Saturday, December 26, 2009

A Goodbye

Hope you all had a great Christmas.  I know we did.  Too great.  The amount of gifts under the tree this year made me sick to my stomach- a total obscenity.  And I take all the blame.  The overspending... the gift gluttony... my fault.  All of it.  Darrell would be happy to give everyone a 5 spot and a nice, shiny apple and be done with it.  I, on the other hand, get a little carried away.  I try to buy each kid as many items on their lists as we can, then...  I always want to buy "one more thing."  I don't know why I do that because I can't stand overindulged, spoiled children (meaning those belonging to other people, of course- not my own.  I love my overindulged, spoiled children, for the most part).  I also become overwhelmed and forget what I've already bought (my closet gets so stuffed, you can't see what's in there), so one kid (or two... or three...) winds up with more than the others.   Instead of returning a few gifts to even things out, I go out and buy more for everyone else.  Some part of my brain forgets that I'm not a Trump or a Hilton.  Next year, we are scaling back.  I mean it.  No, really.  I do. 

Onto a different subject...  I think I'm done, guys.  Blogging, I mean.  I've run out of things to say.  My daily life is...  what's the word?  Busy? Boring? Hectic?  Mundane?  SoincrediblyuninterestingthatnobodywouldwanttoreadaboutitwhilealsobeingsounbelievablybusythatIdon'thavetimetowriteaboutit?  Yes, that's it. 

The funny thing is that I never intended for this to be anything other than a way to keep family updated on our adoption, our kids, and a place to post pictures.  Now that my blog has actually become that, I don't wanna do it anymore. 

For awhile, I thought I was just having a little block.  Then, I thought it was because I got sick for so long and wasn't getting out of the house enough to have anything to say.  But... no. 

I just don't have anything left to tell you that I think you'd want to hear.  My stories have been told, my insights revealed (um... insights?  Where were the insights?), and my jokes are beyond stale.

So...  I think I'm done.  To the two of you still visiting:  Thank you for sticking with me and I'll miss your comments.  I've made a few "friends" through this blog who I truly wish I could know in real life.  You know, they have that new email thing now, I hear- so hopefully we can still touch base from time to time. 

I thought I'd leave you with a few of my favorite posts.  These were fun to write and also fun to go back and re-read.  Here are my top five favorites. First, the funny (at least in my own estimation):
5. Has the Whole World Gone Nuts...? (During my super fun time belonging to the VN Yahoo Group craziness)
3. Today on "Survivormom" (During our famous ice storm/ power outage adventures)
And this one has to be the Number One.  It's what this blog was created for:
 I hope you had a few favorites, too. 

And also...  A few last pictures of Sam.  He was the reason for this blog in the first place, so it seems fitting to end it with his beautiful, funny face.  Sammy, I love and adore you (your whole family loves and adores you) more than words could ever say.  No amount of blogging could cover it.  You have blessed our lives and enriched our family beyond measure.  You were most definitely, without a doubt, worth the wait. 

From yesterday (Our first Christmas morning with The Samster):

And a few pics from today.  Sam loved his first time playing in the snow!

To all of my children,
I hope you know that no matter how many sarcastic comments I've made about "putting up" with all of you, or how "terrible" you are... or the number of jokes we constantly hear from others for having "this many" kids,  I wouldn't trade my big family for anything.  Each one of you is a miracle to me.  I honestly never thought I'd be so blessed.   Having you has given my life meaning, purpose, and value.  You are my life.  I love you, I love you, I love you.  I hope this blog will be a place you can visit later on down the road to see what your nutty old mom thought about things, but mostly I hope that as you read it, you will take with you the knowledge that you enriched my life in countless ways.  When you look past the jokes, the complaints, and the sarcasm, I hope you'll see in these posts that: You are loved.  You are wanted.  And you were (are, always will be) my everything. 


Friday, December 25, 2009

Wednesday, December 2, 2009


Some of my long-time readers (all two of you) may remember this post when we had trouble with a squirrel in our house...  Well, he's back.  He waited a long time until our guards were down, but finally came back to exact his revenge and apparently brought the whole family.

Squirrels have chewed a hole in the corner of our roof outside and have gotten into our attic and walls.  They sound as if they are the size of housecats and are apparently moving furniture around in our attic, setting up their new winter digs just the way they want it.  They thump and they scratch and they run and jump.  Oh, the good times they're having.  It's like Dance Party USA up there.  You wouldn't believe how loud these stupid things are.  It's driving me crazy, since their little entrance hole is directly above the corner of my bed.  I hear them all night.  I hear them first thing in the (early, early) morning.  I can even hear their squeaky conversations.  And I'm hearing impaired. 

This has been going on for almost two weeks now.  TWO WEEKS, people!  Darrell finally got some time yesterday afternoon to get out there and start fixing the hole.  I asked him, "Um, hon?  How do we know- after you plug up the hole- that we aren't just trapping the squirrels in, instead of keeping them out?"

His response?  "Uhhh... That's a good question."

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Something to consider...

As we approach the holidays (and for those unmoved by the spirit of the season- the end of another tax year), we often look for ways to give to those in need.  We put our change in red buckets, manned by smiling bell-ringers outside the mall, after spending an obscene chunk on Christmas gifts for our family and friends.  We donate canned goods to local homeless shelters and food banks as we prepare to gorge ourselves on all sorts of holiday yumminess.   We give a little extra to a favorite charity, but only after we've made sure we have enough to cover the holiday budget.  We hear pitifully sad stories of people in need and living through heartbreaking circumstances and we say really goofy things like, "Boy...  Sure makes you thankful for what you have, huh?"  Or, "Stories like that make me want to hug my loved ones a little tighter."  Blah, blah, blah.

Or maybe that's just me...?

Any giving to others is good, of course- no matter how small it may be.  But how often, during this busy season, do we really- and I mean Really, do something that could change a life?  

For me, sadly, the answer would be "rarely to never."  How about you?  I'm sure you're not as pathetic as I am.  I must admit that at this time of year, my focus is primarily on my own family (not solely on my own family, but still...)...  to provide toys that no one really needs, to give cash to teenagers who will undoubtedly blow it on something stupid and quickly forgotten...  to fill stockings with unhealthy, cavity-inviting crap...  to spend, spend, spend on groceries for feasts and goodies for people who have never gone hungry a day in their lives...  Always, always trying to outdo myself and create the perfect Christmas.  Each year I vow that I will focus more on the true meaning of Christmas for myself and my children and also find more opportunities to give to others and share the blessings God has given to me.  And each year, I wind up being more like a bipolar Martha Stewart on crack than a Mother Teresa.

But I've been given something to think about today; a reason to change my self-focused, holiday ways that I'd like to share.  I'd like to encourage and challenge you to visit Mrs. Broccoli Guy's blog and read THIS POST... Please.  Then, consider what, if anything, you might be willing to do. 

Christina's post (which I trust you are leaving me soon to read, right???), while adoption-related, will touch your heart and make you think, regardless of your ties to adoption.   If it doesn't, you must be made of stone (no offense).  Please, please read it...  All the way to the end- no skimming, people!  There is a website listed at the end of her post where donations can be made.

(Before I go, let me point out that I have intentionally not jumped upon my adoption soapbox for this post, although I very easily could have.  Talk of foreign countries and their adoption laws, the plight of orphaned children, adoption reform, etc.- those topics would bore lose a few of you, yes?  So I chose the holiday angle instead, preying upon your holiday spirit of generosity, hoping to appeal to those of you who may not share the same level of interest in adoption and children in need of families as I have (not to suggest that you do not care about adoption or children in need- I only mean to say we are each moved by different causes, and yours may be different than mine).   At least I'm honest about trying to manipulate you into doing what I want you to do.  That's worth something, isn't it?)

Monday, November 16, 2009

Happy Birthday, Sam!

Today is Sammy's first birthday! Sam, we are so thankful for you and we love you with all our hearts!  Happy birthday, my sweet boy!

The least messy cake-eater I've ever seen.  I don't think he liked it.

He did like gift-opening time...

Sammy wasn't the only one who enjoyed his new toys...
Who needs college when you have blocks?

Kyle came over tonight to see Sam, too, which was nice.  Been a while since I've seen him.  He's too skinny-  Needs to come around more often for home cookin'. 

My handsome little cowboy on his new horse.

And...  A few from Halloween that I never got posted:

My Mad Scientist, Beautiful Princess, and Tired Mommy

And one from my birthday...  My kids are so sweet to me.  Yes, that's me under the silly string.  Their father was behind this.  I will get him back.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Forgot to mention...

One of the things my doctor said I'm supposed to avoid like the plague is gluten...  Okay...  That's what I said in her office- "Okay"- all casual and intelligent-like, with a slight knowing nod of the head, as if I needed no further explanation.  Cuz, you know...  I gotta act like I got the smarts even though I don't. 

So, dear friends, my question(s) for you is:  WTH is gluten and what can it do to me?  How do I recognize it in my food when I don't know what it is?  It is not listed with ingredients in food, is it?  I've never seen it.  So how will I know to avoid it?  It has something to do with wheat or flour, does it not?  How do you eliminate it from your diet?  Does eliminating it require the purchase of fancy schmancy (and expensive) ingredients from snooty health food stores with blonde workers wearing tank tops in November?  Does eliminating it make your food taste like crap?  Cause I don't want anything to do with gluten-free living if it means everything will taste like crap.  Why bother eating crap?  Why does my doctor think that I would know these things?  Is it possible that I actually do appear to be somewhat intelligent?  Doesn't a doctor's job description include telling patients how to follow their directions when said patients are clearly idiots and just pretending to have smarts?  Does my doctor think it's comical to send me on my merry way with a clueless look on my face?

I have a feeling that, even though I don't know what gluten is, it has been the key to my happiness for the last 43 years.  I'm almost positive of this.  Gluten and Chocolate are what has kept this little girlie afloat lo these many years.

I'm heading to the store tomorrow to stock up on healthier crap.  Wish me luck.  I have no idea what I'm doing (Oh, really?  Who could tell?).  I've been scouring the internet (always a reliable source of accurate information) for info on what I should/should not be eating.  Oy...

P.S.  Check back soon for pictures of my peeps.  I'll get them up as soon as I can.

P.S. again...  Thank you for the B-day wishes!  I had a great day!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Hey, Everybody...

It's been a while.  Sorry.  I've just become one of those bloggers, haven't I?  I wanted to update everyone on my health hassles, since several of you have kindly emailed checking on me (thanks!). 

I went to get the blood tests that my doctor wanted quite some time ago, BUT- I never got to go back into the office to hear the results until just recently because I got the flu.  No, wait...  I didn't really get the flu.  I got The Flu.  We seriously think it could have been H1N1, but I never went in to get tested so we'll never know for sure.  Our doctor's office didn't want me to come in with the flu (go figure) and said I'd have to go to the emergency room if we suspected H1N1, so I kept thinking I'd ride it out at home as long as I could until it really felt like an emergency. I certainly felt sick enough for it to be H1N1, but eventually it started getting better.  I've honestly never had the flu so long or so bad in my life.  I'll spare you the disgusting details, of course, but it was bad.  Really.Really.Bad.  And... Just.So.Gross.  Really.  I was wishing I'd just die already and be done with it.  Really.  Bad. 

So...  Once I was well enough, I went to the doctor (haha... funny) and found out that I do in fact have hypothyroidism (that's underactive) and diabetes. I also have slightly high blood pressure and high cholesterol.  I've been put on two new meds and the doc said I should begin feeling much better.  Her exact words were, "No wonder you've been feeling so sick."  Ha.  Yeah.  No wonder.  She said my thyroid levels were almost twice what they're supposed to be and that would account for the symptoms I've been experiencing.  Even my ridiculously intense and embarrassing sweating could be due to one of my "conditions" (I forget which one causes the sweating.  There was an awful lot of information to take in at the time).  And here I thought I was just a fat, sweaty pig.  For now my diabetes will be managed with one of the new meds and diet changes.  She's giving me a couple months to get my diet under control and then I have to go back for more blood work. 

Shortly after getting back in to see the doctor, I had a relapse of The Flu and I'm just now feeling better.  I've been in self-imposed exile for what feels like an eternity, trying to keep my kids from catching this horrid crap.  I feel like I've barely seen anyone for weeks.  I was just telling Darrell today that it's really, really hard not to kiss your babies.  I have to constantly stop myself from kissing those gorgeous, fat, little faces.  So far, so good though- no one else seems to be catching it. 

The good news about the health problems is that the doctor said I should notice weight is just falling off (at least at first, then I'll have to work at it).  She thinks the thyroid problem has been keeping me this heavy.  The bad news is that I still have to make radical changes in the types of foods I eat.  Here's the thing...  I never eat a healthy meal on purpose.  No, I'm not joking.

I don't know the first thing about eating or cooking healthy.  These are the guidelines the doctor gave me: I'm supposed to get rid of everything white- meaning no more foods containing processed white flour or white sugar.  I'm supposed to cut unhealthy fats and carbs.  My whole life is one big unhealthy lump of fat and carbs.  No joke.  I'm supposed to eat lots of whole grains and lots of veggies.  I can still have some fresh fruits, but more vegetables. 

The only veggies I really eat are baked potatoes slathered in butter and sour cream, corn on the cob with butter and salt, or salad covered in fatty bleu cheese dressing and tons of cheese, so you can see I have a real problem on my hands.  Even fruit is a problem for me- strawberries are covered in chocolate or dipped in sugar, apples are wrapped in caramel.  I'm like a spoiled kid at a carnival, trapped in a big, fat adult's body.  It's time for the kid to get a time-out and the adult to take charge.

I want to get better.  For my kids' sakes.  I want to change.  Finally, it's not a matter of vanity and wanting to get into a smaller size jeans.  I want to feel good and be healty and I want healthy kids. 

So...  how do I do that?

I've ordered a few books from Amazon about eating for adrenal health and managing diabetes through diet, and talked to the kids (and their father) and told them that the whole family is going to start making some healthier choices so we'll see how it goes.

The healthy changes are going to start the day after tomorrow though, because my hub and beautiful babies are taking me out to lunch for my birthday (They have already baked me a cake, decorated the house with balloons, and there is a huge gift- wrapped in Tinkerbell paper- waiting for me on the table.  Yes, I know...  I've got it good.).

Yes, my birthday.  I'll be 43 flippin' years old tomorrow.  And I'm giving myself a gift this year.  The gift is in the form of a goal that I actually plan to meet.  My goal is that I'm going to be healthier by forty-four.  In one year (mark my words) my weight will be down (maybe not as far down as I'd like, but down), and I will have reversed my diabetes to the point of not needing the medication.  I will have learned to incorporate healthy foods into our daily life and be feeding my family healthier meals.  So there you have it.  It's down in black and white, so I have to do it.  And I'm giving up diet soda...  Maybe.  But not today.  Let's play it by ear on that one.

As always, your comments and advice are appreciated.  If I have healthy eaters out there, give me suggestions.  And recipes!  Healthy, but good-tasting meal ideas for the family would be awesome!  The only thing I probably won't try cooking is seafood.  We are not a family of fish/seafood eaters.  If God had wanted me to eat fish, he wouldn't have made it taste so fishy.

And lastly- while I've been sick, I've totally lost touch with all my favorite blogs... again.  I miss you guys.  Hope all is well!  It's going to take me forever to get caught up so drop me a comment letting me know you're okay!

Monday, October 19, 2009


These are mostly of Sammy from our weekend in Branson and the trip to the zoo. I'm sorry for bragging, but I'm convinced he's the cutest baby boy around.

I never knew how white I was until I had Sammy.  He looks like he's in the clutches of a cadaver.
Evan is such a good big brother. He adores Sam.  I don't know many fifteen year old boys who would cram themselves into the baby rides to make a baby happy.  You can't really tell by his face in these pics, but Sammy loved the rides.  He was saying, "wooOOOoooOOOooo..." the whole time. 

I figured I should include one picture of myself...  My hair wasn't cooperating that day, but this is as good as it gets.

Mike had to dress up for "Western Day" at school.  I think he looks pretty cowboy-ish, don't you?  The funny thing is that his costume is made from his brother's actual clothes.  Alex wears these proudly.  How did I spawn such a redneck?
These are from Homecoming.  Mike was just escorting this girl- she's not his girlfriend. 

Friday, October 16, 2009

Did you see this story?

The thing that gets me most about the following story is the quote, "I have piles and piles of black friends. They come to my home, I marry them, they use my bathroom. I treat them just like everyone else."
Hmmm. I don't know whether I want to laugh or cry. I never knew that letting black people use your bathroom is proof that one is not a racist.
Read on...
By Mary Foster, Associated Press Writer – Fri Oct 16
NEW ORLEANS – A white Louisiana justice of the peace said he refused to issue a marriage license to an interracial couple out of concern for any children the couple might have.
Keith Bardwell, justice of the peace in Tangipahoa Parish, says it is his experience that most interracial marriages do not last long.
"I'm not a racist. I just don't believe in mixing the races that way," Bardwell told the Associated Press on Thursday. "I have piles and piles of black friends. They come to my home, I marry them, they use my bathroom. I treat them just like everyone else."
Bardwell said he asks everyone who calls about marriage if they are a mixed race couple. If they are, he does not marry them, he said.
Bardwell said he has discussed the topic with blacks and whites, along with witnessing some interracial marriages. He came to the conclusion that most of black society does not readily accept offspring of such relationships, and neither does white society, he said.
"There is a problem with both groups accepting a child from such a marriage," Bardwell said. "I think those children suffer and I won't help put them through it."
If he did an interracial marriage for one couple, he must do the same for all, he said.
"I try to treat everyone equally," he said.
Bardwell estimates that he has refused to marry about four couples during his career, all in the past 2 1/2 years.
Beth Humphrey, 30, and 32-year-old Terence McKay, both of Hammond, say they will consult the U.S. Justice Department about filing a discrimination complaint.
Humphrey, an account manager for a marketing firm, said she and McKay, a welder, just returned to Louisiana. She is white and he is black. She plans to enroll in the University of New Orleans to pursue a masters degree in minority politics.
"That was one thing that made this so unbelievable," she said. "It's not something you expect in this day and age."
Humphrey said she called Bardwell on Oct. 6 to inquire about getting a marriage license signed. She says Bardwell's wife told her that Bardwell will not sign marriage licenses for interracial couples. Bardwell suggested the couple go to another justice of the peace in the parish who agreed to marry them.
"We are looking forward to having children," Humphrey said. "And all our friends and co-workers have been very supportive. Except for this, we're typical happy newlyweds."
"It is really astonishing and disappointing to see this come up in 2009," said American Civil Liberties Union of Louisiana attorney Katie Schwartzmann. She said the Supreme Court ruled in 1967 "that the government cannot tell people who they can and cannot marry."
The ACLU sent a letter to the Louisiana Judiciary Committee, which oversees the state justices of the peace, asking them to investigate Bardwell and recommending "the most severe sanctions available, because such blatant bigotry poses a substantial threat of serious harm to the administration of justice."
"He knew he was breaking the law, but continued to do it," Schwartzmann said.
According to the clerk of court's office, application for a marriage license must be made three days before the ceremony because there is a 72-hour waiting period. The applicants are asked if they have previously been married. If so, they must show how the marriage ended, such as divorce.
Other than that, all they need is a birth certificate and Social Security card.
The license fee is $35, and the license must be signed by a Louisiana minister, justice of the peace or judge. The original is returned to the clerk's office.
"I've been a justice of the peace for 34 years and I don't think I've mistreated anybody," Bardwell said. "I've made some mistakes, but you have too. I didn't tell this couple they couldn't get married. I just told them I wouldn't do it."
Comments, anyone? I'm just glad this idiot wasn't from Kansas. What an embarrassment to the good people of Louisiana.

Friday, October 9, 2009

And you thought you'd gotten rid of me...

No such luck. I'm still here.

Hey, guys. Long time, no blog. We've been crazy-busy. First, I have to confess I'm lame because I received the Honest Scrap award from the lovely Lina weeks ago and I never got around to posting about it. Thank you, Lina! And sorry.

Here's what I was supposed to do:
1. Choose 7 blogs that you find brilliant in content or design.
2. Show the 7 winners’ names and links on your blog and tell them they won the award.
3. List at least 10 honest things about yourself

Okay... Thinking of seven will be easy, but finding seven who haven't already gotten the award will be almost impossible so I'm just listing whoever I please. If you've won this already, don't feel obligated to mention it on your blog.

In no particular order:
Looking For George ( The Racy Mormon in motorcycle boots)
My Minivan Rocks
Da Bees Knees (the aforementioned Lovely Lina's blog)
Mrs. Broccoli Guy
Cheers Y'all
Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds
Dreams Do Come True
Second Generation
Woopsie. That's more than seven. I guess I was going for ten. I got distracted.

My ten honest things:
1) My house is a constant disaster zone. I never keep it clean anymore, and honestly- I've given up even trying. At some point I realized that no amount of effort on my part would ever be enough so I just stopped caring. That's not completely accurate. I must care, because I'm horribly embarrassed if someone comes over and sees how we live. I just don't care enough to do anything about it, I guess. The little bit that gets done these days is done by the kids. June Cleaver I ain't.
2) This one is embarrassing. I have a fear strong dislike of clowns. I don't like saying I'm afraid of them because I won't run away screaming or anything if one is around, but I will avoid clowns like the plague. I could do a whole post on clowns. They cannot be trusted. Evil alcoholics with big shoes- the whole bunch. Same goes for mimes. Mimes are just clowns with a slightly better fashion sense. I wish they'd all remain trapped in that stupid box they're always trying to escape from.
3) My feelings for most dolls are virtually the same as my feelings for clowns. Dolls give me the creeps. I'm nuts.
4) I vaguely remember the days when I was half-way smart. I miss those days. I feel stupid. I feel like I've gotten so lost in Mommyville and House Frau City that I'm out of the loop on... well, everything, and can no longer carry on an intelligent conversation about... well, anything.
5) I never, ever, ever look at myself and feel remotely pleased by what I see looking back at me. I truly, honestly, fervently hate the way I look. And I hate that I hate the way I look. I wish I had more confidence in myself. I love the way confident women carry themselves. You can see it in the way they move that they feel good about themselves. I want that. I wish I could find one feature to appreciate- one thing I could call "pretty," but there isn't one. I don't know if it's the weight, or just my rasty old face, but I don't see anything pretty. I'll get on these kicks where I'll splurge on several pairs of pretty new shoes or a bunch of new makeup- trying to make myself feel good. I'll put it all on, then I realize I'm looking at the same old pig-just in lipstick... and awesome shoes.
6) I wish I would have finished college. I don't regret having my babies (never- not even for a second), but I do regret not using my mind while I had one.
7) I really miss my dad.
8) I feel like "Real Life" is passing me by and I'm missing my chance to live it. I envy those ditsy, irresponsible, free-spirit types who embrace life and do whatever fun thing they want to do at any given moment. Wouldn't it be great to live that way? These days I feel that fun is a luxury I can barely afford and I get so overwhelmed by all that I have to do that I wind up doing nothing.
9) I have a nervous habit that drives me insane. I pick at my cuticles and the skin around my fingernails to the point of bleeding. I hate that. How gross.
10) I expect way too much from myself. Waaay. I'm a horrible perfectionist. Isn't that funny? A lazy perfectionist?!? HA! I want to live in a perfect house but I won't get off my lazy butt to clean it! Hil-ar-eeee-ous.

Wow. These were a bit of a downer. Certainly not what I intended.

Onto other things... We went on a short vacation to the lake. It was a lot of fun, but Mike and Alex didn't get to come with us, so I was missing them. Sam loved being outside. We took nature walks with him in the sling and he was in heaven. We took him down to the water and he meowed at the ducks. He barks or meows. No quacks yet, so the ducks got a meow.

Shortly after coming home, we took a field trip to the KC zoo and that was a great time with the little kids, too. The weather was perfect so the animals were really active and the kids got to see a lot of behaviors you usually don't get to see in the summer when the animals are just laying around like they're half-dead. Also got to stop at my all-time favorite place on earth to eat- Dixon's Chili. It's a dumpy, greasy dive and I love it. And it always reminds me of my dad. If you're in Kansas City, you have to give it a try. I'll try to get some pictures up of the kids from our recent adventures soon.

Tomorrow, I have the joyful task of going in to get my jumblies smashed in a vise. My favorite time of year- mammogram time. You did know I was talking about a mammogram, right? I also hope to get some news soon on my other fun health stuff. I'll keep you posted. Because I know you're just dying to know.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Mama called the doctor, and the doctor said...

No more fat girls jumpin' on the bed!

Not really. I did get chewed out a little bit for being fat, but I'm still allowed to jump on the bed all I want- as far as I know. Actually, the Dr. said she thinks my problem is probably thyroid related. The word diabetes was tossed around a little bit (as well as the words "high blood presssure")- but I stuck my fingers in my ears and sang a song during that part. I have to go back for some blood work, then she wants to refer me on to another doctor after that. So... I still don't have any answers yet, and I still can't sleep. But, hopefully, we are a little closer to getting my big butt straightened out. I have a feeling the phrase "lifestyle change" is in my very near future. Cripes. See, ladies? This is why you don't eat chocolate chip cookie dough and MM's for breakfast. You pick one or the other. I am a cautionary tale.

Now for a topic much more interesting than my goofy health: The kitten's name. The girls wanted me to say thank you for all your ideas and feedback. They were so excited to read all the comments. It really made their day, so thank you from me, too! The top names with you guys were Jasper and Pumpkin. The girls have settled on Pumpkin (I was kind of hoping for Cotton, but I like Pumpkin too).

Pumpkin is still doing really well. I think he's pretty smart- He already knows to run and hide when he hears Sam coming.

Speaking of Sam... He just turned 10 months yesterday. I can't believe it- we're going to be having his first birthday party in just two more months. The time is flying by.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Out of the Doghouse and Into the Cathouse... (Plus: A Name Game)

Here's the latest on the Pet Drama:
Darrell said that if I would call the puppy lady and try to get out of the deal, he would let the girls get a kitten instead, thinking they'd be just as happy and excited about any new pet- it didn't necessarily have to be that particular puppy. He's not as opposed to cats since they aren't hard to house train and don't have the typical problems that come with puppies, like chewing shoes, etc., but still... This was a great concession on his part since, as I said before, he had said no more pets of any kind. Period.

With this plan, maybe I wouldn't have to either end up disappointing the girls and breaking my word, or ticking off their daddy- the closest thing to a perfect solution, where all could be happy, except maybe for the puppy lady.

So... I called the puppy lady and told her if she had anyone else interested in the puppy I picked, to go ahead and sell her to someone else. I then asked if it would be at all possible to get my deposit back if she did find another buyer. I explained that I had done all of this without consulting my husband first, yadda, yadda, yadda, and he was not a happy camper. The puppy lady has kindly agreed that if she can get another buyer, she will return my deposit, and said that she has had a few people interested in "my" puppy. Her price was pretty reasonable, so I'm hoping it shouldn't be a problem to find another buyer.

After that, I looked through the local paper to see if there were any kittens available. There are always ads for free kittens, are there not? No. There are not. Not when I needed one, anyway.

However... Brianna has always wanted a white, blue-eyed, Persian or Himalayan kitten. I had researched the prices of these some time ago, and told her that it was probably not in the realm of possibilities. They go for hundreds, even thousands of dollars, depending on what type they are. I looked online again yesterday and saw that the prices have not come down any. I even saw one Persian (not white) listed at a whopping five thousand dollars! Who spends that on a cat? Anyway, here's the cool part: Despite the fact that there were no free kittens in the paper, there was an ad for Himalayans. I called, mostly just out of curiosity- thinking the price would be ridiculous. The kitten guy had three male kittens available- all were white "Flame Points" (light orange-ish tips on the ears and tail) with blue eyes! AND he was almost giving them away. The price we would pay for one, even if we do not get our deposit back on the puppy, is just a drop in the bucket compared to what these cats usually cost (and still less than the full price of the boxer pup). I've seen these exact same kittens online listed at $1500! I could not believe it. I told the guy we'd be there later in the evening to see them (this was last night). I could not believe my good fortune, and decided this must be the answer to my prayers for God to get me out of the doghouse with Darrell without having to disappoint my girls and look like a bad guy. God is good.

In the meantime, we talked to the girls. For starters, I apologized and explained that I had gone about this whole thing in the wrong way and I should have respected dad's feelings and at least discussed it with him first. Then we broached the subject of "switching" pets. Would they be just as happy with a kitty instead? I knew Brianna would go for it, and she happily said yes. Olivia, however, was another story. She was sure she wanted the boxer. A cat would not be the same. Not as much fun as a puppy. Well, crap... We then told them about the kitten man, and suggested they come with us that night to see the kittens. I told Livie that if she didn't absolutely fall in love with them, I'd be shocked and I wanted her to at least be open to the idea of looking at them. I know her well enough to know how she'd react once she had one in her hands.

When we got there, we quickly found out that the kitten man knew everything there is to know about these cats and breeding them. We thought he'd be happy to keep us there for hours (and hours) explaining how you breed for different colors, etc. It was clear these cats were well loved and cared for. They looked exactly like the kitten Bri has always wanted, so she was beyond excited. Olivia was cooing and cuddling as if she'd just given birth to the kitten herself. We let them choose one (with a little subtle steering on my part towards the one that didn't seem jittery and scared of us- and who was, at the time, clawing its way up my chest and onto my shoulder trying to flee- to the one who was happily sleeping in Olivia's arms) and got to take him home with us. I asked the kitten man's wife why these kittens were so much less than others I'd seen. They are registered and healthy- there was no good reason that I could see not to charge hundreds (and hundreds) more than they were, so I was starting to wonder if there was a catch. She told me they do this because they enjoy their cats and it's fun- it wasn't about making money. Alrighty, then. Works for me.

On the ride home, Sammy spent the first 15 minutes lifting his head, trying to see the kitten in the back seat and wildly barking at it. I don't know if he thought it was a tiny dog, or what- but barking seemed to him to be the most appropriate thing to do. It was hysterical. I wish I would have had some video of it.

I am not a cat person, really, but I honestly think we stumbled upon the best cat on earth. He's using his litter box. He's not skittish and scared- even though he's not accustomed to such a noisy household, full of children and a dog. He's quickly coming out of his shell and likes to play. He's also very snuggly and cuddly, and happy being held, which the girls love. Olivia came up to me right before bedtime and said, "Mama, I am soooo happy we got him. Thank you so much. You were right, once I saw him I loved him right away. I feel like I'm his mom."

So, there you have it. I am in the clear. Nobody is mad at me or disappointed in me. We are free from the impending doom of poop and pee and chewed shoes. It's a good feeling, after days of stressing over my stupid, impulsive mistake.

Now, I have a request on behalf of the girls. They have asked me to turn to you for suggestions. Can you help them name their new baby? Some of their ideas so far are:
Pumpkin (because of the orange tint on the ears and tail)
Magee (McGee)
Jimmy (I hope they don't choose this one)

They hoped you would have some other suggestions, or help them narrow down their list. They would appreciate it!

Here are a few pictures for you to get your creative naming juices flowing:
We stopped for kitten supplies on the way home and bought him this little cube/house thingy, which he loves.