November 30, 2012

(Foster) Furry Friday

It's he the cutest?! The dog. The kid is pretty cute too but today is all about the puppy.

A couple weeks ago we agreed to take the little guy in as our foster puppy. We've had foster puppies from time to time in the past and every time we do it, we always go into it knowing that if we absolutely fall in love, we'll adopt the little guy (or girl). This time was no different. When we heard his story, we knew we had to help.

This sweet puppy was barely two months old when a woman saw her neighbor kick the puppy down a set of cement apartment stairs. She courageously ran over and confronted the man. She called the cops and long story short, they found out that he was not only abusive to this little one, his mommy and the rest of his litter inside the apartment (to the point where the mommy was starving and barely able to nurse) but ALSO had a home nearby with THIRTY more dogs. The man was taken into custody and charged with animal cruelty and other crimes related to suspected dog fighting. The police took the dogs to the local shelter but the brave neighbor who initially called the police offered to take the little guy who'd been kicked down the stairs. Unfortunately, her son's asthma prevented her from being able to keep him more than a couple days but she saved him from going to the shelter. Pit and pit mixes rarely do well in shelters. 

So, that's when we stepped in. A friend working for a Pit Rescue posted his pic on facebook and we couldn't turn our backs.

He had worms. He wasn't housebroke. And he was a "rescue"...which can mean so many things. We didn't know if we'd have to address aggression issues. We didn't know if he'd be scared. The lab/husky rescue that we adopted, Murray, was severely abused before he came to live with us. It took months before Joshua could walk into the same room or make a sudden movement in front of Murray before Murray wouldn't pee out of fear.

Thankfully, this little guy seems to have been rescued before any long lasting effects could take root. Sure, he was a bit nervous to begin with but he quickly became a bouncy bundle of puppy love-playing with both the kids and our Ridgeback without fear. He's a funny little guy. He LOVES shoes. He hasn't really chewed them (although to be honest, we've been quick to not give him the option)...he lines them in a perfect straight line. It's a little OCD. 

It's sad how many people are appalled that we let our four year old and even our one year old play with a pit puppy. Even my mom sounded a bit nervous when I told her we were fostering a pit. I hope that these images, our experience with this great little guy helps break down some of the barriers of breed prejudice. 

We seriously considered keeping the little guy but the choice was between adopting him and not having the space/flexibility to foster any more puppies or keeping him until he found a forever home and continuing to be open to foster as needed. We talked to the boy about it and explained everything. He said he'd be said if the little puppy went to another home but he really wanted to help more dogs. So, today, we drop this little guy off to go to his forever home. I'm sure there will be tears but when another puppy in need comes along, we'll be able to help.

November 20, 2012

My Dysfunctional Veteran

It's been a couple weeks since I somewhat mysteriously disappeared. I mentioned that we had some medical issues to deal with and to be honest, as much as blogging saves my sanity, I just didn't have the energy for it. 

I need to back up.

During the deployment, Joshua's knee crapped out (that's a medical term you may not be aware of but it's totally scientific). So, around the end of July, Joshua went to the VA and the first thing they did was a basic check up including blood tests. Well, that first set of tests came back a little off so they took some more blood and when those results came back, they ordered an abdominal ultrasound which showed some irregularities with his liver.

More blood tests...those were especially fun because when the nurse took them, she was kind enough to share with us that she'd worked as a nurse for 15 years and had never run that particular blood test. 

So reassuring.

The next step, two weeks ago, was a liver biopsy. 

My husband is 31. He's too young to need a biopsy of anything and it was nerve wracking. The results came back (two days after they were supposed to be in but that's another story that ends with me rolling my eyes at the VA) and thankfully it doesn't look like the worst case scenario. We still don't technically have a diagnosis but we're hopeful that the abdominal CT scan Joshua had on Friday will give the doctors enough information to go forward. He has a consultation with the liver specialist next week to go over everything and it can't get here soon enough. 

Meanwhile, all this came from a simple blood test because his knee was hurting. Last week also brought a diagnosis on that front. Patellofemoral with a tear in the medial meniscus. After a quick Google search when Joshua texted me the diagnosis, I was able to translate that to mean torn cartilage and bone on bone pain. He's scheduled to see the ortho specialist in early December. 

Knowing is such a relief. Yes, Joshua will probably have surgery on his knee and possibly on his liver but we have direction. We have some answers so I'm thankful.

Even without answers, I'd be thankful...I have these three hooligans...

(cell phone pic...he saw this hat at the VA while waiting for his liver biopsy and HAD to have it...the print is small but reads "Dysfunctional Veteran Leave Me Alone"...he's classy like that)

November 5, 2012

Crazy Week Ahead...for all of us.

I won't be able to do this week's Disney post but I wanted to leave you with this image and remind you to vote tomorrow. We're blessed to live in this country and we're tasked with staying informed and electing our leaders.

Our family has some medical issues to deal with this week so if you could also keep us in your prayers and forgive me for not being around, I'll be back as soon as I can. 

November 2, 2012

Duct Tape and Mittens

I have a confession.

I love politics. 

I know. It's horrible. But I was in debate in high school and it got me hooked. I can't help it. 

As much as I love politics, this little magical blog has been a politics-free zone because over the last few years it seems like politics has gone from what the Brits so cleverly call a battle with the "loyal opposition" to dirty, divisive, vicious attacks...on both sides. And don't get me started on the whole 3rd party shenanigans. 

Anyway, I may love politics but I love my friends and family more. I am (shockingly) conservative...who would have guessed? A stay-at-home/homeschooling mother of two who lives in the middle of Oklahoma and is married to a Soldier...conservative? huh. BUT, I also have family and many friends from college and childhood who are very liberally-minded. They're not anti-military, hippie, communist nuts and we're not greedy, war-loving, hateful crazies but that's what this race has painted both sides to be. Are there anti-military, hippie communists on the left? Absolutely. Are there greedy, war-loving, hateful crazies on the right? Absolutely (although I can't imagine any milwife who loves war).

This race has become so heated. I've become so angry and disillusioned with our President and the way he has treated the military that there are days when I want to go off on facebook and twitter and here and in all caps announce what I really think of this commander in chief...but then I remember that would only fuel the hatred and division. Come Tuesday...or Wednesday...or whenever the final vote is counted (PLEASE GOD, NOT ANOTHER GORE/BUSH FIASCO!), our nation will have a President for four years. Whether that's four more or four new, I honestly have no idea. But in the meantime, I plan to duct tape my mouth shut and put mittens on my hands to keep me sane for the next four days.

November 1, 2012

National Epilepsy Awareness Month

November is National Epilepsy Awareness Month...did you know that? What's more, epilepsy affects more than 65 MILLION people worldwide. In fact, more people live with epilepsy than live with autism, Parkinson's, MS and cerebral palsy combined.

I have a personal connection when it comes to epilepsy because my college roommate (and fellow milwife) Erin, has it. Living with her gave me a perspective and an understanding of the illness that has stayed with me. The frequency and specific physical reaction can vary widely from person to person. In fact, most people who see Erin have a seizure wouldn't even know it was happening. Her lips turn blue but other than that, to someone who didn't know her well, she would almost appear to be daydreaming. The biggest problem was that she would still function mindlessly while having a seizure. In fact, on more than one occasion she would be walking home from class, go into a seizure and come out of it blocks away having no recollection of how she got there. 

An organization called PAWS With A Cause was able to give her more independence and all those who care about her peace of mind by training a beautiful dog as her seizure assistance/response dog...specifically blocking her at every stair case and street curb. He was trained to only move when she gave a verbal command which can only happen when she isn't having a seizure.

Take some time this month to educate yourself and your children about epilepsy (and while you're at it, about service dogs-they're not just for the blind). And check out the Now I Know video campaign at the Epilepsy Foundation for more information and ways you can help. 

For specific information on what to do if you see someone have a seizure, check out the first aid section of the Epilepsy Foundation website.