Friday, February 25, 2011


If you know me, you know that I call my doggies - yoggies.  I don't know why, I just do.  We are, as you know, dog lovers and this means we have a special relationship with our furry friends.  We don't just love dogs, but all animals, and that is part of the reason why we only eat organic, free-range meat.  My husband and I think that even animals raised for food should be treated humanly while being able to live a full life before being killed.  If we could have our own farm, we would need money for land to do it, we would and it is something we hope to do one day. 

And, here is my public service announcement for the day:  I always say, if you love your dogs - put a collar on them with a name tag.  No matter what, even if they are inside dogs.  Our back gate was opened once, while we weren't home, and all of our dogs got out.  Thank goodness our neighbors brought two of them back; but it took Zipper over 12 hours to find her way home (un-harmed and overnight - it was a miracle!).  So, tag your dogs, they could get out someday without you even knowing it.  :)  And, if they do get out and you can't find them, put their bed or a piece of your clothing outside - they will sniff their way home (trust me, it works)!

Teaching in south Phoenix is awful if you are an animal lover.  We run across a lot of mistreated animals in the neighborhoods surrounding our school and it is hard to see sometimes.  There is a teacher at school who is also an animal lover, who told me once that "this is the reason I will stop working here one day" when I brought in yet another stray to his classroom.  Not only do people leave their dogs outside year round (even in 120+ degrees) down there, but they also let them out the front door to pee/poop when they don't have a fence or have a collar or tags on their friend.  Having had our beloved girl Lucy get hit by a car, this is dear to our hearts and it is so sad to see on a daily basis when we drive to/from work.

So, we pick up the pups we find who don't have tags or collars.  The big dogs are scarier, they are raised differently down there (some for fighting) so we usually don't approach these but call the county to pick them up.  If a dog/cat is hurt, no matter what size, I ALWAYS call but if it is a little pup we pick them up.  It's strange because I've worked here 7 years and only in the last 2 have we found 3 pups, ever since our Lucy died.  Maybe I just wasn't looking before or paying attention, but here are our 3 little friends - Rosie, Stanley and Herman:

(Rosie - a German Shepherd mix.  Sweet but definitely a "street" dog, had ticks on her.  Gave her to a nice family on Craigslist.)

(Stanley - my favorite.  I cried my eyes out when I had to give him away.  A very cuddly chihuahua, I think of him often.  Gave him to an aide at our school.)

(Herman - a Pit Bull mix.  Very lovable and followed me around everywhere, lots of energy.  Gave him to a shelter who will adopt him out to a good home.)

None of them had owners who claimed them (we usually post flyer in the neighborhood that say LOST DOG and a phone #) so we found them a nice home or a shelter to take them to.  These poor little babies could have been hit by cars, I'm happy we had a chance to help.  Our school is so in the middle of all of it, there are stray dogs on campus ALL the time.  Security usually takes them and locks them up (and calls the county) but if we get to them, and they are nice, we try to find someone that will take them home.

So, if you live in Arizona, I thought I’d share this information.  Eventually, when I have more readers, I'd like everyone to post their city's rescues on here too so that maybe we can have a whole list available - no matter where you live.  These are also places you can surrender an animal if you can longer care for them (instead of just opening your door and setting them "free").

The following are no-kill shelters.  If you turn a dog or cat into Maricopa County Animal Control or the Humane Society, there is a risk that they may be put down if not sold/adopted.  If you find a stray dog or cat, please do the following first:
Post flyers in the area.  Post on Pets911 and Craigslist lost and found pages (please give very minimal description and be sure owners clearly and accurately identify the dog before releasing them).  Take the dog to a local vet to be scanned for a microchip.  If the dog is hurt or in distress, request an ambulance at 602.997.7585 ext. 2073.  Services are free and available daily from 8am to 7pm. 

If none of the above works, try family or friends that may be able to adopt the stray.  Then, call one of the rescues below to see if they can take the animal.  Don’t get frustrated, sometimes we call multiple times or have to just keep the dog/cat for a couple of days until a shelter can take him/her.  If you absolutely have to turn in a dog/cat to Animal Control, please get the A# and Kennel # and keep trying to contact these shelters.  If they have space open they can pull them.

If you’d rather not approach a stray dog/cat (some are scary!), at least call Maricopa County Animal Control at 602-506-7387 or the Human Society at 602-997-7586  to pick them up (just report where you saw them) so there is a chance they will be found by their owner or be sold/adopted out to a loving family.

Most of these are also non-profit organizations so if you are interested in volunteering or donating, check out their sites and see if it sounds like something you’d like to be a part of.  This is also a good resource if you’re looking to adopt a pet, these rescue animals definitely need good homes. J  In addition, here are the adoption pages on the Maricopa County site and the Humane Society site.






(480) 948-2795


And just so my babies don't get jealous (because this is a post about dogs and I have three of the best at home), I had to include some recent pics of ours:

(Zoe - rat terrier/chihuahua mix.  Rescued from the pound in 2000, she's 11 and a cranky old lady).

(Zipper - rat terrier.  Got her from a lady whose rat terriers had babies.  She's 7 and a sweet little cuddler.)

(Linus - schnoodle (schnauzer/poodle).  He's 5 and is the strangest dog.  If you don't pet him he will pet you.)

(Our girl Lucy who passed away on November 13th, 2009.  She was Linus' sister and loved her Daddy.)

Thursday, February 24, 2011

One Month

Those words are crazy to me.  I can't believe it has been a month since we lost our baby, it seems like years sometimes.  On Monday, this week, it was exactly a month.  And three weeks ago, to the day of my miscarriage, I found out that all of my pregnancy hormones were gone.  Empty.  Abandoned.  Stagnant.

I wake up some mornings thinking I am still pregnant.  Sometimes when I'm dizzy, tired, hungry or nauseous I feel like I'm pregnant.  I talked to a friend about phantom pregnancy (like having phantom limbs when you lose one) and she said she still feels her daughter, whom she lost, inside her sometimes.  Lingering feelings, lingering emotion.

Last week was harder than this week.  I felt very depressed and down, like something had been taken away from me, something I was so excited for.  It's hard going back to your "normal" life when you used to feel special, like you were doing something important.  I have never felt depressed before now or have felt like crying for a whole day before but last week that's how I felt.  I was trying to explain it to my mom, and then to my husband the following day, and both times I just broke down in tears.  You just feel as though you are in limbo, waiting to be able to try again.  You aren't a mother, you don't have a baby and you know that you will have to go through all of that again - that whole 11 weeks all over again.  Thinking about it makes me so nervous, and actually imagining myself pregnant again freaks me out.  How will I be able to be stress free when I will constantly be worrying about the worst?  How can I think positively when I have been through something like this?  It seems impossible.  Totally impossible, that's the word for it.

The boys played the beer fest last Saturday and it was COLD.  By our house it was cloudy but still warm, but by the time we got down to Phoenix it was freezing and raining.  I mistakenly wore flip flops so that could be why I spent the next couple of days sick.  We also had to take my sister-in-law, Ashley, to urgent care because she cut her ear, and there were all sorts of sick kids there too.  Either way, I got it.

(My sister-in-law, Ashley, and I huddled together!)

(The beer drinkers didn't seem to even notice the cold.  Ha!)

We tried to head up to play in the snow last weekend and got stuck twice and had to turn around because the roads were closed.  We made it to Prescott, then up to Sedona but coming back was another story because of all the snow.  It was an 8 hour trip that should have taken just 4-5.  It was nice being out of town, even though we spent most of the time in the car, and nice to celebrate a late Valentine's with Ian in snowy Sedona at Picazzo's.  It is just that I was so so sad last weekend for some reason, but it did cheer me up a bit.

(Just an hour outside of Phoenix it was snowing.  Look at those mountains!)

(In Prescott, this was our 10 minutes of snow play.)


(It was really white out, especially on the road ahead of us to Jerome.  It was a total blizzard and we actually turned around after this to head back to the major freeway to continue up north to Sedona.)

(We got stuck in traffic north to Sedona so we took a road that cut over.  Saw some happy cows on the way and then Ian scared them off.)

(We had just been to Sedona the week before but we wanted to see all the red rocks covered in snow.  I am happy we went, it was beautiful!)

(Picazzo's has organic, free range, boneless chicken wings.  It had been YEARS since I ate restaurant style wings and they were delicious!)

(I took these while sitting at our table by the window of the restaurant.  It was fine when we got there, then the sky turned white and it snowed, then hailed dime sized hail, then snowed some more and then rained.  All within an hour, it was so cool to watch but we knew we would be in trouble trying to drive home after this!)

(After lunch)

(The most beautiful pastel sunset on the way home.)

(We stopped and got pie at Rock Springs Cafe because they boast about their pies.  It wasn't that great, we were unimpressed.)

This week I have been too busy and too sick to be sad.  On our way back from Sedona I started getting really sick and ended up laying around all day Monday and Tuesday (and missing school).  Since then I've been trying to feel better but haven't slept much, my mind just won't shut off.

So, there you have it.  One month later and I'm still a mess.  Feeling lonely, infinitely sad and stuck.  Stuck in this place of nothing, this place of not motherhood but still reeling from the pain of motherhood.  It's so weird and depressing, you just feel blah.

Sorry for this post but this blog is for inner thoughts so there you have it.  Hopefully my next one will be more upbeat.  :)

UPDATE 2/28/11:

Ian kept telling me after our trip that I would start to feel better, mentally and emotionally.  And, he was right, I started to.  This past week was better.  Today it has been a month and a week and things are starting to look up - so all is definitely not lost . . .

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Brother from another mother . . .

Matt's visit was a much needed break from our lives.  Having something to look forward to really kept me together these past few weeks and having him here was like a breath of fresh air.  Aside from Ian (and our families), Matt is my favorite person in the whole world and seeing him in person made me feel better, if only for a weekend.  Thanks to his mom, Sandy, for bringing him out here with her, and for both of them arranging this trip.  I think my mom and I really needed them here and I am so happy they flew in to be with us.  I am so grateful for my unrelated families in Oregon (the Ogiers', Phillips' and Hickey's), they have all played such an influential part in my life.  Family is not just blood related, for sure. 

Last time Matt was here was for our wedding and we didn't have much free time to show him around Arizona.  Like I said before, I think the last time his mom and him were here together was 20 years ago, so it's definitely different having time to show him around now that we are older. 

Matt came in late Friday night and after hours of cleaning (and a nice visit at school from a former student) we picked him up and we went to dinner with our moms and Ian.  After dinner we stayed up late (I made it until 4am, the boys went to bed at 7am) and then woke up at noon the next day.  We laid around most of the day because I didn't feel well (and only had one beer the night before, I think it was a touch of the flu) and then went to my dad's for a Turkish vegetarian meal (which I couldn't even eat).  I was so bummed I missed this one, he made it just for me.  We were supposed to go out with all of our friends Saturday night but I was feeling pretty awful (and the boys were hungover) so we stayed in and went to bed early. 

Sunday we took a trip to Sedona because Matt had never been.  For those of you that don't know him, he is really into to mystical stuff and had read a lot about the power of the vortexes in Sedona.  I had never actually been to a vortex (never wanted to make the hike up to one) so I was excited to see what it was all about too.  The boys looked up aura pictures before we went and decided that they wanted to get one taken (for $30 and interpreted for another $60) so I asked Ian if he looked on the App Store to see if there was an aura app - and there was!  iAura was $2.99 and totally worth it (and probably about as real as a $30 aura pic)!

Here are our aura pictures BEFORE our hike to the Boyton Vista vortex:

And, here are our aura pictures at the end of the hike, IN the vortex:

Our iAura pictures were supposed to come with an explanation, but the app wasn't working properly so I found this site that interprets the colors for you.  My first aura was silver, the one on our hike was green and at the top it was blue (blueberry?).  Ian's were green then yellow/gold and Matt's were yellow/orange and then red.  It's interesting that my silver means nurturing or abundance and my blue is peacefulness or sensitivity.  Ian's green has to do with nature and love, his yellow/gold is creative, optimistic, wisdom and Matt's orange is creative and scientific and his red is grounded and realistic.  Kind of fits our personalities, even if it was just a $2.99 iPhone app! 

Apparently the vortex we went to is a balance of both masculine and feminine energy.  This is the site we used to find an easy vortex hike and this one has more information on Boyton Canyon.  The different vortexes mean different things, here is more information about them.  It was about a mile round trip and pretty easy up a hill at the end but had gorgeous views and two very tall rocks.  We read that you should put your forehead against the rocks to feel the energy so that's what we did.  We also climbed up them a bit but didn't want to climb all over something so sacred so we just stayed towards the bottom.  Ian got mad at me for not climbing around properly (he was scared I would fall down the mountain), but I have no fear lately.  (I was actually thinking of this while I walked down the stairs at school today in my heels, I was doing the same technique he told me to do on the mountain.  Funny what you do in heels to avoid falling but not on mountains!)

I'm not sure if I felt anything from the vortex rocks, but I was there with my two favorite people so I definitely got energy from them.  I thought I would feel better, healed, being up there but it kind of made me more sad.  It's hard to see something so beautiful and think about how blueberry never got to see such beauty in the world.  It made me wish I was pregnant walking up to the vortex, sharing it with her, but then realized that if it weren't for blueberry dying then Matt wouldn't be here and I wouldn't be in Sedona experiencing this.  Everything happens for a reason I guess.

At the vortex there were all these little stacks of rocks.  I am not sure why people do this but I thought maybe it was to honor someone or leave a trace of your visit at the vortex so I made my own.  The first pics are of everyone else's and the last two are of mine.  Mine were for blueberry of course.

(Mine were two, small, different piles left at each vortex rock.)

I did buy some spiritual rocks at a new age store across from Tlaquepaque (beautiful!) that I hope will help with some of my scared, negative, sad energy.  I am not sure if I believe in all of this juju but positive energy can only help at this point!  We also ate at Oak Creek Brewery and it was delicious, Ian had the best Spinach salad of his life (apparently).  After our trip to the vortex we stopped at the UFO store (it was closed) and then headed back to Phoenix.  It was a GORGEOUS day and a super fun trip with my two favorite men.

(Only in Sedona!  Cute!)

(The UFO shop claims to have had a visit from a real UFO at their opening BBQ.  But, this isn't his ship, this is just a fake.)

On Valentine's Day we spent the day in the desert.  Ian is a Pima Indian so he can go to places on the reservation that regular people can't, and he takes visitors sometimes.  Last time we were out there I found this arrowhead, and I was hoping to find another one to show Matt, but we had no luck.  When you do find things, like pottery, arrowheads or shells, you can't take them with you.  They are sacred and preserved, and it is illegal to remove them (or dig for them).

(The arrowhead I found last time.)

(The road to nowhere.)

(1500 year old pottery.)

(A large ball court.)

We had fun, even though it was about 80 degrees (Matt got sunburnt), and then decided to go to the Pueblo Grande Museum (I also had never been and always wanted to go).  We really wanted to take him to the Casa Grande Ruins but it was too far (and we had to meet the moms for dinner later) so we went somewhere close instead.

(Casa Grande Ruins in Coolidge.  See this if you can, it's HUGE!  More info about its preservation is here.)
These mounds out in the desert are really 1500 year old houses covered with dirt over the years.  Under the mounds, if you dug down (which is illegal too), you would find walls, pottery, bodies, shells, etc.  So, we wanted to show Matt what some mounds looked like that were excavated and that's how we ended up at the museum.  It was a pretty good museum with a short video about the people, some artifacts and then a trip around the ruins.  They haven't done a very good job of dressing this place up, it's kind of boring walking around outside, there isn't much information and it's all dirt, but it was ok we got the point.

(Mounds on the reservation, there are houses, walls, pottery, artifacts and maybe people under them.)

(This is what an uncovered mound looks like - Pueblo Grande Museum.)

(What they think the site may have looked like.)

After a lovely Valentine's dinner with our moms, Ian, Joe (my step-dad) and my Aunt Virgie, we were back and home and off to bed.  We left Matt up watching Forgetting Sarah Marshall and Ian and I climbed into bed at 9:30pm because we had to be at work today. 

(Sandy and my mom - best friends!)

Before heading out to the desert yesterday I had to make a quick stop at my OB office to get my blood tested again.  The girl who came in to do my blood work asked me, "So, do you hope this is a positive test?"  And I was shocked that, yet again, they did not read my chart or information (it is a pregnancy blood test, to see if pregnancy hormones are still in my body).  Got the call today that my hormones have leveled out so I guess that's good.  Two months from now we will try this again.  They want me to start taking one baby aspirin a day, now, and then progesterone when I'm pregnant again.  The jury is out on whether the baby aspirin actually works, but here's some info on why they prescribe it (seems like something they should give ALL women BEFORE something like this happens, just in case). 

It was a fun weekend that went by REALLY fast and now I'm sad it's over.  It makes me feel blah again having to get back to my normal life but gives me hope for the future.  I decided that I am going to stop focusing on the negative and start looking towards the positive, no matter how hard it may be.  So, send me some love from your corner and I will send you some from mine and here's hoping it starts to pick me back up.  Matt got it rolling and now I'm on a momentum back up this hill to the top.