September 30, 2014

My favorite exchange of the day.

Every morning and evening when Yangkyu leaves and comes home from work we have a short exchange. It's roughly translated into English as "I'll be back" and me replying "have a good day" and "I'm home" to which I'll say "welcome home". It's like a little ritual and without fail, as if on cue, is done every weekday. And in-between these exchanges you'll surely find Piri waiting for his kisses {or maybe a peek into Yangkyu's lunch bag} and showering Yangkyu with his welcome home serenade.  

September 29, 2014

It's lookin a lot like fall around here.

I have never been a fan of fall. 

The colors, smell and look of it all reminds me of an end to carefree days of summer. You know the childhood where there were no smart phones and we found things to do outside using our imagination. I always associated fall with the end of that and going back to school, which I didn't like so much - getting up early, cold dreary days and loud noisy school buses. Halloween was really never a favorite holiday, but most of all I despise daylight saving time when we have to fall back an hour. I hate that it gets dark so quickly. 

But, this year I have embraced the coming of fall and fall itself rather quickly. Perhaps I was tired of being in denial {ha} or maybe it's because I am enjoying the possibility of making {and buying} fall decorations for our new home and knitting chunky hats and crocheting blankets for the colder weather. I am also looking forward to trying out some warm soothing chowder recipes and baking our own bread. I can just imagine what our kitchen will smell like. 

After a good recharging over the weekend, we're ready to get through the week. I have a ton of blogs to catch up, some new crochet projects to learn and also taking care of Piri who is still feeling a bit sick. We also hear back from the vet to talk about next steps. Hopefully things will start looking up. 

Here's to a productive and fulfilling week for all of us. 

September 26, 2014

Thoughts on life with dogs to head into the weekend.

This week had such a promising start - we had pretty flowers, brussels sprouts, chickpea salad sandwiches and melon smoothies planned for our meals and some craft projects lined up to get our home ready for fall. But then on late Monday afternoon we received a shocking phone call from our new vet, whom we had just seen last week for Piri's 6-month preventative care exam. She had results back from his blood profile and urine sample -- Piri has stage 3 kidney disease. 

That took a while for it to sink it. It was hard and confusing to accept. How in the world did Piri have stage 3 kidney disease? How did stages 1 and 2 bypass us? Our previous vet didn't suspect anything - two years ago they did hint at possible symptoms but said it was probably nothing, then the following year Piri was also given a clean bill of health, aside from a faint heart murmur, with excellent readings on his vitals. He hasn't been showing any symptoms of kidney disease although now I wonder if his steady weight loss is somehow connected. We did bring up to our previous vet because I was concerned that he kept losing weight, but was told that it was probably due to his old age. 

After I got off the phone with our new vet, I did what I probably shouldn't have -- went on the Internet to read up on kidney disease in dogs. In my frantic mind I got more nervous and anxious and my mind kept going to terrible places. The good supportive community on Instagram ensured me that kidney disease is manageable and there have been many cases of dogs living on a few more years in a healthy and happy state of being. And while those messages comforted me, it also didn't put my mind completely at ease. 

If you have a pet in your life, or you once did, you probably have done this as well, but Piri is always in our narrative - past, present and future. Yangkyu joked and said that he will turn into a zombie dog and stay with us until our {yet to be born} kids are teenagers, and when we are old and grey. 

I'm not superstitious. Just a littlestitious. And so I never wanted to think aloud these thoughts to anyone except Yangkyu, but for the past month or so I have had these panic attacks. I would go out of my mind thinking of the day when we would have to say good-bye to Piri and how I would not be able to do it. How there are so many more things we have to do with him.

I know. Sometimes I can be so dramatic. But when it comes to Piri, I sometimes can't help it. Perhaps that's just part of what life is like with dogs. It's all cute and happy and fun and joyful and a little dramatic too.  

On Thursday, we were back at the vet's office for a quick blood pressure check and when our doctor is back in the office on Monday we'll be getting a rundown on his results and next steps. If everything looks ok, Piri will be going on a specialized prescription diet and maybe medication as well. There is no cure to kidney disease, only management. Stage 3 is the final stage in kidney disease, in which the kidneys will start failing. That sounds so terrifying to me. 

The past few days my mind has been totally focused on how to keep Piri happy and comfortable. I spent all morning on Wednesday making a crochet rag rug for Piri using some of our old clothes because he likes sleeping on them so much. Yangkyu even gave me his favorite zip up, which he couldn't get rid of despite the zipper being broken, for the project. I remember he got it at Urban Outfitters before going to watch Ponyo in Chinatown during our 3-day getaway to DC after our wedding. I also used a dress I wore when the three of us went to Virginia Beach together for the first time. It had a stubborn kimchi stain I couldn't get out but I like that it's being upcycled this way for Piri. 

I know one day our hearts will break into a thousand little pieces, but I am positive that day is nowhere near us. Not yet.

PS -- On top of Piri's kidney news he has been having diarrhea for the past three days, asking to go outside multiple times at odd hours of the night. We just hope that we'll find some comfort and balance in our home again. Something feels definitely off. 

September 25, 2014

Life lately, according to my iphone.

"When life gives you lemons, chunk it right back." -- Bill Watterson

September 24, 2014

Last chance to enter Sticky9 Giveaway!

Wanted to give a friendly reminder to enter our blog birthday giveaway with Sticky9, which ends midnight EST, Thursday, September 25. 

You can enter here for a chance to win 3 sets {each set includes 9 square magnets} of photo magnets using any of your pictures, including those on your Instagram account. 

Thanks for all your love and support! 

September 23, 2014

A Girl and Her Dog: Cindy + Louie.


Today I'm so very happy to have Cindy and Louie for our monthly "A Girl and Her Dog" series. You may remember Cindy from some other posts I have done and so I was happy when she once again accepted our request for her to make another appearance, this time with her best furry pal. 

I first came across Cindy's Instagram when she kindly left a comment on one of my pictures. I hopped on over to her account and instantly felt as if we had been friends for a long time. Doesn't that sound crazy? It's one of those once in a blue moon feelings I get with people. An Instagram connection became a blog connection and now her spaces on the Internet are among my favorite daily visits. And how can it not? Cindy is a pretty cool gal, and Louie, a beagle rescue, is just a bundle of cuteness, but put them all together with the human guy in their lives, and they just make the cutest family to grace the Internet.

Here is all about Cindy & Louie. 
The girl: Cindy Kogure
The dog: Louie. She is a beagle. 
Cindy's favorite snack: Blueberries
Louie's favorite snack: Peanut butter frosty paws
From: Los Angeles, California 
Find them on Instagram: @kidgranny
Find them on their blog: Kidgranny

Dear Louie,

Do you remember the first day we met? It was in the fall of 2011. Your papa and I happened to visit our local animal shelter, and you were the only dog that wouldn’t come to the front of the cages to greet us, even though I literally begged you to come! I thought that perhaps you were ill or severely sedated and was terribly worried about your health. Thanks for proving me wrong! As soon as I interacted with you one-on-one, you were so sweet and I knew you were just terrified in the cage and was eager to be in an actual home again.

There’s a lot that I like about us, but what I love most is how we care for each other. When I’m having one of those days when nothing seems to go right, you snuggle up close to me without me even having to say or do anything, as if to say, “I’m here now.” When you’re having one of those “off” days, I take you on an extra long walk and give you belly rubs until your tail is wagging again.

I also love that you’re game for anything – from going on adventures to having a chill day at home. This past spring, you took on an important role to be the ring bearer for our wedding. You were everyone’s favorite! I’m so glad some of our distant relatives and friends that live further away finally had the chance to meet you in person.

Now your papa and I are finally off to our honeymoon. We’ll be away for a little over two weeks. It’s the longest that we’ll be away from you, and I will miss you terribly! I’ll miss the pitter-patter sound that you make as you trot across the hallway, your loud snores, and your deep, soulful eyes. I'll miss not being able to give you a good night kiss and snuggle with you on the couch. We love you so much, and we wish you could experience Europe with us but I don’t think it’s a good idea for you to be on a plane for 15+ hours. You will be in good hands with grandpa and grandma – I’m sure they’ll spoil you rotten! Please behave while we are away – no stealing food from the dinner table!

Lots of love,
Momma aka your BFF
Thank you so much Cindy and Louie. 
You can see more of the life they share on Instagram and also on their blog

Photos via Cindy. 
Read more "A Girl and Her Dog" Stories here

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