Tuesday, December 17, 2013

It's Almost Christmas!

On 11/13, Nathan drew stick figures of mommy and daddy.  He is getting much better at drawing, mostly cars, letters, etc...

On 11/21, Nathan and I went to the Desert Museum.

On 11/24, we took Nathan to see Santa at Foothills Mall.  They had santa in front of a firehouse in honor of the Hot Shots who died earlier in the year.

On 11/26, Nathan had his Thanksgiving party at school.

For Thanksgiving, 11/28, we went to the Alvirs.  Nathan loved playing with Hobbester their cat.

On 12/4, I went to Reid Park Zoo while Nathan was in school.

On 12/7, my parents arrived to spend a week with us for Nathan's birthday.

We took my dad to the Pima Air & Space Museum on 12/8.  It was neat because they displayed many planes that look like the planes in the movie Disney Planes.

Grandma, Grandpa, Nathan and I went to see the movie Frozen at the movies on 12/10.  Nathan was not enjoying it too much in the beginning.  He kept waiting for the snowman to appear.  He also got scared in some parts.  But, he said it ended well, he liked it and he wants me to buy it when it comes out on DVD.

I took my parents to Butterfly Wonderland on 12/12.  I was excited to see their Winter Wonderland display featuring white butterflies, but there were not as many as I had expected.  They said they had some unforeseen circumstances so they are gradually increasing the white population.  We got to eat at Portillos for lunch!  Paul went to the doctor and had his blood tested.  His A1C was 9.1 compared to 7.8 the previous visit.  His doctor suggested insulin or seeing a pancreatic specialist.  He said he did not like either option so he first wants to work on his diet and exercise and see if that makes a difference.  It is hard with the holidays, but he has started doing the bike now.  We hope to get an elliptical machine next year because we will get a $200 allowance for exercise equipment from Aetna.  I am worried about him, though, so I hope that he can get his blood sugar under control.

The Alvirs invited us over on 12/14 to celebrate Christmas and Nathan's birthday.  We gave Nathan his monster truck birthday cake and some of his gifts.

Nathan turned 4 on 12/15!  We went to church and then he requested to go to Hot Rods for his birthday. We measured Nathan for his 4th birthday and he is almost 42" tall.  I also asked him a series of questions that I intend to put in a scrapbook:
Favorite Color: Red
Favorite Toy: Cars
Favorite Food: Goldfish
Favorite thing to eat for breakfast: Oatmeal
Favorite thing to eat for lunch: PB&J Sandwiches, Cucumbers and Carrots
Favorite Snack: Scooby Doo or Lightning McQueen Fruit Snacks
Favorite Cereal: Honey Nut Cheerios
Favorite Fruit: Peaches and Apples
Favorite Drink: Chocolate Milk
Food you do not like: Lettuce
Favorite Movie: Disney Planes
Favorite thing to wear: Disney Cars and Disney Planes Shirts
Favorite Animal: Mountain Lion
Favorite Song: Twinkle Twinkle Little Star
Favorite Book: Disney Planes Wings Around the Globe (sound book)
Best Friend: Jade
Favorite Place to go: Children's Museum and Hot Rods Restaurant
Favorite Holiday: Easter
What do you like to take to bed with you at night: All of the toys I can grab!
What do you want to be when you grow up: Race Car Driver
Favorite thing to do at school: Playing with Toys
What is something you are good at: Naming Cars

Grandma and Grandpa left to go back to Chicago on 12/16.

Nathan had a rough day at school last Friday and this past Monday.  He also had troubles at Sunday School on his birthday and they said that was unusual.  Hopefully, now that his birthday is over and Grandma and Grandpa are gone he will start behaving better.  He has also been doing his speech evaluation the last week or so.  We will find out the results of that in January.

We have a few large expenses coming up, including new A/C/Furnaces, a new car and new furniture for Nathan's room not to mention other things like a new kitchen table.  I am a little worried about our finances next year so I hope Paul gets a good bonus again and that we get a good tax return.

Christmas is almost here and I am not prepared at all.  I have to wrap Nathan's presents.  Our tree still does not have ornaments and all of our totes are sitting in our living room and family room.  I wanted to buy a few more gifts, but I think I have run out of time.  Still working on a few Christmas cards, too.  I am just so behind this year.  In a way it will be a relief when the holidays are over and things slow down a bit so I can catch up.  Things have been crazy since we did all of that traveling in October.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

The holidays are here!

So Nathan decided that he wanted to go trick or treating this year.  Last year he was too scared.  So we took him around to a few houses and then he helped us hand out candy at home.

On November 1, I took Nathan to see the Oscar Mayer Wienermobile that was in town.

On November 2, I went to a photo safari at Reid Park Zoo.  I have been disappointed with the last few I have been to because they just aren't as good as they used to be.  Plus, we are seeing some of the same animals over and over again so it is getting a little boring.  Not sure if I will do any more in the future.  I went to Tucson Botanical Gardens to see the butterflies after the zoo.  I am also disappointed with it so far this year.  There just does not seem to be as many butterflies as there used to be in prior years.  However, they have added dart frogs which is a nice addition.  While I went to the zoo and the gardens, Paul and Nathan went to a car show, Cops and Rodders.

November 8th we saw an owl on the roof of our neighbor's house.  I love seeing these animals in the wild. Just like I like to hear the coyotes howling when we open our windows at night this time of year.

November 9th was Tulla's 7th birthday!  Paul and Nathan took her to PetsMart to get the spa treatment: nails trimmed, ears cleaned and teeth brushed.  They also took Bella to Banfield to get her nails trimmed, too.

November 10th we went to Phoenix for the NASCAR race.  Nathan wanted the Danica Patrick car so we bought him one of those.  He wanted her to win that day.  Kevin Harvick #29 won again.  He had won the race we went to last year in Phoenix.  Earlier this year, we were there to see Carl Edwards #99 win.  This time he was winning, but he ran out of gas near the end of the race!

Yesterday, 11/12, I took Nathan to the movies.  This is the second time he has been to the movie theatre. We went to see Planes the first time and he loved it.  This time we went to see Free Birds and he did not like it.  He kept telling me that he wanted to go home and that he was tired.  I made him stay until the end, but I admit it was not the greatest movie.  Planes was much better and more up his alley.  I tried!

I found out that I won honorable mention in the Jones Photo red competition for my picture of a red cactus flower with a small butterfly in the middle.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Out of Town in October

Nathan was good at school on 9/30.

We spent the month of October traveling.

Paul flew to Chicago on October 1st after we found out that his mom was in ICU.  I went to the Botanical Gardens on 10/2 to see the opening of the Butterfly Magic.  Paul came back 10/3 so that we could go to Albuquerque for the weekend.  We had already planned and paid for the trip to see the Balloon Fiesta.  The last day we were there we found that there was nothing more they could do for Paul's mom.  She passed away the next morning, 10/7.  We decided to drive to Chicago so that we could take some things back in the car from Pat's house.

On 10/9, we headed for Chicago.  We stopped in Roswell, NM on our way.  That night we stayed in Amarillo, TX.

10/10 we drove through Texas, Oklahoma, Missouri and finally arrived in Illinois at like 2 in the morning on 10/11.

On 10/11, Nathan and I went to Morton Arboretum with Grandpa Fred.  Not a lot of Fall colors to see, but it was still nice.

On 10/12, Paul, Nathan and I went to Kankakee State Park before he went to help at his mom's house again.

On 10/13, Nathan and I went to Stir Crazy with Grandma and Grandpa and my friend Debbie Madl joined us.  Afterward, we took Nathan to Ty Warner Park in Westmont.  Nathan and I stopped over by 159th and Pulaski to take pictures with the Sheriff from Cars before heading back to GG's.

On 10/16, we went to Brookfield Zoo.  We practically had the place to ourselves which was great.  I got to see the new snow leopard cub.  Then we met the Carsons at Ledo's Pizza for dinner.

On 10/17, we started driving back toward Tucson.  We stopped at the world's largest truck stop in Iowa. We drove through Nebraska and finally made it to Dodge City, KS after being in the car for like 15 hours. We stayed there for the night.

On 10/18, we spent the snowy morning in Dodge City and then drove to Manitou Springs, CO.  We stayed there for the night.

On 10/19, we took the Cog Railway at Pike's Peak and then went to the visitor center at Garden of the gods before heading out of town.  The views at that visitor center are amazing.  We drove to Santa Fe, NM and stayed there for the night.

On 10/20, we toured the Loretto Chapel in Santa Fe and saw the miraculous staircase.  We shopped in the Plaza (where Paul bought me a nice pair of earrings as a late Sweetest Day gift) and ate lunch before heading back to Tucson.

Nathan was very well behaved during our trip to Chicago.  I hate that he missed so many school days, but he got green cards during our trip!

Nathan was able to go to school on 10/21 and 10/23.  He was good both days and was even green all day on the 23rd!

On 10/22, Nathan spelled his first word...all on his own.  He was playing with his bath letters and then showed me that he had speed Read.  I was very impressed.  He had the letters backwards (daer), but he said it correctly.

As we were getting ready to leave for Sedona on 10/24, I got in Paul's car (2002 Grand Am) to take the dogs to Creature Comforts.  His clock was reading 12:00.  We restarted it a couple of times that morning and the same thing happened, but it was starting just fine.  We got the dogs dropped off and headed to Sedona in our other car (2007 Grand Prix).  We arrived in Sedona and ate at the Open Range for lunch. We got to our lodge, Slide Rock Lodge, and explored a bit around there.  We were disappointed with the lodge itself, especially considering how much we paid to stay there.  We had a fireplace, but there was no bath tub and not even a clock.  We walked a little bit by the creek before going to dinner that night.

The next morning we ate at the Coffee Pot Restaurant and I took a couple pictures of Coffee Pot Rock. Then we went hiking at Slide Rock Park.  We had never been to Slide Rock Park before and it was just beautiful. After Slide Rock Park we started driving north through Oak Creek Canyon and stopped to hike at Call of the Canyon West Fork.  We continued driving north through Oak Creek Canyon and decided to go up to Flagstaff for dinner.  We ate at Olive Garden.

On 10/26, We went to hike at Cathedral Rock.  We explored an area that we had not seen before and it had even better views of Cathedral Rock.  Then Paul was nice enough to walk through the water to get more pictures for me.  After hiking at Cathedral Rock we went hiking at Boynton Canyon Trail.  That is another area we had never explored before.  We climbed to the top of the vista and had great views from there. After that hike, Paul and Nathan napped in the car while I hiked by Bell Rock.  A lot of hiking for me that day!  The hike just to get close to Bell Rock took forever.  I got pretty close and that is where you start hiking up Bell Rock.  I decided not to do that and turn around since it took me like an hour just to get that far.  That evening we went shopping at Tlaquepaque Marketplace.  We went to a Christmas store and a toy store.  Then we ate dinner at a Mexican restaurant there.

We started heading home on 10/27 stopping in Winslow, AZ.  We stood on the corner in Winslow, AZ! We drove through Salt River Canyon and ate dinner at Nonna Maria's in Oracle before going home.  We tried starting up the Grand Am that evening and we had trouble getting it started.

On 10/28 we ended up buying a new alternator for the Grand Am. We think that solved our problem (we had to replace like 3 batteries in the last year and then the clock kept resetting itself over the weekend). Nathan started the day with a red card at school, but he was able to turn it back to green!

Nathan got a green card at school on 10/30!

Today is Halloween.  Nathan is going to be the #18 M&M race car driver Kyle Busch!

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Almost October already!

I can not believe it has been almost a month already since I have updated my blog.  Time goes by too fast.

9/1: Nathan announced that he likes every color except blue.  He likes light blue, though.  His favorite color is red.  He wants a red mustang.

9/2: Critter Talk shared  a picture I took of an elephant at Reid Park Zoo on their Facebook page.  Nathan also went to work with daddy.  Nothing like putting him to work on Labor Day!

9/3: Reid Park Zoo chose my lemur picture as their fan of the week photo.

9/4: Nathan says he wants a mustang, a corvette, a beetle and a trans am when he gets older.  Unfortunately, he got a red card at school today, too.

9/5: Nathan and I went to Walmart.  The checkout lady called me ma'am and then said it must be strange to have someone twice my age call me ma'am.  I asked her how old she thought I was.  She said in my twenties.  She was surprised when I told her I was 38.

9/6: Nathan got a green card!

9/7:  We went to Patagonia Lake.  Nathan had fun playing in the sand and the water.  I was hoping to see the blue footed booby that has been spotted there, but no such luck.

9/9: Nathan has been thanking me a lot lately, even for things like buying paper towels.  He is also telling me that I am a good girl.  Unfortunately, he was a bad boy at school and got a red card.

9/11: I went to Reid Park Zoo.  When I picked Nathan up from school he got another red card.  He was so bad that she said she did not even write up a sheet for him today.  I decided to talk to the office about it.  I did not expect the conversation to go the way it did.  They contradicted everything I said.  They praised the teacher and made it seem like Nathan was to blame for everything....that we need to work on his attention span.  I got no sympathy whatsoever and they did not seem appreciative of the fact that I was approaching them first about his behavior before they had to talk to me.  I talked about the red card/green card system and they defended it.  I said that there may be too many kids in the class (maxed out at 13 most days...the ratio in IL is 10:1, but in AZ it is 13:1) and they disagreed saying the teacher keeps the class very organized and makes sure all kids get attention.  I talked about how most of the class is girls.  I talked about how he is one of the oldest kids in the class and he already knows things like his shapes and colors so maybe he is getting bored.  I left there that day not feeling very good about the school.

9/12:  I took Nathan to the Childrens Museum.  He was so well behaved.  He was great with the other kids and shared toys nicely, even with younger kids who were not very good at sharing.  It was hard to believe that this is the same kid who has trouble getting along with his classmates and keeps getting trouble at school.

9/13: Nathan got a green card!

9/14: I saw a hot air balloon behind our house so I took a picture of it and shared it on KVOA channel 4's Facebook page.  They aired it on the news that night!  That day Paul took Nathan to Sabino Canyon and to a U of A football game while I stayed home and cleaned.

9/15: We went up to Mt Lemmon.  We were surprised at how crowded it was up there.  There was also some kind of porsche club up there because there were porsches everywhere.  We wanted to eat at the Cookie Cabin, but there were too many people so we ate at Sawmill Run.

9/17:  I took Nathan to the Desert Museum.  We got to see the new young fox and we saw some late torch cacti blooms.  The best part was seeing a coati right up against the viewing window.

9/18: Nathan got another red card at school.  He was making pretend guns and shooting them.  He scared the other kids.  I think he knows about guns because he has seen military planes with guns and things like that.  All boys pretend to play with guns at some point.  We told him not to do it at school, though.

9/19:  Nathan and I went to Breakfast with the Bears to meet the new grizzly bears at Reid Park Zoo.  They are two sibling cubs, a girl and a boy.  Ronan, the boy, really liked Nathan.  He kept giving Nathan high fives at the glass.  One of the news channels was there reporting on the bears and took some film footage of it. They posted a news link on Facebook.  We were also lucky to get a good picture of Nathan with the female lion who was up by the window.  She was already there when we walked by so I had Nathan go up to the glass to get a picture of them.  I posted the picture on the zoo's Facebook page.  The zoo then shared it on their Facebook page and I got a lot of comments and likes.

9/20:  Paul's birthday.  He turned 43 today!  I ended up talking to Nathan's teacher after I dropped Nathan off.  We talked for about 45 minutes.  I felt much better after talking to her.  I brought up my concerns.  She listened and we said that we would work together to improve Nathan's behavior at school.  All of the kids were playing nicely while I was there, including Nathan.  Still, he ended the day with a red card.

9/21:  Paul took Nathan back to Patagonia Lake.  I stayed home because I just was not feeling up to it.

9/22:  Nathan started writing his letters and numbers all on his own!  The week prior I had bought a couple of dry erase books and he and I worked on our letters and numbers.  He was not doing well at writing them.  He did a little better with me holding his hand and helping him.  I quickly decided to just go over the letters and numbers and not worry about writing them just yet.  Then he surprised me today and started writing them all on his own.  They give examples of each letter and number so he was looking at the examples and copying them.

9/23:  Nathan got a green card!  In fact, he got no red cards at all that day!

9/25:  After being so good on Monday, he ended with a red card today.  One of the women in the office told him that if he was good on Friday she would give him a toy car.  

9/24-9/25:  Paul had to go to Downers Grove, IL for work.  I was not too happy about him traveling for work again.  That means I am left here to take care of Nathan all by myself, without the help of family.

9/26:  I took Nathan back to the Desert Museum.  Nathan got to see Cruz, the young mountain lion.  He is usually hiding whenever I visit, but today we got to see him.  He was hiding in the morning, but we decided to go see him one more time before we left for the day.  I am glad we did because he was out!  He was not walking around, but he was at least laying down without anything blocking our view.

9/27: I went to the zoo to try to get pictures of the new bears.  I was surprised to see so many people at the zoo and I still had trouble getting decent pictures.  My day got better, though, because Nathan got a green card!  She said he was so good!  He ran to the office to get his new car!

9/28:  We got a call early in the morning that Donnie was taking Pat to the hospital.  She was having trouble with her bowels.  That night Paul and I had a date night at Olive Garden while Bob and Ann Alvir watched Nathan.  He was good, but I think he exhausted Ann!  She took him for a ride in their golf cart, made dinner for him and they went for a walk.  He also loves their cat, Hobster, and she seems to like him, too.

9/29:  Pat is still in the hospital.  She listed her first contact as someone outside the family.  She also has not been honest with the family about her health and she is not mentally with it.  She will probably be at the hospital for at least a couple of more days while they do more tests, including a colonoscopy and testing for diabetes (when the doctor asked there if there was a history of diabetes in the family she said no, but Lisa had to correct her and tell the doctor that Paul has diabetes).  She is also having major back problems and they were considering back surgery for her, but now we are not even sure if she can go through it.  She may not be able to handle the surgery and the surgery could potentially leave her immobilized.  It is probably time for her to move in with a family member.  She has not wanted to burden anyone, but maybe now she will realize that she needs help.  

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Happy September!

8/16/13: Nathan ended up getting another red card.

8/17:  We went to peach mania at Apple Annie's in Willcox. We had never been to their peach mania before.  We stared with peach pancakes.  We picked peaches, apples and pear and then we bought some veggies that were pre-picked.  Their homemade peach ice cream was very good, especially since it was hotter than hot that day.  They were selling peach fudge which I tried, but resisted the urge to buy!  I did buy the peach salsa and that was delicious....ready for some more.

8/19:  Another red card

8/21:  Yet another red card.  I went to the Reid Park Zoo that day for their lemur debut.  The zoo has a new female and a new male lemur that they hope to breed.

8/23:  Another red card.  We left for San Diego right after Nathan got out of school.  About a 6 or so hour drive.  We stayed at the Best Western in Oceanside.

8/24:  We went to San Diego Zoo.  Daddy and Nathan went their own way so I could focus on taking pictures and we met up for lunch.  Got to see the new koala exhibit.  The baby panda was way up in a tree where we could barely see him so that was disappointing.

8/25: We went to Balboa park.  We went to the Air & Space Museum which was okay, but nothing compared to the one here in Tucson.  We went to the auto museum and the model railroad museum.  I also walked around and took pictures of the flowers.  I really liked the water lilies.  That night we ate at Ruby's on Oceanside Pier.  We saw some dolphins swimming and we got to see the sun set.

8/26: We went to Childrens Pool to see the seals.  Nathan played in the sand with his toys.  Seeing the seals in a natural environment was awesome.  Later that day we went on a San Diego Harbor Cruise.  We saw more seals on the cruise.  After that we went over to Coronado and let Nathan play in the sand.  Then we ate dinner there.

8/27: We went by the lighthouse in Oceanside before leaving town.  We saw more seals!  Then we toured the USS Midway in San Diego to conclude our trip.  Got home late that night.

8/28:  Even though Nathan missed school on Monday, 8/26, he got a green card on Wednesday!  I was so excited!  I thought it was pretty impressive considering he did not get a full night's sleep either, but he knew he would get some of his new toys from our vacation if he was good at school.

8/30:  Back to the red card.  He pushed a kid in the closet, hit a kid in the face with a book and would not participate in another group activity.  I really do not understand why he is being mean to the other kids.  We did not have that problem last year.  I think there are too many kids in this class and he is not getting enough individual attention or positive reinforcement.  The green card/red card system just does not seem to working for him and I overheard another parent talking to the teacher that day with the same concerns since his son gets a lot of red cards, too.  Most of my friends, including those who are teachers, think that they are too young at that age for such a system.  I hope the year gets better.

8/31:  We used our last Groupon and went to the water park.  We were there for 3 hours!  That night I went to the last Saturday Summer Evening at the Desert Museum.  It was very crowded.  I got there later than I had hoped so I did not get to take many pictures before going to their two photo workshops, one of photo tips to make your photos stand out and the other on night photography.

So it is Labor Day weekend and tomorrow Nathan has no school and Paul will be home.  I don't think we have anything planned so it may just be a day at home.      

Friday, August 16, 2013

It's Friday!

Nathan ended up getting another red card on 8/7/13.  However, he ended the week with a green card!

For being good at school on Friday, we told Nathan that we would take him to the water park on Saturday. Unfortunately, as I was getting ready to go, I fainted.  I hit my nose and head.  My glasses got scratched up on the frames, too.  Paul let Nathan play in his little pool instead.

On Monday, 8/12, Nathan had another rough day at school.  He ended the day with a red card.  I found out that it is because he and another boy would not pick up their toys.  We have the same problem at home.  I got so tired of yelling at him about it and taking them away so now I have found that by helping him he will pick some of them up.

On Tuesday, 8/13, I took Nathan to the movies for the first time.  We went to see Disney Planes.  He loved the movie Cars so much so I was pretty sure he would like Planes, too.  I was nervous because I was not sure he would sit still for that long.  He did great!  We did not have to pay for anything because I had gift cards and we even got popcorn.  There were like a million previews so both of us were getting impatient with them.  There are a couple of good movies coming out soon, though.  The movie itself was kind of loud, but Nathan did well.  He sat in his seat the whole time and seemed to enjoy the movie.  I was so pleased with his behavior so I bought him Planes shoes and a Planes toy that day.  We also went over to Pappoules and had lunch together.  A nice mommy son day!

On Wednesday, 8/14, Nathan had a better day at school.  I think he had a couple of issues in the morning so he may have got a red card, but he ended the day with a green card!  I was surprised when I picked him up, though, because his teacher said we needed to work on his colors and shapes.  I said he knows his colors and shapes pretty well.  She said he would not point them out to her when she asked him to do so.  So we did it really quick before we left and he was able to point them all out correctly to her.  That boy needs to show off his smarts to his teacher more!

That evening Paul got home a little early and said that he needed to go to urgent care because he thought he had an ear infection.  We went over to CVS minute clinic just before 6, but they were not taking any more patients for the day.  Then we went over to Northwest Urgent Care.  We were there until after 8!  They flushed out his one ear that had a lot of buildup and then gave him a prescription for the infection.  By the time we got the prescription and got home it was like 9:30...way past Nathan's bed time!  They also tested Paul's blood at urgent care since they said he was a diabetic.  It was like 165.  I was surprised it was so high given we had not eaten dinner yet.  I think it is because he had a lot of bread at lunch since he took Nathan's leftover french dip sandwich from dinner the night before.  I was in the process of making strawberry spinach salad for dinner that night, but we did not get a chance to eat it so we ate at Sonic while we were waiting for Paul's prescription to be ready.  He ended up taking the salad to lunch the next day.

Thursday, 8/15, Nathan and I stayed home.  I thought he could use the rest since he got to bed so late the night before.  He still got up at his regular time and his nap that day was a couple of hours which is about normal.  Thus, I think he still needs more sleep!

So now it is finally Friday.  I hope that Nathan has another good day at school.  Mommy has a busy day of cleaning.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Nathan is in his new class now

On 7/3/13 we took Bella and Tulla to the vet for the 6 month appointment.  There was some kind of mix up, though, because the wrong vet gave them their exams.  We are supposed to see Dr Wilson, but for some reason Dr Tucker checked them out.  I really like Dr Wilson, but I do not care for Dr Tucker that much. Bella lost about 6 lbs and is only about 3 lbs from her goal.  The challenging part is that we can not really take her for walks because she may attack other dogs.  The vet suggested swimming, but that is not something we can do all of the time, especially during the year when the water is not warm enough.  Tulla also lost weight and is at her ideal weight now.  The vet made a big deal about Tull'a leg and said that she has very limited movement with it.  Obviously!  She was hit by a car and broke it.  We think she gets around pretty good actually.  She runs up and down the stairs.  Sometimes she limps a little, but usually only if she has been laying down for awhile.  The vet gave me the OK to take her for walks (I was concerned because I did not want to overdo her leg) so I think the exercise will do her some good.  Of course they suggested a different (expensive) food, doing physical therapy for her, talking to a surgeon and possibly amputation.  I think all of this is premature and the expense related to all of this is just not warranted at this time.  I want to try the walking and see how that goes, but it will be much easier when the weather cools down.  The other issue is that Tulla keeps itching a lot.  They said it could be a food allergy (one more reason to switch to their expensive food), a seasonal thing or something like that.  They said to try Benadryl.  I still need to buy some.

Nathan started school on 8/5.  Unfortunately, he did not have a very good first day.  They have a red card green card system.  A red card means they misbehaved.  He got a red card then got his green card back and then got another red card.  He was the only kid in class to get a red card that day.  He was also one of the only boys in the class that day.  I think there may have been one other boy, but there were a lot of girls.  I am not sure if that is affecting his behavior.  Hopefully, it was just because it was his first day and everything was new.  Today is his second day.  There are supposed to be 13 kids there today!  I like it when the class is smaller so I hope it goes well with that many kids.  There are supposed to be a few more boys there today, but still a lot of girls.

Yesterday I took Nathan to the Childrens Museum.  Our dentist gave us a card for free admission so we were able to use that.  Nathan had fun.  Then we went out to lunch with daddy.

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

My Little Boy's Last Day at School

Today is Nathan's last day in Ms. Carrie's class.  She has been such a great teacher.  She even made scrapbooks for her students and they were waiting for us today.  However, she is out of town right now and had to miss his last day.  Fortunately, I brought my camera in on Monday and got a picture of them together. Ms. Carrie also helped to get Nathan switched to a different class next year.  I no longer have to worry about problems with him and Cassidy.  The sad part is that Nathan's friend Noah moved to California.  His dad got a new job and their family decided to move.  Noah is a good kid and he and Nathan got along so well.  I hope he will make some new friends next year.  The new year starts already on Monday.  Tomorrow night we meet his new teacher.  Once again he will be going to school on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.  Today is also Dress like your Hero Day.  Nathan wore his blue polo today like daddy's.  He is also wearing his "smell good" which is daddy's cologne sprayed on his shirt.

On 7/23 I took Nathan to Reid Park Zoo.  I think he is getting bored going there as well as the Desert Museum.  It is not as exciting for me either, but since I like to take pictures I still like to go.  I just can't wait for it to cool down.

On 7/27 we went up to Phoenix again.  We went to the Phoenix Zoo.  I wanted to see the new Andean bear cub.  He was adorable, but it was challenging getting good pictures with the fencing.  It was so hot and humid that day.  We went to lunch at Macayo's in Tempe.  They have a train themed restaurant and it is related to our favorite Mexican restaurant here in Tucson.  Afterward, the boys dropped me off at Butterfly Wonderland.  I became an annual member and this was not my 2nd trip there.  I love taking pictures of the butterflies.  However, I was even hotter in there that day than the first day, probably because I was already battling the heat that day at the zoo.  Paul and Nathan went to the railroad park and they got their hair cut at Great Clips.  Paul and I were both feeling exhausted that night, but luckily Nathan seemed to be doing well. It was not the greatest idea on my part to go to the Phoenix Zoo during the summer and then also battle the humidity at Butterfly Wonderland.  Summer just needs to be over now!

In a few weeks we will be going to San Diego for a long weekend.  We have also already booked a trip to go to Albuquerque for the Balloon Fiesta in October.  Now we are just praying that Paul hangs onto his job and that we are not being foolish for spending the money on these trips.  

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Another weekend gone

My baby, my Grand Prix, went over 100k miles on 7/13/13 as we were coming back from Scottsdale.  Now both of our cars have over 100k miles.  I hope they both last awhile because we would like to hold off on another car payment for as long as we can.  Of course I miss having a new car.  We need to buy at least one new car in the near future and we need to replace our cooling & heating systems in the house, but all of this is on hold still because of the uncertainty of Paul's job.

Yesterday we went to Sabino Canyon.  We got to play in the water and sand.  Last night I went to a Macro Photography class at the Desert Museum and to their Summer Saturday Evening.  I was a little disappointed because the animals were not very active...they were all getting ready to go to bed for the night.  They also had some exhibits and paths closed.

Tomorrow I hope to talk to Nathan's school about the upcoming year starting in about a week.  I found out on Friday that somehow Nathan and Cassidy got put back in the same class for next year.  They were assigned to two different classes per his current teacher's recommendation.  When I questioned it, they said I could move him to the other class, but one of my requested days, Friday, is full for that class.  I told them to just keep in the same class then.  After thinking about it over the weekend I am a little upset about it.  I turned in his application a long time ago, one of the first parents to do so, with my requested days.  Additionally, I was reassured weeks ago that Nathan and Cassidy would not be in the same class.  Now we are the ones who have to be inconvenienced because of this kid.  I doubt anything will change after I talk to them again, but I also want to find out if Nathan's friend Noah will be in his class next year.  That may also help me determine which class to put him in.

Friday, July 12, 2013

Yay for the weekend

Today we found out that they moved Cassidy, the boy who causes trouble in Nathan's class, to another room.  That is good for us because he was a bad influence on Nathan.

Tomorrow we are going to the Butterfly Wonderland in Scottsdale.  Not sure what else we will be doing in the area.

On 7/6, we went to the races at Tucson International Raceway.   Nathan had a lot of fun.  They also had a fireworks show.  We left after the fireworks which was during the half time intermission.

7/7 was the Queen of the Night event at Tohono Chul Park.  Last year I went for the first time and I went again this year.  My pictures this year did not come out so well because the flashlight I was using had a yellowish tint.  I was trying to steal other people's light, but that did not work too well.  I tried to go the next morning after I dropped Nathan off at school, but the flowers were already closing up.  It was hotter than heck already, too, but their prickly pear lemonade sure was refreshing.  I went to Sprouts the other day and got some Simply Lemonade and some prickly pear juice.  I have been making my own prickly pear lemonades at home and they are so good!

On 7/9 Nathan and I went to DeGrazia Gallery in the Sun.  They posted on Facebook that a bunch of their cacti were blooming so I wanted to go take pics.  Nathan wanted to eat at Firehouse Subs for lunch so we went there afterward.

On 7/10, I went to Tohono Chul Park and Tucson Botanical Gardens.  Both had posted on Facebook the day before that they had beautiful cacti blooms, but I did not see much when I went.  I also decided to go to the zoo since I still had time.  It was a little boring.  I am waiting for the new lemurs and the grizzly bears.  I guess they just got the grizzly bears today, but they will not be on exhibit for at least 30 days.  There is talk about putting a hippo/s in the old elephant exhibit.  I am also hoping for some tiger and/or lion cubs soon.  For lunch that day I ate at Pita Jungle, one of my favorites.  They are building a 2nd location that is closer to our house.  

Friday, July 5, 2013

The future?

6/19 Nathan made an awesome heart with his train tracks.  He said he made it for mommy, daddy, Bella, Tulla and grandpa!

We went to Breakers Water Park on 6/22 using some Groupons.  Nathan had a lot of fun.  He loves to play in the water.  We still need to get those swimming lessons, though....

On 6/25 Nathan and I went to the Desert Museum.  We got to get up close to the new mountain lion cub.  I also got to see some of the torch cacti.  In the aviary the parrot said hello to Nathan twice!

Yesterday was 4th of July.  We did not do much.  Paul did some landscaping in the morning.  We went swimming after that.  Then we went to IHOP for lunch.  For dinner we had Sonic.  That night we watched the fireworks from our back balcony.  The Marana fireworks were disappointing this year.  They stopped without a finale and we were not sure if they were done or not.  Later we learned there was a fire.  They started them back up after some time had passed, but the finale was mostly all white fireworks.  Nathan did not get to bed until 10 and he slept on our floor again because he was scared in his room.  Lately he has been scared to sleep in his room at night and I think it started when the monsoons started for the season.  He says he is afraid of the dark, but he has the ceramic Christmas tree lit up in his room at night and we keep the hall light on.

Today Paul had to work :(  Nathan had another 4th of July party at school today.  I spent the morning at Pep Boys getting an oil change for the Grand Am.  Our battery was only a year old, but it needed to be replaced, too.  Luckily, it was under warranty.  I can't believe how fast we go through batteries in Tucson.  Just like I can't believe that we need new A/C for our home already.  We have pretty much decided to put that on hold for awhile as long as we can this summer.  We paid for more freon to be added and we are hoping that our current units will last us the rest of the summer.  The reason we are holding off is because we are unsure about Paul's job.  Aetna took over recently and there are some changes going on as expected.  We want to make sure that Paul is not going to lose his job right now before we make any big purchases, especially for this house if for some reason we may have to move again.        

This morning we measured Nathan for the heck of it.  He was 38 inches when he turned 3.  Six months later he is now 39.5 inches.  He has grown 1.5 inches!  Everyone comments how tall he is.  I think he is about average.  However, I am hoping that this is an indicator that he will not be as short as mommy when he gets older!

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

It's Hot!

I started dieting/exercising a couple of weeks ago.  I did great the first week.  I made homemade salads with all the fixins and fresh smoothies.  I swam in the pool M-W-F and did the bike T-TR.  Last week did not go as well.  I think I only swam once and maybe missed a day on the bike.  I just got so busy and the swimming really can only be done in the morning because of the heat.  Last week I started majorly cleaning our house.  Not only did I do some deep cleaning, but I starting recycling a lot of paperwork (catalogs, sales ads, coupon mailers, etc...).  I am so tired of the clutter, but it was really hard to get rid of these things.  They could be useful to me if I only had time to go through them.  I still have a long way to go and my progress is slowing down.

On 6/7 when I was swimming, Bella looked like she really wanted to get in the pool with me, but she seemed a little scared at the same time.  She finally got in and sat on the first step for a couple of minutes.  The next time I went swimming she got in and laid down on the first step for a couple of minutes.  I think her previous owners said she likes to swim...not so sure why she is nervous about getting in, though.

On 6/8, I went to the Desert Museum.  Afterward, I met Paul and Nathan at Oregano's for lunch.  They had made me a dough heart!

6/11, I took Nathan to Reid Park Zoo.  We got there early, but it was still hot!  We went to lunch with daddy at one of my favorite places, Pita Jungle.  I also picked up my pictures from another Jones Photo competition that I entered.  I won 2nd prize in their reflections contest with my monkey picture from Phoenix Zoo.

6/14 I saw a family of quail over by Mountain View High School after I picked Nathan up from school.  I followed them around trying to take pictures, but they kept running away from me!  Those babies are so cute and I love quail with the little feather on their head.

6/16 was Father's Day.  Paul did not get newest dad at church this year.  Actually somebody just had a baby a couple of days prior.  Paul wanted to go to Olive Garden for lunch, but they were too busy so we ended up at Grimaldi's.  That was good for me because I love Grimaldi's!  Earlier in the month I had helped Nathan make a couple of crafts for daddy and grandpa for Father's Day.  They each got cards with his handprint.  Grandpa got a frog where the feet are actually traced around Nathan's hands (thanks Pinterest!).  I took a picture of Nathan in a frog shirt holding his frog craft and then put that picture in a frog Father's Day card!.  I sent my dad a $50 southwest airlines gift card.  We also made a fingerpainting for daddy that says I love Daddy.  Then I bought Paul some shirts and ties from Kohls.  I also took a picture of Nathan in daddy's boots and put it in a picture frame with the saying, with each step, I try so hard to walk in your shoes (another Pinterest idea).  Nathan also made cool Mother's Day and Father's Day projects at school...Ms. Carrie is awesome!  I was hoping to take Paul to Pine, AZ for their strawberry fest going on Father's Day weekend, but he said he would rather go when we have a little more time to spend up there.

Tonight we have a second heating and cooling company coming out to give us an estimate on new a/c's and furnaces.  The first quote was like $12k.  This is going to be expensive and they probably need to be replaced every 10 years.  Sometimes home ownership is not so fun.  This is a newer home and we have only been living here for 4 years, yet we are already putting big bucks into the house.  We replaced our upstairs sliding door because it was leaking, we had the whole exterior of the house repainted, we resurfaced the flooring by the pool not to mention the new furniture we bought when we moved in (new sectional for the family room, new bedroom furniture for our bedroom, new washer/dryer, new dishwasher and then nursery furniture with all of the baby stuff).  We still need patio furniture, other new furniture for the house, both cars need to be replaced soon, etc...  It never ends!  I am just thankful that Paul still has a job given Aetna just bought them out and the deal went through not too long ago.  The sad part is that our house is not even worth as much as when we bought it just 4 years.      

Monday, June 3, 2013

June already?

We went up to Mt Lemmon on 5/26/13.  We ate at Iron Door Restaurant, went on the ski lift and stopped at the General Store.  It was actually cooler up there than anticipated.

Memorial Day was on 5/27.  Paul and Nathan took Tulla to get her nails cut.  Then Nathan played in his pool.  Tulla was happier than we have ever seen her.  We cooked out for dinner.

Nathan and I went to the Desert Museum on 5/28.  We wanted to see the new 5 month old mountain lion cub, but he was being shy.

I went to DeGrazia Gallery in the Sun on 5/29 to take pictures of their night blooming cacti.  Then I met Ann Alvir at North for lunch with a stop at Frost for dessert.

We went to Reid Park Zoo on 5/31 for their Friday Summer Safari Nights.  Got to see peacock babies and the new black necked swan.  They are working on adding lemurs and bears.  

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Sweet Home Tucson!

We are back from Chicago and it is good to be home.  The best part for me was going downtown a couple of days.

We got to Chicago on 5/10 and the first place we went to was to eat at Portillos!

5/11, was Debbie Mrazek's wedding.

5/12, we ate breakfast at Faith Baptist for Mother's Day.   After church we went to New Horizon for lunch.  That place has changed a lot and, unfortunately, not for the better.  That evening we went to Olive Garden to celebrate Mother's Day with Paul's family.

5/13, we went to grandma Pat's for a little bit and then we went to Bolingbrook so Nathan could spend some time with his cousins Aaron and Shane.  That evening we met aunt Lisa and Connor at Ledos for dinner and of course went to Red Mango for dessert.

5/14, we went to Lilacia Park in Lombard with my parents.  It was just as beautiful as I remembered.  Beautiful lilacs and tulips.  Afterward, we went to Stir Crazy for lunch.  Yum!  Then we visited the Ganzers.

5/15, we went downtown and visited the Shedd Aquarium.  After the Shedd Aquarium we went up in the Willis Tower.  We stayed in a hotel downtown that night.

5/16, we went to Lincoln Park Zoo.  After the zoo we went over to North Ave Beach and let Nathan put his feet in the lake.  That evening we went to Navy Pier.  We did the ferris wheel, ate dinner at Bubba Gump and we tried to do a boat ride.  It was warm during the day, but got cold once the sun went down so nobody was at Navy Pier that night.  We were the only ones who paid to do the boat ride so we ended up not going.

5/17, we wanted to do the architectural boat ride on the Chicago River.  The one we wanted was already booked, but they had a similiar boat ride that now only toured the Chicago River, but also went on Lake Michigan.  That was Nathan's first boat ride.  After that, we ate lunch at House of Blues.  Unfortunately, my meal made me sick.  We went to aunt Lisa's school after lunch so she could show off Nathan.  Then she took him to All Aboard Restaurant for dinner.  It is a train-themed restaurant and Nathan loved that!

5/18, we stopped by grandma Ariel's to visit with them for awhile.  Then we drove to the Masonic Home in LaGrange.  We did not see the people Paul wanted to see so we decided to go over to Brookfield Zoo.  I went to the zoo and Nathan and Paul went to a local park.  They also went back to the Masonic Home and finally got to talk to some people.

5/19, we went to church.  After church we made a quick stop at Lake Katherine to take some pictures.  Then we went to 94 West to celebrate my grandma's 95th birthday.  We were disappointed.  They were only serving a brunch buffet and I was not thrilled about that.  They were supposed to have ham, but ran out, so there was really no food there that I liked.  They were running out of a lot of other food, too.  We wanted to take her to the 95th floor of the Hancock, but my dad did not want to drive downtown.  We should have went there anyway!

We flew back to Tucson on 5/20.  It was good to be home!

Today I went to the Desert Museum.  I got there as soon as they opened at 7:30 to beat the heat and to see the animals a little more active.  I really wanted to see the new 5 month old mountain lion.  He was shy and was hiding most of the time.  This evening we went to dinner at Hot Rods of Old Vail.  They have an actual hot rod garage attached to the restaurant where they work on the cars.  Nathan loved it!  I can also say now that I have tried a deep fried milky way.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Chicago here we come!

On 4/29, I drove by the building by Creature Comforts and took more pics of their night blooming cacti.  Then I went to DeGrazia Gallery of the Sun because I heard they had some flowers, too.  They had some different species of the night blooming cacti.  They are all just so beautiful.

On 4/30, Nathan and I went to the Tucson Botanical Gardens for the last day of the butterfly exhibit.  That night we went with daddy to a U of A baseball game vs Arizona State.  They lost.

On 5/1, I tried to take Bella to get groomed at PetsMart.  As suspected, it did not go well.  They called me right away and told me that they could not groom her because she was too aggressive with other dogs.

On 5/2, Nathan and I went to Reid Park Zoo and to see the rose garden in Reid Park.

On 5/4, Paul took Nathan to another U of A baseball game while I stayed home and cleaned.  I think they lost again!  What happened to the winners from last year?!

Cinco De Mayo - Bella graduated from dog training!  She did fairly well on her test except her interaction with other dogs.  There were a lot of other dogs there that day and she had several encounters.  She tried to "interact" with about 4 out of 6.  This poor interaction with other dogs is why we started the training in the first place.  The trainer has recommended group training next.  Not sure yet if we will do it.  It was exhausting doing this training.  Group training will be even more intense.  We are thinking she may never get over this problem.

On 5/6, I took Nathan to Build-A-Bear.  Aunt Lisa had given Nathan a gift card at Christmas.  Nathan picked out a dog.  He is strawberry scented, he barks and he has a heart beat.  He named him Harley!

On 5/7, I took Nathan to the Desert Museum.

Today Bella finally got groomed.  We had a mobile grooming service come.  They advised us against the shaving so they just did a bath and brush with the furminator products.  She said if we do this every 6 weeks it should cut down on the shedding about 85%.  We may just do this ourselves then.  This evening I am taking the dogs to the boarder :(  We will see them again when we get back from Chicago!

Friday, April 26, 2013

Where did April go?

On April 2nd, I took Nathan to the Desert Museum.

April 6th, Paul took Nathan to a U of A softball game while I tried to get things done at home.

4/9, I took Nathan to the Tucson Botanical Gardens.  He loved the train exhibit!  He was a little apprehensive about the Butterfly exhibit.  

On 4/13, I flew to Chicago for my 20th high school reunion.  It was strange going somewhere by myself.  It was held at Sullivan's in Midlothian.  There were about 50 people.  It was nice to see everyone.  Some people I did not remember from high school and others I did not recognize.  Unfortunately, the room was so smokey by the end of the night that some of us started leaving because of it.  It was cool to talk to so many people, though: Stacy Posch, Michele Kuhlmann, Rose Petertil, Bryan Kozik, Cara Fouts, Becky Kelley, Katie Schutt, Roberta Moran, Tom Leavy, etc...  I left to go back to Chicago the next day so that I could be back in time to watch Nathan when Paul went back to work on Monday.

4/15, my parents and Carol Lambros came to visit us.  We went up to Mt Lemmon on 4/16.  The ski lift and the restaurant on the top of the mountain were closed.  We ate at a new place up there where we have never been to before.  4/17, I took my parents to the Tucson Botanical Gardens while Carol was visiting her cousin in Phoenix.

4/18, we left for the Grand Canyon.  We spent most of the day in Sedona and then arrived at the Best Western in Williams that night.  On 4/19, Carol, my mom and I took a helicopter ride over the Grand Canyon (per Carol's request).  That was the first time I had ever been in a helicopter.  It was cool, but some of my pictures did not come out very well because there was a lot of glare on the window.  After our helicopter ride we went by the south rim and ate at El Tovar.  Then we drove around the rim stopping at the different lookouts to take pictures.  The next day, Carol, my mom and I took a boat ride on the Colorado River (per Carol's request).  Due to a road closure on 89, it took us 3 and a half hours to drive to Page, AZ from Williams, AZ.  Afterward, we drove a few miles to see Horseshoe Bend (our boat ride was supposed to go by Horseshoe Bend....it did, but we only went up to it and then turned around to go back...we did not go around it).  The hike to the Horseshoe Bend was .75 mile there and .75 back and my dad went with us to take pictures.  We left to go back home to Tucson on 4/21.  We spent a lot of the day at Bearizona in Williams, AZ.  Always love going there!

My parents left to go back home on 4/23.

On 4/24, I went to Tohono Chul Park hoping to see a lot of Spring flowers.  I was somewhat let down.  There was not a lot blooming.  I just hope we are in town when they have the Queen of the Night.

Yesterday, 4/25, Nathan and I went to the Desert Museum.  He wore me out!  We were there for like 5 hours and he still did not want to go home!

Monday, April 1, 2013

April Fools!

On March 22, I went to the Tucson Botanical Gardens.  I like Tucson in the Spring.  Flowers were starting to bloom.  Guess it is time to go back because they say the irises are blooming now.

March 23rd Paul took Nathan to the 4th St Fair.  Then that evening we went to the Nitro Jam.  It was cold!  It was also very hard to get pictures.

March 24th we missed church because I was not feeling well.  Being out in the cold the night before made my cold worse.  Paul took Nathan to the Pima Air & Space Museum while I rested up at home.

On March 26th, we took Nathan to get his picture taken with the Easter Bunny.  He was excited to see the bunny!

On March 28th, Nathan helped me make his Disney Cars cookies and we colored eggs.  We also went to the zoo that day, but it was really crowded because a lot of kids were on spring break.

We had a very busy day on March 30th.  We took Nathan to Agua Linda Farms to do an Easter egg hunt.  Then we drove north to Phoenix to go to the final event at the Firebird International Raceway.  The show ran late and we did not get home until close to 1 am!  We left during the finale when Robosaurus came out.  We got glimpses of him and it was pretty cool to see.  We also saw a monster truck jump over two other monster trucks.  We also saw some of the nitro cars again...one going up to 280 miles per hour.

Yesterday was Easter.  We went to church and then came home to have honey baked ham, homemade mashed potatoes and homemade deviled eggs.  Nathan also got quite the Easter basket from the Easter Bunny.  Reading books, coloring books, monster trucks, cars, fruities, m&ms, a chocolate cross, etc...  The Easter Bunny spoils him!

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

We had a busy weekend!

On 3/14 I took Nathan to the Desert Museum again.  Once again, he did not want to leave!

On 3/15 we went up to Phoenix and attended the Sox vs Cubs spring training game.  Unfortunately, the Sox clobbered the Cubs.  After the game we went to Portillos for dinner.

The next day, 3/16, we went to the Phoenix Zoo.  After the zoo, Paul and Nathan dropped me off at the Desert Botanical Gardens.  That place often disappoints me.  Only a couple of cacti were blooming and there was not much else to see.  The butterfly exhibit was cool, but not nearly as good as the one at the Tucson Botanical Gardens.  It is expensive to go to the Desert Botanical Gardens, too.  A couple of hours later my boys picked me up and we headed back to the hotel.  We saw McCormick-Stillman Railroad Park so we decided to stop.  We got there just in time for the last train ride.  We will have to go back some time so Nathan can see the model railroads.  That night we ate at Old Town Tortilla Factory.

St Patty's Day we went to another spring training game.  We saw the Angels vs the Padres.  Angels ended up winning.  On the way back to Tucson we stopped at Olive Garden for dinner.  A nice Italian meal to celebrate the Irish holiday!

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

I can't believe it is March already!

2/28 Nathan and I went to the Desert Museum.  He actually did really well.  I don't think he had remembered going there before.  We walked around the whole place like 2 times because he said he did not want to leave.

March 3rd we took Nathan to the NASCAR race in Phoenix.  We spent the whole day there...he fell asleep at the end!  Then we drove out of our way to go to the new Portillos in Scottsdale.

March 7th I took Nathan to the zoo.  A bad day to go!  It was senior day.  It was very crowded and there were seniors everywhere!

March 9th we took Nathan to Monster Jam here in Tucson.  Once again he fell asleep during it!  He had fun, though.

Well, Friday we are getting ready to go to Phoenix to see some spring training games.  The only downside is that it is supposed to be hot this weekend.  I hope the dogs do well at the new boarding place we are taking them.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

No more headaches!

My headaches seem to be gone.  They stopped a day or two after I started taking magnesium.  If I knew before that would do the trick I could have saved myself weeks of daily headaches and a trip to the ER! 

It snowed in Tucson on 2/20.  It came in two big waves.  Probably one of the biggest snowstorms in Tucson history.  Of course it did not stick for long and the temps have already started to rise, but it was a sight to see. 

I went to the Tucson Botanical Gardens on 2/22 to see the butterflies.  I love that exhibit.  First I met Paul for lunch at Olive Garden....Nathan was in school.  It was a great day.

Paul took Nathan to a U of A basketball game yesterday, 2/23.  They are still a little loud for Nathan so he did not enjoy it much, but they did have a dog show during half time that got his attention. 

Today we did not make it to church because Nathan has been sick the last few days.  He has a runny nose and a sore throat.  Of course he keeps saying he is not sick, but mommy and daddy know better!  We thought it would be best for him to stay home today.  I think Paul will be taking Bella to her training tonight.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Married for 10 years!

I took Nathan to the zoo on 2/7.  He behaved much better this time around. 

On 2/9, we took the dogs to the vet.  Their physical exams went well.  Tulla weighs 48 lbs and Bella weighs 83 lbs.  They said Tulla should weigh about 45 lbs and Bella should weigh about 75 lbs...they need to lose weight!  When we went to leave, there was a small dog outside the room.  Bella immediately ran up to it.  We were not sure what she was going to do so Paul tried to intercept.  Her collar came off so he ended up picking her up and taking her to the car.  We bought her a full body harness that day.  We tried it out and she did much better with it on.  We also scheduled them for their teeth to be cleaned on 3/2 because they had some tarter. 

On 2/10, we took Bella to her first training session.  As we were walking in to Petsmart she tried to get to another dog that was coming out.  The trainer was right there so with the harness and her help we got her to the training room.  She said that Bella has a mild case of aggression with other dogs.  Meaning she does not bark, growl or foam at the mouth.  She also did not bother the trainer at all when she tried to intervene.  Training went well and even Nathan got to help.  We got clickers and worked on getting her to sit and to look (at us in the eyes).  The trainer also mentioned that she does not think Bella will ever hurt Nathan.  She can tell that Bella loves him and does not seem to mind when he gets too rough (although we are working on him being nicer to the dogs and he is getting better). 

Bella turned 5 years old on 2/11!

I got a massage on 2/13!  It hurt like heck and he only concentrated on my neck, shoulders and back.  He did so because I was still having the daily headaches.  Even though it was painful I am sure it did some good.  I hope to go back once a month. 

Valentine's Day I lost a good friend.  She and I were friends since high school.  We were even roommates one year in college.  Never in those 20+ years did we ever have any fights or anything.  But, she recently joined facebook and her and I had a argument on facebook.  I made a post and she made what I and my friends interpreted to be very rude comments.  She ended up unfriending me that night and deleting all of her comments on my post.  I really was not going to take it that far.  I let her know that I was not happy with what she was saying to me, but I was not going to end our friendship over it.  It saddens me.  But, it is what it is so I just need to let it go.  I have become closer friends with "old" friends on facebook and they have been wonderful to me during this difficult time in my life.  So facebook and my overuse of it is not so bad and I feel truly blessed for the friends I do still have...just wish I could see them more because they all live far away (most back in the Chicago area). 

2/16 Paul took Nathan and out to Catalina BBQ for an early anniversary dinner. 

2/17 was our 10 year anniversary!  I can't believe it has been 10 years and that Paul has stuck with me this long!  We went to church.  After church we went to Boston Market for lunch.  That evening we went to Petsmart for Bella's 2nd dog training.  Unfortunately, the trainer did not show.  We found out that she went out of town for the weekend and must have forgotton about our appointment.  They were nice about it, though, and gave us two bags of free treats along with a bottle of water.  The trainer ended up calling yesterday and said she would give us an hour of free training, but I don't know if we will take her up on that.  Our first session was only supposed to be a half hour, but we kept her more like an hour.  While we were waiting there to see what was going on with the trainer, we tried to do a little training with Bella.  There were people walking by with small dogs so she was getting distracted and not really doing well with the training because of it.  However, she reacted better than we expected with the other dogs so close by.  One man even walked by with a bird on his shoulder.  It got her attention, but she was good.   

Paul ended up buying me sapphire earrings, a necklace and a ring for Valentine's Day and our anniversary.  He also bought me flowers.  He has been so good to me lately. 

Paul took yesterday, 2/18, off from work to celebrate our anniversary just the two of us.  Nathan went to school so Paul and I went to the Desert Museum.  The weather was perfect and we had a nice time.  We do not get many days like that to spend just the two of us.  Paul thinks he should take more half or full days off once in awhile on days when Nathan is at school so we can spend more time together. 

So, it has been busy....I also have still been dealing with the daily headaches.  Paul called his dr to reschedule an appointment and he asked them if they would accept me as a patient.  They said they would ask the dr and let him know.  They told me that the first time I called, too, but never called back.  As suspected, they have not called him back either.  However, my hairdresser gave me the name of a couple of drs that her family uses so I am going to look into them.  Surprisingly, I have not got a headache yet today, but lately these headaches seem to be happening later and later in the morning....so it may still hit.  I started taking magnesium yesterday per a friend's suggestion and I am taking my daily vitamin again...still drinking water, too...so I am hoping all of this helps.  I did my workout on the bike as well this morning.  I would love to be able to get rid of these headaches or at least figure out what is triggering them. 

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

What an exciting weekend

So the last week of January, following my flu, I started to get daily horrible headaches.  They happened multiple times a day and they became more and more intense.  On Friday, 2/1, I tried to call Paul's new doctor to get an appointment.  They told me they are not accepting new patients!  I asked if they would make an exception since my husband is a patient.  They took down the info and told me they would contact me if they accepted me.  It is now Tuesday and I have not heard back so I assume the answer is no.  I guess I should have called a long time ago when I was first referred to him, but I dread going to the dr and I never thought that he would not be accepting new patients, especially since Paul just saw him for the first time a couple of weeks ago.  On Saturday, I had another horrible headache early in the morning.  I ended up going to the ER.  They did a CT scan and it came back normal.  They concluded that these are tension headaches.  They prescribed me some medicine and so far it has been helping...I have avoided any major headaches.  The test will be when I stop taking the medicine, but since I broke that cyle of daily headaches I am hopeful that they won't get that bad again.  Somehow, though, I need to control my stress.  I have no idea how I am going to do that.

Sunday, Paul and Nathan took the dogs for a walk.  Our dogs were on a leash, but a smaller dog who was not on a leash came running up to Bella.  Bella went into defense mode and attacked the dog.  She had it in her mouth shaking it all around.  She would not listen to Paul to drop the dog.  He had to physically get her to let go of the dog.  It was traumatic for Paul.  We ended up going to Petsmart and talking to some people, particularly one of their dog trainers.  Our dog was not at fault.  She was leashed, the other dog was not and that dog approached her.  Furthermore, it could have been an isolated incident considering she had the disadvantage of being leashed when the other dog was not.  Still, it concerns us because we want to make sure she does not do this kind of thing again and that she never hurts any of us.  Nathan is often times picking on the dogs, but so far Bella has been really great with him.  Tulla seems more scared and often tries to get away from him because she is afraid he will hurt her.  So, we signed up for dog training at Petsmart, starting next Sunday, 2/10.  A friend of mine who works with dogs is worried about this trainer, particularly because she is talking about using a muzzle at first.  I hope this training does not backfire and actually make Bella more aggressive.  We are at least hoping that training will help us to get Bella to listen to us because right now she does not listen very well.  She seems like a great dog and I know moving in with a new family is an adjustment for us all so we are hopeful that this will all work out.  We really do not want to have to get rid of Bella and separate her and Tulla.  We also do not want Tulla to ever turn on Nathan because the trainer is telling us that it is usually the timid, scared ones who become more aggressive when provoked.  I don't know how much stock I put in that considering Tulla has much the same personality as Nina.  Nathan picked on Nina, too, but Nina never hurt Nathan and was a great dog her whole life with us.     

We found out that Bella and Tulla are not up to date on their shots like the previous owners told us.  Thus, we are getting them exams and vaccinations this Saturday, 2/9.  I also looked up Tulla's profile on petfinder.com and they have her listed as a shepherd/pit bull mix.  I think the previous owners were afraid to tell us that she was part pit bull.  It is probably a good thing because after taking Tulla home we realize that she is a real sweatheart.  She is timid and scared, though. 

To make matters worse, the trainer mentioned that Petsmart Hotel will not take a dog who does not get along with other dogs and they do not take pit bulls.  So, when we go to Chicago in May we may have a challenge with their boarding.  Hopefully, training with Bella will help her and we can get her to interact well with other dogs.  As for Tulla, we will just not mention to Petsmart Hotel that she may be part pit bull because to be completely honest we are not sure exactly what kind of mix she is.  Our other alternative is to find another boarding place and the trainer has recommended two or three different ones.  However, they will probably still have to be evaluated by those boarders before they accept them.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

I can't believe January is almost over!

We decided to pay off the Grand Prix a few months early!  No car payments for awhile!

I went to the Desert Museum on 1/18.  I am hoping that going out that day is not what got me sick the following day.  I ended up with the flu.

Paul had it in his mind that he wanted to get a new dog last weekend.  We looked and looked online.  We came across one that interested in us.  There is a family here in Tucson and they are moving to Canada.  They can not take their dogs with.  I contaced them and Bella, their 4 year old female yellow lab, was still available.  We went to go meet her last Saturday, 1/19.  We found out that they actually had 5 dogs.  2 were going with family, one was going with them because it is 13 years old and the other 2 needed a home.  Yes, 2!  We did not want to separate them so we took them both!  Tulla, is 5 years old.  They think she is a Shar Pei mix.  I think she may even have some Pit Bull in her.  But, she is the sweetest dog.  Bella is a little difficult, but she is a good dog.  She is a big girl and probably needs to lose some weight.  Of course neither one of them has been eating all that much since we have had them.

So Paul had off on Monday and started to feel sick that night.  He ended up staying home from work on Tuesday.  He came home early from work every other day during the week because he still was not feeling well.  When I went to pick Nathan up from school on Wednesday he, too, was not feeling well.  It is now Sunday, 1/27, and we are all still recovering.  We are hoping Nathan is feeling well enough to go back to school tomorrow since he had to miss on Friday.  Of course it is supposed to be rainy and cooler tomorrow so that does not help much.  It rained all day on Saturday.  We stayed in most of the weekend trying to get better.   

Sunday, January 6, 2013

My birthday is officially over

We had a nice Christmas, other than me being sick.  Nathan is one spoiled little boy!  We also got a birthday cake for Jesus.  Since mommy's birthday was shortly after Christmas, we had a lot of birthdays in a row (Nathan, Jesus, Mommy).  So now Nathan thinks it is time for daddy's birthday!

On 12/29 I went to Reid Park Zoo to celebrate Sundzu, the baby elephant's 2nd birthday.  Afterward I stopped at the Tucson Botanical Gardens to take pictures of the butterflies.

New Years Eve we did not much, but Paul and I did stay up until midnight to ring in the new year.  I could list a ton of new year's resolutions, but they are actually all things that I have strived for in the past.  The first and foremost being to eat healthier, exercise more and lose more weight.  I have done well so far doing my bike.  The eating better part not so much yet with my birthday and finishing up holiday treats.  I would love to cook more at home and utilize all of the recipes I have been keeping.  We also plan to scan a bunch of my mother in law's pics and in the process we may finally get to some of ours as well!  The list goes on...

New Years Day we drove to Bisbee so Nathan could play in the snow.  Nathan made a snow angel and we all made a snowman.  Then we ate at a cute pizza place in town where they had the best chocolate canolis!  That evening we went to dinner at Vivace to celebrate my birthday a little early.  The food was very good.

On my birthday, Paul went back to work and Nathan was home with me since his school was still on break.  Not a very exciting birthday...which is why we extended it out and celebrated for several days.

Nathan had his 3 year checkup at the pedi's office on January 3rd.  He weighs 33 1/2 lbs (60%) and is 37 3/4 " tall (50-55%).  She was very pleased with his speech and the rest of his development.  He was well behaved, too!

Yesterday, 1/5, we went to the Wildlife World Zoo.  I really enjoyed myself and took a ton of pictures.  Nathan liked the train ride and boat ride.  Then we went to the Phoenix Zoo that evening for their Zoolights.  It was ok, but too crowded for my taste.  I can say I have experienced it, but I doubt we will go back.  One reason that I wanted to go was to see their light show set to the music of Trans-Siberian Orchestra. 

Today we went to church and then ate lunch at Grimaldi's using my birthday coupon for a free pizza.  My birthday celebration is now over.  I was not so excited about my birthday this year because I am quickly approaching 40 and I felt I had little to show for my life thus far.  However, in the new year I have been trying to keep a positve attitude and I am working hard to be happier.