Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Win a Trip to Maui and Help My Chances, Too!


I entered a sweepstakes to win a trip for two to Maui and an Epiphanie bag!  To enter, use this link and I'll get more entries, too!  Who doesn't want a vacation at the beach?

Sorry for the lack of posts; there have been some major things going on and I haven't been able to bring myself to write about them.  I haven't decided yet what to do about that or the blog as a whole, but we'll see.  I'll try to keep you updated.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Most of June is Gone



So, it really has been a while.  Let's see what's new.  Teddy went back to the vet a week after my last post and we got better news, but the vet didn't see very optimistic.  He said Teddy's legs were working at about 20% and that he could easily go downhill again.  He upped the pain meds and it helped a lot.  Teddy has been like his old self again, but it has also led to some difficulties.  Teddy is feeling so much better now that he has craftily evaded our best efforts to keep him from jumping off the couch on a few occasions.  We took him back again the next week after that and got better news.  Teddy is doing well and nothing drastic will need to be done unless there is a bad turn for the worse.  It seems to me that he's getting better and better, though, even walking better since the accident.  He's not having any trouble with the bathroom and he has even barked a few times recently.

He did jump off of the couch today, though, (it really is nearly impossible to keep him from doing it, so we're instituting very strict measures for when he's on the couch - which probably won't be that often at this point) and he's hurting a bit right now, but it doesn't seem serious - he is walking around and such - and it should go away soon.  He gets more medicine in a few hours, so hopefully he won't have any issues sleeping tonight.  Other than this, he really has been almost normal (besides being a bit hobbly).

In other news, we bought a big area rug for the living room from this amazing Bargain Outlet store.  It's very pretty and soft and Teddy does well walking on it.  We also got more runners for the hall and we have a carpet in the kitchen, too.  He's doing well on the rugs, but we may get more to cover what isn't covered already.  He is walking everywhere!

I finally got to go to the America's Best place and get my eye exam.  I got my glasses in a week later and we picked them up this past Monday.  My two pairs are shown in the pics above (there was a deal).  I am still getting used to them right now, but I like them a lot.

On Monday, I also tried out a new way of doing my hair (I don't really style it ever, actually).  I think it turned out really well.  (You can also see it in those pics).  I got the tutorial from the Pink Pistachio blog, which has a lot of hair and beauty articles that are informative and fun to read.  The author seems kind of adorable.  The style worked pretty well for me and I'm excited to try it again.  I was surprised that the blow drying didn't take that long and my hair has had body for days after I styled it.  It's pretty amazing, especially with my poor flat hair.

Meanwhile, I have read a bunch more books:


Tehanu (The Earthsea Cycle, #4)Tehanu by Ursula K. Le Guin
My rating: 3 of 5 stars





Dr. Jekyll and Mr. HydeDr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson
My rating: 3 of 5 stars








Agnes GreyAgnes Grey by Anne Brontë
My rating: 5 of 5 stars





EmmaEmma by Jane Austen
My rating: 5 of 5 stars



View all my reviews



Right now I'm reading:


David CopperfieldDavid Copperfield by Charles Dickens








It's really good.  Even though it's over 800 pages, I'm really enjoying it and I'm almost halfway through now!  It's a long read, but it's really, really worth it.

Other than that, I did enter the logo contest at the library, but pretty much everyone in my family forgot to vote.  I don't know if they even picked one or not.  They were supposed to announce it sometime last week (I think), but the logos are still up in the library and no one has heard anything.  I definitely haven't gotten a call.  I guess we'll see - they did say they reserved the right not to pick one at all.


There isn't much else to say.  I did get to go with my grandma to the vet with Spot and I got to watch him while she did errands.  He got the teeniest little bone at the vet!  Plus, he kept climbing up on my shoulder in the car to stick his nose out the window like a little parrot.  I was supposed to babysit him and Delgado this week while my grandmas was gone, but my cousin came back and watched them instead.  Gado has gotten to be a bit of a pest, though - he jumps on everyone constantly and has started getting amorous with people, if you catch my drift.  James and I watched them for a little bit, but he was almost unmanageable and we had Meghan come watch them for a while.  My mom and dad ended up watching them over night until my cousin got there the next afternoon.

We've been having a pretty rough heat wave and it's made both James and I pretty grumpy and it's made me sleep way too much.  Sometimes I just sit in Jamie's room while he plays video games and fall asleep.  It stinks.  Jamie did get Guitar Hero games again, though, and those were fun to play the other day.  We also played the new Batman Lego game demo (it's actually DC Heroes, I think) and that was  a lot of fun.  I like those Lego games because they're fun and easy.  I might get into "serious gaming" one day, but it's kind of intimidating.  We'll see.

Today, James and I were headed back over to my house and got some milkshakes at Dairy Queen.  They mixed our orders so that I got the large and he got the medium, but it was alright.  We also got some fries (mmmm...)  We had chocolate chip pancakes for lunch and when we got home, I made some delicious bacon for our BLTs.  I add cinnamon and chili powder while it's cooking and it really brings out the flavor of the bacon  I can still smell it all over me, though.

I spose that's about all to tell for now.  I really wasn't planning on taking a hiatus, so hopefully I'll be back on track soon enough.  Oh, I also found this really fun game on Kongregate that I played pretty much all yesterday: Zilch.  It's a really fun dice game and you should try it!

Love,
Christen

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

What You Might Not Know About IVDD

Gray Dress Day to Night

Gray Dress Day to Night by bunni711 featuring an enamel bangle

Sorry again for the delay in posting.  We've had a bit of drama because our dog has hurt himself again, pretty badly this time.  It started on Saturday when we went to my cousin's birthday party.  He was walking kind of slow that day and when we let him off the leash to run in the baseball field (fenced in), he wouldn't run at all, which was strange.  He is usually very active and loves to play and run around.  He also didn't want to play with his puppy friend Delgado and wasn't barking at anyone (with one exception).  When we were leaving, he tried to jump to the front of the car (on the console/arm rest), and missed.  The he turned around and tried to jump back and we could tell he was hurt.  He had spasms on the ride home and was crying a bunch.  It broke my heart and it didn't even seem like a serious fall since it was just in the car.  

After that, he seemed alright but his back was hurting him, so we gave him some medicine for the pain and inflammation and tried to keep him on bed rest.  Apparently he jumped off the couch again at some point and just let his hind legs fall.  Since around that time (maybe before), he has been dragging his back legs, especially the left one.  Sunday, he only went to the bathroom once at about 7am and didn't go again (despite being taken out several times) for over 24 hours.  We were worried and took him up to the emergency vet on Monday morning since it was Memorial Day and our vet's office was closed.

The emergency vet asked if we wanted to have back surgery for him, but it was going to be expensive and they don't accept any kind of payment plan.  We just don't have thousands of dollars laying around.  Plus, he was doing well on meds before.  They gave us some new, stronger medicine for the pain and inflammation, gave him some shots, and did some tests to see if he had deep pain sensation.  They weren't very open about what they thought was happening (that is so annoying, ugh!)  It was a worrying day and I think the vet made it worse.  She told us that if he wasn't able to use the bathroom on his own (because of possible nerve damage), we might have to put him down. 

Needless to say, I was beyond upset and I felt like the way she told us this made it ten times more upsetting.  I understand that she probably has to do that everyday, but she doesn't have to speak to us like she does - like it was just a fact.  Everyone was freaking out because he was still having trouble going and we were afraid he was paralyzed because he was still dragging his legs.  He didn't go to the bathroom all of Monday either, and everyone was crying a lot and really afraid about what was going to happen.  I was supposed to go to James' house yesterday, but decided I needed to stay with Teddy.  James was really upset, too, because he's pretty much Jamie's dog, too.

Thankfully, early Monday morning (about 2am when he had to take some meds), my mom woke Meghan and I up and told us that he had gone to the bathroom!  I was so happy and relieved - I really can't express how great it was to hear!  We took him in to his regular vet this morning, and he had a lot more hopeful things to say.  He told us that he has IVDD, which is a disc disease in his spine that dogs like him are very prone to.  Dachshunds and other dogs with short legs often develop the disease and many of them eventually have paralysis.  I had no idea it was so common - I remember hearing a lot that dachshunds have back problems, but I had no idea that (according to one website) 1 in 4 of them develop IVDD and that the back problems are so serious!  Dachshunds are probably my favorite breed, but I don't think I'll be adopting any more of them because this is really that serious.  I'm afraid of losing my baby and I don't want to live through anything like this again.  The vet said medium-sized mix-breed dogs are the healthiest, like labradoodles and other poodles and poodle mixes.

The vet said that he is able to put pressure on his back legs, which is a good sign.  He said that Teddy has a 50/50 chance of getting better or worse, but that if he does have paralysis in his legs, he will probably not be able to use the restroom without help.  That's why we've been so happy whenever he goes to the bathroom!  He's doing really well with that today - he been able to go on his own and has been trying to walk around a bit, but we're trying to discourage that since he could so easily hurt himself again.  He's on strict bed rest and someone is always by his side to make sure he doesn't try to jump off the couch again.

The vet also said that he should be on carpet or grass (no tile or wood) so that he can get traction, so we are going to buy an area rug for the living room (there are wood floors in here) and a runner for the hall (tile).  He's going to be sleeping on the floor from now on so that he can't jump off of any beds.  I'm so thankful that he is doing better, but there is still a chance that he could hurt himself again or things could take a turn.  I'm worried, but the vet didn't say anything like the emergency vet did.  Maybe he thinks that there isn't anything we can do if he can't use the bathroom himself, but I'm hopeful that he believes there are other options, based on what he said at our appointment.

We got more pills for Teddy at the vet and he changed the schedule some so that he's taking the steroids longer.  We have to get him off the steroids slowly.  He has also been drinking and eating more and he's alert and up on his front paws sometimes.  He has been putting some weight on his back legs, but he still has a long way to go, I think.  We were all devastated yesterday, thinking that his chances were not good, but I think that since he has been going on his own he still has a good chance of recovering.  I can't describe how I feel, really, I just can't lose my baby.  I am going to do whatever it takes, though, to make sure he has the best chances of getting better.  

Our vet said that he wouldn't personally own a dachshund since IVDD is such a big issue and it can take them away from you too soon.  He said his mom had four of them and they all ended up paralyzed.  I wish I had known this before, because I would have definitely taken his jumping much more seriously.  Everywhere I had read about "back problems" in doxies before made it seem more like arthritis or just trouble moving around and it didn't seem like a problem that most doxies had.  I wish someone had talked about how serious IVDD is and how common it is.  I would have taken every precaution to keep my baby from suffering from this.  I just want anyone reading this to know that he is doing well and not in pain.  We're taking the best care of him possible and doing everything we can to ensure he will get better.

But if you have a dachshund, never let them jump on or off of anything - not even the couch.  It may seem alright when they're young and they may bounce back from an injury quickly, but it could be getting worse and worse without you knowing.  And when they're older they just can't take that stress on their backs.  Train them from a young age to stay off the furniture or wait for you to put them on the floor or pick them up.  Don't let them on high furniture like beds.  Please just keep your doxies from having to go through this, whatever you do!

Love,
Christen

Monday, May 21, 2012

May 21-23: Walking Down Memory Lane

Sophisticated Lady

Sophisticated Lady by bunni711 featuring genuine leather handbags

I've just finished with a frustrating redesign of Crochet Goddess.  Unfortunately, Google kept going kaput on me while I was making changes and I had to redo them a few times.  It looks a lot different now, and I think, more sophisticated than before.

From the beeping coming from James' room, it seems one of his consoles has gone haywire.  Hopefully it isn't anything serious.  

On Monday, James came over again and we had a pretty good day.  We walked down to Dollar General and later on took Teddy for a walk in the woods.  DG seems to be hiring, so I might apply there.  It would be really nice to have a job.

I'm still doing pretty well with my new portioning, and today James and I went for a 2 mile walk down the trails near his house.  It was really nice.  At first, I felt pretty tired and wasn't sure if I wanted to walk that far, but once we got started it got a lot easier and it felt really good.  I just need to keep that in mind when I feel tired or lazy!

Yesterday, James and I watched Footloose (the new one).  It was pretty bad.  Apparently it didn't get that terrible of a score on Rotten Tomatoes, but I have to say it was pretty awful. Blech.  We didn't do too much yesterday - I read and hung out with James for the most part.  I took a short nap, too, but that's about it!  It was a pretty boring day, but I'm always happy when I can just spend time with James.  I feel warm fuzzies for him.  <3

Today I crocheted and finished my book:


The Accidental Billionaires: The Founding of Facebook: A Tale of Sex, Money, Genius and BetrayalThe Accidental Billionaires: The Founding of Facebook: A Tale of Sex, Money, Genius and Betrayal by Ben Mezrich
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

"A quick, fun read. I liked the language and imagery, but the book would have benefited from primary sources."

View all my reviews

I'm not sure what I'm going to read next.  I put a hold on Tehanu, the fourth Earthsea book, but after that - I'm not really sure.  Most likely, I'll have to put a hold on another book since my library doesn't have a lot as far as selection goes.  I have to order a lot of books in from other libraries connected to ours.

James and I had pancakes for lunch today and watched The Adventures of Tintin.  I thought it was really cute and the animation was amazing - like nothing I have ever seen before.  The characters were so life-like - the lighting was stellar, too.  Plus, I thought the movie was funny and interesting and a lot of fun to watch.  I loved the clueless Thompsons and Snowy was very cute and a great partner in a pinch.

Let's see - other than that, I watched one of those VH1 countdowns for best songs of the 90s.  It's always fun to look back at the music I grew up with.  I should go look up the songs they had in the show and write down the ones I liked!  I always mean to and forget.  (What else's new, amirite?)

I'm really glad we went on the walk earlier.  We also played a little basketball, so I'm pretty happy with the exercise I did today.  Hopefully we'll keep the walking up and hopefully play some tennis when we head back to my house tomorrow.

By the way, you may have noticed that I've stopped doing the word of the day thing.  I'm not sure if I'll pick it back up or not.  Let me know what you think in the comments!

Love,
Christen

Sunday, May 20, 2012

May 10-21: Big Decision and Such

Batman Fangirl

Batman Fangirl by bunni711 featuring slim boot cut jeans

I know, I know, it's been a long time since my last post again!  I've just been taking advantage of my new summer freedom for a while.  I actually hadn't realized it has been quite so long since the last post, but indeed it has been almost two weeks.

So, the biggest news since the last post is that I decided to finish my degree in December instead of August.  There were a few reasons for this, including that the class I had been planning on taking in the summer was closed.  What actually happened was that there was only one spot in the entire class (I have no idea why!) and the class actually started the day I went on to register.  There was another class I could've taken, but it was on Microsoft Expression, which I've already had experience with; I just didn't feel like it was worth taking.  So now I'm going to be finishing up a few months later, but I'm signed up for classes I'm excited about.  I think they will both actually be helpful for my career.  I'm taking an dynamic html class that will also go into advanced css and javascript.  I'm also taking a class in graphic design which I had really wanted to take for a while.  Plus, of course, the seminar (it's like a capstone class).

I e-mailed the prof of the graphic design class to see what program we're going to be using.  He uses GIMP in his classes, which is an open source program.  I was kind of disappointed since Photoshop is so big in the industry, but he said it's very easy to translate skills to Photoshop and other programs.

I've also been reading a bunch and finished the next Earthsea book, The Tombs of Atuan:


The Tombs of Atuan (The Earthsea Cycle, #2)The Tombs of Atuan by Ursula K. Le Guin
My rating: 4 of 5 stars



View all my reviews




Then, I read the next one, The Farthest Shore:


The Farthest Shore (The Earthsea Cycle, #3)

My rating: 4 of 5 stars






If you click the link, I think it will show all the quotes I liked from that book.  There were a bunch that I really liked and that hit home with me.  Now I'm reading this book:


The Accidental Billionaires: The Founding of Facebook: A Tale of Sex, Money, Genius and BetrayalThe Accidental Billionaires: The Founding of Facebook: A Tale of Sex, Money, Genius and Betrayal by Ben Mezrich




View all my reviews


I just started it today, but I'm about 1/3 of the way through it.  It's a pretty quick read.  It's a bit different from the movie (which I really liked), but there are still differences that are interesting to read.

Teddy is doing really well and doesn't even seem sick anymore.  He only has two antibiotic pills left, so he is doing well.  He's laying on my bedroom floor right now and staring at me cutely.  I love my puppy dog.  <3

Jamie, however, is sick now.  He was having some pain in his ear and found out he has an infection.  We're not sure if it is related to the one I had, but he's on some antibiotics now, too.  I finished mine up a while ago and he actually finished his up the other day.  They were making him sick, though, so that wasn't any fun.

James' parents are getting on his case again about getting a job even though he is trying.  We live in the middle of nowhere, so there isn't a whole lot to choose from.  James is trying, though, and it's pretty frustrating when it's not his fault.  Anyway, as a result of this and other things brought up, I'm staying at home on the weekends now.  I guess buying food for me on the weekends was a deal or something, but I don't really care.  It makes me feel stressed, though, to think that I'm not really welcome at their house.  I feel like I just want to stay at home more, though.  I've been going back and forth every week and I'm getting kind of tired of it.  I just want to be in one place.

Since we're switching where I'm staying on the weekends, I've been at my house for a while.  I got here on Sunday as usual, but I'm staying until tomorrow.  So it's actually been over a week.  It's been nice, but I do miss James a lot.  He visited me the other day (Thursday), so it hasn't been forever since I've seen him.  I'm still glad to be seeing him again tomorrow, though.  Meghan and I are not always getting along, either, but it's not an ongoing theme or anything.  I guess I'm just a little particular about my alone time.

I'm trying to get my eating in order, now.  I've been doing pretty well since I've been home.  It's mostly just giving myself realistic portions and reminding myself that if I'm hungry later, I can always get something else to eat then.  I'm feeling pretty good, too, and I'm really hoping that I'll be able to keep this up long-term.  I've been trying to get out more, too.  I took Teddy on a long walk yesterday to the park in town.  He saw some dogs, though, and barked a lot.  He also saw some Amish buggies and had to bark at the horses (there are pretty much never Amish people out here, but I got lucky, I guess).  He also had to bark at the people walking by and people on bikes, and everything else!  I love him, though.  We were both good and tired when we got back, so it was still worth it.

Another thing that will probably help my eating is that I won't be going out to dinner with Jamie's family every weekend.  I'm not upset about it; actually I don't really like going out all the time.  It makes me feel guilty and it's just not pleasant to eat that much over-processed food.

Today, me and Meghan went over to my grandma's house to see our cousins.  We also go to see SpotBot and Aphrodite.  She's been having some health issues, though.  She has a bad infection and cysts all over.  She's on a bunch of medication, though, and doing a lot better.  We're still not supposed to touch her without washing our hands really thoroughly afterward.  Meghan held her for a while and she was so happy to get the attention!  I got to hold SpotBot, and he is so much bigger now!  I'm really surprised by how much he has grown, but I guess it's been a long while since I went to see him.  My grandma said it has been six weeks since he was having those seizures.  I'm glad he's doing a lot better.  My grandma made him a little helmet to wear since he has that big soft spot on his head, and it is really hilarious.

Oh!  That reminds me of something really funny that Teddy has been doing.  I've been eating yogurt a bunch lately and he likes to lick the cup out, so I put it on the end of his nose and he stands looking at it almost cross-eyed, licking it out while it's on the end of his nose!  It's pretty much the funniest thing I've ever seen.

So, life is going alright.  I've been feeling so much better since I registered for classes.  A huge weight is off of my shoulders now.  It's so weird that I was carrying all that anxiety around about registering and when I did it, all the anxiety went away!  Now I really wish I had just done it sooner, but I think I was more conflicted about what to do than I was really letting on.  After last semester, I think I really needed a break.  I still feel like everyone might be disappointed, but I know that it's really me that might be disappointed; no one else thinks delaying it is a bad thing.  Plus, it's really not that much longer until I will graduate for good this time.  Now me and James can actually graduate together - that thought makes me really happy!

Other than that, I've been working on my portfolio a lot, experimenting with new CSS techniques.  I think it looks really, really good now; it's the best thing I've made yet.  I've also been reading a lot and crocheting some, and I finally got to play the Sims 3 again.  I finally found out why it was freezing all the time.  The way my switchable graphics were set up, the high performance card wasn't being used for the type of application that the game is, so I had to switch it so that the computer switches from the regular card to the high performance card when I plug the computer in.  This way, I can play the game using the high performance card and it doesn't freeze on me anymore!  I'm so happy that I don't have to worry about it crashing on me.  Hooray!

I'm just trying to relax and enjoy myself, as well as learn some valuable skills for my future job.  I'm learning a lot about CSS and I'm hoping to get more skills in Expression Design and new languages like PHP and SQL (that's what the summer class I had wanted to take was about).  I hope it's just a relaxing summer and a productive one.

Love,
Christen

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

April 22-May 9: Lost Time


Alright.  I'm just going to have to sit down and write all this out!  I've been putting this update off for a while because it's so huge, but I really just need to do it.  First, though, I will explain the picture on today's post.  This is a badge I made in Expression Design using a Photoshop tutorial.  It actually wasn't very difficult to adapt it, I just had to look up a few things online that weren't obvious from Photoshop to Design (such as rasterizing - it's called creating an image object in Design).  Anywho, I didn't make that pretty thing up, but I did make it!  And I think it looks pretty darn cute.

So, on to the 2 1/2 weeks that I haven't been posting!  First of all, I just want anyone reading this to know that I'm not going to stop posting.  I've taken a short hiatus because the end of the semester got REALLY busy and I've been dealing with some more (minor) health problems.  Now that the semester is over, I'll have plenty of time to post more regularly!

I won't be able to cover everything that happened since my last post (I just don't remember everything!  Plus, it would be REALLY long), but I'll hit the major points!  So, after I started getting better from the infection, I started having a lot of trouble sleeping.  My sleep schedule got really messed up and I was going to bed regularly at about 4am and not getting up until after noon.  It was really terrible and I had a hard time getting it back on schedule, but things started getting better after I got sick the second time.

So, a last week (Wednesday, I think?), I woke up with vertigo.  I've never had it before, and it really sucked.  Either the room would feel like it was spinning or I felt like I was constantly tipping over.  I ended up staying at home a couple more days (I was supposed to go back to Jamie's house, but he came over Wednesday to see me, anyway) and went to the doctor's on Friday.  Apparently, my infection didn't clear up all the way.  I still have some congestion in my ears (and nose, and chest...) and it was throwing off my balance.  I got a bunch of new medicines to take: a new antibiotic, a nose spray for the congestion (it's supposed to help my ears, too), and medicine for dizziness.

The antibiotics make me sleepy, but it hasn't been too bad.  Since I got the vertigo, my sleep has been better and it has definitely improved since I started taking the antibiotics.  The nose spray really clears up my sinuses, but I'm not sure how long I'm supposed to take it.  We'll probably call the doctor soon to find out, but I know I'm supposed to take it even after my symptoms get better.  I've only taken the dizziness medicine twice and I'm not sure how well it worked.  I'm only supposed to take half a pill, but I might try a whole one if the dizziness comes back.  I've been feeling a lot better the past few days - not really dizzy at all, so I hope everything is working out.

Other than all that, I finished up the semester.  I had a big rush at the end to finish that Computer Assembly & Config class, but I got everything done and got an A.  I was so glad to finish everything for tech writing.  I actually pulled out an A in that class, too!  I was pretty sure it was impossible, but I did well on the last two assignments, so I'm really happy about that.  The website for Workgroup came out really nice and so did the site for Multimedia (the yacht club site).  I'm happy with how everything turned out.

Now I'm just contemplating what I should do this summer.  The plan was to finish up the degree in the summer, but for some reason I'm having trouble with the idea.  I think I just feel like I need a break, but I still have to figure this out.  It's a little frustrating.  I think I will finish this summer, but I just need to get the necessary stuff done for it.  I have to register for classes, do the FAFSA, and fill out a summer financial aid form.  I should probably meet with my adviser, too, to make sure there aren't any reasons why I can't graduate.

Well, what else.  I finished Catch-22.  I wasn't able to read when I was sick (either time), so it took a while to finish the book even though it was really good.  Here's my review:


Catch-22Catch-22 by Joseph Heller
My rating: 5 of 5 stars



View all my reviews



I started and finished A Wizard of Earthsea:


A Wizard of Earthsea (Earthsea Cycle, #1)A Wizard of Earthsea by Ursula K. Le Guin
My rating: 5 of 5 stars



View all my reviews




I have the next two books in the series, so I'm going to get on those tout de suite!  I'm actually 7 books behind now!  I've lost a lot of time, but hopefully I can still catch up!

We went to the Maple Festival a couple of weeks ago, but I didn't have a very good time.  James was upset with me and we weren't getting along the whole time.  We got some maple stirs, though, gyros (they are actually pronounced year-ohs, but I've always said jeye-rohs), and some fried green tomatoes (which were actually really good!)  I also bought a really pretty owl bracelet.  I'll post a pic of it soon.

What else?  The day before the maple festival, I got a few really mean comments from some dude on reddit and I let them get to me.  That's part of the reason James was upset - I overreacted about this guy's comments and let his stupid words get to me.  The worst part is that I really let it affect my own self confidence.  The positive part of all of this is that I realized that the way I am (or the way I react to things) can cause problems in my relationship.  I can be selfish and I can definitely overreact to things.  But those things can also affect people around me, and realizing that just made me want to do better.  I want to try to do things for other people and really think about what I say and do and how that will affect people around me that I love.  I don't want to lose someone I love because of my faults.  I can change them and improve and make the lives of people around me better because of it.  I guess I just started feeling like, this is just the way I am and people are going to have to accommodate it.  But I'm not stuck, I can fight the negative attitude and the tendency to overreact and the not thinking before speaking, and I can make myself better.  I want to make myself better for James and for my family.  If I can make their lives easier, that's much more important than indulging my moods and bad attitudes.  Ah, growing up...

Teddy is a bit sick right now.  He had to go to the vet a couple of days ago.  He has an infection and the doctor found a hookworm egg.  He also might have a low-functioning thyroid, plus he is a bit anemic.  It's strange because we hadn't noticed anything off until recently, but it sounds like a lot of problems.  It makes me sad to think he is sick or suffering.  I think the fleas probably caused most of the problems (we've been having a bad time with them lately - the mild winter didn't help and I think they are pretty bad out in the woods where we take him for walks).  He is on an antibiotic and a few other medications for the other problems.  He also got some shots and blood taken (poor baby!)  He had been eating grass a lot, which is a sign he wasn't feeling well.  He also got a shot to settle his tummy.  He seems to be feeling better, though.  He's not his usual self quite yet, but I think he will get better soon.  I'll keep you updated.

Well, this post is already getting pretty long, but I'll end with our escapades yesterday.  My momma took me, Meghan, and my dad out to lunch at Tai-Pan (which is a great Chinese restaurant).  It was really, really good!  I had some sesame chicken and the egg rolls were fantastic!  (Oh, I almost forgot to mention.  The other day, Jamie's parents went out for their anniversary, so we ordered some Chinese from this great takeout place, but they got our order wrong!  Jamie was kinda mad, but the food wasn't too bad.  He got his sesame chicken but no rice, and I got some chicken lo mein which actually was pretty good.  We didn't get our teriyaki sticks, though, which was very sad.  They're so good!  It wasn't bad, though.)  Anywho!  Back to yesterday.  I saw someone from high school there, but didn't know what to say.  I feel kind of bad because it was probably rude that I didn't talk to him, but I'm not even sure he recognized me.  I shot him a facebook message later about it, but haven't heard anything back.  *shrugs*  After lunch, all us girls got our hair done:

                                        Momma                        Meghan

 Me

Meghan and I got our hair cut by one of my old friends' sister.  She did a great job on my hair.  I'm pretty much in love with it!  : )  I miss Meghan's pretty hair, but her little pixie cut looks cute.  I really like mom's hair, too.  I think it turned out really well.  After that, we headed over to Wal-mart to pick up some things and finally headed home.  We forgot to pick up my prescription, though, so mom had to run back up to Middlefield today (it's about 30 mins away-ish).  

Well, I think that's about it.  Sorry for such a long silence from me.  I've had a busy few weeks and have just been putting this off again and again!  I'm glad to have it done now, though, so I can get back on track.  I've been crocheting a bunch lately and learning new things with CSS and Expression.  I'm working on a portfolio for all of my websites and design stuff and I'm really excited about it.  It's so cute!  Plus, I'm working on a logo for our library.  They're having a contest; I could win $50, lol.  I have a cute idea, though.  Maybe I'll post the submission when I'm done.  

Love,
Christen

Saturday, April 21, 2012

April 8-21: Down and Out

Red and Black Converses

Red and Black Converses by bunni711 featuring white tops

Hey everyone, I apologize for not writing in a really long time, but I can explain!

Last time I posted, I mentioned feeling a bit under the weather.  Well, that exploded into a full-blown infection and kept me out of commission for two entire weeks. I'm only just coming out of it and have been spending the past few days catching up on assignments and addressing the mountain of homework looming over me for the rest of the semester.  By the way, I only have about two weeks left in the semester, including finals week.

I can't say that much interesting happened while I was sick.  I did have to go to the doctor's after it got really bad.  I had congestion in my sinuses, my chest, and my ears.  The infection even got into my eyes!  (I mistakenly assumed I had pink eye, but alas.)  We went to a new doctor closer by.  It ended up being a lady and I actually really liked her.  She was nice and helpful and didn't seem like she was in an all-fire hurry.  There actually weren't any other patients in there when I came in, so that probably helped.  Jamie recommended her.  She ended up putting me on an antibiotic.  Things were pretty bad there for a few days, but the medicine helped a lot.  I was also taking off-brand Mucinex and later on started taking some Vicks honey cough syrup which also helped.  I ate a lot of chicken soup in those two weeks.

Luckily, I didn't have a lot of homework due during the time I was sick.  I was able to get the workgroup stuff turned in because I had already finished it before I got really sick.  Jamie came over last Sunday (the 15th) and helped me get that stuff turned in.  I was so glad to see him because I had been at home since Monday (the 9th).  I usually come back to his house on Thursdays, but I definitely wasn't up to going anywhere then.  

James and I had a really great day on Thursday.  He was worried about me and he took good care of me when he was there.  I think we were both really glad we could see each other even though I couldn't come back with him yet.  It was a sad goodbye Sunday night.

After I started taking the antibiotic, I got better every day and was finally able to come back to Jamie's house with him on Wednesday (another really fantastic day!).  I had to e-mail my multimedia teacher to ask for an extension for my yacht club site project and she said it would be fine.  I still wasn't feeling super great when I got to Jamie's house (not really up to work), but finally got the project in on Thursday night.  I worked on my Javascript tutorial Thursday and Friday and started on the chapter 7 project today.  I'm having a bit of trouble with it, but I think I'll be able to figure it out.

Unfortunately, I have to focus on my Computer Assembly and Configuration class because the work is due sooner than I had thought.  I'm getting a lot of work done, though, so it shouldn't be a problem.  The labs are pretty quick and easy and the quizzes aren't a problem either.  I still have a large volume of work for a short amount of time, plus I need to finish JavaScript and work on my brochure and powerpoint (last two projects!) for tech writing.  It's going to be a busy week!

James and I have been really love-dovey since I got to come back to his house.  Now I think we are settling back in, but I need to remember that we can't be that way all the time.  Anyway, it wouldn't be possible with the amount of work we both have to tackle in a very short amount of time.  It's nice to know that we're close to being finished with the semester, though.

There is more drama in workgroup, though.  Ally and Jeremy never submitted their projects for excel and powerpoint, but Jeremy volunteered to take care of the Access project by himself.  I haven't checked yet to see if he submitted anything, but I'm really hoping he did.  Otherwise the rest of us will have to make up that assignment, too.  That prof hasn't gotten back to us yet about what we should do about the unfinished assignments.  I'm not really sure what will happen with those.  *sigh.

Over the weekend last week, Spotbot had some seizures and had to go to the emergency vet.  They wanted $1000 to keep him overnight!  My grandma took him home though, and he seems to be doing a lot better.  She had him taken upstairs to be with his mommy (the owners live in the apt upstairs) and he seemed to be a lot calmer.  They think the soft spot on his head is too large and he may have hit his head to trigger the seizures.  I haven't heard anything else (which I think is good), but we'll probably go see him next time I go home.  We didn't see him Wednesday because we wanted to give him more time to feel better before getting company.

Nothing much else has been going on.  I'm feeling a lot better but still coughing some and having to take long naps in the afternoon.  I haven't been sleeping well the past few nights for some reason, so that doesn't help.  Oh yeah, and my ears are still stuffed up.  I looked up some ways to unclog them.  I poured warm water in my ears in the shower today, but I'm not sure if it helped any.  I might have to try it again or try one of the other suggestions.  Otherwise, I'll probably have to call the doctor for advice.  

James and I have been enjoying some delicious sandwiches from the market.  We got some money from his parents to buy deli meat and cheese, plus yummy buns.  We also have mayo (I really hate miracle whip!), and the sandwiches are just sooo ridiculously good!  We had Subway for dinner yesterday and pizza today (bacon and mushrooms for me), but I got sick yesterday off of the fountain drink (I read that they often have a lot of bacteria), which was unfortunate because it was really good (it had flavor shots! - I got cherry).  I also got a bit sick off the pizza today, but that usually happens.  Ugh.

Let's see, I spose the only other thing worth talking about is that James got Puss in Boots from the library and it was actually really good.  We watched that during the week and saw Water for Elephants tonight.  It was good but it's sometimes hard for me to fully enjoy a movie when I've read the book.  I found it very odd that they combined Uncle Al and August into one character, but the movie overall was pretty well done.  I think Jamie liked it, too.  He also liked Puss in Boots even though he was ready to hate it (tee-hee).

That's about it.  If I remember anything else important (believe me, my two weeks of being sick were very boring - sitting on the couch, sleeping, and eating soup basically) I'll let you know.  Oh!  We did have some excellent bacon cheeseburger pizza last Sunday (I believe).  It sounds strange, but it was really good!  Later gators.

Love,
Christen

Saturday, April 7, 2012

April 4, 5, 6, & 7: Sick as a Dog

Spring Green

Spring Green by bunni711 featuring a david yurman perfume

Mellifluous (me-LIH-floo-us) adj. - (of a voice or words) Sweet or musical; pleasant to hear [Google Dictionary]; having a smooth, rich flow <a mellifluous voice> [m-w.com]

April 4: Today my mom bought us subs from the sub shop in town for lunch.  It used to be a Subway, but they pretty much sell the same stuff there now under a different name.  I got a sweet onion chicken teriyaki sub, which was yummy but very messy.  The only reason it wasn't as good as Subway was that they seem to use a different kind of chicken.  I only ate half (it was a footlong) and saved the rest for later.  

I worked on JavaScript earlier (I started last night) - we have to code a jigsaw puzzle.  It's pretty cool, but I also have to finish this chapter's project by Sunday night, too.  I've got a lot of work to do.  Hopefully the stuff I learned from working on the last project will help me out a lot.  I think I really got some of the concepts more concretely last time.

Later on I watched an episode of Alcatraz, which was pretty good.  I have a bunch of them to catch up on but never seem to be in the mood to watch them.  I always really like the show when I'm watching it, though.  I need to keep that in mind when I've got time to watch them.

For dinner, we had what my mom calls paprika chicken, which is just baked chicken with spices on it, and some chicken-flavored rice.  Later on, we made some chocolate cupcakes.  I tried a couple with Nutella on top, and it was pretty good.  The chocolate cupcake kind of cancelled out the taste of the Nutella, though.  It's better on other things, I think.  

Mostly I read and spent time online today, looking at reddit and reading through comics that I found through the r/comics subreddit.  I found a couple that seem cool.  One is Invisible Bread (which I'm finished going through), and the other is Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal (which seems to have a much larger archive and I'm still working through).  It's always fun to find new comics that I like.  r/comics is probably going to be a good place to find new comics to read.  Speaking of which, I think I might stop reading Robot Beach.  It was really cool at first (I loved going through the archives), but it's been consistently boring for a while now.  I encourage anyone who's interested to read it, but I don't personally think I'll be following it anymore.  (If you're interested, there are a bunch of webcomics listed under "Favorite Sites" on the right side of this blog.)

March 5: Today I woke up feeling absolutely terrible.  At first I thought it was because I had been staying up pretty late every night since I got home, but quickly discovered that I am sick.  I had trouble falling asleep last night.  I read more of my book before bed, but it was really late when I finally fell asleep.  I'm sure staying up late 3 nights in a row didn't help me keep from getting sick, at least.  Ugh.

I've been feeling pretty awful all day.  I finished the rest of my sub for lunch and wasn't feeling too bad at that point.  I watched some TV and hung out with Teddy as I steadily started feeling worse and worse.  Today is my mom's early day (she gets off at 3 instead of 8:30), but she didn't get home until much later because she had to bring my older sister home from work and do some shopping.  

When my mom got back, I was feeling really terrible.  I had tried to take a nap to nip this thing in the bud, but I don't think it really helped.  I didn't expect my mom to have picked up any chicken soup, but she did!  I had some of that for dinner, and then my mom made some really yummy potato stroganoff.  I actually ate too much of it and went to bed a little full.  (We always eat kind of late at my house.)

I tried to go to bed earlier tonight since I've been feeling so yucky, but still ended up going to bed a little late.  It was within reason, though, don't worry.  After James and I got off the phone, I was on reddit for (what I thought was) a little while, but when I looked at the time, 30 minutes had passed!  Reddit is actually a bigger time waster for me than even Facebook used to be.  I was on there earlier, too, reading and commenting on a thread about how short guys (under 5'4") are kind of prejudiced against (among other topics).  There were a couple of very interesting IAMA's about transexuality - both were male to female, but one was by a 19 year old girl and the other was by the husband of a 35 year old Chinese woman.  I wish more people were open-minded about this.  I won't go into it, though. (I could fill an entire post and more.)

March 6: I had a really rough night last night.  I woke up every few hours with a really sore throat and I could barely breath through my nose.  Suffice it to say, last night sucked.  James came over today instead of yesterday because we were having an Easter dinner.  Today is my mom's day off, and we couldn't have it Sunday since she's working.

This morning, my mom had to run some errands in Ashtabula with my grandma.  She got her new puppy today and brought him along with her.  I slept in because I was sick, or I would've volunteered to babysit him.  I had some more chicken soup for lunch today; this time it was Progresso.  The soup was pretty darn yummy.  My mom also brought back Taco Bell (I actually think my grandma got it for us).  I shared my tacos with Jamie.

Jamie and I agreed not to kiss each other today since we don't want to get him sick, too.  It's weird, but we have just been kissing each other on the cheek and stuff instead.

Later on, James and I went over to my grandma's house to see the little puppy.  We brought my nephew along, too (he's staying at our house this weekend).  The puppy is so adorable!  He played with us a bunch today, which actually surprised me.  When I saw him the first time, he only walked around some and slept the rest of the time.  Today, he was full of energy!  He bounded around, pranced, and jumped on us.  He would lift up his little paw and wave it at us, too.  He also took an interest in my flip-flops - it was so cute because he kept biting at them but never bit anything off.  His little teeth don't hurt when he nibbles, either.  We tried to keep him from doing that, though.  I figure it's never too early to start discouraging puppies from biting or nibbling.

My grandma got the puppy a little tennis ball, but he wasn't interested in it.  I think it was too big.  Delgado liked it, though, and kept going after it.  He finally got it, too, and ripped it all up in no time.  The puppy is doing so well going potty on the little training pads.  He might never need to go outside since he's only going to get up to 4 pounds (at most).  We took a bunch of pictures of him chewing on my shoes and people's fingers.  I also got a really cute one of him kissing Jamie all over the face.  Can you imagine his little tiny kisses?! Hopefully I can figure out how to upload them so I can post them on here.  

The puppy would play with us for a little while, then take a nap, play with us some more, and take another nap.  I can't believe how playful he was - he's so tiny!  He was pretty much the cutest thing ever, I have to say.  I held him an awful lot today, too.  He spent a good chunk of the time we were there asleep on my stomach, cuddled in the palm of my hand (yes, he's that small!)  He's just too cute and I hope I can go over and see him a lot.  I've never gotten to spend so much time with such a tiny puppy and I love it!

After we left (unwillingly), I had to lay down for a while.  My cold (or whatever it is) is a lot worse today.  My nose is stuffy and I'm blowing it constantly.  My throat hurts a lot, so I've been drinking a lot of tea.  Needless to say, my voice is less than mellifluous today.  I wish I had taken some of the cold medicine we have last night.  It is helping a lot today.  I slept some and woke up just in time for dinner.  My mom made some delicious glazed ham, sweet potatoes, and mashed potatoes with homemade gravy.  Everything was really good, but I didn't feel too hot after eating.  I had been feeling a little nauseous all day, too.  Ugh (again).  My mom picked me up some more medicine, though, plus some delicious Luden's drops which help my throat feel so much better.

March 7: I slept a lot better last night.  I think part of the reason was that I took medicine before bed, and I also think I might be getting a little better.  I hope so!  I went to bed at a decent time last night, too.  I slept in the guest room because I didn't want to wake James up in the middle of the night and it was more comfortable to sleep on my own.  I didn't wake up in the middle of the night, but I did wake up kind of early (I think on my own), and went back to bed - more sleep should mean less sick, I hope.  I slept in on purpose so I could work on getting better.  For lunch, I had some more chicken soup and James and I watched Broken Flowers on netflix.  It was really boring and there was no closure at the end.  I didn't really like it. 

Later on I watched Jamie play his Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning game.  It was pretty interesting.  The style reminds me of my Legends of Zelda game on gamecube (Windwaker).  A lot of the characters looked pretty funny, too.  Funny in a haha way.  It looks like fun, though.  I guess he played it a bunch while I was at my house.  Like pretty much the whole time, I guess.  (Just kidding!)  I didn't feel like doing much else besides sitting around, so it was nice to just watch him play something cool.

Later on, I checked up on our group discussion board.  We have a bunch more projects due in Workgroup soon - Excel and Powerpoint projects.  There are 6 total due on the 11th.  No one has picked any yet, so I volunteered for one of the powerpoints and said I'd help out with Excel, too.  I think I'd like to work on one of the projects that's worth more points because I'm not sure I trust some of our group members to do everything thoroughly.  We missed a few points on some Word projects because they didn't follow directions.  I'd just like to make sure everything is done right.  (Even though I made comments on those projects, the group members who did them didn't make changes.  It's frustrating.)

Jamie's parents took us out to Arby's for dinner because they're having a deal on their roast beef BBQ sandwiches.  I can't be sure how they really tasted since I can't smell anything (and thus my sense of taste is severely dulled), but I think they tasted pretty good.  I also got some cheddar curly fries (Mmmm).  It was very yummy.

We stopped by Lowes, so James and I wandered about and picked out stuff for our future house.  We picked out wood floors (James found them - I told him he has great taste in floors), a front door, kitchen counters (this amazing granite that I'm in love with), faucets, a kitchen faucet, a front door handle, and a rug.  It was pretty fun.  It's interesting to see the types of things he likes.  He says that he likes old looking things more.  I like both modern and old, so hopefully it won't be too hard to compromise when decorating/designing our house one day.  

I used to think about decorating my house as if I were going to make most/all the decisions, but I think I'm realizing more that I'm going to have to compromise.  I guess I just figured he wouldn't care about that sort of thing.  I just need to stop worrying about how I'm not going to get everything exactly how I want it and be more open to compromises.  It's something I've known about forever but didn't fully grasp - it's something you have to experience, I guess.  There seem to be a lot of those types of things in life.  

It was a lot of fun looking at all the home stuff with James, though.  When we got back to his house, I worked on my JavaScript project, but I'm still having problems.  I got some of it to work, which is progress!  Hopefully I'll be able to figure it out tomorrow without having to ask the prof for extra help.  I know it's her job, but I need to be able to work it out on my own.  This is something I may potentially need to do in my day-to-day job, so I have to have a handle on it.  I don't think I'm doing too bad, though.  I should be able to get it right on my own.

Sorry I haven't been posting every day.  I've been pretty sick the past few days, though.  One thing is that I'm not always in the mood to write.  The other is that I'm running out of Polyvore pictures to use for my posts!  I'm really trying to get a post written about every day, though.  I haven't missed one yet!  It's easier to make a post the day of or the day after, but I do my best to try to remember the main things I did/experienced every day.  

Love,
Christen

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

April 2 & 3: Puppy Preoccupation

Parisian Afternoon

Parisian Afternoon by bunni711 featuring a chain necklace

Prolix (pro-LICKS) adj. - long and wordy; tedious [Webster's]; (of speech or writing) using or containing too many words; tediously lengthy [Google Dictionary]

April 2: Today James and I picked up a Digiorno pizza for lunch and took advantage of a deal on m&ms - 2 medium sized bags for $4.  It was a pretty bad idea because we ended up with a crap ton of m&ms once we split them (we got one bag of plain and one peanut and split each in half).  I ate way too many, of course, and still have a bunch left.  I didn't think it was going to be so much!  

While we ate, we were going to watch Warehouse 13 (we did finally watch the Christmas episode the other day) using the SyFy app on his 360, but we found out you can't actually watch episodes on it (or at least you can only watch certain ones, I'm not sure which).  Instead, we watched Breakfast at Tiffany's.  It was so good!  I really, really liked the movie.  I thought it was cool, the dialogue was witty, and the story was amazing.  I really love the character of Holly Golightly.  She's not just a fashion icon (as she's generally depicted), but a fiery, independent female lead with a past and a wild side... yeah I'm in love with the movie! Really, I think it's one of my favorite movies now.  I'm excited because there honestly aren't a whole lot of movies that I fall in love with and can watch over and over.  I really think this is one of those movies, though.  I'm pretty excited.

Later on, we headed over to my house.  I had to finish up my memo for tech writing.  I found out that my draft didn't post to the discussion board (it must have been some sort of error), so I didn't get any feedback on it at all.  It's frustrating, but I'm trying to take it in stride.  I had to take a break from working on it after I found out, but I went back later on and got it done.  I had to change the pretty fonts I used because they didn't show up on anyone else's computer.  It actually distorted the headings and caused the memo to go onto 3 pages, so I didn't have a choice.  Hopefully they don't mess up for my prof, otherwise she'll probably give me a crap grade on it.  Ugh.

James and I played Skip-bo later on (after dinner), but he wasn't feeling very well.  We sat in my room and talked some while he rested, but he had to leave a bit early.  I read some before bed and went online, but that was about it for tonight.

April 3:  I stayed up kind of late last night, but wasn't overly tired this morning.  I didn't really do much this morning, but after lunch I finally published some new sets on Polyvore.  I had a bunch in the works but wasn't satisfied with how they looked, but I finaggled them and finally got some of them to look nice.  The one on this post was actually a new one.  I'm pretty happy with it and the other ones.  I also entered one of them into a group contest, so we'll see how that turns out.

Later on, I watched the episode of House that I missed and then watched America's Next Top Model.  I like that show, even though some people probably think it's dumb.  I'm surprised that it's still doing so well/ is still good after so many seasons.  I especially like the cool photo shoots they do and it was interesting to see them go for casting and walk in a show this week.  I'm glad that there doesn't seem to be a "villain" this season to make everything overly dramatic, but I guess we'll see if that changes.

Earlier I was playing around with Draw (Open Office) and Design (Expression Studio), trying to make cool logos.  I didn't make much progress, especially with Draw (I think I need directions for that one because individual study is not working out so well).  In Design, I figured out how to use the warp tool and use layers to change fonts to look how I want them too, but I definitely need more practice at it.  I'll have to look up videos or directions to help me out.  I've decided to try to make a bunch of cool logos.  It'll be good practice for website design.  I think I'm really leaning toward the design side instead of the coding side, but I'm not sure if I'll be able to get a job in design without a background in graphic design. That's another reason why it might be a good idea to take that class in the fall - Digital Image Manipulation.  We'll see.

After my dad left for his meeting and before my mom came home, my grandma called and asked if I wanted to meet her new puppy who was over for a visit.  He's not even 5 weeks old yet and soo tiny.  The little guy is coming home on Thursday.  They're leaving the mom early because she has an infection (something to do with feeding) and he is already eating real food like baby food chicken, some soft dog food (chicken and rice), and some kind of cereal.  He is so, so adorable!  The little guy is a chihuahua (half standard, half teacup), white with black spots, and his name is My Buddy Spot.  His nickname is SpotBot.  He has a big black splotch on his butt, a little one on his back, and his head is mostly black except around his mouth and a line down his forehead.  His little tail curls a little (especially when he walks!) and it's half black, half white.

I got to hold the little puppy for most of the time I was there.  I was there for over an hour, maybe even an hour and a half.  I had to take Teddy since I was here alone, but he didn't behave at my grandma's house.  He was playing with Delgado (my cousin's dog), but then he noticed the tiny puppy and went nuts.  He was whining and trying to get at him (he had to be held back), licking his chops the whole time.  I was afraid he would try to gobble the poor thing up, so we didn't let him near the puppy.  Delgado is really good with him, though - very loving and gentle.  Once when Teddy was whining and crying, the little puppy started whining too in his little tiny voice.  It was so adorable!

The puppy is so tiny that he can fit in the palm of my hand.  He's only going to get between 2 1/2 to 4 pounds.  I mostly held him, but let him walk some, too.  He walked up onto my shoulder and onto the couch and I had to rescue him from the cushions!  I let him walk on the couch later - he was sniffing around and trying to walk off the edge; then he squatted down and peed a little puddle the size of a quarter (at most).  I was surprised he never peed on me.  (I was thinking it the whole time.)  I told my grandma his nickname should be Puddles.

He started looking sleepy, but I wanted to see if he'd walk on the floor (my grandma mentioned that he would come to you if you made kissy noises at him), but he just stood there, so I picked him back up and snuggled him so he could go to sleep.  The little thing just curled right up into a ball with his little nose tucked under my arm and dozed off.  I saw him yawn later on and about died!  I held him while he slept for a long time and didn't want to let him go when the owners came back to get him.  My mom came after work, too (I left her a note) and we called my dad after his meeting to come see him.  They both got to hold him.  He's so soft and cute and tiny!  I told James his little black nose is about the size of the head of a push pin.  I took a couple of pictures, but I'm still not sure how to get them online from my phone.  I'm the least tech savvy 20-something I know - when it comes to cell phones, anyway!  

Sorry if my spiel on the puppy dog was a bit prolix - what can I say? I love dogs!  Anywho, later on I watched Alcatraz online.  Oh yeah, and earlier I got a message from the guy in my group I was having problems with before.  He said he really liked the newsletter I did, and later on suggested some grammar fixes (I don't think I need them, though).  The other two people in the group still haven't gotten back to me about their descriptions in the newsletter.  I'll have to make something up if they don't.  We also haven't gotten a draft of the mail merge letters yet, or a second draft of the questionnaire.  Hopefully they get done because we all have to share the grades for these things!  Despite all the issues I found with the proposal, we got full credit for it.  It seems like this lady won't be a hard grader, so that's a relief.  I just need to make some last tweaks to it and turn it in tomorrow.

Welp, I'm off to bed.  I've been reading more of Catch-22 and I really like it so far.  It's funny and quirky and interesting.  I like all the characters because they are so rich and so crazy.  The time jumps are a little disorienting, but I think I get the main details so far.  I'm maybe 1/3 of the way through.  I'll probably read some more before bed and such.

Love,
Christen

Sunday, April 1, 2012

March 28, 29, 30, 31, & April 1: Work and Worry

Disney Princesses: Ariel

Disney Princesses: Ariel by bunni711 featuring shell jewelry

March 28: Today I woke up kinda late again, but it could have been me recovering from my (possible) sickness.  I haven't really been feeling unwell today, so maybe I'm already over it.  (Hooray if it's true!)  I played The Sims 3 for a long time today and it was a lot of fun.  I haven't been letting myself have fun too much lately and I've been having a lot of anxiety over school work.  I have been putting things off.  I have a paper due next Tuesday and the Word group projects are due next Thursday.  I volunteered me and James to work on the newsletter, but one of the guys said we didn't need to both work on it and that James should start working on the Excel projects.  Apparently those are due on the 4th, too.  There is just too much work right now in that class.  Ugh!

Later on, I worked on my owl some more.  I started choosing the paper I'm going to use and I cut out some parts of the pattern (after labeling them all, of course).  I think it's going to turn out really cute.

March 29: Jamie came over today, but I was still feeling low.  We stopped by the library and I got out some non-fiction books because I'm in a learning mood.  I got the book on the death penalty that I had been reading last year and wasn't able to finish, plus a book on the history of socialism (for pure academic interest, mind you), and a pictorial dictionary on the history of fashion.  I'm excited to start reading them.  After that, James and I got some drinks, too.

Jamie wasn't feeling well earlier, so we had to leave early to go back to his house.  We got back just in time because his mom hadn't been planning on making dinner and we would've been on our own.  Our paper was due today on how our workgroup groups are going.  I'm frustrated because there have been some issues with one of the group members acting as leader and telling me I can't work with someone else on a project.  Maybe I'm making a big deal of things, but I'm frustrated and had a difficult time figuring out what to write in my paper.  (I also had a really hard time figuring out what to write back to him when he said I shouldn't work with someone else.  I was pretty upset, but didn't want to come off rude.  Ugh!)  I hope the prof doesn't make something out of this.  It's giving me a bit of anxiety, actually.  We are actually supposed to meet with her soon as a group because we had a bit of a late start on the work.  Hopefully things go smoothly and this isn't brought up.

March 30: I have been sleeping in for a few days in a row now and it's making me feel pretty weird.  On top of that, my anxiety about my projects is getting ugly.  James and I watched a bunch of movies on TV today and we got Subway for dinner.  I got a chicken marinara melt again because I really like them for some reason.  I've been kind of avoiding work today, but I really need to get started on it tomorrow.  I realized that I had mistakenly thought Tuesday was the 2nd, when Monday is actually the 2nd and the 4th is Wednesday.  Now things are due a day earlier than I had anticipated.

I don't know why I'm having so much anxiety, but James has been making me feel better.  He's being really understanding and I can tell he is really trying.  I think I'm letting this stuff get into my head too much and I'm going to try not to focus on my anxiety.  It's there and I recognize it, but if I keep it in the back of my mind all the time, it will only be worse.

I posted editing remarks on the business proposal today.  I had a lot of critiques (mostly on basic organization so far, but I have a feeling the language is going to need work, too).  I hope the guy I've been having issues with won't take my comments the wrong way.

March 31: Today, I started working on my memo and it was much easier to do than I was worried it would be.  Actually, I feel pretty silly for having so much anxiety about it.  It's only a two page memo and we had to analyze the effectiveness of three brochures.  Our next assignment is to make a brochure, so it makes sense.  I tried to make my memo look nice and despite the sentences being a little rough, I posted it on the discussion boards for review.  I don't think anyone will post about it over the weekend, but I'm hoping someone does so that I can get more work done on it.  I'll go back and edit through tomorrow.

Later on, Jamie's parents took us out to a Chinese buffet for dinner.  We stopped by Walmart and looked around for a while before.  We had Jamie's nephew with us and we took him through all the toy aisles to keep him entertained.  I'm sure a bunch of people probably thought he was our kid.  That's so weird.  I think I probably looked like the disinterested mother while Jamie pushed the cart.

Dinner was really good and I actually didn't get sick from it this time.  I usually do get sick from eating at this place.  I even had some ice cream, which I was sure would push me over the limit.  Jamie's mom did get sick, but I don't think James did.  He regretted getting ice cream, though.  Later on, we watched a couple of movies, including Midnight in Paris and Bridesmaids.  I heard a lot of good stuff about Bridesmaids, but didn't find it amazingly funny.  Don't get me wrong, I thought it was funny and I liked it, but I guess I expected more of a The Hangover type movie.  We also saw Friends with Benefits the other day, which I actually liked.  I thought it was snarky and cute, but James didn't really like it that much.

The dude in my workgroup group was really nice about what I said back to him (about working with another group member) and about the proposal critiques.  He said he'll change some things, but I'm not sure he's really going to change it that much.  I hope we don't get points off because it is a lot longer than 5 pages (16 at the moment, actually).

April 1: Today I started on the newsletter for workgroup and I'm really happy with how it is turning out.  At first, I wrote it with customers as the audience, but discovered that it was supposed to be written for the employees.  I had to take a break after that because it meant I would have to rewrite some stuff.  I was thinking I'd have to rewrite more, but I actually only had to tweak a few sentences to make it work.  The whole thing looks really nice and very professional.  I posted a draft to see what the groupies say and to get some information about a couple of group members as far as their technical experience/expertise.  I think it will turn out really nicely.

Later on, I worked on the memo some more, trying to get it down to two pages.  It was at three when I posted it yesterday, but I was able to make things fit.  Earlier we watched Space Jam on TV and the season premiere of Game of Thrones.  Watching that show reminds me of the big fight we had that day we watched the marathon, so that wasn't fun.  I've been grumpy today, too, so things weren't going totally smoothly.  I was sitting on the couch earlier, dozing off every few minutes even though I got enough sleep (well, we did go to bed at 3am last night because we decided to watch Bad Teacher, which I think has a terrible message and wasn't that great, either).  I'm tired of being tired all the time.

I'm still working on Catch-22 but could be making better progress.  The story is strange and it's pretty much set up in sections where each chapter consists of stories about a specific character in the main character's air corp unit.  It's not boring, though, just quirky.  I've also been reading a bit of my other books, but mostly I've been worrying or working or watching movies.

We didn't go to see The Hunger Games today because Jamie was feeling sick again.  We probably won't be able to see it until it comes out on dvd now.  We've been watching a bunch of movies this weekend, though, and we got to go out to eat yesterday.  I just hope that he won't have to be sick all the time anymore.  He complains so little that I always have to ask him how he's feeling to even know if he's sick or not.  I guess we both have our struggles.

Love,
Christen

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

March 26 & 27: Wacky for Wedding Ideas

What to Wear: Job Interview

What to Wear: Job Interview by bunni711 featuring a pleated blouse

Timorous (TIM-er-us) adj. - Showing or suffering from nervousness, fear, or a lack of confidence [Google Dictionary]; easily frightened; fearful [m-w.com]

March 26: Today James and I made some chocolate chip pancakes for lunch, which were delicious.  I also started reading Catch-22, which is a pretty strange book so far, but funny.  Earlier, I watched James finish Mass Effect 3 and play a home run derby on his baseball game.  Apparently, there was a big fuss about the ending to Mass Effect 3, but I didn't think it was that bad.  I guess the decisions you made throughout the game didn't have any affect on how the ending turned out.  It's silly that people actually made a petition about it, though, and raised money (although they apparently gave the money to charity).

Later on, James and I got milkshakes at DQ before we headed over to my house.  We also stopped by the library to take back our movies and unload 1Q84. (Finally!  That book actually took me one day less than a month to finish.  I was pretty busy otherwise, that's my excuse.)  We picked up City of Ember on dvd, too, but I'm going to watch that on my own.

After we got to my house, we played some Skip-bo and watched TV.  I also started drawing out the owl for a project I'm going to do.  There is this owl painting my mom has that is really awesome, so I traced out the outline of it and added in different shapes inside (like circles in the middle, a diamond shape on the head, lines on the wings, etc.).  I'm going to cute those shapes out and use them as templates for cutting scrapbook paper that I will later put together as a sort of mosaic.  I think it's going to look really cute.  I got everything drawn out tonight, but I'm not sure if I'm happy with it yet.  We'll see.

We had my favorite meal again tonight (Chicken Noodle Casserole).  I had way too much of it, though, and felt stuffed full.  I think everyone ended up eating too much because it was soo yummy.  Later on, though, everyone seemed to get an upset stomach.  I won't blame it on the chicken noodle casserole.  That stuff was really amazing.  (*drools)

March 27: I woke up late today and didn't feel well at all.  I was on Pinterest in the morning looking at some wedding ideas.  Then, mom made us both some sausage and egg sandwiches which were yummy.  My tummy still felt weird, though, and I started feeling under the weather after lunch.  It feels like I'm getting a cold or something.  I took a good long nap to try to nip this thing in the bud and felt a little better afterward.  Teddy woke me up barking at the door, though.  Ugh.

Earlier I also caught up on my group work for the Productivity class.  The guy working on this project already has most of it done, but I couldn't open any of the files he posted except for one which I wasn't sure was the last draft or not.  Later on, James told me that the files were e-mailed to us, so at least now I know what to comment on.  We're missing a table of contents at this point (it's actually another proposal - yay, not).  I'm really going to dig into it tomorrow because no one else has made any editing remarks so far and I want to make sure it's the best we can do before it's turned in.  I'm not sure if they guy doing the project knows that the due date was moved up from tomorrow to April 4, so hopefully he gets the message before he turns it in.  What I've noticed so far, though, is that our organization needs work and it's a bit sparse.

I also changed a lot of the patterns I had made on the owl yesterday.  I erased the diamond and the concentric circles on its belly and replaced that with some feathers which look a lot better.  I think it looks really good now.  I was excited to start working on it, but I feel pretty yucky today.  I think I'm going to have to get some more sleep and get to it tomorrow.

Mom made me some chicken soup for dinner, which was so good.  It made me feel a bit better, too.  I haven't read much of the book today, but it's mostly because I've been so tired.  After dinner (and a bit before, too - and also during, actually), I was downloading free fonts from www.myfonts.com.  I thought they might have some free ones, but there ended up being A LOT of them.  I was kind of addicted.  I ended up downloading over 100 of them tonight - now I just need to figure out how to install them on Word so I can use them. Hopefully it works out!

After that, I watched New Girl, but ended up missing Raising Hope.  I watched America's Next Top Model online after that.  (The season finale of Face Off isn't online yet.  : P)  Then, I went back on Pinterest and found some more cool ideas for my future wedding (it's not official official yet, but we are planning on getting married).  Here are a few:

  • succulents in bouquets and centerpieces (and boutonnieres)
  • sparklers instead of bubbles/rice/petals for when we leave the ceremony or reception
  • old books and mason jars for centerpieces
  • baby's breath bouquets
  • mustaches on sticks with guests names on them for escort cards
  • chocolate lollipops for favors (you can make them in different shapes with plastic molds)
  • stickers (and magnets) for save the dates
  • s'mores snack bar
  • wax seals for invites
  • giant picture frame for wedding photos (that wedding party holds up)
  • scrabble tiles for place cards
  • paper flowers for decorations/on favors
  • cookies w/ guests names on them for favors/place cards
  • caricatures at the reception
That's a pretty long list, but I have a bunch of cool ideas now to really make it our own.  Most of the ideas I had before were kind of generic, but these incorporate us a lot more.  That makes me happy.  : )  I definitely want plum purple to be the main color, and I really like peacock colors as possible other tie-in colors.  Otherwise, I like the idea of the green of the succulents being the other color, plus cream.

Anywho, today has been a weird day.  I feel so tired and I probably am actually getting sick.  I don't usually get sick all that often, and now seems like a strange time for it.  Maybe it's because the weather has been wonky lately, changing around quickly and drastically whenever it feels like it.

Oh yeah, I got around to looking up my grade on the proposal today.  Yesterday I was too scared; I felt very timorous about what the outcome would be.  I ended up getting a 95 on the paper and a 97 on my graphics.  I was surprised.  I had been bracing myself for a bad grade (I had so much anxiety about it and so much trouble concentrating that I was sure I'd get something terrible).  That's the best grade I've gotten in this class so far.  I'm so relieved!

Welp, I think that's about it.  I'm excited about my new fonts.  I decided I'd really like to make my own save the dates, invitations, and ceremony programs and the new fonts really give me something to work with.  I know a wedding is something very far off at this point, but it's just fun to look forward and think about it.  I never really understood before about how important it is to put elements of yourselves into the wedding, but I really get that now.  It just makes the planning more fun!  Part of that is thinking about our relationship and what makes us unique and what we will be celebrating on that day - which is the most important part!  I know it's easy for people to forget what the wedding is all about, but I really want to keep the celebration at the center.

Enough about weddings!  Good night!

Love,
Christen