Sunday, October 28, 2007


Finally calm is setting in, so it seems. The excitement of the MOMs club Harvest Party is over. Riley is at peace - no more trips back and forth to the vets office any more. Fiona and I are still busy, but not at the hectic pace we have been running for the last two weeks.

We did have some fun yesterday and go to the Scrapbook Expo in Ontario, CA with our friend Laurie, who I have managed to suck into the hobby, and she is as addicted as I am :) We had a ton of fun shopping and seeing lots of cool ideas and products. Today is the day we unpack all of our goodies and get scrapping tonight with all the cool new stuff!!

I did update the recent picture slide show with some more pictures of Fiona. That girl is just the cutest thing - I can't tell you how hard it is to narrow down the pictures!! If I didn't you be looking at thousands!!!

Her second bottom front tooth is almost out now. I can't believe how quickly they are coming in. Fiona's newest things are just opening her mouth wide - no sound just as wide as she can get it (you can see some of this in a couple of the pictures) and second is the buttlerfly swim kick she does when she is happy and excited. Check out the video below:

That's about all we have to report today. We have some Halloween activities planned this week and I want to do a Halloween costume photo shoot this week too.

We are getting really excited for the holidays, and can't wait to get home to see everyone!!

Paul and Kaitlyn

I got some new pics of little Paully and Kaitlyn the other day:

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Riley is gone

It is with a very sad, heavy and broken heart that I tell you we had Riley put to sleep this morning. Riley just wasn't bouncing back. She still hadn't eaten for over a week and couldn't even keep fluids down. We brought her home last night to see if that would help get her to eat and relax. But no such luck. She was still in a lot of pain, and by 7 this morning, I knew what we had to do.

I know now she won't be in any more pain and she is in a better place. But it still doesn't fill the empty place left in my heart for her.

Thank you to everyone for all the prayers and good thoughts, they kept her here with us a little longer and gave us our chance to say goodbye. She was such a good dog and she was so loved, and she will live on forever in our hearts.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

R&R Day

Today was recovery day for Fiona and I. We needed it.

First things first though, we went to visit Riley this morning. She is doing ok - had a bit of a fever yesterday, but her fever was down as of this morning. But the biggest concern is that fact that she still hasn't eaten yet. The last time she ate was about a week ago, and that is not a good sign. Riley was pretty mopey and looked so sad. She has one of those crazy cone collars to keep her from chewing at her IV and drain. I was talking to one of the techs there and asked if they left the collar on when they fed her. They were, and I suggested they take it off when they fed her. The last time she had one on for her surgery she wouldn't eat, so maybe it is as simple as removing the collar to get her to eat. Lets pray for that.

We then went to church - we had lots of thankful prayers to say.

Came home after that and just chilled. The wind was crazy today - gusts over 50mph. So it was definitely an inside day. Not much else to report...

Tuesday, my friend Jana and her fiance, Tom, are coming to visit for the day. Can't wait to see them!!

But we'll be visiting Riley again tomorrow, and I try and post another update.

OH - the other big news - cousin Colleen had a baby girl, Mairin - love that name!!! and I got some pictures and she is just sooooo cute! Congrats to the O'Connor clan! So that is 4 girls in 5 months! Girls rule this year!!

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Great Day

Well, today was sooo much fun - a little chaotic, but a lot of fun. We ended up with about 70 people total coming to the Harvest Party today for our Moms Club. What a blast to see all the kids painting pumpkins, making spiders and otherwise just having a great time running around in the backyard!! I am totaly pooped, and thank goodness, Fiona is already in bed. I am not far behind.

And the other great thing...Fiona has her first tooth!!! I was trying to get her down for a nap and as usual she was chompin' on my fingers and I noticed something kind of sharp...I thought oh no what does she have in her mouth??? But when I looked it was her first little tooth just starting to creep up out of her gums. It is on her lower right side front tooth.

I can't believe how big she is getting. She now "worms" (as I like to call it) around the floor now. Since she hates to be on her stomach she lays on her back, then arches it up and then pushes with her feet. She is getting pretty quick with it too - the other day I laid her down on her little play mat, and started emptying the dishwasher, I peek over and couldn't see her. Here she wormed her way off the mat to in front of the entertainment center and was watching the TV all arched up and looking at the TV upside down - where is my camera for these moments??? Thats like halfway across the room.

Well off to grab a quick bite and little R&R in the bath tub and then to bed!!

Have a good night all!!

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Riley Smiley

Riley seems a thousand time better than when we took her in yesterday and if she could smile I am sure she would be. Fiona and I stopped in to give her some love and to see how she was doing. All the nurses and techs there were tripping over themselves to tell us what a miracle Riley is. All of them said that it was amazing that she is doing so well, and that they have never seen a dog with that kind of damage make it through surgery let alone be up and about with no fever and seemingly healthy.

She is by no means out of the woods yet but she is one tough cookie, and I think she is going to do it. The doc was able to save some of her pancreas, but they are not sure how functional it will be or not. Again it is a wait and see type of thing. She is on IV fluids, and she really seems so much more like herself. And I could tell she just wanted to come home. Poor thing, she has been through a lot.

Please keep praying for her - what ever you all are doing is working.

As for our human baby, Fiona, she is just the sweetest thing. She is starting to laugh, just these little "Ha's" right now, but she is the smiliest thing you have ever seen. She makes friends where ever she goes. And while I was sobbing my eyes out yesterday, she was the cutest - smiling at me and rubbing my face all to make me feel better. What a good girl!!!

I feel like the luckiest girl in the world!!


I just got off the phone with the vet to check on Riley this morning. And the vet said "its a miracle" but she is doing remarkably well. No promises, but it looks like she is going to make it and probably be ok. The vet said he still couldn't believe that she even made it through the surgery, and this morning she had no fever and is up and walking around. She has a drain in now to help drain out the infection and it is possible that there might be some function left to her pancreas but we have to wait and see.

I am going to go and visit her today and see how she is doing, but I can't tell you how happy I am right now to even be able to see her. I'll keep you all posted as things progress.

Keep up the prayers, and thank you!!!

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Heart broken

Hi all,

it looks as if we are going to have to put Riley to sleep. Things got much worse this morning and we rushed her to the vet where they did another emergency surgery to try and get that pin out. It turns out it was a needle and thread and the thread had done some serious damage and it was amazing she was not doing worse. But she definitely has lost her pancreas which means, no digestive enzymes and no insulin. But because of the damage to the pancreas, it was leaking these enzymes and has seriously damaged her insides.

The doc called me in the middle of the surgery to let me know it was not looking good at all, and he didn't think she would make it through the surgery. Well, Riley is a tough girl and she did make it through, but we aren't sure what that really means for her yet. We are giving the dog another day to see how she does, but her quality of life is going to be severely impacted, and it may be better to put her to sleep so she is not in pain. From what I can gather, she has about a 15% chance or so to make it out of this thing.

For those of you who don't know, Riley, was my first baby. I have had her for nearly 8 years and she is so a part of my life and our family. I am absolute heartbroken that she may not make it. She has been there for me through so much - all my good times and my bad times, all the times Mike has deployed she has always been my constant companion.

Please pray for her and for us to make the right decision when it comes time.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Having a better day today

Hi all, things are sort of settling down here. Riley is home, but is very mopey and isn't eating or taking her meds, so I may have yet another trip to the vet in my future.

Talked to Mike yesterday. He is doing great and liking the job there. It sounds as if the time is passing fairly quickly for him. all he wanted was some music and his MP3 player - he is so easy to please!!

You may have noticed that I changed the background of our page here - I thought it was more Autumnal :)

Fiona and I are getting ready for the big Harvest Party this weekend here at the house. It is going to be a biggie - almost 50 people and kids so far. It is going to be a blast!!! Well, I better get back to the craft prep - lots of pumpkin and bat masks to cut :)

Monday, October 15, 2007

some good to even out the bad

As many of you all know, and were present for, our Wedding Anniversary was last Thursday. Obviously due to locational difficulties, Mike and I were not able to celebrate together, but that did not stop Mike from being the sweetest husband on the face of the planet!!

He sent these gorgeous flowers:

and a huge basket full of fun bath products and goodies - a spa day at home!!

I can't believe he made it all happen from Iraq!! Isn't he the coolest?!?!?

Poor Riley!!

Hi everyone, I just had the craziest three days!!! Our dog, Riley, started acting really wierd on Saturday (hindsight tells me she may have even started on Friday night). Now, she is a pretty hyper dog, and she was just laying there crying and when she got up she was really shaky and I could tell something was hurting her pretty badly. So I called my vet (well, since we just moved here, we realy don't have one, but there is one where I go to get her food - she is already on a special diet another long story) and they say the earliest they can get her in is on Sunday at 9:30, but just to keep an eye on the dog and have her rest.

Fiona and I had plans to go to the Fall festival, I figured we'd still go, that way Riley can rest in a quiet house. We went for about 2 hours and I come home and Riley is doing way worse, she is crying harder and really cannot get up or go up and down the stairs. So I take her to the ER Vet. Mind you Fiona is now napping because I have drug her around with me and she really needs the nap. So I call a friend and have her come stay with Fiona while I take Riley to the vet. Now, I have NEVER left Fiona with anyone, so of course I am doing the first time Mommy freak out - especially because I am on a time table because I still am nursing her and of course I have no bottles to leave with my friend. But I was thinking I have 2 hours before I need to feed her again, no way will it take that long.

Well, I don't even get into see the vet until after a 1.5 hour wait, then there are the xrays - now I am really freaking cuz I should have left 10 minutes ago... So I leave Riley there with them, drive home, feed Fiona, then drive back for them to tell me Riley needs surgery because she somehow swallowed a sewing pin. So I sign off on an estimate for the surgery and head home and leave Riley there.

Now I am sick to my stomach for the poor dog - I am such a bad mommy for missing a pin on the floor after I was sewing, and because this is a huge expenditure and I didn't even get the chance to talk it over with Mike first. But what are you going to do?

So at 12:45am (I think - my eyes were a bit bleary) the vet calls and says that he needed to do a lot more because apparently the pin wasn't in the intestine, but floating around in her body cavity somewhere and he can't find it. More xrays were done, and bottom line its still in there and we have to take a wait and see approach. Apparently we are looking in the proverbial haystack - the dogs body -for a needle....

So I go yesterday with Fiona to pop in and say hi to Riley and talk with the vet further about what we need to do. We talk, everything is good, etc. Riley will be released Monday (today) morning at 7:30 and they close at 8 am, and if you are late picking the dog up it is $22/hour. Great, Fiona gets up at 7:30. Somehow the fates are on my side this morning (or so I thought) and Fiona wakes up at 6:45. I feed her and go straight to the vet to pickup Riley. At which point, I am informed that the previous quote has now nearly tripled because of all the extra work - which no one has told me prior to this morning. I am talking huge cha-ching here and no Mike to talk it overwith. I was livid!!! Had to do some crazy scrambling to pay them so I could get the dog and bring her home.

We are all home now, safe and a little sore - especialy the dog and my pocketbook. Riley is still in a little pain and still has the pin inside her, but she is doing much better. And I talked to Mike and in Mike fashion, he was the coolest, and told me no worries, he would have done the same thing. But please keep little Riley in your prayers, she may have another surgery coming up. Poor puppy!!

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Pumpkin Patch

Well today was pumpkin patch day. We had a blast with a bunch of the Moms and kiddos from the MOMs Club. We looked at horses, donkeys, ostriches, llamas, sheep, ducks, geese, chickens, and bunnies. We took a great walk through a sunflower field. And took a train ride through the cornfield. And of course we saw loads and loads of pumpkins. I got a ton of great pics - very hard to narrow down. The last few with the little guy is George from the Moms club - he was born the day after Fiona so I love getting pics of those two cuties together!!


Monday, October 8, 2007

Whew...glad that week is over

Hi everyone!! It was a crazy busy week, but we had a blast. We did hear from Mike on Tuesday and he is doing great. Getting all settled in at the new job there and so far so good. It is much lower key than the last few times that he went, but he is still pretty busy which helps the time to go by faster.

Fiona and I had a whirlwind of a week, but got to do a lot of fun stuff and see lots of friends. We had a Halloween themed Moms club meeting and Fiona dressed up as a lady bug. She was so adorable!! We have plenty of opportunities besides Halloween this year to wear it. We are going to have a Harvest Party for the Moms club next weekend and then we go to the senior center later that week and then Halloween.

This week is going to be a bunch of fun, too!! Today we are heading to a friend's to scrapbook again - and her little buddies, Matthew and Breanna, are going to be there. Then we are going to the pumpkin patch and a park day today and this weekend is the Palmdale Fall Festival, and we are going to go to that, too. I updated the slide show with some more recent pictures.

Below are two quick videos. One is of her in her little pumpkin hat and sleeper and the other is of Fiona talking away... Yesterday, she learned a new combo of sounds - it really sounds like she is talking, and sometimes "Mama" can sorta be heard - maybe its wishful hearing, but I am sticking to it :) Beware, she hits a shrill that scrambles the sound a few times...

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

I'll be home for Christmas

Time to start signing "I'll be home for Christmas, you can count on me..." LOL!!(Dad that means Laught Out Loud)

Just made our reservations and we'll be home for Christmas from the 18th through the 3rd. We are so excited to get there!!! Maybe I need to start another count down for when we get home :) Hmmmmm not a bad idea!!

Just wanted to let you all know. Please let us know when the family get togethers are this year, we are going to try and get to as many as we can to see everyone!!

Busy, Busy, Bees

Hi everyone!!

Fiona and I are doing great, have a very busy week this week. Something to do everyday. We are waiting for Daddy to call today - very exciting for us :)

Fiona is so excited for Saturday, we are going to her BFF (Best Friend Forever, for those of you not in the know), Breanna's house so the mommies can scrapbook.

Another cool thing is that I am now on the board of our local Moms Club as an Asisstant VP. I am really excited to be part of this club and help other Moms in the area find us and join in.

Keeping busy really helps the time to fly by, and before we know it Mike will be home.

Well, I am off for another busy day - hopefully I will be back on later to post some more video clips :)