Monday, August 31, 2009

2 more things

Oh, how could I forget?

***baby yawns

***baby stretches

Things I love

***having a super soft, downy baby head snuggled into the sensitive crook of your arm or up against your neck

***waking up a little body in the morning and have her look up at you, blink in the shadowy summer morning sunlight and smile

***walking into a quiet house where there is a babbling little girl and no signs of weeping or gnashing of gums

***tiny hands holding onto you when eating

***cooing and smiling on the changing table at 3:30 in the morning in the soft glow of a dim lamp

***a sweet little sideways smile that seems like it's meant just for you, even though you just happen to be in the line of vision at the moment that the smile errupted

***crazy splashing and nonstop smiles and chatter in the bathtub

***standing in front of the bathroom mirror with biiiiig blue eyes that are delighted at her own self

***finding her wee little diapered rump stuck up in the air when she's asleep

***an elfish little face poking out of a ducky towel that just has that sweet smellin' baby smell

***crazy, wackadoodle hair after a bath

***that wide eyed, comatose state that the little one falls into when Ben holds her as she's winding down for a nap

***sucking on three fingers at once

***seeing her learn how to do things...the first time rolling over, reaching for a favorite toy

***big, beautiful blue eyes

Friday, August 28, 2009

Side note

Abby finally weighs more than Leo. It only took 3 months to catch him...

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

The proof is in the pictures

My cat is socially damaged! I felt like taking pictures to prove my point since I talk about it enough. I'm a slight bit miffed that the vet insists on ruling out every other possibility before he will treat this as a social disorder, even though he tells me that is what it probably is. I watch the cat pull his hair out! It's not fleas!!

This is the best "before" picture that I could find. It was taken about...9 months ago.

This is an okay picture, taken today, of his poor, bare-to-the-skin back.

The spots on both sides...
and giving Toby some I'm-happy-cause-I-just-had-my-snick-snacks love.

Quote of the day: "I had a sophomore girl tell me today that my shirt looks like a puffy cloud." -Ben

Sunday, August 16, 2009

glad that's not my cat

My parents have been out of the "cat business" for over a year after having variable amounts of cats ever since I was approximately 5. That was basically 20 years of having cats. Four different felines have taken up permanent residence there and have also subsequently gone. After the last one, my mom was pretty emphatic--no more cats! They puke, they make messes, they get in fights, etc. She wants freedom! She wants plants inside the house! She wants to not have to leave the garage door cracked! She wants to not have litter box duties anymore! Guess who just adopted a cat this week?

Apparently, the little bugger showed up about a week ago and immediately ingratiated himself with my parentals and my four-year old niece, of course, who spends many a day at their house. Not only did my mom immediately name it and let it into the house (two big mistakes if you declare yourself to be rid of cats), but my dad (the talks-big-about-how-he-doesn't-care-about-cats-and-doesn't-care-if-they-disappeared-forever guy) brought the cute little fluffball into the house that night when my mom wasn't around and not only fed him ("What? We can't just let him starve!!") but had already begged cat food and other sundry necessities like cat litter from his sister (who is very solidly, in fact waaay too solidly, in the cat business). So now, the little puffy kitten hath been given the moniker of "Buddy" (my mom was very adamant about this one; but then again, I can't really remember her ever having the chance to name one of our cuddly critters before) and has the finest in eating, sleeping and bathrooming accomodations. Buddy is probably 3-4 months old, really fluffy and has an old department store shirt box for a litter box. Throw in a couple of Lean Cuisine containers for food and water dishes, and his run of the garage for a bedroom, and you have about the happiest, purriest, squirtiest kitten ever.

Oh, but the point of this. My mom brings him inside the house when she's around so that he can gambol and cavort at his leisure. He's often clingy (especially to my ankle & ankle bracelet) and quite enjoys chasing his tail (sometimes behind the couch...quite the feat). Basically, he's just a cute little guy who thoroughly is enjoying his new life in all of his adorable kitten-ness.

(Sidenote--we just returned from spending the night at my parents house. Yesterday, we celebrated with my family and some friends at a luau-themed party to celebrate a cancer-free diagnosis for my niece (yay!). Today, her little brother was baptized, so more celebrating and family fun times. Everyone converged on my parents' house for lunch after church. My mom takes these events very seriously. For this event, she decided to decorate cupcakes to spell out my nephew's full name and had them oh so nicely arranged on a tray.)

After traipsing across the kitchen table to watch the bird feeders, Buddy was being feisty. Mom decided to take no chances and moved the aforementioned cupcakes to a safer spot--the kitchen island. (She's totally been out of the cat business if she thought that this was a safer spot. She has an entire, fully secure, finished basement at her disposal.) Mom was doing something. I was whipping up a really mediocre breakfast (to my credit, I was trying to remember a specific recipe without aid of the desired recipe). Buddy was...

...licking the cupcakes of course (quite slurpily).

Don't worry. The tainted cupcake was replaced with a freshly frosted one. Mom claims he licked the "C"; I still avoided the "O". Lesson(s) learned: teach any new cats some table manners and seriously, don't let a feisty little bugger loose around gooey cream cheese frosting. Highly irresistible by all.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

the times, they are a changin'

I have long disliked the general greeting of "Hi, how are you?" Truly, no one answers sincerely. Okay, Jeremy VanDeeman does. But no one else. Why say something that is so vacuous and empty of meaning? But yet! I do it too. It's a habit, and one that I wish I didn't have. But then again, I really don't enjoy meeting people, so really, it's a security thing. But more on not liking new people for a different day.

Anywho. My point is that quite often when I'm asked this question, usually at church it seems, I get a bit miffy on the inside about how dull my response is. But nothing really truly happens with me much. Nothing out of the ordinary; I thrive on order and a schedule. My life is really, fairly predictable. Alas! No longer!

Hence, the times...they are a changin'. My life is not so scheduled! (But then again, it is even more so in some ways.) My life is different! It is changed! I have variance amongst my endless days of monotony and minutiae! I have stuff to talk about. (I confess, however, I still answer "fine" at church. Unless I really know the person. Then I say that I'm well.)

No job for the moment. No blase (pretend that the "e" has an accent) drive to and from a windowless room. No windowless room for that matter; I changed rooms and now have a veritable room with a view. No same old same old to bring for lunch each day. No come home, do homework for the rest of the night. No grading papers and homework assignments. No bells running my daily life. No schedule!

No paycheck (ah, there's the rub!), but still...

Basically, I'm feeling a bit sad in a I'm-missing-out-on-everything sort of way. Teachers reported to work today to begin the new school year, and shockingly, it apparently went smoothly even without me. I wonder how long it will take for me to stop checking the time each day and thinking, "Okay, I would be in 2nd period now...Alright, the bell is going to ring for lunch in a few minutes...Whoa, it's already three o'clock. I would have been home by now."

All in all, Abby and I had a great day capped by an impromptu shopping expedition and free sandwich at Arby's. I'm glad that I'm out of the loop for a few months, cause seriously, that means that I'm way more in the loop with my daughter who needs me oh so much more than some boogery teenagers. Besides, once the new-school-year smell wears off, it's not nearly as much fun.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Because we like to do things the hard way

The saga began two years ago. We went to the flooring stores, compared flooring options, had all but picked out new flooring for over 1/2 of the house. Then tragedy struck and the new flooring got put aside in favor of replacing the failing water heater. This made me mad, in a way, for 2 reasons. First, I didn't get new flooring to replace the stained stained stained beeeiiiiggggeeeee carpet. Second, no one ever gets excited about buying a new water heater. It's like spending money on a water softener or a furnace. You hate having to do it, but you just have to do it sometimes.

The saga continued over the last 2 years as we contemplated what to do with our superfluous wealth. We could do the flooring....yeah, but let's wait...but we could do the flooring...maybe we'll start saving up for it...we could do the flooring...

The saga finally reached a conclusion at the beginning of July when someone's spouse FINALLY agreed that it will be much easier to sell the house someday (maybe sooner rather than later???) if the flooring isn't stained stained stained and beeeeiiiiiigggggeeeeeeeeee. Yay. So let's load up a 6-week old and cart her around town so that we can compare and shop and compare and shop and think and compare some more. That sounds easy.

OR, we could have done this a few months or a year ago. But that wouldn't make life more challenging and altogether frustrating.

Consequently, Abby and I were somewhat banished from the premises for a couple of nights (which wasn't well thought out as far as how long we would need to be gone and then what we would need to bring with us), and the flooring wasn't quite done. And, it's still not quite done. Darn. But it looks really great what is here!! :-)

Today's blog sidenote: Abby slept 9 straight hours 2 nights ago! Good for her!! Too bad the overall exultation of waking up at 7 am instead of 3:30 am was somewhat marred by waking to the noise of a retching cat at 6 am. But I still enjoyed being in bed at 6. And Ben cleaned it up, so I won't complain.