Thursday, July 30, 2009

On Our Next Adventure

I have been finding it hard to create blog posts lately. Trust me, I've tried. It’s a combination of fatigue from losing so much sleep while Perdi was sick this weekend and really just the lack of anything super interesting going on our lives right now. Matt is on day 10 of 1o straight at work and he is understandably burnt out at the moment. Luckily, we are leaving for a 5 day vacation in New England tomorrow! We are going to stay with our friends Ted and Susie and their beagle, Bagel. We always have a blast with them, and I don’t think tomorrow can get here fast enough! I am also excited because I have never been farther northeast in the U.S. than Washington, D.C., so it will great to experience life in New England.
So I suppose that is something interesting that is going on. : ) We had originally intended to spend part of the weekend up in Prince Edward Island, Canada for my cousin Andrew’s wedding. However, we didn’t know what Matt’s work schedule would be like since he was applying for the new job, so we decided not to buy the plane tickets to PEI just in case Matt would be travelling for work/training during that time. He had already requested the time off, so we decided to capitalize on the opportunity and head to Rhode Island when we learned his training wouldn't start until September.
Admittedly, it has been hard to focus on the trip when I was so worried about Perdi (and what we would do with her while we were out of town). We can’t board her since Bordatella is so contagious, apparently even if the dogs have been vaccinated. My friend Liz has been a lifesaver and is watching Perdi for us. I can’t tell you what a relief it was for us to find a place for Perdi to go. Poor Pongo will be at City Bark alone this time…but he will get to play with lots of other dogs during the day and perhaps get a much needed break from Perdi’s constant energy.
So planning to get the two dogs to opposite sides of the city has been a bit of a stress for me. Our flight leaves tomorrow at 7 am, so it all must be done tonight. I’ll be doing lots of driving and errands tonight for sure. Hopefully I can fit runningin there somewhere too. I know I won’t be doing much of that this weekend because we have all sorts of other fun things planned. I also need to pack sometime...oh heavens, I might not even sleep tonight! : )
On a different note, the weather out here has been absolutely incredible! It’s been rainy and overcast with highs in the low 70’s for the past couple days. My favorite! On my run last night, I had to wear a sweatshirt and could smell the smoke from people’s fireplaces. I really thought it was fall already! Ironically, I have been hearing from some folks in Seattle about temperatures being in the mid 90’s! We must have stolen their weather…and we’re not giving it back either! : )
Matt and I will be sure to take lots of pictures in NE and have a good post or two to share in a few days. Hope everyone has a great weekend!

Monday, July 27, 2009

Update on Perdi

It turns out that the Emergency Vet was completely wrong in her diagnosis for Perdi. We took her in to our regular vet today and got a completely different story! It turns out that Perdi is suffering from a case of bordatella (aka "kennel cough") and she has nothing obstructing her GI tract! She picked up the bordatella from the doggy day care, even though she is vaccinated against it. Even though our dog is still pretty sick (she has the beginning stages of pneumonia) this is a much better scenario for Matt and I to digest. At least we are no longer looking at the possibility of surgery.
Let me tell you that I could not be happier with our vet. Matt took Perdi in this morning after a night of coughing and vomiting last night as I mentioned before. I picked her up this afternoon, and she is a different dog! She ate two helpings of dinner and kept down a bunch of water. She also had her meds and has been resting all evening and best of all, rarely even coughing! She is definitely on the mend. I just feel so dumb for even taking her to the emergency was a waste of time and money for sure!

Well I'll end this story with a few pictures.

Here is Perdi on Saturday morning after her first night of sickness. She was so sad a mopey.

As I mentioned before, she looked like a little camel with all the fluids they injected to keep her hydrated.

Another view of her "pouch."

Pongo has been very well behaved since Perdi got sick. I think he is just as worried about her as we are. They look so cute here sitting together.

Now I am off to get some much needed sleep!

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Sick Pup

*Please bear with my tired ramblings on this post today. You will soon understand why I might not be making complete sense today…
What promised to be a rather mundane weekend of working and cleaning turned out to be quite a bit more! On Friday, I went home from work a little early, just from pure exhaustion. I promptly fell into bed and took a much needed 3 hour nap. Around 7 pm, I woke myself up in time to participate in my new tradition: 10k Friday. All was well that night as well as all day Saturday (Matt and I both headed to work). I got home around 7pm and took the dogs to the dog park before it got too dark.
That night when Matt got home, we went to a late showing of Harry Potter (which was pretty excellent for the most part). It was about 1:30 am when we got home and got settled into bed. Around 4 am, I woke up to hear Perdi getting sick. She continued to get sick and cough for the rest of the night and all day Sunday. I tried to keep her outside as much as possible, because whenever I would let her inside, she would make a mess, which seriously hindered my attempts to get the house clean, do laundry, and a few other miscellaneous tasks.
I really got worried around 8 pm, when she was coughing up blood for the 5th time. Of course, internet research freaked me out even more so I called the emergency vet, who recommended bringing her in immediately.
So that’s how I spent Sunday evening. They took some x-rays of Perdi’s belly and discovered that the problem is a rawhide that she swallowed WHOLE! She was discharged after an anti-vomiting medication and a huge injection of fluids. (She couldn’t keep water down at all.) She looked like a little camel when we left. I took pictures and will try to post them tonight. The emergency vet thought it was too soon to do anything drastic. Since it’s a rawhide, she hoped it will digest on its own in time.
Last night, Matt and I got about 2 hours of sleep. Perdi coughed and hacked all night and the only thing that seemed to calm her a bit was for her to lay near us on a towel. So we pulled out our hide-a-bed downstairs and camped out in the living room (to spare our new bed and nice clean sheets). I was almost sick with worry myself, which kept me from sleeping almost as much as the physical noise of Perdi clearing her system. Matt took her in to our regular vet this morning and she is still there being monitored. They think the cough may be due to an outbreak of Bordatella at one of the places we take them for day care. And even though she has been vaccinated against it, I do have to admit that her coughing sounds a lot like Bordatella (based on how Pongo sounded when he had it).
Perhaps the most stressful part of this whole ordeal is that we are leaving for Rhode Island on Friday morning. I am really hoping Perdi is recovered by then because I don’t know what to do with her if she is sick!
If there is even one upside to this situation, it is that Perdi has been the sweetest, cuddliest dog for the past couple days. She is normally pretty independent so it has been kind of nice to have her snuggle next to me for comfort. Oh my, it is sad how much our dogs are like children! I hope our little girl gets better soon!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Mile High Music Festival

Hello all! This is Matt and Laura posting tonight together! Last Sunday, we attended the Mile High Music Festival. We spent all day (afternoon to evening) wandering from concert to concert listening to some great music from many different genres. It was a blast! Perhaps even more interesting than the music was all the people! Specifically the "hippies" and wannabe hippies. We spent a lot of time people watching as well. :)

We also took a lot of pictures at the concerts. We will start with the last concert we saw and work our way to earlier in the day, because that is the way the pictures loaded.

Our favorite concert and one of the main headliners was The Fray. I (laura) know pretty much every one of their songs and was super excited to get to see them. We got to the stage an hour and a half early to make sure we got a good spot. And we did! The only thing that put a damper on the concert was the couple that showed up 10 minutes before the show and tried to squirm their way into a couple inches of space in front of us. We were not particularly thrilled about that.

So this first picture is at the end of the show. Here is the group together just before they left the stage singing "Happiness." We loved the message they gave before the song started...they dedicated the song to those who were struggling in this economy and told them to have hope. What a great song and message to end with!

This is the lead singer, Isaac, with some crazy effects of the lights glowing off his white shirt. Cool picture...

This is the lead singer off to the side of the stage, also shown on the huge TV.

This guy is SO talented. He is an amazing singer, piano player and guitar player. I'm assuming he is also good at song writing...they are all wonderful. They write all of their songs based off of their life experiences.

The stage during the encore break. Lights trickled down and looked like tears.

They had a great stage set for the show, for as many concerts were played on that stage before them!

As with any good performer, he gets really into the music. It's really cool to see the drummer illuminated in red too. :)

Matt takes awesome pictures...this one is cool with all of the lights during the song.

I think this was my favorite song..."Never Say Never."

This is one of Matt's favorites because it gets the whole band with cool lighting.

Above the stage, they had black and white videos of each of the band members as they performed.

More cool lighting from above...each one manned by a real person sitting above the stage, moving the lights like a 3D video game.

Storms came through before the show and it got really windy. I would have been davastated if they had cancelled the show. But we were in luck and missed most of the bad stuff. It cleared up half an hour before the show started. As you can tell by all the pictures, we REALLY enjoyed The Fray's performance. We have a couple videos too...

Another show we went to right before The Fray was 3Oh!3. They are a younger group, and mostly do rap. They really got the crowd going! This is us right before the last song.

The Colorado Rapids stadium. We discovered that the bathrooms in there were much better than the port-a-potties in the park.

Resting a bit while enjoying Buddy Guy.

Here is Buddy Guy singin' the blues.

Another great concert was Mat Kearney. He does alternative music and we have his first album. He can do what I call "soft rapping" on the spot. It was great!

Singing a duet with one of his band members.

We were really close to the stage for this show!

They had the speakers held up by a giant fork lift in the tents.

Our very first concert of the day was Jack's Mannequin. It was our second favorite performance. For some reason, they had characters from Gumby and Boston Celtics figurines on stage. Can anyone explain that one to us?

This is another MAJORLY talented lead singer/piano/guitarist.

He even jumped around on the piano. It was awesome and really got the crowd excited for it being so early in the day.

A larger view of the stage while he's singing on top of the piano.

We had a great day together at the festival. We decided it is a "must do" on our list for next year. We will probably try to go the entire weekend next time. Anyone who is interested in joining us is certainly welcome. You can't find more variety of music (rap, hip-hop, alternative, pop, blues and more) in one place very often. Just make sure to bring your tye-dyed clothes and Birkenstocks! I felt a bit out of place in my outfit. :)

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Brennan's Visit (Cont'd) and Weekend Visitors

Man, I am really getting behind on my picture posts. We have had all kinds of activity going on lately, hence the reason I have only posted 4 times this month. I have plenty lined up, if I can ever get them done. Anyhow, two weekends ago when Brennan was still here, our aunt Alice and cousins Audrey and Jack were out here on a visit. We had a great weekend with them and did lots of are some highlights:Saturday, we took the cog railway up Pike's Peak. Here are Brennan, Jack and Audrey posing in front of a train engine (not the one that takes you up Pike's Peak though).

The ride to the top is about an hour and 15 minutes. We only had 45 minutes to spend at the top of the mountain! We did have time for a quick lunch and since it was a gorgeous day, we ate outside. Here are our visitors enjoying lunch. I was hurriedly snapping pictures because at this point, we only had about 10 minutes left!

Last time Matt and I did this, we went up in a blizzard. The view is so amazing when the weather is nice. You could see the western slopes in one direction and all the way to Kansas (or so they claim) to the east. I could have sat up there for hours enjoying the view!

A quick picture before getting back on the train. Audrey is not in the picture because she was scared the train would leave us. In her defense, they did warn that you would become a hiker instead of a passenger if you missed the train. :)

After the cog railway, we stopped at the old arcade in Manitou Springs so that the kids could play games. I admit, I can't resist a game or two of skee ball when we go there. Brennan and Jack were racing each other in this picture.

The drive back from Colorado Springs was an adventure. We had an interesting time finding a gas station and then got stuck in MAJOR traffic on I-25 due to an accident. It took us 2.5 hours to get back on a normal 45 minute drive. I will NEVER get used to traffic out is so aggravating, but i've already said that many times here.

I didn't get any pictures from Sunday because I had to go into work for a while. Brennan, Alice, Audrey and Jack took the light rail downtown to the aquarium where they met up with John. Then they came back to our house for some ice cream cake in celebration of Matt's new job. They capped the evening off with some swimming at the hotel (Brennan went along too). We were all tired after the weekend, but it was so fun. It was awesome to have so much of my family in town!

This past week has been pretty mundane, but busy at the same time. I was eager to get back into my running routine after taking a week off. I also put in lots of overtime at work and just tried to get caught up on errands and chores at home. But it was definitely worth getting behind on these things to have so many visitors!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Pictures from Brennan's Visit

Here is a post I know Brennan is really looking forward to. He spent all of last week out here with us. It's hard to believe that I drove him to the airport on Monday...seems like he's been gone longer than that.
Unfortunately, I had to work most of the week, so I didn't get to spend as much time doing Colorado stuff with Brennan as I would have liked. But I know he enjoyed exploring the city. It impresses me how he can get pretty much anywhere he wants using the light rail system. I know he spent much of the time that I was at work hanging out downtown. He even made it to the state capital building...I haven't even been there!
So here's how the week went. Brennan rode back with us from Kansas City on Monday. He had just gotten off an airplane from a week in Martha's Vinyard with my mom and grandpa. And the week before that, he was in Austin, TX with my dad! I liked to call it his whirlwind US tour.
Perdi did so well and slept almost the entire ride back from Kansas City, and we are pretty sure it's because Brennan was there to keep her company in the back seat. She still tries to go into the guest room every morning to see if Brennan's there. I think she's depressed that he's gone. She seems to get really attached to our visitors, as do I. :)
I should also mention that on our drive back to Denver, we stopped and toured Mark and Talicia's new house, which was awesome! We're really glad it worked out for us to see it. The house has a lot of really cool features...and now I'm getting even more stir crazy to buy a place. Perhaps in the fall, we'll actually have time to seriously look at some houses. Matt just accepted a day shift position which should start sometime in October, so it looks like our time apart is coming to an end. YAY!
OK, back to the recap of last week. Wednesday evening, I had my kickball game downtown, so Brennan met me there and cheered us on. He must be our good luck charm...we won the game! (We've lost the other two when he hasn't been there.) We scored 9 runs in one inning! I brought my camera and meant to have him take some pictures of us playing, but of course I forgot to mention that to Brennan.
Thursday is when the real fun began. After work, we decided to head to the Denver Aquarium. It was a great day to go...not very many people were there so we got to see everything and take lots of pictures.

I know this is not a's a rattlesnake! There were four of them in there. Creepy stuff. They look grumpy and mean just laying there, but this one was on the move. I took a video.

You could feed the sting rays by hand if you wanted. They were in a little pool-like area and you could walk up and touch them! Sometimes they would swim right up to the edge and flap their fins out of the water. I think that was their way of begging for food. :)

A giant sea turtle like in Finding Nemo.

Again, this guy was not a fish, but he seemed content to be sleep in the aquarium. Look at his giant paw!

This lobster looked like he was watching US.

A pirhana. They look pretty and innocent but I was sure happy not to be in the water with them!

Colorful starfish.

What kind of a fish is that?!? Looks like Brennan decided to go for a swim. :)

Brennan in the underwater tunnel...surrounded by sharks! (But you can't see them in this picture.)

The cheesy picture they make you take at the entrance...but I purchased it for two reasons:
1. They weren't charging an outrageous amount like most places do for one photo.
2. It's hard to get pictures of the two of us when it was just the two of us at the aquarium.
Friday, I was able to get the day off so that I could take Brennan up into the mountains. He had spent the whole week in the city, so I figured we were due for a mountain adventure. This lead us to the Breckenridge "Fun Park" as they now call it. We did all kinds of things that we used to do on Walter family vacations. Does this look familiar to anyone?

It's the good ol' alpine slide! They have added a third track, but don't be fooled by how much longer it looks. The curves are wider so you don't go as fast. Everyone who went on it was pretty disappointed. What clued me in was the sign at the top that said "If you are over 175 lbs, you might have trouble keeping your sled in motion." Brennan and I stuck to the two original tracks.

Guess what? You can get your picture taken on the slide too!
Brennan's is way better than mine.

I sent Brennan on a final run by himself so I could take some pictures of my own. Here he is heading up the lift.

And here he is at the bottom. He got trapped behind quite a few slower riders on the way down.

Posing with the "sled" you ride down on.
Breckenridge looks so different from when I last saw it, which was this past winter. I learned to ski here! I didn't even know it was the same area until I saw the ski school place and then I found the very first run I did (lift 7). Not surprising, it looks completely different in the winter when it is covered in snow and skiiers.
The fun park was exciting to see too. They have added some new things, such as mini golf and a big rubber swing that you can do flips and stuff on. We wished all of our Walter relatives could have been there like old times. We even did the big maze again. Yep, it's still there! Brennan did it 3 minutes faster than me. Harumph.
After the fun park, we decided to take a hike. Literally. We were able to find the same trail that we hiked with Alissa last fall. Brennan and I went a little farther today and found a flowing mountain creek to put our feet in. The water was FREEZING, as is to be expected from fresh snow melt.
I miss my little brother a lot since he has left. I had a great time having him here, spending time with him, and just trying to spoil him a little.
You are probably wondering why I haven't mentioned the weekend activities yet. Well stay tuned...that's a whole different post coming soon!