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Rest in peace, Simon

While perusing some older blog entries, I realized I never posted an update about Simon. Simon, a shaded silver Persian cat, was mine when he was a kitten, but after taking in his brother, Fritzy, I was all too happy to give Simon to my brother-in-law and his wife. That was five years ago. Last summer Simon came back to us, but we already had six, and Simon was obviously unhappy about having to share a home with so many other cats (he was just one of two before coming back to us).

After an unsuccessful re-homing due to Simon apparently kicking the ass of a Pit Bull, we successfully re-homed him to an older woman who is as much of a crazy cat lady as I am. She sent regular updates and photos, and all seemed to be well. Then, last December, I got the most shocking news: Simon had abruptly had a stroke, and due to complications he was mercifully euthanized. Even though Simon hasn’t been “mine” for many years, I was still heartbroken to hear of his death. And even now, six months after the fact, I’m still saddened, and in shock. He was only six and a half years old, and in seemingly excellent health. Fritzy, his brother, is still doing fine, but now I can’t help but to eyeball him from time to time and wonder if something is just waiting to blow a gasket.


Rest in peace, my gorgeous fur baby.

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Hospital visits and the root canal that won’t quit

I really need to quit with the drive-by blogging, and actually sit down and devote a bit of time to more in-depth blogging. So with that in mind, despite my head (weather-induced migraine) and stomach (ulcer(s)) both hurting like mofos, here’s what will hopefully be a pretty decent blog entry.

On Wednesday, June 4th, I headed back to the dentist for my second root canal appointment. Because the root canal is being done on a tooth whose root had become infected and abscessed, I couldn’t just have the whole process done in one appointment. Instead, it’s being spread out over three appointments:

  1. first appointment: the dentist drilled out the old filling, cleaned out the infection and decaying root, and packed the tooth with antibiotics and a temporary filling
  2. second appointment: the dentist removed the temporary filling and thoroughly drilled out all of the nerves (four total; I could feel each one being removed and let me tell you, that feeling was NOT pleasant), inserted special super-heated rods into the tooth canals that will cool and expand to fill them completely, then put another temporary filling in
  3. third appointment (this coming Monday): the dentist will remove the temporary filling, check to make sure that the rods have set properly, then add the final permanent filling/cap

The last appointment wasn’t as painful as the first, but it still hurt. I was back home by 11:00am and in bed with an ice pack and Tylenol 3. My plan for the rest of the day was to relax and take medication as needed for the pain, but at 1:00pm my phone started blowing up from my brother: per her doctor’s orders, my mom had to get to the ER asap, and stay off her foot. Long story made short: she is diabetic, has diabetic neuropathy, and for the last couple of years has been dealing with a diabetic ulcer (open wound) on the bottom of her right foot that wound up causing the bone to be infected. She has been in and out of the hospital several times, on all sorts of antibiotics, and the order for her to get to the ER right away came after her doctor checked her MRI results, which confirmed a pretty bad bone infection, as well as MRSA.

Mind you, back in 2007 my grandfather had to have two toes amputated due to a minor scratch that led to infection and gangrene – he too was a diabetic. So when the doctor says, “get yourself to the ER NOW“, you listen. My brothers don’t drive, and there was nobody else to take her, so I had to drag my sore, swollen self out of bed, make the 40ish minute drive to her apartment, and then take her to the hospital.

She was admitted that night, and had surgery on Friday afternoon – the surgeon removed the infected tissue and bone from her foot, and put her on all sorts of post-op antibiotics to make absolutely sure that the infection is cleared out. While I was with her that night I was nearly crying from the pain in my teeth, jaw, and face. Tylenol 3 – four of them in a five hour period (the dosage is 1 tablet every 4-6 hours…), plus Ibuprofen (which, after weeks of it between my migraines and the dental issues, has REALLY irritated my stomach pouch and ulcer – for the past day I’ve had a lot of abdominal pain, and eating has been painful. Ugh.), were doing absolutely nothing. I called the dentist and begged for something different/stronger, but was told that he is “conservative” and would give me more Tylenol 3, but that was it. I broke down and wound up admitting myself to the ER while I was waiting there with my mom. They offered a shot of Dilaudid, which I declined only because that shit hits me HARD and I had to drive home, but I did agree to Vicodin.

So that was last week…the pain from the first dental visit wore off just in time for me to go to the second one, and then I dealt with that haze of pain while taking my mom to the hospital, waiting until she was admitted, and driving all over the damn place for the next week and a half. My mom had surgery on Friday the 6th, and my 16 year old brother (Cat) has been staying with us since then. My 18 year old brother, Puff, has been at their apartment in order to take care of the cats. We’ve checked in a few times with food, and last Monday Dan and I spent four and a half hours there with both of my brothers doing all sorts of cleaning and organizing. The place was a mess, but now looks fantastic.

My mom was discharged from the hospital this past Wednesday evening, and Dan and I went over to the apartment on Thursday and again today to bring food, pick up medicine from the pharmacy, etc. She needs to stay off of her foot so it can heal, and so this special suction vacuum that’s attached to the incision (to draw out any remaining infection/drainage) can do its job. Cat is still with us since he and Puff fight so much, and Alyssa is with my mom and Puff since she likes spending time with my mom, and because she’s also helpful and can pitch in with getting things for my mom, doing some light cooking, and assisting with cleaning and looking after the cats. I know this sounds bad, but in some ways she’s more responsible than Puff, which is mostly why we sent her. Well, that, and the fact that she and Ryan have been irritating little shits towards one another lately.

School ended on Wednesday as well, so now it’s ALL SPROGS, ALL THE TIME. We’ve already logged a good 30 hours at the pool this summer, so at least they’re staying active and are out of the house often. The only downside is having to hang there with them. I usually bring along my iPod and a book, but still, each pool trip means hanging poolside for a minimum of 6 hours, and that gets very boring, very quickly. Oh well – such is parenthood. ♥

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Today is my 30th birthday. Despite being a Friday the 13th, and the moon in a completely full phase, nothing remarkable or horrible happened. I’m 30, I had a migraine earlier, and right now my stomach is killing me (ulcer), but other than that, it’s been an okay day.

My now 30 year old self
My now 30 year old self.

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Top 3 Most Purchased Diamond Cuts for Engagement Rings

Diamond rings are a way to show your dedication and love to another person when you want to marry them.  The saying “diamonds are forever” speaks to the message that giving someone a diamond means you want to be with that person for the rest of your life and perhaps beyond.  Choosing an engagement ring is no easy task.  They are expensive and there are many options to choose from.  Picking the cut of diamond you want, along with the type of metal on the band can take a long time to figure out.  All diamonds have a bright brilliance that will impress anybody, but picking a specific cut for an engagement ring should be a more personalized decision that will touch the other person.  Some important factors can include the ring setting, the diamonds clarity, its color, the carat weight and of course the type of cut in the stone. 


The type of cut a diamond receives is a craft in and of itself. The cut a diamond receives will determine how it sparkles and glimmers, and how it reacts to sunlight.  When cutting a diamond, there are certain shapes that will bring out its shine the best.  Getting too crafty and trying to make complex shapes, such as a heart, can result in the stone actually losing some of its potential brilliance.  The top 3 diamond cuts chosen for engagement rings are actually quite simple and elegant. 


Round Cut



The most popular choice to go with is a round diamond cut stone.  This is a simple cut that brings out a sense of harmony and love in its round, symmetrical appearance.   A round cut stone will promise the best shine and reflection through its perfect proportional properties. Jewelers have been using this shape for diamonds for over 100 years and through the study of light and mathematical calculations, this cut of diamond has proven to be the most brilliant.  Round cut diamonds have many surfaces to reflect light and are perfect for an engagement ring. 


Emerald Cut


Another favorite style is the emerald cut. This style of cut is so popular that The Prince of England actually bought his wife this cut of stone for their engagement ring! These types of diamonds are a little fancier in nature and still offer the shiny qualities of a round cut stone.  They have longer faces and lines making up their surface which add a chunky feeling to their build.  Large emerald cut stones are a great fit for engagement rings, especially those who are really trying to impress their fiancé.  The longer surfaces on this stone allow light to reflect with wider angles, but may not be as sparkly as a round cut stone might come off. They tend to be a little more subtle, but with the right size and clarity can be even more impressive. 


Pear Cut



Pear diamond cuts for engagement rings are a little more old fashioned but still remain a popular choice.  One feature common to all of these cuts are edges with many cuts and a smooth top center surface.  The tear drop shape of a pear cut diamond can add some style and personality to the ring.  They are well supplemented with smaller stones surrounding them.  Some would say that the shape of this diamond accentuates the features of one’s hand.  

This article was written by Nick Quinlan.  Nick is currently a student at Barry University in Orlando studying for his J.D. in family law.  Due to his passion for family associated matters, Nick has been contributing content to for several months now and enjoys doing various research in his free time.  You can connect with Nick and read more of his material on his Google+ page.

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The last day of school

It’s the last day of school. Somebody hold me. For the next 11 weeks the sproglets will be underfoot 24/7. We plan on spending a lot of time at the pool this summer, with Dan and I tag-teaming most of the time so that the other gets a kid-free break for work and/or play, but even with frequent pool trips there’s going to be a LOT of hours to fill. And of course Alyssa and Ryan were squabbling over something ridiculous yesterday morning. It’s like, REALLY?! School isn’t even over and you’re already starting in? I don’t think so.

Fortunately, due to the insane amount of snow days we had this year (19, I think), school is in session for the entire day, so I’m going to make the most of the next 7.5 hours!

Filed under Parenthood