” into the water (more like belly flopping, lol), and hop up out of the water. Plus, it was feeding time so one of the zoo keepers came into their space with fish and handing them out one by one. It was so funny, as soon as the person came in they all bolted and crowded around her like a bunch of 12 year olds standing outside of Justin Bieber’s hotel, lol. I didn’t get to take any pictures or video like I usually do, because my camera still doesn’t work. It stopped reading the memory card for some reason, and even though I can afford to buy a new card now, I managed to lose the battery charger. 😦

Later that day we went out shopping at Dollar Tree and Five Below to get Tyler his school supplies. When it comes to that kind of stuff I’m all about cheap. After we got his list checked off we headed over to Target to take advantage of my gift cards, and for the first time ever I left with only things I needed, such as razors, hair ties, make-up remover, and mascara. WTF?! I can be flat broke and still manage to spend my ass off in Target. That’s the funny thing about having money to spend; when you have it, you never find anything. But when you’re broke, there’s $100 of things you want. Oh well, at least I have about $20 left on my card to spend. πŸ™‚

Later that evening we were just relaxing and watching TV, when I got a craving for a smoothie. Normally I make smoothies with vanilla ice cream, which turns them into more of a milkshake, but that wasn’t the type of sweet tooth I had, so i opened the fridge and found the vanilla greek yogurt I was hoping I still had. It was a day or two past it’s sell-by date, but I tasted it and it seemed to be fine, so in the blender it went. I’ve recently found my new favorite flavor of Chobani greek yogurt- pineapple- and figured since I love the yogurt, a pineapple yogurt smoothie would be great. I originally planned on a banana smoothie, but remembered Jon’s mom had several cans of crushed pineapple in the pantry, so I grabbed one of those. I had intended on making it pineapple-banana, but being the moron that I am, I accidentally dumped the entire large can of pineapple in the blender, which turned out to be too much of a pain in ass to fish out, so I left it all in there with the yogurt, lol. I added milk, sugar, and ice, blended, and enjoyed. It was SO GOOD! I know pineapple smoothies are made all of the time, and the ingredients I used are very basic in smoothies, but rarely do I make something without a strict recipe that turns out so wonderful. Next time I’ll definitely limit the use of pineapple, and maybe add some cream of coconut or coconut shavings for a piΓ±a colada smoothie! The best part is it was really healthy! Well, I used sugar and 2% milk, but if I were at my house I would’ve used artificial sweetener and skim milk, making it much healthier. In case you’re interested, here’s what I used:

*1 Large Can of Crushed Pineapple (by accident- measure according to your preference)
*1 6oz. Container of Vanilla Greek Yogurt
*About a 1/2 Cup of Milk
*Ice (measure according to your preference)
*About a TBSP of Sugar (again, measure to your preference, or use artificial sweetener)

Major yums!!! Anyway, Tyler is all set for school, aside from a box of kleenex I need to get for him to take in. I can’t believe he goes back TOMORROW! And that he’s in 3RD GRADE! This summer really flew. In fact, this year is really flying. I know he’s excited to see all of his friends again, but that’s about it. He definitely takes after me in the sense that school isn’t his favorite thing in the world, aside from recess and socializing. Last year was the first year I really started struggling with him to do his homework and whatnot. I have a feeling it’s only going to get worse as he gets older, and the work becomes more like work rather than fun projects. Oh well, karma’s a bitch, lol. What sucks is for the past month or so Jon and I haven’t both had a day off from work that was swimming-appropriate (at least not warm and sunny enough for me to get some color), and this Friday is finally supposed to be perfect, but we’ll have to either wait until Tyler gets home from school around 4pm, or go over and swim and come back to my house to pick him up. I had a good tan going in June, but it has since faded almost entirely, so I NEED this sun before it’s too late, and I’m pale until next year. I think one of Jon’s friends is coming over to swim, too, so I guess we’ll just have to make sure we’re out of the pool and at my house by 4 to pick up Tyler. Hopefully next time I blog I’ll be darker… fingers are crossed. πŸ™‚

August 22, 2012 at 1:49 pm Leave a comment

Mini “Stay”cation

I have some time to kill so decided to write about my upcoming week… or upcoming couple of days, whatever. Jon starts work at 1 and I don’t start until 5, so he should be here shortly so I can drop him off at work and keep the car for when I have to go in at 5. Tyler and I are meeting my good friend and her adorable 1 year-old son for lunch. I haven’t really seen her for months, aside from her son’s birthday party last month, which doesn’t really count since she had several family members, friends, etc. there to entertain, so I didn’t get to talk to her very much. Should be fun, and her son is so cute. I work from 5 to close tonight (which should be about 8:30 at the latest- *crosses fingers*) and then I have 4 days off in a row! Maybe 5, I have to recheck the schedule when I get to work tonight to see if I go back Tuesday or Wednesday. I left the paper I wrote it down on at Jon’s house, and can’t seem to remember at the moment. Tomorrow night Jon, Tyler, and I are meeting my dad and stepmom for dinner. I feel like I haven’t seen them for months, which is probably close to accurate, so I can’t wait! I miss them. 😦 He only lives about 45 minutes away, which isn’t terrible, but when I rely on Jon for a car, and gas prices are the way they are, it’s not the easiest thing in the world to drive out there. Not to mention my dad works a lot, Jon works a lot, and I work somewhat a lot (haha). We’re going to Benihana, which is one of those hibachi-style japanese steak and seafood restaurants, where they prepare almost everything on the table in front of you. Mmmm, SO GOOD! I can’t wait! Even though I’ve pretty much mastered their oh-so-delicious shrimp sauce and fried rice, which are my two favorite things about those kind of restaurants, I’m still excited to have the real deal!

Jon and I were planning on taking Tyler to the zoo Friday since we’re both off, and it’s the last week day before Tyler goes back to school. I’ve been waiting for a week day because I hate crowds, and waiting, and lines… which are all usually present on the weekends, especially during the summer. Unfortunately, it’s supposed to storm that day. Go figure! I rarely request nice, sunny days, but just this once I’d like to be given a break! Even if it’s not sunny, as long as the rain holds off for a couple of hours I’ll be a happy girl! In fact, I’d prefer if it’s not sunny and hot if I’m going to be walking around outside. We’re just going to play it by ear, and see how the day turns out. If it’s too crappy to go Friday, we may aim for Saturday since it’s supposed to be clear, with a high of about 71 degrees. That sounds like perfect zoo weather to me, so if I have to I guess I can suck it up and deal with all of the people. We haven’t been to the zoo for almost 2 years, I think, which is crazy considering I was going at least twice a year for a while there. I love animals. πŸ™‚

Anyway, that’s all the excitement planned. The rest of my days off I’m more than likely just going to relax, probably do some grocery shopping since it’s pay week, and Jon and I have to get two new tires for his car before they get so bald that they explode. I can’t believe Tyler already goes back to school next Thursday, the 23rd. That seems a bit early to me. I know a lot of kids are already back, but around here it’s usually the week before or after Labor Day. His cousin, who goes to school in a neighboring school district, doesn’t start until after Labor Day (I think) so I don’t know why Tyler’s school is in such a rush to get things going. Oh well, he seems to be excited. Well, at the very least he’s happy he gets to see all of his friends again. Ah, my little 3RD GRADER… geez, time flies!

August 16, 2012 at 12:25 pm Leave a comment

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The Amy Blog

Hello, I'm Amy! I was born in '85 and live in Pittsburgh, PA. I became the mama of my wonderful son in 2004, and also own 3 kitties that I treat like children. I am a self-admitted cosmetics and beauty addict, but I also enjoy fashion, music, art, and am totally guilty of reading way too much celebrity gossip. :P

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