Tuesday, December 30, 2008

A brief visit with Michelle

One of my best friends from medical school just moved back to NC after finishing her residency in Indiana. I haven't seen her since my wedding. They just moved to a samll town outside of Charlotte. So on my way out of NC on Monday, my parents dropped me off at her house and I got to spend a few quality hours with her and her family. She is expecting thier second child in the spring and it is so much fun to see my friends that I knew long before they had kids now with families. Below is a picture of her beautiful little boy.

Ian Kalwiter-Benton age two.


I never knew how much damange a puppy could do in such a short period of time. I took Gabrina with me to work today. For some reason she decided to bark ALL morning long. I couldn't have her barking at work so I shut the door. What a mistake! The next time I opened it my office floor was covered in shredded paper and pieces of my garbage can.

The paper turned out to be charts that Gabrina had pulled off my desk and chewed to pieces. AAAGGGHHHH!!!! She spent the rest of the morning in one of our Social Workers office being watched very closely. It made for a very stressful morning since I saw 15 patients and had to deal with the puppy barking and messing up my office (which I share with two other people). I took her home at lunch time and she spent the afternoon finding things in our laundry room to chew to pieces.

I don't understand how something so cute can be so distructive. She has the face of an Angle and when she knows she has done something that she shouldn't have, you should see her pour on the charm. All kidding aside, she is a very sweet and good puppy.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Holiday Fun

View of Lake Lucas from my parents house.

Well my time with mom and dad has come to a close but it was well worth the effort to make it here. I think all of us enjoyed my visit. I may have created two more Wii junkies by getting them a Wii for christmas, they love it! But I figure that's ok, it will help keep them young!

Mom "trying" to race pigs - she kept going the worng way.

Dad playing Rayman Rabbids

I am giving Mario Cart a try.

The Mighty Kat-Mando watched us play Wii.

Last night I went up to greensboro to have dinner with my friend lauren. It was really nice because I got to finally meet her daughter Isabelle. After a long 2 years she finally got to bring her home from Guatamaula a few months ago. Isabelle is beautiful and full of joy. Lauren and Isabelle in front of TGI Fridays.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Christmas Suprise

With all the crap my family has gone through in the past few months, I decide mom and dad need a little christmas joy. I bought a plane ticket to visit my parents in NC about a month or so ago but I didn't tell my mom that I was coming. My dad and I put together a great plan and the short of it is that I showed up on their doorstep around 4pm on Christmas. Mom was so suprised that she was speechless! Grandpa seemed pretty shocked to see me too. Dad and I were afraid we were going to get in big trouble for lying to mom for so long, but I think she quickly forgave us.

My friend Jenny was kind enough to pick me up at the airport in Charlotte and drive me to my parents house in Asheboro. She stayed for Christmas dinner with us and we all watched the movie Mama Mia together. It was great to share Christmas with her and my family.

Before we went to bed mom and dad opened the gifts I got them and boy were they happy. They were like little kids again, all excited about their new Wii and Wii games! I think it will help them stay young and keep their coordination up. So far they have been playing all afternoon today and it is so nice to see them laughing and having fun. Here are a few pictures of the festivities.

Mom and Dad are super excited about their Wii!

Mom shows off the scarf I made for her.

Mom and Dad play Air Hockey this morning on their new Wii.

Poor Alex got left behind in Colorado but I don't think he minded all that much. He went with our friends Laurie and Jeff to Estes Park and spent christmas with their family. I am very appreciative that they took such good care of my hubby.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Little Puppy

Alex and I got the fine pleasure of watching Mystery for a couple of days. She is a 4 month old black guide dog puppy. She is really relaxed for a puppy and supper sweet. She isn't quite sure what to make of the kitties and they seem content to sit nearby and growl at her. She loves to snuggles and has the most sweet eyes.

She hasn't learned how to play tug yet but we tried to teach her.

Mystery and I chilling on the floor.

Mystery checks out the kitties while we are trying to play tug.

Laurie and Jeff came over to go out to dinner with us. We went to Alex's favorite restaurant - IHOP! But before we went, we had to play with Mystery.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Salud Christmas Party

Alex and I hosted a Christmas party for my office on Saturday. Everybody brought a dish and we provided the place for the party and New Belgium Beer on draft. A good number of people showed up and the food was all really good. A group stayed and played games for awhile. We had a lot of fun playing Apples to Apples, Taboo and of course Ping Pong!

Dr. Mayer, Alex and Evan eat some grub in the kitchen.

A group of us play Apples to Apples

Martha was particularly animated in her clues and gave us all some good laughs.

We spent today putting the house back together and doing laundry. Dusty of course, had to help with the wash.

Dusty Snuggles in sheets and blankets.

Dusty was so good at the party. She loved playing with the kids and watching the ping pong balls. And of course she loved all of the attention. All that excitement left her pretty tired today.

Friday, December 19, 2008

A Real Family Doctor

Today was an interesting day. I woke up early, showered and headed in to the hospital to start rounding. I saw a sick diabetic in the ICU, several medicine patients and a bunch of post partum mom's and their babies. Then I scrubbed in to assist on a scheduled repeat c-section. I quickly changed out of my bloody scrubs to go meet with the residents to round on our patients. After a quick bite to eat it was off to clinic to see pregnant women, old people and some kids. I did charts and paperwork until 7 PM and then Alex and I went to IHOP for a yummy Friday night dinner. What a full day!

As I reflected on my day, I realized that I really was a full spectrum family physician. I saw everything from birth to death today, worked in the OR, the hospital and the clinic. I never thought that I would actually get to use all of the skills that I worked so hard to learn. Not many family doctors really do everything anymore and I am really thrilled to have the opportunity to get to. It feels good to really like what I do again and to feel like I may actually be making a small difference in a few peoples lives.
Later in the evening we had some fun playing with dusty and trying to keep her and the kitties from fitting. Dusty just wants to play but Bailey has to be the Alpha cat and defend the house from the "dreaded guide puppy."

Alex plays tug with Dusty - you wouldn't believe how high she can jump straight up.

Dusty takes a brief rest in the kitchen

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Fun with Puppies

Garner went home to his nice raisers today, but before he left he got to play. We started sitting for Dusty today and there were a few hours of overlap between when Gardner went home and Dusty arrived. I never knew that two dogs could play Tug with each other for so long without getting exhausted. They had a lot of fun.

Dusty and Garner both panting from playing so hard.

Both Dusty AND Garner play Tug with me.

They quickly learned how to play tug without me.

Alex watches the puppies run in the snow in the backyard. Doesn't he look all macho with his beard and his new warm coat?

Can you find the doggies in the yard?

Dusty gives me a big smile. She is one of the few mixes that GDB breads. She is half Golden Retreiver and half Lab. They never bread the mixes so she is fixed. She is very calm, sweet, well trained and is 10 months old.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Dog Days

With Alex in New York, Gardner spent all day at me with work today. He was really good and everybody loved him as usual. After getting refueled at home with dinner we went to the gym. This is him "comfortably" sleeping on the way to the gym. He always insists on having some part of his face on the chair. So cute.
Gardner sat next to me while I worked out on the elliptical and then he showed me his idea of working out at the gym.

He's just so darn sweet. He is going to make a wonderful companion for a blind person some day. I feel so lucky to get to watch him every now and then.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Guide Dog for the Blind Christmas Party

I work up this morning to aobut 5 inches of snow on the ground.  With Alex in New York visiting his parents, guess who got to shovel the driveway and sidewalks? You guessed it, me. I really hope that if we get to stay in Colorado that Santa will bring us a snow blower next year.

My friend Laurie came over around 10 and she and I baked cookies to take to the GDB chrstmas party. We had a lot of fun just hanging out and backing yummy peanut butter cup cookies. GDB gathered at John's house today to celebrate the holidays. The puppies got to take their vests off and just have fun for the day.

Gabrina showing off her santa hat.

Garner taking a chill.

Fred's Career Change Dog - rejected due to his size. He is a pure bread German Shepard.

Tim with Raindeer Ears. So Cute!

Garner - totally exhausted from all the excitment!

Anne - doesn't she look thrilled?

The puppies are playing with bones and we are playing with them.

Gabrina - wiped out and taking a snooze.

"why do they do this to us?" - Gabrina

It was a lot of fun and we did a white elephant gift exchange. I got a Kong chew toy and a approved bone.  We took Gardner home with us and are watching him for a few days while his raiser takes finals.
Garner in our living room.

He is the sweetest dog ever. When we came home I discovered that he doesn't like the snow. I took him out to go to the bathroom and he just danced and whimpered and shook his paws and refused to pee. I assume when he needs to go bad enough he will go. He doesn't mess with the kitties at all which helps keep the peace in the house.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Christmas Decoratios

While Alex is in New York I decided to finish decorating the house for Christmas and start getting it ready for the Salud Party I will be hosting soon. Below is a photo of our tree in our living room.
This is our main stairwell. I put a red and green Garland on the stairwell and then put lights in it.
This is the view up the street from our house. Notice how well decorated all of the houses are then check out our house. Our decorations may not look as fancy, but for Alex's first attempt I think he did a pretty darn good job! The Lights on the garage are multi colored and the lights in the trees are white. I put lights up on the back porch too but didn't feel the need to take a picture of them.
I also spent a lot of time making a Christmas/wedding gift for my friends Christi and Carola in Germany who just got married. The kitties of course had to help. In case you can't tell from the picture, it is a fleece blanket designed to look like the German flag.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Potentially Good News

Alex and I got some potentially good news today. For those of you who don't know, Alex was laid off from AMD last April. With the current crummy economy, no one is hiring in his field. So after many months of "soul" searching and video game playing, Alex is thinking about going back to school to become a Physician Assistant. He has some prerequisites to take and he is planning to start by becoming an EMT first. He has to get about 2000 hours of volunteer work in direct patient contact before he can apply to PA schools (thus the EMT course). So........ I asked the CEO of Salud, where I work, if Alex could become a volunteer at Salud to learn more about heath care and get some of his volunteer hours in.  He wrote me back and said, "why don't we just hire him as an Medical Assistant."

Wow, not the answer either of us were expecting. But definitely worth looking into. He would make more sitting on the cough claiming unemployment but it may be worth the experience to go ahead with it. We will see how things plan out. Either way, it was good to have some positivity in our lives today.

A Fun Day of Skiing

Mid Vail - Lift Number Three

Yesterday Alex and I got up before the sun and drove to Vail for a fun day of skiing.  It started snowing hard around one, which made for some great fresh powder skiing.  Alex and I attempted a black diamond bowl in the back. It proved too much for me, so I took off my skies and climbed back out. Boy was that exhausting! I kept sinking into about 3 feet of deep snow. It took Alex about an hour and many bruises to make it to the bottom of the bowl and back to the lift where I was waiting. The picture above is one I took while I very patiently waited in the freezing cold and snow for us to join back up.

The trip back home was a bit tricky with all the snow but we stopped at COSTCO!!!! And we all know how happy I get when I get to go to Costco. Even if we only bought splenda and Diet Coke.

Alex headed off to New York today to visit his family. I will miss him but I do have to admit that it will be kind of nice to have the house to myself for a few days.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

My First Posting

So I have decided to enter the 21st century and start a blog. I figured it would be a better way to keep family and friends updated about our lives than just the pictures I post on our web site.

Alex and I have been busy decorating for Christmas today. We are hosting my work's Christmas party at our house. I want it to look festive so I spent the day cleaning the house and putting up lights and garlands. Alex even got involved and put lights up on the trees in the yard and on the house. The weather has continued to be typical bipolar colorado weather: 8 inches of snow one day, 60 degrees and sunny the next. So it made for a nice day to put up lights, warm and snowy.

We are getting up early tomorrow and going skiing at vail for the day. They've gotten a ton of snow so it should be a good day.