must have: valentines edition

rain or shine, in love or not, with or without a valentine, in denial or impatient, the holiday is around the corner. as our first valentine's day approaches as husband and wife, i'm a heck of a lot less sappier than i was last year, but i'm still just as thankful. need some ideas? here ya go, my valentines. 
trout fish keychain - hand stamped copper key chain - mens valentines gift - best catch
john may not be a fisherman but he eats salmon when i cook it for dinner. that's close enough, right? find it here
Luxe Lips BACON Homemade Beeswax Lip Balm Mens Valentines Day  MANLY
if your valentine is a manly man, then he will definitely need this bacon lip balm. this man-lipstick is made with real bacon grease. i dare you to try to keep your lips off a man wearin' this magic! 
....for a mere $2.50, you can buy this here and all your worries will fade away about another lady huntin' your man.

READ DESCRIPTION valentines day beard hat bearded knit snowboard ski valentine gift for men him husband boyfriend motorcycle works outside
the only reason i would buy this for john is for the simple fact i'm not so sure i could pull it off myself. but i adore it and i'd probably attempt to sport it on a wintery dinner date. this is for the corporate worker man with a side of red neck  and lovin' facial hair.

Funny Men's Valentine's Day T-Shirts
not feelin all lovey dovey this valentines day? this shirt is for you. 

anti Valentine - funny Valentine - hate Valentine's Day - humorous - friend
sure, not everyone loves the holiday. but i do think this card is super adorbs. 

You're my Lobster Hand Lettered card
and my personal favorite. lobster

is your valentine a man? a woman? yourself? your best friend? your lobster? 



the parvo handbook

i debated writing a post about parvo for quite some time but then realized that i was looking for a post like this during our nightmare, so if there's maybe just one other blogger that will find this useful, then it's a success.  

  in an attempt to make a blogger comparison, you know the way a blogger feels when they see they've lost 100 (okay, maybe one?) followers and suddenly a pit in their stomach seems so large they should just power off and deactivate? well i like to assume that's the same emptiness a veterinarian feels when they see the 'positive' results on a parvo test for a pup. except this is a true life or death situation.  it's a nightmare to all involved: the precious pup, the animal loving vet, the new and naive pup-parents, and everyone any of them come in contact with for the next week.

so i've put together the most common questions i've received and answered them to the best of my ability. if you have any other questions, please ask!  i'm not a pro, but i've learned quite a bit.

what is parvo? 
there are very technical descriptions all over the internet, but if you're like me, that technical jargon might as well be in japanese. to me, parvo is a virus that is wildly contagious, mainly in puppies, which replicates throughout the bloodstream which ultimately destroys the lining cells and blood vessels in the intestines. there is no way to stop the parvo so constant fluids are mandatory to keep the pup from dehydrating while you let the virus take its course and hope and pray the innocent puppy will fight through the worst parts. 

is there a cure?
since parvo is a virus, there's really not a cure, just a way to make it more treatable. which include fluids to keep the body and intestines flowing. in the end, it is honestly up to the dog to keep fighting regardless of the fluids, antibiotics, love, and care it receives. 
its not the sie of the dog in the fight, its the size of the fight in the dog. 
{reggie and woodford}

what exactly about parvo is fatal?
it's tough to understand at the beginning what kills a parvo puppy since there are no exact yes or no answers from beginning to end.  however, most dogs that die from parvo actually die from either a secondary infection that is not treated, shock from their little body having to fight so hard, or not enough fluids from losing so much through diarrhea or vomiting. 

who gets parvo? and how is it spread?
most puppies receive vaccines to prevent parvo. however, at woodford's young age of 8 weeks, he only had one vaccine before he began showing symptoms.  parvo can live in the puppy for 7-10 before any symptoms begin to appear so even vaccinations are tough to fully rely on, especially if the puppy is around multiple pups.

a puppy with parvo bit me. can i get it?
nope. humans cant get it. there's no need to worry about that.

can older dogs get it?
yes, they can. but probably won't. don't be too afraid if you have other dogs or if your puppy has been around other dogs before being treated. the vaccinations are given at such a young age, i'm sure your dog is protected. plus, dogs are usually capable of fighting off the virus a million times better than puppies. 

can puppies get it twice?
a strong probably not. however, it's better to be safe than sorry. since their immune systems are so shot, it's safe to keep everything clean, bleached, and away from puppies to ensure they stay on the road to recovery instead of taking steps back with the chance of getting sick again. 
{woodford and his daddy makin a fire}

how did you know he was sick?
woodford began dry heaving around 2:30am and about every third time, he would spit up some clear, yellow thick fluid and his little body would just shake. it was heartbreaking. in the beginning, i figured he was still getting used to his new home, and i brought him in bed with me to comfort him. then, he became so lethargic that his little eyes wouldn't open and his body would melt into anything it was against. i called the vet and brought him in asap. as soon as we got there, i put him on the ground and he had his first diarrhea. after that, it was a ride in the fast lane to get him on fluids and begin the nightmare of a process. 

what was the scariest part?
i brought him in & he was diagnosed with parvo on tuesday. wednesday, he was doing much better and had so much  more energy. we had hopes he would come home thursday. wednesday night, he took a turn for the worse. it was so lethargic and wouldn't even open his eyes on thursday. the vet asked if we wanted to continue with treatment, especially because the cost was beginning to get expensive. that was scary. but i knew i'd keep fighting as long as he kept fighting. 
on thursday, they also told us there's a good chance he may have pneumonia. that was heartbreaking because they said a double whammy like that is almost always too much for a puppy to recover from. we decided to go through with the xrays for some type of peace of mind and i'm so glad we coughed up that extra dough because it was such a relief to know he didn't know pneumonia. 
just kennel cough... (still a nightmare, but much more easier on him than the alternative). 

what was the turn around point?
he chewed through his iv.  twice. that made my heart melt because it meant so many things. 1. he is acting like a puppy again! and chewing!  2. he wanted to get out of there! 3. he chewed through it during the night so no one knew how long he went without fluids. but even so, he was still doing great without being on constant fluids.  4. he had the fight in him to rebel. 

how do you prepare your home for when the pup comes home?
clorox. clorox. clorox. everything. we had to change our clothes every time we visited him at the hospital. i would go two times a day for about an hour each time just to hold him. i would have to wash those clothes each time and we had to clorox his kennel, toys, food bowls, and DEEP clean our entire house, towels, floors, yard, everything. if you have a pup coming home after parvo (congrats!) but also, if you're doubting if something should be cleaned or not, just clean it. clorox it if you can. if not, keep clean. even for several days after he came home, i was still running 2-3 loads of laundry a day of things he would touch, be around, play with, etc. 

what did you do when you would visit him?
like i said before, i went two times a day for about an hour each time to stay with woodford and hold him and let him know i'm fighting with him. i'm not going to lie - i would usually cry the entire time i was there because i was so scared, and usually i'd go by myself. 
i would pray over him. 
and tell him about the prayers from the other bloggers and our friends and family and tell him how loved he is already and how God is in control and to keep fighting. i would pray to God to help the vets, the techs, the meds, everything. 

what do i need to do when the pup returns home?
looooove on em!!  continue all the meds the vet will give you (which in my case, included 4 meds 3x a day) and feed the wee little fighter canned food and slowly introduce regular puppy food. his meds were metoclopramide syrup, cephalexin, metronidazole, and pro pectalin.  i fed woodford prescription diet i/d gestrointestinal health canned food.
also, when your survivor goes #2, it is important that you pick it up and spray it with a clorox and water mix to kill the virus because your pup will continue to shed the virus in its poop for about 2 weeks.  we are also not allowing woodford and other dogs to interact for about a month. the vet says 2 weeks on that also but for the safety of other dogs, i'm saying a month. i would NEVER want another dog to go through this nightmare.

how much did it cost?
love is priceless, right? ok, maybe not priceless but it was worth it. but i will say, it ain't cheap. if your fur baby doesn't have insurance, i'd recommend getting it. 

*i really tried to write this without the help of the internet in an attempt to speak non-vet-ish to help other understand the virus.  so please, don't quote me or hold me accountable is any of this is incorrect, although i tried very hard to understand. 

all in all, i can't thank everyone enough for all their support!  i seriously can't imagine what i'm going to do if i have a human child that is even a tiny bit sick. after 3 days of being woodfords mama, i was a total wreck but so incredibly happy to have him home and healthy. 



never in kentucky blonde**

if you're wondering if i am about to pile on some throwback thursday photos, i am. but if you're wondering if the "throwback" portion is from mere weeks ago, you're right. 

you know when something is right between the "that's just old" and "that's vintage" feel, this is it. 

one of my favorite family traditions is spending the week (or two) after christmas in palm beach where my parentals have a place and we all get to enjoy it together. my mom, stepdad, sister, bro in law, nephew, sister, brother, husband, and i went for 12 days this year and it was the perfect way to ring in the new year. 
{john married all this baggage. but at least my luggage has chrome rims}

{palm. beach. florida. never gets old}
{pbg means palm beach grill, which means celebs. which clearly means i've never seen one during the five times there but i've heard they frequent the joint so it's basically safe to say i'm besties with rod stewart}
we saw this yacht docked at, well, at the palm beach yacht club, so with a name like "diamonds are forever" i knew i had to google it. and glad i did because this little ski doo has a web site of its own.  so if you're down for a blog convention, i was thinking we could just rent this guy for a mere $450,000. you down?
so right when you thought i could go more than five posts without my little love bug, i fooled ya!  here's my nephew, colton, swimming like a fish! and his is this perfect dive position. each time we would get him to jump to us, he would put his arms back like this and then jump up and over. simply adorbs. 
HAPPY NEW YEAR!  it's our family new years kiss to you!  since sam's boyfriend couldn't make it on the trip, i decided to give sammy a nice little nye kisseroo. that's what sisters are for, right?
for girls day, we went to the spa and then shopped around worth avenue and had dinner at taboo

this is your warning for the cutest picture ever: 
we went cruisin around on the boat one day and for some reason, when we put the lifejacket on colton, he just did not move. he was wide awake here but sat like this for probably 10 minutes, not moving a muscle with his mouth wide open and his sunglasses on with his arms to his side, perfectly content in rick's lap. it's hilarious and absolutely precious all at the same time. 

my sister and moi. 
my sisters and moi. i'm so tall.
if you ever make it to west palm, you MUST go to cafe centro. it is an awesome restaurant with live music and entertainment and the singer/piano player will dance and sing on the bar and they have confetti and dancing and wild madness all while you eat. 
it is so, so much fun.
but it's rare that people will have so much fun at cafe centro that they end up in the hospital until 4am. but my husband breaks barriers.  due to some severe chest pains, we visited the ER and thank heavens we were discharged after about 4 hours and no serious conditions. future cardiologist appointments, but a for-the-most-part- healthy husband. 
what's better than your grandmother teaching your nephew her favorite yoga poses?  nothing. hilarious. 
shopping on a rainy florida day.  
we played euchre all night, every night. are you a card player?
city place with my grandparents and mama.
and hubby. 
check out the coolest candy/ice cream store in the entire world. can you even believe how awesome this place is?
and i'm also happy to announce i added this lovely beaut to my closet. ow owww

if you don't follow me on instagram, you should. and here's how.

xo loves

**one of my favorite people in the world, clearly my girl ash, said i should change my blog name to Never in Kentucky Blonde. she's just too much, i tell ya.  ;)


welcome home woodford!

after 5 nights, 
6 days, 
a lot of money, 
12 trips to the vet hospital to visit, 
more tears than i'll admit, 
billions of prayers, 
and one VERY tough puppy, 
i could not be happier to tell y'all that woodford is home!!!! 
and look at him! he has so much energy i couldn't even get him to chill for a second for a photo op with his banner! and especially with my canon...no way, not going to happen. there's nothing more exciting in this entire world than the strap of a canon rebel, is there? is there? is there? this little puppy is in FULL puppy mode now and my arms have the bites and scratches to prove it. 

he is still battling some kennel cough but compared to what he was going through, it's a cake walk. he is still on 4 meds 3x a day but is on his road to recovery!  

and to parvo - i despise you. you are the worst thing in the entire world and to make puppies your target is just down right gross. when i become a millionaire, my charity of choice will be to find the cure to parvo. 

and what better way to introduce woodford back to his home than by cheers-ing with my hubby to a nice glass of Woodford Reserve. on the rocks. 

to every.single.one.of.you... you're incredible. your comments, texts, calls, messages, emails, prayers, thoughts, and everything else made this nightmare for this new mama a touch easier. ..and to those of you with human babies that are sick... my heart goes out to you. the last week has been torture for me, and i'm not even the little guy that was fighting for his life. 

welcome home, ww!  i love you! and so does your daddy :)


bump in the road

i debated writing this post because i never want my blog to be a place of sadness but then i realized my blog reflects my life. and if my life only consists of happy times and pure bliss, it wouldn't be real. 

plus, i have received the nicest, sweetest words of encouragement, thoughts, and prayers from this amazing blogworld and i am incredibly thankful.

tuesday, woodford was bad. 
wednesday, woodford was great. 
the doc said if everything continued this way, he could come home thursday. which is today.

woodford had a bad night though. he is back on fluids and will stay at the hospital for awhile longer. i am confident our little guy will pull through and will fight to come home and continue to live a long, wonderful life full of constant spoiling from his mama. in the words of my wonderful cousin riley, this is merely a bump in the road.  i can't wait to spoil the heck out of him when he does come home. and i told john he can even gnaw my entire hand off if he wants. 

so while this post isn't a sad one, it's not necessarily a happy one either. but with all your thoughts and prayers, i know i owe it to you to keep you updated. so please, continue thinking of our little guy and send your positive puppy vibes in his direction. 

He is in control and that brings more comfort to me than anything. 


the day after the worst day

our brand new precious puppy, woodford, is in the hospital.
{sweet daddy and sickly baby woodford with his tiny iv in his little arm}

it began tuesday morning around 2:30 and i heard him crying a little bit. to you, a crying puppy may seem normal in the middle of the night, but to me, i knew something was wrong. 

woodford is such a great puppy and even if it was only night 3 of being his mommy, i knew his normal behavior didn't include crying in the night. i went to his crate and took him out to hold him and pet him. i brought him outside and upon our return, he began dry heaving and his tiny body was shaking. i wrapped him in a blanket and decided to bring him to bed with me. throughout the night, he kept vomiting clear fluids and was so lethargic. 

one of the sweetest things i've ever experienced - i was being real still in bed and letting him find "his place" and he walked over my stomach, burrowed into my neck and put his little tiny nose behind my ear. he fell straight to sleep and listening to his little puppy breathing was one of the sweetest moments of my life. he was so comfortable being so close to me. it was precious. 

early tuesday morning, i brought him to the vet where he was diagnosed with the worst nightmare-ish virus i could've imagined: parvo

i spent all day yesterday crying and praying for our little tough guy to react wonderfully to the fluids he was on around the clock in the hospital. 

john and i went to go see our little baby this morning at 9am and i'm so glad to say he has more energy and it is looking SO much brighter today. he will stay in the hospital for probably two more days and then will hopefully come home to us. it is still a VERY touch and go situation but i am beyond relieved to have some positive news, which is the exact opposite from yesterday. 

parvo is a very serious virus in puppies and we were told yesterday woodford had a 50/50 chance of survival.  with the high hopes we are in today, we are hoping for a 100% recovery and can't wait to continue to spoil the heck out of our wee one.  some resources say there is a 91% mortality rate. just throw a wrench in my heart, why don't ya!

i also wanted to mention, we are so extremely thankful for our friends and family that are aware of the situation and have been praying for our SuperDog and thinking of our little family. i will continue to keep you updated. 

{and look at the wonderful daddy john is today... he is wearing his black lab tie dedicated to woodford.}

i am blessed. and woodford thanks you for your support as well. 



plus one more!

this weekend was an incredible one because of one main reason...
well, two reasons.  these two guys.

blogworld, please meet our new little baby..

woodford is a rescue pup we adopted and made our own on saturday afternoon. it was one of the easiest decisions i've ever made and he is an absolute dream puppy.

even if he didn't have a kentucky collar, i'd still love him. he already loves his crate and runs to the door when he has to go potty. and it's only monday morning!!  

the facts: this guy is a whopping 6.5 pounds and is a black lab mix. we're not sure the "mix" portion, but from the way he acts and looks, he's pretty close to full black lab if you ask me. 

his hobbies includes biting his mommy, sleeping, hopping like a bunny, and hating treats. 

woodford told me he is so excited to meet all you ladies (and gents?) and he is proud to be the official kentuckyblonde mascot. 



10-day late resolution

it's true. one of my brainstorming items for my new years resolution was to not procrastinate.  10 days after the first of january, i am putting my resolutions in a post where i hit "publish" and then i am held accountable for said goals for the 2013 year. 

1. do not procrastinate. 

we'll try again. 

1. i have the mouth of a sailor, which completely offers the chance to put popeye the sailor man on my blog. i resolve to use words of encouragement, love, and sincerity, not ugly curse words. 

2. i resolve to begin a family with my husband. yup, i said it. nope, i haven't accomplished this yet, but i hope to make mr. kentucky blonde a father within the next 365 355 days. 

3. i would love to eat more fruits and veggies. even if they happen to be a grape in the bottom of my glass of wine, or a celery stick in my bloody mary. ...clearly, this is only before resolution #2 is in effect. ;)

4. i probably shouldn't make a 4th resolution, because i tend to get overwhelmed with such large tasks but hey! it's a new year and i can do what i want!

so for my number 4, my resolution is to continue drinking loads and loads of water a day.  with my recent kidney stone adventure, i was drinking so much water i thought i would drown. but i did love the way it made me feel - so much healthier with the lack of sugar and caffeine. 

oops! and number 5, make a trip to atlanta for some playtime with ash, dash, chels, and stone. :)

the bets are out - do you think i can accomplish all this in 12 months (minus 10 days?)


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