Monday, November 17, 2008

My doggles

If you know me at all, then you know that I absolutely LOVE dogs. Especially my dogs. I have three - Juneau, Casey, and Riley. They all have a special significance to me, each with their own story. Jer bought Riley for me to keep me company while I lived alone in Lubbock. Jer had already graduated and moved back to Amarillo, so I needed a companion. Jer bought Casey for me when he proposed. I had always wanted a Keeshond and couldn't find one. He found a breeder in Louisiana and arranged to meet her in Dallas to pick Casey up before driving back to Lubbock to propose to me. We got Juneau from a shelter after our honeymoon in Alaska. She looked like the sweetest dog and having the name Juneau felt like a sign. With that being said, you can understand my horror when we returned home on Saturday night at 11:00pm to find our back gate wide open. Riley was still in the backyard, but the other two were missing. We had been gone for about 3 hours, so there's no telling what time they got out and how far they had gotten. Jer and I jumped back in the car and set out looking for them. We drove around for 2 hours with no luck. We had doubled back to the house a couple of times to see if they had returned or if someone else had returned them, but neither had occurred. I was getting really worried because all the dogs have tags with our address and phone number on them. No one had tried to contact us. I had tried to block the thought that something bad had happened to them, but after time kept passing, I just couldn't ignore it anymore. At around 1:30am, I had given up hope. I was bawling and every empty street we turned down made me more and more upset, and more and more hopeless. We had been searching for more than two hours, and it's possible they had escaped even a couple hours before that. Who knows how much ground they could've covered in that amount of time? The other thing that really bothered me is that Casey hadn't returned on her own....she has dug out of our backyards over the years many times, and always returned through the same hole, or sat on our front porch and waited for us to come home. I went back home and decided we'd sleep in the living room in case they returned, so we could hear them scratching at either door. I figured we'd start our search again in the morning when it was light outside. Jer had other ideas....he went to the closet and grabbed his heavy coat and gloves and told me he was going to set out on foot and he wouldn't stop searching until he found them. Wow. It was like out of a movie or something. I'm the one who is madly in love with our dogs, and I'm curled up on the couch crying about their fate...while Jer (who is less than fond of having 3 dogs) sets out on a mission in the freezing weather. I couldn't believe it. While he was gone, I sat there on the couch with my eyes glued to the door. I never heard any scratches. Finally at 2:30am I got a call from Jer that he had found the dogs. It was incredible. Casey was soaking wet, from what we do not know, and Juneau was very disoriented. They were more than a mile away from our house, across a busy street, but still together. I drove over there and picked them all up and thanked my hero Jeremiah about a thousand times. I don't know what would've happened to those dogs if Jer had just gone to bed and stopped searching. I doubt they could've found their way home. I also don't know how I would've handled losing both of them. That possibility seemed way too real to me on Saturday night and I hope I don't have to think about it again for a very, very long time.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Just be good for goodness' sake!

In case people are wondering why I feel the way I do, and in case people are wondering what a humanist is, this website explains it very well! If you don't want to follow the link, here's what it says:

"Many people imagine that the only way to be good in this world is through belief in a god. But is that really necessary? Must we be bound by moral dictates set down in “sacred” texts written hundreds, if not thousands of years ago? Must we accept the authority and judgments of “spiritual” leaders and religious hierarchy? Does religious faith offer the only lens through which to judge life’s events?

The answer to these questions is no! There is another way for us to approach life. We can have ethics and values that aren't set in stone. Our ideals and principles can evolve over time to reflect our ever-changing and increasingly complex world. Yet, we can be confident of the decisions that we make, not because someone told us what to do but because we relied on our own careful reasoning and emotional reflection. We can live a life that accepts and appreciates the world as it is, without needing to see supernatural explanations behind every event. This is a positive and uplifting way to live.

This way of life is called humanism. Humanists use reason and the tools of science to better understand our world and the best way to live in it. Humanists understand that compassion for fellow human beings, as well as an acknowledgement of their inherent dignity and worth, must form the basis of our interactions with each other. Humanists are free of belief in any god or afterlife. We must make the best of this one life that we have.

If this is how you, also, see the world, then you are a humanist. " - The American Humanist Association

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Wait, you want me to do what?

So a group of us went to the State Fair this past weekend. As we were walking by one of the exhibit buildings, we saw a sign out front advertising pig races. We checked our watches and there was one happening in just a few minutes. Score! Having never seen a pig race before, I thought this would be hilarious. I also think little piggies are like the cutest, funniest things on Earth, so that was motivation as well. The six of us took our seats in the stands and watched as the crowd grew around us. As we're waiting for showtime, Jer and I noticed a guy in overalls walking around talking to some of the crowd members. We figured he was associated with the show, so we tried to see what he was doing. Jer goes, "Oh, it looks like he's asking for volunteers." I'm like, "For what?" Jer responds, "Probably to stand around the track and cheer on the pigs and make sure they stay on the course." Cool!! I thought it would be fun if we all volunteered, so I got the guy's attention and waved him over. He confirms he's looking for volunteers, but only needs one person from our group. Hmmmm. I guess that would be me. So I agree to volunteer and give him my name. Here are his instructions to me: "I'll introduce the race and talk about the pigs for a little bit. Then I'll call out your name and the other three volunteers' names and I'll need you to come down on the track and grab the blue pom poms. You'll be the cheerleader for this section." Umm, what? Before I can take back my decision to volunteer, he walks away. Oh my gosh. This is going to be embarrassing. I sit back down and relay the information to my group. They, of course, find it hilarious. There are still a few minutes to showtime, so I sit there trying to convince myself that it won't be that bad. At the same time I'm watching the overalls guy make his way through the rest of the crowd to see who the other volunteers are. I see him talking to a 10 year old boy. Hmm. Then I see him talking to an 8 year old girl. Hmm. Basically the other volunteers are children. Awesome. So the show starts, he calls my name, and I make my way down onto the field. I pick up my pom poms and take my place around one of the corners of the track. He goes around to each volunteer and explains what part of the crowd we are responsible for. We're supposed to shake our pom poms and get our cheering section excited about our pig. I'm cheering for Pig #3, by the way. So we're told the more we shake, the more our section of the crowd will get excited, and the faster our pig will run. Obviously I know it won't work that way, but I figure, what the heck? I'll shake my darndest so at least the crowd gets excited. So we do a trial run with each volunteer. #1 goes and her crowd cheers. #2 goes and his crowd cheers. The overalls guy comes over to me and says, "Let's hear it for pig #3!" That's my cue, so I get to shaking. I turn around and shake my butt towards the crowd to get some laughs, and over the microphone the guy says, "This is a family show." Geez! As if I wasn't embarassed enough already. So #4 has her trial run after me and we're ready for the races. I have to suffer through three pig races, doing my best to cheer excitedly during each one. My pig actually won one time, so I guess that made it worth it??? Either way, I was very ready to get off that field so all eyes wouldn't be on me anymore. Finally the show was over and I received my prize for volunteering....a pink stuffed pig.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

What Just Happened???

So I just missed the second half of September. Yeah, I missed the whole freaking last half of the month. What just happened?? On Wednesday, 9/17/08, I started experiencing lower back pain. I didn't think too much of it at first, until I couldn't find any position or pain reliever that would minimize the discomfort. I tried a pill specifically for back pain and laid down on the couch, hoping to take a nap. Two hours later I woke up with the chills. I was covered in a blanket, but I was shaking from head to toe. I found our thermometer and my temperature was 99.6. Hmm. That's higher than normal, but not too high. So I went to sleep for the night, thinking I'd either wake up feeling better or wake up with a better idea of what was wrong. It was a rough night and my back pain made me toss and turn. At 6am I took my temperature again and it was 101.3. Okay, something was wrong. I woke Jer up and asked him to take me to the ER. I wasn't familiar with these symptoms, so I wanted to get some answers sooner than later. We went in and the nurses and doctor all thought it sounded like a kidney infection. They drew some blood to find out for sure, but went ahead and put me on an IV and gave me some pain medicine. I thought it was weird that I didn't experience any of the bladder problems usually associated with kidney infections (painful, frequent urination), but I'm not a doctor so I didn't give it a second thought. They got the blood work back and confirmed the kidney infection. So they wrote me a prescription for an antibiotic and a pain killer and sent me on my way. Thursday afternoon I threw up my lunch, but I figured that was the effect of the pain killer. They usually make me nauseated. That afternoon I started to feel pretty badly again. Now I had a killer migraine and my back pain was coming back. I took another pain pill and the back pain subsided. But the migraine was stronger than ever and I could feel another fever coming on. They had told me I could also take Motrin, so I tried that as well. No luck. I hopped into bed and hoped that sleep would bring relief. Friday brought more of the same. Fever, chills, no appetite and killer migraines. The back pain only came back when the pain pills wore off, so that was manageable. I just kept telling myself, "You've only been on the prescription for a day, so give it time to work." I thought for sure I would start to get better by Saturday. I was so frustrated when there was no relief. I had never had a migraine for this long, and I didn't have the energy to leave the bed. The lack of food coupled with the pain pills was making me incredibly dizzy and tired. On Sunday morning I checked my temperature and it was 103. I told Jer it was time to go back to the ER. We went in and they took another urine and blood sample. My headaches were just unbearable, so I asked if there was anything stronger they could give me. The nurse injected me with some narcotic (wish I could remember the name), that I could actually feel going through my arm and into my head. It provided relief for about an hour. In the meantime, the doctor came back in with a pretty serious face. He told us that both my samples were a lot worse than the previous Thursday and that I needed to be admitted for a couple days. What??? My white blood cell count and platelets were low, which is the opposite of what they'd expect from someone with an infection. This concerned them. I thought we were dealing with a kidney infection, but they obviously had the diagnosis wrong the first time around. I couldn't believe that I had to be admitted to the hospital. I'm not sure I've ever stayed in a hospital overnight before this time, to be honest. I was pretty hesitant, but I also knew that I hadn't functioned at all over the past couple of days, so it was necessary. I got checked into a room and they started me on some antibiotics. Unfortunately they had no clue what they were fighting, so I think there was a lot of guesswork going on. The headaches were back, but they just kept giving me Hydrocodone and Tylenol. I told them over and over again that those weren't helping my headaches, because I'd been taking them at home over the past couple of days to no avail, but it didn't seem to matter. Finally someone listened to me and I was given Morphine. It wasn't so much that it decreased my headache, as it made me not care so much about what was going on. It was a weird feeling. I had to wait 4 hours between doses though, and that was an eternity. On Sunday night I started to get hot at one point, so I moved the covers off my legs. Hmmm. There was a rash all over them. It wasn't anywhere else on my body, but this was still a troubling discovery. We showed the doctor and he was stumped. He said they were testing me for everything they could think of, but still didn't have a diagnosis. So I waited...headaches, fever, rash, and all. Things hadn't gotten any better on Monday or Tuesday, and my family tells me I pretty much looked like death those days. I didn't want to open my eyes or talk much because having had a migraine 24 hours a day for five days straight can make you feel that way. I was also incredibly exhausted after having eaten MAYBE two bites of food a day over the past week. I had to be escorted to the bathroom and back to make sure I didn't fall. That was the only time I got out of bed. The doctors ordered a head CT, a chest CT, a stomach CT, and an EKG. Nothing fruitful came from those. I still had fevers every day (up to 104.5 on two different occasions), so they decided they better check for meningitis. How is this done? Through a spinal tap. I'm cringing right now just thinking about it. It's not so much that it hurts, but it's uncomfortable and when the needle touches certain parts near your spine that you don't think should be touched, it really makes you want to vomit. So that was a little scary. Of course there were no helpful results from it though. In the meantime, I also developed thrush. Awesome. I already had little desire to eat before that, and this just made it even smaller. Every bite hurt and if I managed to get it down, it was followed by this painful acid reflux feeling. By Wednesday I didn't think it could get any worse. Little did I know what was in store!! Apparently there's a fine line between the amount of fluids/antibiotics that should be given to a patient, before you can evoke pneumonia, and my nurses/doctors crossed it. My dad came to visit me on Wednesday during lunch. It was a really bad day and he says I barely opened my eyes when he entered. I think we might've said a few words to each other before I said, "I think I'm having trouble breathing." I pushed the nurse's button and told them. They came in and measured my pulse ox and it was 60, which is REALLY BAD. Normal levels are between 90 and 100. I remember seeing my blood pressure at something like 90/30 which couldn't be good either. They put me on oxygen immediately and worked at getting my levels back up. Turns out I had double pneumonia and needed to go to the ICU. So I spent the next couple of days hooked up to a lot of machines, having a tube in my nose, and getting additional breathing treatments every 4 hours. It was exhausting. Every time I would try to get up or walk, my sats would drop and I'd have to lay back down again. It was frustrating to want to get up and move around, but not have the breath to do it. Apparently whatever antibiotics they had been giving me were actually working though (even though they didn't know what they were fighting). So my headaches were gone by Friday and I was actually feeling alive to the world again! I started to get a little of my appetite back along the way too, meaning I could take about four bites of food every day! haha. I was improving all around, so they moved me out of the ICU. I still had to do breathing treatments every four hours (which makes it hard to sleep), but I didn't have to have the oxygen hooked up to me at all times. There was still hourly monitoring of my blood pressure and temperature, and daily blood draws. On Saturday I was really ready to leave the hospital. I was feeling much better, and so many days without sleep in a row was starting to make me cranky. Sunday rolled around and the doctor told me he wanted to keep me for an extra day to monitor an enzyme in my liver (or something like that). I nearly broke down and begged him to let me go home. He could see how restless I was and how much I had improved since last Sunday, so he agreed. I'll have to go back in on Tuesday to get my blood drawn again, but at least I get to recuperate at home in the meantime. I really want a good night's sleep, in my own bed. I'm also so happy to be back with Jer and my doggies, who keep me sane and definitely help me feel better. So after seven days in the hospital, three of which were in the ICU, there's still no explanation for my initial infection. The best the doctors could come up with was that I possibly had Rickettsia bacteria. This is responsible for things like Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, rickettsialpox, typhus, etc. They think I might've caught something through a bug bite when we went camping at Lake GreenBelt and hiking at Palo Duro Canyon a couple of weeks ago and its incubation period was a couple of weeks. Who knows? I wish I could know so that I could definitely avoid the situation in the future, but I guess I have to settle for just being healed right now. I just wanted to say thanks to everybody for the comments, emails, phone calls, and flowers. They were SUCH a nice pick-me-up as I was going through these last ten days of hell. So today is 9/28/08 and I'm back to life. I can honestly say the period from 9/17 to 9/27 were the worst days of my life and I really wish I could get them back. I guess it's best to move forward though and just hope it never happens again.

Monday, August 25, 2008

My Roots

After we ate a family dinner at my parents' house last Friday night to celebrate my dad's birthday, Jer and I headed over to my Oma's house so she could teach us how to make her famous waffle cookies. She's the best cook I've ever known and her recipes are hard to write down on paper. They are best learned by watching. While we were over there, Jer had a chance to check out all the knick-knacks my Oma has. She's got a lot of Dutch tiles and plates, some valuable Chinese figurines and plates from when my Opa worked in Asia, and some Dutch certificates related to my Opa's accomplishments in ceramics. The most intriguing pieces to us were the ones that talked about the War and the liberation of Holland. Germany invaded Holland in 1940 and remained there for about 5 years. My grandparents were very much personally affected during this time. The family house was taken over by the German army at one point as a headquarters of sorts, and later used by the US Army for logistical planning. During the war, my Opa was assigned to be a fireman to save him from going to a German labor camp (like one of his brothers). My grandparents, like everyone else, were forced to adhere to mandatory curfews and the prohibitions of certain items. They also witnessed their Jewish friends and neighbors being sent to camps. Lots of conversations with my Oma end with this phrase: "Those damn Germans." While I know she's stereotyping all Germans for the actions of some, I can't help but give her a break. After the war, my Opa had trouble with his ceramics business and had to seek opportunities elsewhere. He accepted a contract in Israel in 1953 and moved the family there. By 1955, the fighting between Israel, Egypt, and the Palestinians in the Gaza Strip was escalating, so the family needed to move again. The amazing part of their story is the way in which they came to America. They had befriended an American soldier (Henry Krueger) during the war and had stayed in contact with him. In September 1955 he sponsored their citizenship, at a time when the quota for immigrants from Holland had already been met. He pulled a few strings and set them up with housing and had a job lined up for my Opa in Ellsworth, Kansas. So they packed up the kids (Pierre, Ludovicus, and Jacobus, my dad), and stuffed what they could in some suitcases. They boarded a ship in Rotterdam, Netherlands and seven days later arrived in New York. That thought blows my mind. I have immense respect for the courage it took to leave their home and travel to such an unknown place, while abandoning most of their belongings. I've heard stories here and there about the different experiences they had during the war, but there's just so much more I know I'm lacking. I really hope that Jer gets the chance to sit with my Oma and hear, in her own words, what she's lived. That way we can both share those stories with our future children and they'll understand why they will call my mom and dad "Oma" and "Opa."

Monday, August 4, 2008

My sister is a baby mama



The very exciting news from this past weekend is the birth of my niece, Olivia Kate. She was 8lbs 8 oz and 21 inches long and was born at 9:55pm on Friday night. Olivia will definitely be a tall beautiful girl! And if she's anything like the rest of us van Wunnik girls, she'll have big feet too! My sister is so proud and it's been amazing to see the joy on her face and the excited tone in her voice when she speaks of her. I already think Olivia resembles Jo, but I can't wait to see how she changes over the next few weeks and months. I'm so glad I work within 2 miles of Jo's house so that I can stop by and check on that baby girl as often as possible!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Cozumel Recap!



Okay! So here's my Cozumel recap. We arrived at the Occidental Grand Cozumel, and the atmosphere was just amazing. It was so lush and green everywhere. There were large iguanas left and right, which was so foreign to me! The main check-in desk was at the front of the resort, but they loaded us up on a sort of extended golf cart thing and drove us around the entire grounds to the VIP check-in at the back of the resort. Not sure how we garnered that status, but I wasn't complaining. So the process was really simple, and they handed us champagne to welcome us to the resort. Our building was directly across from that, so that was convenient. It was also right next to the relaxation pool, which leads to the beach. So we really did get prime location. We checked out our rooms, which were nice, and then headed to the beach immediately! It was just gorgeous. The water was so clear and the sand was just perfect. It wasn't crowded at all, which was a definite plus. On our second day there we took advantage of the free snorkeling gear and checked out the marine life near the shore. It was so neat to see what lived down there! We were hooked, so we decided to take a snorkel boat tour which takes you out to three different reefs, varying from 20 - 120 foot depth. That was a blast. We got to see sea turtles, eels, starfish, jellyfish, and a million other fish that we had never seen before. The colors were so vibrant. From the moment we got in the water, there was this school of large gray fish that decided to escort us. It was really funny. They just swam next to us and all around us the entire time. They were very friendly. :) The next day we decided to attempt parasailing. That was interesting, to say the least! They put us in harnesses, and we stood up on the deck of the boat. They hooked our harnesses to straps that were connected to a long blue bar. There was a rope connected to a wench on the front side, and then it was connected to a huge parachute on the backside. They threw out the parachute and let out the wench, and there we went! We just started sailing higher and higher. It was amazing. You just felt like you were floating in the sky and there was nothing but beautiful blue water as far as the eye could see. The next day we decided to take out the snorkeling gear again and swim out further away from the shore, on our own. Little did we know what was in store for us. I was swimming along and spotted a complete conch shell on the ocean floor. I got Cary (brother-in-law) to come over and he dove down and retrieved it for me. I started bringing it back to shore to keep, and then noticed there was still something inside. I was like, "Oh, cool! Maybe it's some sort of urchin." So I looked a little closer and dipped it in the water a couple of times to see if I could get the creature to come out. I called Cary over to check it out and about that time I saw a tentacle shoot out. I kinda froze. Then the rest of the baby octopus started to emerge and I shrieked and threw the shell to Cary! Haha. He held it up and sure enough the octopus came completely out and dropped back into the water. That was freaky!! So I laughed it off and decided to do some more snorkeling. Cary, Jeremiah, and I headed out towards deeper water and came across a huge barracuda. It was a little ways away from us, so I didn't feel too scared. But, Cary thought it would be neat to give it a closer look, so he swam over and was basically hovering above it while it was maybe 15 feet down in the water. Jer and I just kept our distance and watched to see what would happen. All of a sudden it turned vertical and basically shot straight up at Cary. It was definitely charging him. He freaked, of course, and tried to swim away from it as quickly as possible. It stopped before it touched him and swam off. We knew that was dangerous, but all had a good laugh after we surfaced, just thinking about Cary's face and frantic flailing. I figured that was enough excitement for me, so I asked Jer if we could head back. He agreed and we started the long trek back to the shore. My goggles were starting to fog up by then anyways. After we had gone a short distance, Jer stopped me and pointed out another barracuda. this one was not facing us, but it was fairly close so we could see just how long and big he was. It had taken me a few seconds to find it in the water b/c of my foggy goggles, and when my eyes finally focused on it, I turned to Jer to be like, "Holy crap!" Well, in the meantime, the barracuda noticed we were there and unbeknownst to me, starting charging at my face. I had my head turned to Jer and saw the look on his face and his attempts to move, so I quickly turned my head backs toward the barracuda just in time to see it staring me in the face. I've never been more scared in my life. I freaked out and started swimming away as fast as I could. We swam for a little bit and resurfaced and I basically told Jer that I wanted to get out of the water ASAP. So we planned on making a bee-line for the shore and wouldn't stop for anything. He swam in front of me, but since he had flippers on, I held back just a little bit so I wouldn't get kicked in the face. You won't believe what happened next...as I was swimming a little ways behind him, I noticed a presence right in front of me and just stopped suddenly. There was an enormous sting ray swimming within inches of me. I've seriously never seen one this big. Fortunately it ignored me and just swam right on by. It's amazing to me that it managed to swim right in-between me and Jer. An inch or two either way and one of us would've touched him. So I let him pass and I lunged forward to try and grab Jer's flipper. By the time we got above water and took our snorkels out and I explained what happened, the ray was long gone. It was just amazing. The next day four of us went out on a Catamaran and that was a neat experience too. The rest of the time, we pretty much just hung out on the beach! Not too shabby of a vacation if you ask me.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

The Doggles


Okay, so vacations are super fun and my opinion is the more the merrier......except when it comes to dealing with the dogs! Our first vacation of the summer to Las Vegas in May was the beginning of the nightmare. My friend Tiffany was nice enough to watch Riley for us, while my parents agreed to keep Casey. Juneau is a large dog and is pretty needy, so we decided to board her instead of subjecting another family member or friend to her. Big mistake. I dropped her off at the vet on a Thursday night, and when we touched down in Vegas on Friday morning, there was already a voicemail on my phone saying we needed to come pick Juneau up. She was getting expelled from boarding because she couldn't seem to stay in her dog run. They had half-fences on all sides, but Juneau managed to climb over them. So I had to call my mom and ask her to leave work and drive 45 miles to get Juneau. Now she was stuck with dog-sitting her AND Casey for three days (in addition to their own dog). I thought this was the end of that weekend's dog-related fiascos, but I was wrong. Apparently when Casey is at my parents' house, she reverts back to her puppy days and can't remember how to control her bladder. So she peed in their house at least 3 or 4 times, even though she hasn't gone in our house in at least a year. To top it all off, my parents' dog Jake saw this as an act of insubordination and decided he needed to go pee on top of all of the spots where Casey had peed....for days to come. So my dog not only brought a bad habit to my parents' house, but also spread it to their dog. Every few days my mom likes to call and remind me of this. This past weekend while we were out of town on vacation two, I asked my Aunt to come check on the dogs each day instead of having people dog-sit. She was more than happy to, and that was awesome since it saved us money. But, it rained on Saturday night, so Casey used the muddy ground as her opportunity to dig out. So she ran around our street on Sunday until my Aunt came over and realized she was out. She had to block off her escape hole and put the super-muddy Casey back into the backyard. We arrived home later to find her in her disastrous state and had to immediately put her in the bathtub. Now, on to vacation three. We're leaving this weekend and are hoping to get my Aunt to help us out again. She probably will, but we can't risk the chance that Casey will dig out again. So we're going to leave Riley and Juneau in the backyard and just board Casey. Sounds simple, right? Wrong! The vet won't board Casey unless she has an exam, is current on her shots, has tested negative for heartworm, and passes a temperament test. What does all that mean? I have to leave work for 2 hours, spend $160, and hear a bitchy comment from the vet's front desk lady about how they are open during lunch and that obviously is not her favorite thing in the world. What the hell lady? Does it look like I'm eating lunch right now either?? Uggghh! So Casey is good to go, and I'll be spending $22/day for them to keep her in a cage and walk her every now and then this weekend. And now for vacation four....we'll be in Cozumel for six days later this month, so I'm going to have to board all of them. I went ahead and got Riley current today as well (i.e. another $160) so that he'll be ready for boarding later this month. I had to call and find another vet that can handle Juneau. So two of our dogs will be at one vet, and Juneau will be at another. So let's see...$22/day x 3 dogs x 7 days (b/c they will be closed by the time we get back on the 6th day) = Ridiculous. We could essentially afford to take another vacation this summer, but instead we have to pay a ton for someone to watch our dogs. Oh well. It's still better than kids. hahahahhahaha!!! j/k

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Babies Babies Babies

In my experience, it seems that people think that getting married is the immediate precursor to having babies. I can't tell you how many times Jer & I have been asked when we're going to have a kid....and we've only been married for two years!! While having and raising a child is certainly a marvelous and incredible experience, it doesn't have to happen before the ink dries on the marriage license. Whatever happened to enjoying being a couple? Going out to dinner whenever you feel like it, sleeping in on Saturdays, playing in a sand volleyball league together, catching a midnight movie, taking a last-minute vacation, splurging on a barbecue grill in preparation for summer fun. That's what young married couples should do! I'm 25 years old and Jer is 26, but for some reason people think that we shouldn't wait too much longer. My mother was 33 when she had me, and I think things turned out pretty well. If we don't plan on having a lot of kids, why should we start now? I know my friends that have kids, or are about to have kids, would want to sell me on all the joys of parenting, but honestly it's not going to happen right now. I imagine they'd say something to the effect of, "But it's so much fun. You'll go through all these wonderful experiences and have all these incredible emotions, etc." That's great, and I totally understand it, but you really have to admit that you're giving up a lot of freedom to gain that experience. Once you have a kid, you're not free to do a lot of the things you could do before. Jer and I are using this time to have as much fun as possible. We buy what we want, go where we want, and do what we want....when we want to. Can young parents say that? It's their prerogative to start a family at this age, but it doesn't have to be mine! I fear that there are comments made like, "I can't believe they don't want to have kids." What makes you think we don't want to have kids just because I'm not popping one out right now?? Just realize that everyone has their own timetable, and we much prefer being husband and wife and not father and mother right now. I'm sure a lot of people think we're selfish, but I think that trying to do as much as we can before there comes the time that we might not be able to, is a pretty smart idea. And believe this, if we had a kid right now, or were pregnant, there's no way we'd have as much real estate as we do, or as much money in savings as we do. When I have a kid, I want to make sure the future looks very bright, and that my kid won't have to end up footing the bill for my care later in life. If we put off having children a while longer, we'll have a much more secure future. And, we won't be struggling to make ends meet because of the large increase in bills that comes along with child-rearing. Plus, we might be able to make our child's life a lot more enjoyable. What's cooler than that?