Monday, December 31, 2012

First Room Finished... ish

Hello! I hope everyone had a great holiday! I can't believe it's been about nine or ten days since I last updated but I've been busy getting settled which has been taking longer than I thought it would. Lots and lots to do, unpack, and buy! And, it's extra difficult to get settled when you're squeezing a two bedroom apartment's worth of stuff into half of a four bedroom house (it's seriously harder than it sounds!).

We have a small bedroom with one small closet for the both of us (and Russ has his work uniforms so that's even more clothing to squeeze in!). There's no linen closet, no laundry room-type closet and it's been so hard to find space or think of ideas to maximize our storage. I'll be sharing my solution for that hopefully later this week.

As for today, we have our first semi-completed room. It's rather underwhelming and still in progress but it having one room a little together made it start to feel a little more like home. This bathroom is in the upstairs and is shared by my mom and brother. 

And here's the after with the addition of a shower curtain and towels (from Fred Meyer- which is an awesome, awesome store that we didn't have in Virginia and I'm totally loving it), Ikea rug, Ikea faux plant, and Target soap dispenser. 

All it needs is some art and we can call it done!

Hope everyone has a great New Year's Eve!

Friday, December 21, 2012

Zelda Update

Once the holidays are over, Zelda's more recovered, and we're a little more unpacked and less messy I hope to start some new awesome projects on the blog. Just bear with me... it's been a weird couple of weeks and it's not over yet.

However, Zelda's surgery is over and she's now working on recovering. We took her home last night after two nights at the animal hospital. I couldn't be more pleased with the doctors, staff, and her wonderful progress. She's a very rambunctious kitty, still full of kitten energy and happiness. The staff just gushed over her while she was there because she's so sweet and playful.

Last night when we picked her up they actually showed us video of her surgery and what they removed. It was weird but interesting to see the procedure. 

And if you're a little squeamish, don't look.... It's actually not too bad. 

But, here's her incision. She's going to have a lot of recovering to do...

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Miss Zelda

This week has been hectic and trying so far. As I have mentioned before, Zelda's health hasn't been too great since we left Virginia. We had another incident the other night after her recent dosage of antibiotics ran out and we knew it was time to get down to what was causing her illness. 

I took her to our new vet here and decided that yes, it was time to fork over the cash to get Zelda her ultrasound to ultimately diagnose her with pyrometra (infection of the uterus). $400 later and it was pretty conclusive that she definitely had a stump pyrometra and that she was, "one of a million" cats, according to the vet, to get this condition especially since she had been spayed. 

When the condition occurs in altered cats its because a small piece of ovarian tissue is left after a spay. The ovarian tissue causes her cervix to open and become receptive in hopes that she will become pregnant. However, because the small section of uterus isn't connected to anything anymore, when the cervix opens it can take in bacteria. That's what happened to poor Zelda and unfortunately it was a perfect place for bacteria to grow and fester. 

Happily, Zelda was doing remarkably well (which I heard from both veterinarians I took her to) and I was able to quickly call around for the best price and place to get her surgery done. Our initial vet wouldn't keep her overnight because they weren't open and would cost nearly $2,000 after all was said and done. After some early morning calls, I found a place a few more miles away that would perform the surgery immediately and keep her up to two nights for observation for less than that. 

It was a very serious and complicated surgery. The surgeons actually called me mid-surgery to inform me about what was going on and that they had run into a snag: her infected uterus was close to her kidney and they were informing me about the risks of removing it. But... there really was no good scenario. It had to come out or she would surely die. 

I got a call after the surgery that she had made it though and that there was no obvious damage to any surrounding structures. I also was called early this morning about her condition and she was up, eating, drinking, and trying to play. She seems to be doing really well and we're just waiting to hear a call from the doctor this morning about when we can go pick her up. 

I'm just hoping that getting this removed that she will finally be a healthy little kitten. 

It's been tough though, having to make these decisions on my own because Russ was busy on his ship and wasn't home with me. Guess I'm earning my Navy wife stripes, right? 

Monday, December 17, 2012

Meet The New Rental

So our first Washington state home isn't an apartment (does that mean I need to rename my blog?... maybe?). 

We've taken to calling it the "retro house" (since it was built in the 60's) and it's smack dab in the middle of some newer and very beautiful homes. But, the rental management company were right to leave this little retro gem instead of tearing it down and rebuilding a new house on its foundation. My mom and brother are sharing this house with us after they recently relocated up to the Pacific Northwest too. 

Here's some pictures that were taken from the ad (when the home wasn't crazy-filled with boxes!):

The Sunroom/Dining Area (the kitties love it):

Our 8"x10" ground floor bedroom... poses some design and storage difficulties:

The Rec Room/ Game Room/ Future Office Area:

One upstairs bedroom:

Second upstairs bedroom: (there's a third upstairs bedroom that's not pictured)

The Carport (which is in need of painting- badly):

The Kitchen:

The Upstairs Living Room:

The Front During the Listing:

A couple of days ago....

Yep, she needs a little TLC...

And here's some beautiful shots of our neighborhood that I took during the one day, in the past ten days or so that we've been here, that it hasn't been raining. 

You can see the carport and backside of our rental in the next few shots. Isn't the sky and evergreens gorgeous?!

I have yet to finish unpacking, see Seattle, see anything really besides the mall area and Ikea... but, we're stationed here for at least a few years and I know that after we get settled we'll have time for that.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

PCS- Take Three

Monday: Lincoln, NE- Ogden, UT

Packing the car- easy. Getting the cats ready for the next leg- easy. Driving in the thickest fog imaginable- difficult and somewhat infuriating. I wanted to drive the speed limit to keep on our schedule but it was impossible with the pea soup-iest fog this side of London. It was ridiculous! 

Around 10 am, the sun finally burned it off. Instead of fog to slow us down, our lack of sleep was already starting to catch up with us. That, coupled with the fact that driving through Nebraska was boooooring. Boring, boring, boring. 

Wyoming, however, was quite pretty. 

Driving though the mountains of Utah in the dark = not my idea of a good time. I'm sure in the daytime they were quite beautiful. But, at night they looked menacing. 

We finally stopped in Ogden, Utah and the next morning I got to see the pretty view from our hotel. 

Best dinner of the trip was at that gas station next to our hotel. Not because the food was that great but because it felt like a vacation from the kids cats.

Tuesday: Ogden, UT- Everett, WA

Finally we were on the last leg of our trip! It was the best night sleep we got on the whole trip and we were emboldened by the good night's rest that this last day of the trip would be the best!

"Is that fog up on those hilly mountains?"
"Yeah, it looks like..."

And then... it snowed in Utah/Idaho. It was scary because I didn't know how high we were going up in the mountains or how long it had been snowing already... All we knew was that we didn't need the added hassle of driving in the snow. It was all terribly stressful. 

The rest of Idaho and into Oregon were happily uneventful save a little rain in the Oregon mountains, which was no big deal. 

Then, on the last leg of our trip through the mountains of Washington we encountered a huge rainstorm. It was dark, rainy, mountainous, and there was standing water. It was one of the scariest driving moments I've ever experienced. 

We also survived driving through the Seattle area rush hour (which... was pretty much nothing compared to Virginia and DC) and we made it late in the evening. 

Our first order of business wasn't to greet our family or unpack our car... it was to clean up my messy kitten who, within the last few miles of our destination, decided to poo in her carrier. Fun.

But we made it safely with most of our sanity intact!

More posts to come on the house, traveling with cats, and moving!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

PCS- Take Two

There's still more PCS story to come... For easy reference, here's our crazy four day route. 

Saturday: Norfolk, VA- Kentucky

I didn't sleep well at all. I kept waking up and trying to listen for Zelda to make sure she wasn't getting lethargic or sicker. I probably got five hours of sleep when we both rose at 5 am to leave for the trip. Our biggest obstacle was fitting everything in our Jeep. We took a luggage cart and worked for fifteen minutes to fit everything in the car. We ended up leaving our recently purchased iron in the hotel room. It just wasn't worth the effort to fit it into the car. 

After gassing up, we were on the road by 7 am and on our way to Kentucky, our first stop which was nearly twelve hours away. 

We encountered fog in Virginia but other than that, the drive was pretty easy besides being completely beat. 

Some unexpected things: Virginia has a lot more mountains than I expected. Also, Charleston, WV is bigger than I thought and has a pretty sweet looking capital building with an awesome gold rotunda. 

Once we got to Kentucky, we dropped off the kitties at the hotel, got their food and litter box set up and went to my grandparent's house for a few hours. 

Seeing them was the highlight of the trip. 

Sunday: Kentucky- Lincoln, NE

My grandma offered to make us breakfast so we got up early and headed over to their house for a little while. It was a great way to start the next leg of our trip. My only wish is that we could have spent a day or two but with Russ' check-in timeframe and Zelda's questionable condition, we really couldn't. 

After getting absolutely NO gps signal on my phone, I had to call my grandma and ask for directions. Yeah, modern technology is wonderful until you can't get a signal. Luckily you can always ask for directions regardless of the number of cell phone towers available. 

About an hour or two into the thirteen hour day, we encountered severely pouring rain in Indiana and Illinois. It made our trip even more daunting. 

We hit St. Louis, which was fun, because I got to see the Arch for the first time. It was pretty awesome! 

Then... Kansas City and then we finally got to Lincoln, NE. The cats were weary, we were dog-tired, and our hotel was a mere stone's throw away from a Lincoln Penitentiary (seriously). 

We also discovered that Zelda has a love of getting up into unprotected hotel bed box springs which caused Russ and I to kinda go crazy with annoyance. 

Monday, December 10, 2012

PCS- The Busiest, Exhausting, and Most Challenging Week Of My Life (So Far)

It's only been a few days since we arrived and I still don't feel fully recovered from our move. By the time we reached Washington state, we were both mentally and physically spent. If I had known that it would have been this challenging, this exhausting, this crazy... I might have told Russ to pick Virginia orders again. But, this could still be my exhaustion talking.

I guess I'll start from the beginning (and this is probably going to be looong). 


We woke up Thursday morning after an awful night's sleep on the floor (since our furniture was already gone) and vowed to avoid ever sleeping on the floor ever again. We had a few errands to run so we went out to pick up Russ' altered uniforms and to find a place we could get his pants ironed for his school graduation ceremony. Annnd, it turns out that no place in Norfolk we stumbled upon could iron his pants on such short notice! So we had to buy an iron just for the sake of his pants/uniform inspection. 

Then, while he was off to one of his ceremonies that afternoon I was busily cleaning the apartment from top to bottom. I dusted the corners of the ceiling, the walls, the baseboards. I cleaned windows, blinds, the washer and dryer, the bathroom from floor to ceiling. By the time I got to the kitchen, I was almost in tears because Russ wasn't home yet to help me. And, I was super hungry because we had nothing to eat. 

Just as I texted him, "I need help here," he walked through the door with Wendy's. After eating for the first time all day, I felt energized to finish cleaning and happily I didn't have to do it alone.

We loaded the car to head over to the hotel and decided to leave a few things in the apartment and pick it up the next day before our move out inspection. 


Today was Russ' graduation ceremony and we had to be at the schoolhouse on base at 7:45 am. Depending on traffic, we could leave at around 7 and have enough time to leisurely get there in Virginia Beach. 6:30 rolled around and Russ discovered that he left his belt at the apartment in Norfolk, the opposite end of town... So, we rushed to get dressed to head back to the apartment while saying silent prayers that traffic will be fine. 

We get to base with the belt and the graduation went smoothly and quickly. But afterward instead of checking out, we have to drive ALL the way back to the hotel for his orders because we left them in our rush to get the belt. Then, drive ALL the way back to Virginia Beach to check out of his command. Then, drive ALL the way back to Norfolk to do the move out inspection. Then, drive further to pick up his second set of altered uniforms only to discover that we left the receipt at the hotel in Virginia Beach. This caused me to break down in tears for the first time of the day. The combination of moving stress coupled with driving everywhere coupled with the stress of leaving the next day caused me to burst into tears. 

Luckily, the guy remembered Russ and he was able to pick up his clothes without having to drive out to Virginia Beach again. 

After all the events of the day, it was just barely lunch time. Having no more errands, we headed to one of our favorite local sandwich shops, Taste Unlimited, for one last meal. I felt, for the first time all week, relaxed. 

We had a nice lunch and then went back to the hotel to relax before our trip Saturday morning. 

While we watched some random Cartoon Network cartoon, I was horrified to discover that Zelda was bleeding from her privates. And, I haven't mentioned this on here because there really wasn't a need but since her spay, she's been exhibiting heat-like behavior during the last two months. We just figured she'd need more surgery to get the rest of her ovary removed that they must've missed. We also figured that could wait until Washington.

After freaking out, shoving her into her carrier, and searching for any other blood spots in the hotel room, I broke down again. I cried my makeup off in about two seconds. It also didn't help that there wasn't any offices that could see her at 4:30 pm on a Friday night. Luckily the Banfield in Cheasapeake wasn't busy so we rushed over in Virginia rush-hour traffic to get her to the doctor's office. 

They took blood, they did tests... they told us she possibly has a very serious condition, Pyometra (infection of the uterus), and that it usually only affects dogs and unspayed females. We were told, basically, that she could die on our trip out here. The doctor was optimistic that antibiotics could keep the infection at bay while we were traveling but she was also very serious about Zelda's condition. She was comforted by the fact that Zelda was still eating, drinking, and playing and that her white blood cell count was normal too.

It almost felt like this elaborate house of cards that I've built for months, had come crashing down around me. I made so many notes, plans, and calendars with dates and to-do lists to make this move go seamlessly. I just hadn't banked on anything like this happening. The most I was worried about was the cats meowing up a storm during the drive and driving us crazy. 

We got her antibiotics (which had to be kept in a cooler the whole trip) and went back to the hotel. 

The day was over and Friday had been a mess. 

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Easy Recipe: Nutella Crescents!

There's a super-easy snack that's been making its rounds on Pinterest. It doesn't even involve a recipe... just some crescent rolls and Nutella (and any other extras that you think would be good inside.)

For mine I used peanut butter and Nutella, Nutella and mini marshmallows, and Nutella with sugar and cinnamon sprinkled on top. 

My favorite: Nutella with cinnamon and sugar on top! Surprisingly, I liked it better than the peanut butter and Nutella (which is usually my favorite combination, ever!). 

Such a quick, simple, and cheap treat that would be great for a Christmas Eve snack for Santa. He might enjoy a little change-up from the normal cookies. :)