Archive for September 2013

We have kittens!

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Since the beginning of September doesn't have enough chaos, we thought we'd add a little more to the mix.  Not that we had any control over our cat's heat cycle.  You remember those kittens who joined our family less than a year ago?  The ones we thought were boys.  Ummmmmmm...yeah...we were duped.  Once we made the discovery--with the help of a $213 vet bill to help confirm what we already suspected--we thought we'd let them each have one litter then spay.  Poor Nacho started at a mere 5 months old and just finished her 8th unsuccessful cycles.  We're not sure why she can't seem to get a man but her sister took care of business lickety split back in June.  In mid-August, she came in one day and as I went to pet her, that abdomen was jutting out both sides.  Based on my research, pinning down an actual due date was next to impossible but we had a general idea that it would be within 3-4 weeks once the abdomen swelled. 

We went to work preparing a birthing box and looked for signs of "nesting."   We had some suspicions as to who the "baby daddy" was but his owner "thought" he was fixed but wasn't sure.  The owner (who lives behind us and apparently had been feeding Ollie when she came to visit "Mr. Kowalski" )  isn't exactly playing with a full deck so wouldn't it just be our luck that Ollie would start labor in his house??  He knocked on our door at 9:00 a.m on the 8th to inform us that one kitten had been born under his bed.  Trey hightailed it over there while I woke up the boys.  By the time we all arrived, kitten #3 had made its way into the world. We took turns going inside to see if any more were coming and, after 30 minutes, decided to pack up mama and her babies and take them home.  About 20 minutes later, while Ben and I were watching, Ollie had a contraction and I ran to get the other boys.  Within a minute, baby #4 came out before we could all get back upstairs.  However, I did pull on some latex gloves and cut the cord.  I guess you could call me "the cat midwife." I have always said I wanted to be in the room during a delivery.  I was hoping for the human kind but I'll settle for the feline species because they are so stinkin cute.  

Now I realize I'm not qualified to determine gender but I do know that two look the same on the backside and the other two looked markedly different from them.  Therefore, we do have 2 boys and 2 girls and I'm pretty sure the calico and the gray striped ones are the females. I'm not going to put any money on that though.

So before you chastise me for not spaying and tell me how the kitten population is out of control, rest assured that all 4 are spoken for and we even have a waiting list.  If Nacho doesn't get her act together here soon, we may have let Ollie fraternize with the neighbor again.  After watching these little fur balls grow and change everyday, it is mighty tempting.

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A Golden Birthday

Sunday, September 15, 2013

I'm not sure when I was first introduced to the term, but I do remember hearing that when you turn the age of the day your birthday falls on, it's called your "golden birthday."  I still remember turning 23 on the 23rd.  Trey and I had been dating less than a month when he spoiled me rotten with gifts, flowers and a romantic dinner on top of The Space Needle. I can picture the photograph--the first real official snapshot of our courtship.  Ben has to wait until he is (hopefully) out of our house and close to 30 for his.  Quinn was the ripe old age of 6 and a little Kindergartener.  Ian couldn't be at a more perfect age: 15 on the 15th.

Every year, when this kid's birthday comes around, it seems like he always gets the short end of the stick.  School has just started, everyone's schedule is crazy busy and he's not one to speak up and ask for what he wants.  And he absolutely hates to be fussed over.  In fact, because of this, it seems like everyone overlooks just how special he is. He marches to his own drum.  He's not a super social guy.  He prefers one-on-one to a big group.  He doesn't buy into what the world is selling and isn't afraid to say so.  In a word, he is completely different from the brother above him and the one below and I'm sure he is reminded of it everywhere he goes.  Although he doesn't let on that it bothers him, I know it has to be getting old. 

  This year, I have been determined to make this his best birthday yet and he will go to sleep tonight feeling utterly and completed loved and treasured for the unique, witty, wonderful person that he is.  We have been talking about his special day all summer long.  Plus, he's official to get his learner's permit today so there's even more anticipation than normal.  

Right now, he is up in "The Shire"--his own private bike jump facility as an undisclosed location.  He's invited a few fellow bikers to "hit the jumps" with him, grill burgers, overindulge in Mountain Dew and just be guys. I have 15 awesome presents to wrap, so I'll end here.

Ian Joseph, you remind me of myself in so many ways with your independent streak, deep thinking soul and low maintenance ways.  My wish for you this birthday is that you will ontinue to embrace who God made you to be and know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that I love you a ton and feel honored to be your mom. 


2013-14 School Year: Week One is in the record books

Sunday, September 8, 2013

And so the new chapter begins.  As I've said before, this school year represents all of us turning a page to a story that has had many twists and turns; the characters have endured many changes; a little mystery has been thrown in there and now the plot thickens.  The English teacher in me would describe this as "the climax of my personal narrative."  The protagonist (me) has finally reached the place in the book where the action heads into high gear.  I have successfully completed my first full week as a middle school student teacher. 

Several  friends and family members texted or emailed the night before and after the first day asking for an update.  As I suspected, I barely had time to respond to anyone because my second full time job was waiting for me when I walked in the door every night.  After what felt like 100 runs to Office Max, we finally have all the needed (and not so necessary) supplies for my 6th grader, Freshman and Junior students. Dinner didn't make it to the table before 7:30 and I was ready to crash by 9:30.  I knew I was not in "working full time" shape after a 16.5 year hiatus from the grind.  But what I didn't expect was how exhilirating my days would be.  Although I am physically exhausted, the joy I have from spending my days in the classroom, buoys me into my evening responsibilities with an energy I wasn't anticipating.  Because I simply didn't have time to update anyone, on Thursday night I wrote this on Facebook: "For several years post-college, I wandered from job to job in many failed attempts to 'find my calling.' In the moment when I became a mom, I declared: "I was born to do this!".  After my first full week as a middle school student teacher, I am uttering this powerful phrase once again.  It has been quite a journey to get here, but this feeling is indescribable."   

As for the boys.............Quinn left the house saying: "Great.  Back to hell." He is pretty overwhelmed with football practice, followed by 4-5 hours of homework but he'll adjust.   Ian acted like he wasn't excited but all week, he has seemed to enjoy doing his homework, bounced out of bed at 6:30 a.m. without any prodding and was talkative every night.  The highlight of his day is 4th period English as the teacher resembles a contestant from America's Top Model.  All the freshman boys pay attention in that class. Ben loves being back in the public school scene and the halls of middle school.  Although he did say the lunch lady was mean to him when she couldn't find his account due to him being a transfer student.  Little does he know this will be the least of his worries come 8th grade. 

I realize we are all in the "honeymoon phase" right now but I can't wait to watch this story unfold!

Junior Year: Positively thrilled.


He's the only one who would indulge me and display the sign.

Ready for my 6th graders.

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