We’re helping our dear friend, Sara

Hello Friends!

If there’s one thing we know about the people of Wisconsin, it’s that they have some of the biggest hearts of anyone anywhere. This is especially true of Milwaukee.Milwaukeeans have hearts the size of Texas (and, let’s be honest, better beer).

You know her. You love her.

We know you want to help. And she could use a little right now.

After several months with increasing epileptic episodes and the continued weakness, incapacitating pain, and mobility challenges due to her related neurological conditions, our dear friend, @sarasantiago, was encouraged to apply to a service dog training and placement organization. After completing the application process, Sara and her extended family participated in an interview with the organization, and she was accepted into the program.

A Seizure and Mobility Assistance Dog will keep Sara safe both during and after a seizure. It will be trained to alert someone nearby or to use a specialized “phone” to dial a pre-programmed number if she is alone, and bring her its special vest that may hold a prepaid cell phone, medication and anything else Sara might need. The dog will also be trained to keep Sara from physically putting herself in an unsafe situation. (It is possible for Sara to continue walking during certain types of seizures, albeit in an altered state of consciousness.) It will be able to assist her in getting up from a lying down or seated position, help to stabilize her when she is having a bad balance day, and will be trained to retrieve things for her, should she be too weak to do it on her own.

For her safety, we want Sara to receive this incredible dog as soon as possible.

This is where you come in.

Seizure and Mobility Assistance Dogs are highly trained and expensive. They go through up to two years of specialized training before they are able to be placed with someone in need.

It is the goal of the organization providing Sara’s service dog is that all dogs are placed at no cost to the disabled handler. “We understand the importance of adding a service dog to your life. We would never want finances to be the deciding factor. Each dog’s training, medical, and boarding comes to an average of $10,000.00, which is covered through fundraising efforts for the organization.”

Your contribution will help cover the cost of training, boarding and medical care for Sara’s service dog while it is going through its rigorous preparation to assist Sara, as well as airfare and a hotel room for the family while they work with the professional handlers for two weeks to transfer the service dog into Sara’s care as its new handler.

Please consider opening your hearts (and your wallets, duh).

We can’t do this without you.

In the words of Sara, We’ll eat you up, we love you so.

We know Sara has touched the lives of so many people in this community. It’s time for this community to do whatever it can to support her.

If you have a few (or a lot) of dollars to spare, please consider contributing to this campaign. Every little bit will get Sara one step closer to receiving the incredible gift of this service dog.  Visit http://www.bit.ly/sarassidekick to contribute.

Any and all questions regarding Sara’s Sidekick should go directly through Kate Barrie (kdbarrie@gmail.com) and Amy Kant (amykant@gmail.com).

Now, what are you waiting for? Let’s bring Sara’s Sidekick to Milwaukee!

– Kate Barrie & Amy Kant

Get off my lawn

Just had my first official “get off my lawn” old lady moment.

There is a family who lives in my building. There are a lot of kids up there. I don’t even know how many. A variety of ages. There might be a couple of families. The kids are nice. They like miss Beep.

I am not, however, their personal doorman.

Since I’m guessing the adults have the apartment keys, when they are gone, if the kids leave and the door hasn’t been propped open, they ring doorbells until someone answers. I’ve stopped answering when my doorbell rings, unless I’m expecting someone.

Tonight, the ringing was ridiculous. I jumped (ok, hobbled) out of bed, opened my door and yelled at a kid, “You guys seriously need to stop ringing my bell.” Then I slammed my door.

No joke, within 5 minutes the door was ringing every thirty seconds. Meanwhile, Beep is going batshit crazy. I storm back up the stairs and there is no one there. The doorbell is ringing. The apartment where the kids live? Someone is standing at their door. I can hear all the doorbells in my building dinging. I slammed the bells outside, went back to my apartment and shut the door.

Maybe there’s a problem with our doorbell system? All I know is, I’m calling the manager in the morning.


Peaceful Warrior

Sweet baby Paxton ended his battle with cancer Monday morning. I cannot begin to understand or imagine the pain this family is going through. What I do know is that this family needs to feel our love right now more than ever. Even if you don’t know John or Danna or their families, please help them honor this sweet, peaceful little boy.

Please join us Saturday for a tribute to our Peaceful Warrior. Paxton has touched so many hearts in his short life. On, Saturday, we will pay tribute to this sweet baby boy.

Many of you have prayed, offered words of encouragement, contributed to his medical care fund, shared his story here and elsewhere, even though you may have never met the Andrews family. They would like to meet all of you. They would like to thank you. They want to be strangers no more.

Let’s surround this family with love on Saturday, and show Paxton that even in his short time here with us, that he was loved by his entire community, his own Army of Love.

I hope to see your beautiful faces on Saturday.

Arrangements for a tribute service have been made. It will be held Saturday, July 7, 2012 at Alverno College Rotunda and Conference Center. Visitors are asked to use the main entrance on 43rd Street in Milwaukee, and park in the ramp. Visitation will be held from 12 to 3 p.m., and a memorial service from 3-4 p.m.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Paxton’s Angel Network (https://www.wepay.com/donations/paxton-s-angel-network). While our angel has joined the choir in heaven, the aftermath of his battle still remains, and there are other families who continue to fight cancer. Once the medical bills have been taken care of, Paxton’s parents will listen for the quiet whispers of his heart, and do his will for charity here on earth, in honor of Paxton’s quiet strength.

Rest now, little angel.

Team Paxton

I would run to you

Did anyone else catch this commercial tonight? I was eating dinner while mom watched American Idol and I saw this. And I kind of loved it. And then I rewound TV and WATCHED A COMMERCIAL AGAIN. And then I searched YouTube for it. And then I blogged about it. The end.


Day 18: A comedy of errors

So, yesterday was interesting. As I got into my car in the Walgreens parking lot before work, I heard (and felt) my tights rip at the back seam. If I would have gone back home, I would have been late for work and I figured it wasn’t too bad so I just went about my day.

But the rip kept getting bigger. If you follow me on twitter, you know that it just kept getting worse. When I got home from work, the seam had ripped almost completely to the front of the tights. This is what I saw when I took the tights off:

Let me tell you, it was breezy up in here.

Besides being crabby and tired, the FODMAPs elimination diet is going well. Unless you count the horribly bland salads I’ve had the last two days when eating out. Last night I had to pick off the croutons. SADSIES.

So today, I had my first training session back with my trainer, John. I haven’t seen him since January because of the whole slipping on the ice and throwing out my back thing.

I walked into the gym he now owns (Bayview Fitness!!!) and walked into the locker room. I thought something looked a little different and then… I saw the urinal. Facepalm. I would have been ok (no guys in there) except for as I was trying to sneak OUT of the locker room, a guy was walking in. He looked at me funny and I muttered, “Ugh! Wrong locker room! hahahah. It’s been a rough morning. I mean day. I mean, umm, ahh.” Then I just walked into the women’s locker room.

Sometimes I think that my life could EASILY be turned into a sitcom. Days like the last two are only proof that it would be hilariously embarrassing.

Day 7: Just a walk with the dogs

Well, this weekend got crazy. Gizmo (family dog) got sick and was rushed to the doggie ER. He spent the night, but came home late Sunday. Here’s the poor pup Sunday morning.

While my parents went to pick up Gizmo from the hospital, I took Bandit (other family dog) and my li’l Beep for a short walk around the neighborhood. Here’s a glmps of our walk.

Nothing major to report today. Week 1 of marathon training is complete. 29 weeks to go.

Day 5: Rest

On Friday I ended up using up my other “rest” day for the week. My sister is in town (YAYZ) and she, her boyfriend and I went to the museum to see the Cleopatra exhibit. It was pretty awesome. Here’s the “Cleocatra” stuffed animal we found in the gift shop. LMAO.

I spent the rest of the day eating cupcakes, drinking beer and showing some lovely ladies my Jamberry Nails! Win.

Day 3: Meh (see also: why being an adult sucks balls)

Marathon Training Day 3: Couldn’t get into a groove. Cut the run short because there was way too much weighing on my mind and it was weighing my feet down… down to more of a walk. Plus Beep kept stopping to pee and smell things (1.84mi in about 30 minutes).

So what was weighing on my mind?

Well, I’m apartment hunting right now. Because I work for the city of Milwaukee, I have to live in the city… but since I wasn’t a resident when I started, I was given a year to move into the city.

Now that winter has (not really) come and gone, it’s high-time I find a new home for me and the Beepster.

I don’t have a lot of furniture and don’t need anything real big, since it’s me and a 7 lb dog.

My favorite parts of the city are the east side and bay view. I <3 these neighborhoods something FIERCE. It is my long-term goal to buy a small house in Bay View. It’s where I belong.

I’ve been doing some massive online searching using every tool known to mankind as I search for an apartment. My favorite has been Padmapper.com (also iPhone/iPad app!). It pulls in ads from a bunch of sources and maps them out…

Here’s my problem(s):

  • I have a dog. Some places require a non-refundable deposit and monthly rent. Some require just a deposit. Many require refundable deposit plus pet rent. I understand the reasoning behind this. I really do. I just don’t think I should have to drop a billionty dollars to have a 7lb dog in my apartment. She’s tiny.
  • Old houses/apartments (my fav) cost a LOT to heat.
  • Parking on the eastside is near-impossible. If you have off-street parking, it likely costs you $60-150/mo. JUST TO PARK YOUR CAR.
  • I would prefer to live on my own (i.e. no roommate).

I have basically figured out a budget of what I can comfortably handle each month for a residence (i.e. rent, parking, dog, heat, water, electricity, internet, etc). I know I could afford more than what I’m looking at, but I want to be smart and to have money to do things like eat, register for races, save for a downpayment on a house, splurge on lattes and continue to pay down debt I accrued whilst being stupid during college (ok and a little post college).

On Monday, I looked at a studio apartment just north of Brady Street on Cambridge (east side). Great neighborhood. Dog-friendly building. 3rd or 5th floor tiny apartment. Mini stove, small fridge, no counter space in kitchen. Rent (incl. heat) + Dog + Parking + Water/Sewer (paid quarterly) + electricity = $590. Add in electricity and internet = $650-700/mo. Brady Street is one of my favoritest places ever. The studio was workable, but tiny. So tiny that I cried when I got back to my car. There was laundry on-site, but no storage units. So everything I own would have to fit into a 200-square-foot apartment.

Today, I looked at a 1 bedroom apartment near 76th and Howard. Not the neighborhood I want, but a nice neighborhood nonetheless. Close to lots of shopping, gas stations, parks, and just a few miles from my parents’ house. Nice big complex. Parking, heat, gas, water, sewer and AC incl. in rent. Ground floor apartment with sliding glass doors and patio (perfect for letting beep out!) Living room (the size of the previous studio apt), small dining area, nice kitchen (with full-sized appliances), lots of closet space, decent sized bedroom. Rent (incl. heat, water, sewer, parking, gas, storage unit) plus Beep = $615. Add in Electricity and internet = $675-700/mo. The apartment is almost 600-square-feet. Laundry is on the same floor as the apartment. Plus, I’d have a cute patio for chillin’ in the summer, and a perfect place to put a cable for the Beepster.

Is it time to be a grown up and choose the more logical option, knowing this isn’t a long-term home, in order to be more comfortable (and to be able to have more than 1 person in my apartment at a time)?

And the winner is…

Thank you to the more than 40 people who entered the contest for a registration to the Madison Mini Marathon! I was absolutely blown away by the response and the awesome advice you’ve all shared.

If you haven’t taken a look, please take the time and read through the advice shared on this post.

You guys are seriously AMAZING.

Ok, so what you’ve been waiting for.

Congratulations to…

Keegan – you’re the winner! And how true is your comment? I always regret not working out. Except for tonight. I totally bailed on it. And I don’t feel guilty because I have a box of Girl Scout Cookies to keep me company.

Please send me an email (me@losingitwithoutlosingme.com) and I will get you the information to register.

Once again, thank you to everyone who entered, Tweeted, Facebooked, etc about this giveaway.

And a special thank you to the Madison Mini Marathon for making this possible!

You people rock.