Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Snow Dog

We finally got a dusting of snow here the other day. I know all you out there who have been dealing with a horrible winter will cringe hearing me say this, but it was really nice looking out the window to a white world. :-)

Jack loves it, too. He cannot get enough of the snow! Joe's been taking him out in it as much as he can.


Ava, of course, is no where to be found...

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Not Much to Say

Nothing much has been going on since the Inauguration. Stuart came up a couple times this week to get adjusted. His back has been hurting him and Joe has been helping him out. Stuart is also helping Joe out in creating a logo for Joe's business. Joe is also trying to come up with a business name. He thinks he likes "Kalinowski Chiropractic & Sports Rehab". What do you think?

We had a nice quiet weekend this weekend. We basically hung around the house, cleaned, and started our new exercise program (which is basically starting to exercise again, haha.)

Oh, I also just got pictures back from my company party. It was a definite interesting time. It was pretty boring at first, and then once people started drinking, you got to really see the personalities come out! Dancing, karaoke, it was pretty fun. Here are some pictures:





In other work news, my coworker was let go due to budgetary issues. That is the second time that has happened since I started, so you can imagine it makes me a little nervous. So, I'm just trying to work even harder than normal and really pull my weight. It's just me and my supervisor now running our department. I'm hoping this turns into a fantastic opportunity to learn even more about the company and move into more of a substantial position.

Yep, that's all I got for you. Like I said, it's been pretty quiet. Hope you all have been doing well. I hear it started snowing in Portland again!!


Tuesday, January 20, 2009

The Inauguration of Barack Obama!

Joe and I were two of over 1 million people who were on the National Mall today for the presidential inauguration of Barack Obama, our 44th president! It was an amazing feeling to be down there with all those people, all so supportive of this new president, all there to usher him in in style!

Most of the streets around the Mall were closed, so everyone was walking right down the center of the streets. Vendors were selling coffee, food, handwarmers, and anything and everything with Obama's name and picture plastered on it. (Surprisingly, I didn't buy anything. Mostly because my wallet was buried under 7 layers of clothes.)



We finally made it as far as we could down the Mall. The inauguration was held on the grounds of the Capital Building. We got as far as the west side of the Washington Monument. (We did leave pretty late, though. When most people were downtown by 7:00 a.m., we were just getting out of bed.)

We had no intention of meeting up with Stuart during the speech. There were over a million people in that area and we were arriving from different directions. Weirdly enough, though, when we called him, we were standing about 10 yards apart! So, we were able to experience this piece of history with our friend. :-)


Can you see the jumbotron waaaay back there, past all those people? Yeah, that's as close as we got to seeing Obama sworn in, but we could hear everything, and that was pretty awesome. There was such good energy in that crowd!

Once the inauguration was over, we tried to make our way closer to the Capital Building, but it was just impossible to maneuver through that crowd. So, we followed another crowd of people who were making their way back to the outskirts of the city.


We ended up walking about five miles to get far enough away that we could actually find a place to sit, eat lunch, and warm up a little. It was a cold day. My face has been severely windburned since Sunday night, and today didn't help that at all. After lunch we had to walk some more to find a metro station that was open. Some were closed because of their proximity to the inaugural events, some were closed because too many people were trying to get on the trains. We heard there was one station that was so packed, you couldn't get out onto the street. People were stuck underground because there was literally no place to move outside. 

We finally made it back home, though, completely exhausted.

True, we didn't see much, a lot less than those who watched it on TV saw. We didn't see much of the inaugural festivities. We didn't see the parade, or the Obama's getting out of their car and walking the streets of the city. We didn't hear the commentary. But it was worth it - we feel like we got an unprecedented experience that we will never forget.


video
Obama getting sworn in (on Lincoln's bible, by the way). Hopefully you can hear it.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Inaugural Concert!

Wow, what an amazing day we had yesterday! Joe and I met Stuart downtown for the Inaugural Concert. HBO filmed the concert on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial and anyone could come, free of charge! Now, I'll admit, I've always been a bit of a celebrity whore (I get hooked into celebrity fever like most people), and I will also admit that it was absolutely AMAZING to see some of my favorite actors and performers live. But the whole thing was so much more than that. It was very emotional and patriotic and the speeches and energy that resonated throughout the event really made me proud to be living in this historical time.

The concert started at 2:00, and we got there a couple hours early. The crowd was already crazy and the closest we got to the Lincoln Memorial was halfway between the World War II Memorial and the Washington Monument. But they had jumbotrons set up so we could see what those tiny dots up by Lincoln were actually doing. :-)

Here is the list of people we saw: Samuel L. Jackson, Pete Seeger, Shakira, U2, Ashley Judd, Forrest Whitaker, Usher, Stevie Wonder, Jack Black, Rosario Dawson, Garth Brooks, Tiger Woods, Herbie Hancock, Sheryl Crow, Will.i.am, Josh Grobin, George Lopez, Cal Penn (Kumar!), John Melloncamp, Queen Latifah, John Legend, Marisa Tomei, James Taylor, Laura Linney, Denzel Washington, Mary J. Blige, Bruce Springsteen, Martin Luther King III, Steve Carell, Jamie Foxx, and Jon Bon Jovi! (there were even more, but I can't remember everyone)

Can you believe that among all those amazing people and performers, the person who really got the crowd up, dancing, singing, and jumping was Garth Brooks?? He sang "We Shall Be Free" and "American Pie" and everyone was going crazy! It was a fantastic moment.

Other favorites were Pete Seeger, who is probably 100 years old with a banjo, who wrote and performed the song "This Land is Your Land" - which had everyone singing, too! Samuel L. Jackson's speech was fantastic (he talked about Rosa Parks), and just being that close to Tom Hanks and Steve Carrel was awesome! Of course, Joe was excited to see Tiger!

They showed a lot of historial moments, amazing moments throughout history that also took place right where we were all standing. I just can't tell you the feeling I had seeing all those moments happen in front of the same Lincoln Memorial we were looking at. I really think Lincoln would be proud.

Okay, enough talk, here are some pictures:

The crowd:

Ironically, Bush flew over us and landed at the White House while we were there. Funny how the outgoing president was flying over the crowd gathered to welcome the new president. Some people started waving and singing, "Na na na na, hey hey, goodbye."

There was a ton of security, obviously. Lots of snipers on roofs and people in uniform patrolling the crowds. These guys looked exactly like the toy GI Joes to me.
It was pretty cold, but worth it! And try to imagine about a million people all excited and talking, and then when they started the ceremony, all becoming completely silent at once. Amazing.



I was very proud of myself that I didn't have to use the bathroom the whole 5 hours we were standing in the cold. I hate port-o-potties and although the city was FILLED with them (I've never seen so many port-0-potties in my life!) I was so happy to use an actual bathroom during dinner that night.

Leaving the concert was crazy. About a million people all filing out at the same time, trying to get to restaurants, bars, or metro stations. There were roads blocked off and police cars. We definitely felt like cattle. I wanted to take a nice picture while we were in the crowd making our way to dinner, and Stuart struck this pose. I call this "Thug Life".

See the crowd??

Of course we got some videos, too. Now, I know these aren't going to show you much, and they might be kind of loud, so beware, but I had to post them.

video
Garth Brooks: We Shall Be Free!!

video
Garth Brooks: American Pie!

video
Tom Hanks speaking about Lincoln. You only hear him speak at the very end, we didn't get a good video of him, but it's still worth posting.

video
It's The Boss! Bruce Springsteen!!

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The Crowd - A Sea of People, all So Excited!!

As you can tell, we had the best time. We just kept thinking, "This is going to be a great year!" and I was so happy to spend it with two of the most important people to me - it's nice to usher in this fantastic new year content in love and friendships.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Clarification

Some people were confused by my last post. No, we are not getting a new puppy. No, we are not (definitely not!) getting rid of our current beloved beasties. No, we are not pregnant.

It was meant as a parody of life as a Rescue Volunteer. There are a lot of reasons people turn dogs into rescue - some I agree with and some I don't. Giving up your dogs (whom I consider part of your family) because you are having a baby is not one I support. While we're on the subject, if anyone cares, here are my personal beliefs:

Good reasons to give up your dog:
  • You are dead. (may you rest in peace)
  • You found out you will be dead shortly. (again, so sorry)
  • You developed a severe allergy (or your children are severely allergic) and you have tried everything else possible, but your health is at risk to keep your dog.
  • You have been relocated by work overseas and cannot take the dog with you. (and this is an iffy one - you can transport dogs almost anywhere now.)
Bad reasons to give up your dog:
  • You are having a baby and don't want a dog anymore.
  • You moved to a place that doesn't accept dogs.
  • You met "the love of your life" and he/she doesn't like your dog.
  • You got divorced and it's too much trouble to keep the dog yourself.
  • You are tired of taking care of the dog, they are just too much work.
  • You're dog is untrainable (either potty training, jumping, barking, digging, etc.) yet you haven't actually tried to train him, or have given up after the first try.
  • Your dog got old or became ill and and you don't want to deal with his issues.

All this being said, I do want to say that if you are going to give up your dog, for good or bad reasons, the best thing you can do is give it to a rescue organization. They will make sure that your dog is loved and cared for until another home is found. We would rather you give your dog to us than not take care of him/her or leave her somewhere unsafe.

Sometimes it just gets a little frustrating. I guess that's my point.

Anyone out there involved in rescue and/or heard good and bad reasons for giving dogs up?

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

New Puppy!

Well, after two long years of being on a waiting list for an agility dog, we have been notified by the breeder that, at long last, our number has come up and... WE ARE HAVING A PUPPY!!!

We must get rid of our children IMMEDIATELY because we just know how time consuming our new little puppy is going to be and it just wouldn't be fair to the children. Since our little puppy will be arriving on Monday, we MUST place the children this weekend! They are described as:

One male - His name is Tommy, Caucasian (English/Irish mix), light blonde hair, blue eyes. Four years old. Excellent disposition. He doesn't bite. Temperament tested. Does have problems with peeing directly in the toilet. Has had Chicken Pox and is current on all shots. Tonsils have already been removed. Tommy eats everything, is very clean, house trained & gets along well with others. Does not run with scissors and with a little training, he should be able to read soon.

One female - Her name is Lexie, Caucasian (English/Irish mix), strawberry blonde hair, green eyes, quite freckled. Two years old. Can be surly at times. Non-biter, but a thumb-sucker. Has been temperament tested but needs a little attitude adjusting occasionally. She is current on all shots, tonsils out, and is very healthy and can be affectionate. Gets along well with other little girls and little boys but does not like to share her toys and therefore would do best in a single child household. She is a very quick learner and is currently working on her house training - shouldn't take long at all.

We really do LOVE our children so much and want to do what's right for them; that is why we contacted a rescue group. But we simply can no longer keep them. Also, we are afraid that they may hurt our new puppy.

I hope you understand that ours is a UNIQUE situation and we have a real emergency here!!! They MUST be placed in rescue by Sunday night at the latest or we will be forced to drop them off at the orphanage or along some dark, country road. Our priority now has to be our new puppy. Thank you.



I couldn't help but post this. This is a brilliant take on what rescue deals with every day, and I got a huge chuckle out of it.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Dog Park

We had a great day at the dog park today! Well, at least Jackson did. I made Ava run around for a while, and then she just stood next to me shivering and whining and wouldn't move, so I ended up holding her and warming her up for the rest of the time we were there. I know, she's an overly-dramatic princess-wannabe, but she can totally convince me to do what she wants. I'm a sucker.

We met a lot of fun and friendly dogs and Jack had such a blast playing! It was quite cold (there was ice in places in the grass) but a lot of people ended up showing up.

I know, like I said, princess:


This ball was so disgusting, but Jack fell in love with it. He wouldn't give it up. Someone actually ended up throwing it away, though, because it was pretty gross.


This standard poodle was another dog Jack was playing with a lot. Her owner and I got to talking because this dog came from a puppy mill rescue, so we had a lot to talk about. She reminds me of a friend of my family's dog, who is named Halle Berry.










I was pretty cold, too. We are a pair, Ava and me. I realized just now that I don't have many pictures of me without my ear warmer and hood on. Can't wait until it gets warmer out and I can take picture of myself NOT buried in 7 layers of clothes. :-)
The dogs are worn out (even though Ava did nothing, she was still warn out from being made to go into the "outdoors" - the nerve of us!) and sleeping on the couch next to me right now. Joe and I are headed out in a couple hours to go to a Potomac Movie Lovers Meetup Group meeting. We are going to see "Bride Wars." I'm excited!

Friday, January 9, 2009

A Happy Dog's Bedtime Prayer

Dedicated to Jackson and Ava, who live this life every night...

Now I lay me down to sleep,
The queen-sized bed is soft and deep.
I sleep right in the center groove,
My human being can hardly move.
I've trapped her legs,
She's tucked in tight,
And here is where I pass the night.
No one disturbs me or dares intrude,
Til morning comes and I want food.

I sneak up slowly and it begins,
My nibbles on my human's chin.
She wakes up slowly and smiles and shouts,
"You darling beast!
Just cut it out!"
But morning's here and it's time to play,
I always seem to get my way.

So thank you Lord, for giving me
This human person that I see.
The one who holds me oh so tight,
And shares her bed with me at night!

Author Unknown

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Stuff

Not much new going on here, but thought I would update for our many (okay, try 3) loyal readers. We were supposed to have an ice storm the last couple nights, but like what happened when they got our hopes up with a forecast for snow - it didn't happen. It did start raining, though... and raining... and raining. It hasn't stopped since yesterday afternoon and there are now rivers running along all the streets. Ahhh, makes me feel like I'm back home in Seattle.

Joe and I have joined a few local community groups and last night I went to my first meetup - with a group called "Chick Lits of Montgomery County." Basically, this group is all women who ready trashy books and meet up to discuss them. They also meet up socially to watch movies, attend wine-tastings, go on tours, etc. I met up with them for the first time last night and it seems like a good group. Joe and I are both looking forward to getting out and meeting new people. We are both members of this new movie-lovers group and we're attending the first event on Saturday.

Um... let's see, what else? Joe is meeting with the chiropractor he will be working with tomorrow and will be drawing up a contract and figuring out next steps. He's pretty excited. Work is going well for me and I'm getting great feedback on some of the things I've initiated for them. We've started hosting giveaways through other websites and we're hosting one right now on this blog: http://themomreviews.blogspot.com/2009/01/birthday-in-box-giveaway.html. Check it out if you want to win a $25 gift certificate from my company. haha.


The dogs are doing good. Still crazy like always. Joe took this picture of Ava yesterday, what a crack-up. Jackson is getting a little cabin fever and we realized that when Joe starts working, we are probably going to have to invest in a dog walker. He just needs more exercise than Ava.

Well, I guess that's all I can think of. Hope everyone else is having a more exciting week!

Thursday, January 1, 2009

2009 Begins

We had a fabulous New Year's Eve! Maybe not by others' standards (we didn't go out to party at the bars) but by our standards it was absolutely perfect.

After work, we went straight to the Metro station and took a train to Stuart's place. He wasn't really feeling that great, so we hung out with him for a while and he allowed me to watch some reality TV that I've been missing (we don't have TV and don't plan on getting it anytime soon).


We left Stuart at about 11:00 and took the Metro down to the National Mall. Our plan was to walk down to the Lincoln Memorial and toast the New Year on the steps in front of Abe. We made it to the Washington Monument, and then it struck midnight. My absolutely wonderful boyfriend had brought a bottle of champagne and plastic champagne glasses, so we were able to toast in style.


It was 22 degrees with a wind chill that felt like about 0, so we were FREEZING, but we had so much fun. I also need to mention (and I apologize for the sappiness) that one year ago last night was the night I told Joe I loved him for the first time. On top of the Eiffel Tower. So, it's a special night for us. :-)

We walked the empty streets of Washington D.C. for a bit after our toast, and then caught the Metro back home. Our dogs were waiting faithfully for us and we wished them a happy 2009 as well. :-)


Joe and I have a goal to be in a major city every New Year's Eve. 2009 we were in Washington D.C. in front of the Washington Monument:


2008 we were in Paris, France in front of the Arc D'Triomphe:

2010 we hope to be in New York City, but who knows where the next year will take us. Our 2008 was absolutely amazing, full of love and new adventures. I really believe our 2009 will be even more amazing. Can't wait!

Happy 2009 Everyone!