3-Day Weekend Roundup

March 19th, 2017 No comments

Posting the weekend roundup today since I’m working Mon-Wed this week since Wookie’s spay surgery is on Thursday. It feels so weird only having three days off (I know, I know, cry me a river).

Friday (3/17) I took Wookie to the vet for pre-surgery bloodwork. Everything came back normal which is a relief. We ended up paying for a vet visit too since I had a couple of concerns including her increased itchiness, how she chokes on water sometimes or when she pulls on the leash, her vomiting bile overnight, and her having a possible ear infection. The vet spent a lot of time with me answering all my questions, and I learned that one of her ears was a little irritated so I’ve started putting in the medicine again. The vet also felt the itchiness could be diet related so we’re going to try a different food with beef or fish since she’s currently eating chicken. She also said it’s ok to free-feed Wookie to prevent the vomiting as long as we keep track of how much total she’s eating to ensure she doesn’t get overweight. In addition, the vet agreed that the new harness I bought is not good for Wookie – it’s too heavy and tugs at her neck which caused her to choke. It’s too bad since it’s actually really nice. She’s wearing it in this photo I took of her in the backseat of my car.

I also asked about clipping her nails and they said the groomer was available so they whisked her away to have that done. I have to admit, I’m not really happy with the results. She supposedly clipped and dremmeled them but they felt much rougher than the last time and the charge was $20 which is rather high for how quickly she did it. On the plus side I didn’t have to leave a tip since they included it on the overall bill which was $173 (yikes!), but that did include $80 bloodwork, $53 visit fee, $10+ toothpaste and toothbrush, and $12 to remove the hair from her ears.

I introduced Wookie to the new toothpaste and brush and she seemed to like them both much more than the vanilla mint toothpaste and finger brush I tried using before. I was actually able to get the brush, with paste, into her mouth and rub against her teeth a bit. I think with time it will be easier. She still has some baby teeth so I can’t give her any of the dental chews yet. I have 13 Greenies and one sample chew from the vet which I plan to use once the time is right.

I also made corned beef and cabbage in the crockpot like I do every St. Patrick’s day but I wasn’t really happy with the results. The corned beef didn’t fall apart like previous years so I took a picture of the kind we got so we don’t get the same type next year.

We also made a minty shake with peppermint schnapps but I wasn’t really impressed.

Saturday (3/18) morning we went to Target to take advantage of the sales on Easter candy so we can make baskets for the kids (and each other).

Wookie’s puppy training class was at 1 pm and she actually played with another dog this week! It was Stormy, the humper, which is funny to me. They only played for a couple of minutes but she was way more outgoing than she usually is so I’m happy to see her adjusting better.

Today (3/19) we ran a few errands, including dropping off the Amazon return (Wookie’s harness) at an Amazon locker in Caputo’s. Now we’re just waiting for E to arrive. He’s got some stuff going on with his ex so we invited him to come up and hang out. He’s been wanting to see Wookie again so it works out nicely. We plan on going to Half Price Books since they have a 50% off coupon even though Joe and I went earlier before we knew E was coming up. We’ll probably have some wings over at Bulldogs too since they are discounted on Sundays.

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Red Lobster & Homemade Dog Biscuits

March 13th, 2017 No comments

Friday (3/10) evening we decided to finally use the gift cards my mom had given to us (one almost a year ago and the other last month) and went to Red Lobster for dinner for a nice date night. It’s a good thing we got there just after 5 pm because we had totally forgotten it’s Lent so the restaurant got packed quickly; there was a line out the door when we left.

We used to love Red Lobster but not so much anymore. I feel like the best items on the menu were removed and most of food is bland/mediocre with the exception of the sweet chili shrimp appetizer which we love. Compared to the wood grilled shrimp tacos I ordered which were meh (although they did taste better cold the following day). Although I will say the strawberry lemonade is pretty awesome. Joe accidentally ordered it thinking it was what he usually gets (nope, it’s the raspberry lemonade) but it turns out the strawberry lemonade is considered a premium drink so they charge $3 for it and there’s no free refills. I had a couple of sips and could see seeds in it so it’s probably not a powdered mix like the bottomless lemonades. Our bill after tip was around $56 – thank goodness we had $75 in gift cards. Overall I think I’d rather go there for lunch and just share two appetizers and some drinks. With what was left over from our cards and the balance from a different Darden card we’d probably have enough to do that one lazy afternoon.

Saturday (3/11) was Wookie’s 3rd puppy training class. Two of the people in our first class have seemed to permanently drop out since neither were there again (the golden retriever and shi tzu mix). Bums me out there aren’t more dogs for Wookie to socialize with, although we also had a 3 pm puppy orientation so she got to meet a small shi-poo named Abby whose poor owner really needed that class. She was letting the 10 week old dog just run around the house freely. Between myself and the trainer I think she walked away with some good information. The dog was just adorable but Wookie seemed scared of her which is hilarious since she’s a third of Wookie’s size. Wookie did have fun being chased by the lady’s two year old daughter, however. When we got home she passed out in her crate for over an hour due to all the excitement.

Sunday (3/12) we visited a new to us grocery store called Butera. It’s a little drive but not bad considering it was close to Meijer which we planned on visiting anyway. I had seen Butera’s sales ad on an app called Flipp and they had corned beef and cabbage on sale for a great price – $1.99 lb for the beef and $0.14 lb for the cabbage. We had to get some for St. Patrick’s day since I love making it in the crockpot. They had a bunch of produce on sale as well as beer so we got a lot of stuff there and then went to Meijer for the rest of stuff we needed. I bought supplies to make Wookie some homemade dog biscuits. I even got a $0.79 cookie cutter in the shape of a bone. Isn’t that adorable?

Homemade Dog Treat Supplies

The rest of the day we lounged around watching tv and reading. Wookie took turns running around the living room and playing with her toys and napping in the crate we have in there for her. Also, Joe installed the new gate I ordered from Woot! for the kitchen. It was $36 with shipping.


We had been standing up part of the second playpen we had purchased and separated into two fences. The problem with that is we had to push stuff against either side to prevent her from getting out of the kitchen. Plus we tripped trying to get over it, so this is a much safer option for everyone.

Today (3/13) I slept in until 7 am and then made Wookie’s treats. Here’s a photo of them before going into the oven.

Biscuits - Before

I think I cut most of them too thick but it’s kind of a pain in the ass rolling out dough! I don’t really do it often and believe it or not my arms are sore! That being said, they are a hit. Wookie liked the sample I gave her and started whining for more.

Biscuits - End Result

While the biscuits were cooling I emailed the vet to ask if I can take Wookie there for pre-surgery bloodwork before her spay in two weeks. After doing further research I decided it would be prudent to have it done even though the guy at the animal welfare league said it wasn’t necessary. Better to be safe than sorry! I’m already nervous about having to leave Wookie there all day. The vet understood my reasoning for going elsewhere for the spay and is fine doing the bloodwork portion. I am so relieved! I really like her but couldn’t justify spending $500 on Wookie’s surgery when it would be $140 at the welfare league.

I also called the insurance to find out why Quest Diagnostics billed me $100 for the blood work I had done a few weeks ago. Turns out they submitted it with the wrong coding so I should be getting a refund after the insurance re-processes the claim. I really hate Quest. I wonder if the insurance can tell me what it would have cost to go elsewhere. If it’s negligible I’d rather not go to Quest again.

Now I need to motivate myself to clean the upstairs and submit some rebates for the alcohol we bought over the weekend. It snowed overnight and there’s more snow on the way. I am not happy about that at all.

Categories: Food, Pets Tags:

Whirlwind Weekend

March 6th, 2017 No comments

Friday (3/3) was my follow-up visit with my doctor. I brought along some previous test results I found stored on my computer and he decided to prescribe a low dose of Lyrica to help with what he suspects may be Fibromyalgia. I’m nervous about taking a new medicine but I’ll give it a try if I’ll feel less achy all the time.

After the doctor I stopped at Target for a couple of items and noticed they do have a few cheap dog toys so I got Wookie a pink rubber bone and another rope since she loves playing tug of war so much.

Saturday (3/4) we were up early to swing by our old physician’s office to get our medical records and then to my friend’s house for a morning puppy play date. Her older dog just passed away two weeks ago which is sad. Wookie was more relaxed on this visit than before although she still won’t play with the other dog, Teddy. She also vomited in the car when we were only about five minutes away and vomited again when we were about five minutes from home. She’s fine on short car rides but apparently 40+ minutes is too much for her stomach. I guess we can try not feeding her beforehand, although in this case it would have seemed cruel since she hadn’t eaten since the night before.

We stopped at home so Wookie could pee (she holds it the entire time we’re out, even though we brought her pee pad and also visited my friend’s backyard) and were planning to take her with us to Petco to buy a dog tag. Since we had a few other stops, and she was exhausted from her adventure, we decided to leave her home instead so she could rest.

We stopped at McDonald’s for lunch since the app had a deal where you buy anything and get a free medium item from their McCafe menu, so we both tried the chocolate Shamrock shakes. I liked it, but plan to get a regular all-mint one before they stop making them.

That evening I traumatized Wookie putting a different collar with the new tag on and she decided she didn’t like me for few a hours. She actually went into her crate in the living room and just glared at me. She also kept chewing the tag and has already scratched the part with her name and my phone number. She then got it stuck between her teeth so we took everything off and plan to get a collar where you can have the info stitched directly into it instead. Plus she will be microchipped soon.

Sunday (3/5) afternoon we met up with my brothers and Brother B’s girlfriend, R, at the Hollywood Palms Cinema in Naperville to see John Wick Chapter 2. My brother had a Groupon so we only had to pay for our food. I got the $5 sangria special which wasn’t bad (I don’t normally like wine) and Joe got the mushroom burger. Every theater has a theme and ours was Egyptian which was interesting. I was teasing my brother that had we seen the earlier showing we would have been in the ocean one which looked really cool (from the outside at least). Despite our reservations we had a very nice time. On the way there we were kinda dreading it because we can be a little weird if we feel like we’re being ripped off and based on the menu and prices that’s kind of what it felt like beforehand. However, we tried to reframe the experience in our minds – going out to lunch and seeing a movie, at the same time no less, with family. My only complaint – the chairs are so thick that sitting normally my feet couldn’t touch the floor so I had to recline to be comfortable. It was definitely an experience, though, and I wouldn’t mind going back there again. Also, even though I wasn’t thrilled about seeing the movie because I didn’t care much for the first one, it was really good.

After the movie everyone came back to our place for dinner (tacos) and to see Wookie. She was growling at Brother J which is crazy since she’s met him before and liked him! I think her socializing is paying off because after getting over her initial attitude she was running around the living room in the middle of everyone instead of hanging off to the side scared. By the end of the evening she was actually playing with R and jumping on her arm with her toys. I think overall she prefers females to males.

This afternoon I met up with my friend at Steak and Shake for lunch and then she came back to the house to see Wookie. She’s been here once before but it was months ago so I guess Wookie didn’t remember her. She was growling and barking up a storm, even after we brought her into the living room with us. She stopped after a few minutes and by the end of the hour was playing and licking my friend’s fingers. She’s so funny how she can go from being so angry to friendly.

Categories: Family, Friends, Health, Movies, Pets Tags:

Secluded Sunday & Domestic Monday

February 27th, 2017 No comments

Joe and I are both introverts, so after our very social Saturday we didn’t want to deal with people on Sunday. While I was eating breakfast Brother B called and invited us to see a movie later that afternoon. As much as I like hanging out I had to turn him down. I don’t think he quite gets the whole introverted thing so to spare his feelings I told him I was just too tired. That wasn’t a lie either, but it wasn’t the only reason for saying no – I just wasn’t in the mood to socialize anymore this weekend.

After our hour phone conversation I got a stew ready for the crockpot and we ran to Target for bread. We really didn’t want to leave the house but we needed it, so we tried to make the trip quick. The rest of the day was spent lounging on the couch watching the movies we had gotten at the library the day before.

The crockpot beef stew turned out delicious but I will definitely have to make the recommended 2 lbs next time instead of just 1 lb since it wasn’t enough for more than a meal and a half.

Today I’ve just been cleaning the house and trying to decide what toothpaste I want to buy for Wookie. I didn’t realize how bad it is to not brush a dog’s teeth. Not only can a lack of brushing cause health problems which in turn can take up to four years off their lifespan, but my vet told me that for little dogs especially they would need annual dental cleanings and would have teeth pulled as they grew older. I’m not excited about the idea of having to brush Wookie’s teeth every other day but I also don’t want to neglect her health.

Speaking of, she’s been having some potty training setbacks lately, and I’ve been noticing her licking her private area a lot. I was initially concerned she might have a bladder infection but now I’m starting to think she’s going into heat! Apparently it can happen anytime between 5 and 15 months so it’s not totally unheard of at her age (she just turned 5 months on the 21st). If she is that might be perfect since I read that it’s actually better to spay dogs after they’re sexually mature and have had one heat cycle. There’s a lot of conflicting information out there about that, however, so even if she isn’t in heat I’m still going to have her spayed in a month.

Categories: Family, Pets Tags:

Social Saturday

February 27th, 2017 No comments

Saturday was quite the busy day for us. After getting some groceries we stopped at 7-Eleven to take advantage of free small slurpee Saturday. I got the black cherry Pepsi and Joe got grape. He wanted the Skittles sour apple but it was liquefied in the machine. Ew! I’m glad they were free (much to the irritation of the clerk working there it seemed) because neither were all that great. We then went to the library and grabbed a handful of movies. Our library is strange in that they don’t care about people bringing in food and drinks. In fact they have vending machines that sell both!

After a lunch of chicken salad sandwiches we took Wookie to Petsmart for her second puppy training class. Two of the five dogs didn’t show up – Rizzo and Pumpkin. I didn’t care for how the trainer was telling us the details of her conversation with Pumpkin’s owner because it’s none of our business. In any case, we learned that the trainer will be on vacation next Saturday so there is no class. It was encouraging to see Wookie trying to greet Thor (the white German Shepard) instead of hanging out by us all scared. I don’t think she was shaking at all! As far as the training goes, we went over not jumping on people and how to walk on a leash without pulling. Wookie has problems with that which is why I’m ordering her a new harness that has a clasp at the front since I read that can help. Her issue at Petsmart was that she wanted to stop and smell EVERYTHING so she wasn’t paying attention to me or treats (a first) at all. It was a bit frustrating but I tried to remain patient. Patience and repetition are the two biggest things needed when training a dog.

After feeding Wookie at home we left and headed down to Oak Lawn where we had a late pizza lunch at Palermo’s with Joe’s kids and ES (K’s boyfriend). At first I was worried a large pizza wouldn’t feed all five of us but there was a little left over, thank goodness. I didn’t say anything at lunch, but I don’t think I care for Palermo’s anymore. I don’t know if we just found better pizza elsewhere or theirs has gone downhill, but I won’t be in a hurry to have it again. It was interesting to see their dining room, however, since we’ve always gotten takeout. I always enjoy conversations with everyone, particularly ES because he and I have the same taste in comedies. Plus he’s a good conversationalist and actually listens instead of just waiting for his turn to talk. I’ve probably mentioned that before but it’s something I really appreciate since most people just like to talk.

After we ate E took off to rest at home before his evening plans and K invited us over to see their two guinea pigs which they just got a week before. They are so cute! Just little babies right now and very soft too. I was never too interested in owning guinea pigs but after seeing those two I would consider it. I particularly like the one who looks like he has permanent bedhead. Plus he has one front paw that is completely black (nails included) whereas the other one is pink with white nails. It looks like he’s wearing a glove, LOL!

Our next stop was Dunkin Donuts before going to my parents’ house to celebrate Brother B’s birthday which was earlier this month. My mom said to be there between 5 and 6 but since whenever we get there at the earlier time no one is ready, we ended up getting there a couple of minutes after 6. And arrived to a dark house. We were both annoyed and confused. I was happy I remembered to bring my keys so I could open the door. And that’s when B jumped out and scared me, that SOB! LOL. They decided to scare us (although they didn’t get Joe since he had already headed back to the car to get more stuff) for being late. Can’t win with those people! Everyone had already eaten too which is funny because whenever it’s the other way around they wait til B gets there (since we’re usually there first).

I set up my mom’s new computer and showed her how to use it (since it has Windows 10 which is all new to her). I’m making her use Chrome now since it’s faster than Firefox. After the computer stuff I finally got around to eating a bit before B opened his presents. I got him a $25 gift card to Groupon since he loves that site and a $15 Dunkin Donuts card. We played a new game he brought over called Joking Hazard which is made by the guys who do the Cyanide and Happiness comics. It was fun, but just like Cards Against Humanity, it gets stale pretty fast. I took my winning cards and made one big epic comic with them:

Joking Hazard Comic

We didn’t get home until after midnight and I felt guilty about Wookie being cooped up while we were gone so I played with her for about an hour before going upstairs. Despite taking a Midnite, I didn’t fall asleep until sometime between 2:30 and 3 am.

Categories: Family, Food, Fun & Games, Pets Tags: