July 27, 2009

Things I miss...

A hairbrush, gray.

Another hairbrush, pink.

Kitchen knives: 20 or more, the latest set less than 3 months old.



Cell phones.


Nail clippers.

The door to a kitty-carrier.

These are just a few of the things that go "missing" around our house, absconded by my wonderful children (also known as the famous "not me's") never to be seen again, but of all of them, it is that last one that I miss the most.

We technically live in "the country," although in the last 5 years or so many houses have sprung up around us. Anyway, even though we're now in a neighborhood, the area is still decidedly rural. The first year we moved in, our new neighbors across the street had kittens. "Why, YES! We'd love a kitten!" It'll help keep down on the mice.

Back then we were continuously strapped financially, and so we didn't really have the money to get said kitten spayed. She rapidly grew up and, before you knew it, had a litter of kittens of her own. We found homes for all the kittens but one, a sweet-hearted little thing we named Google because Savannah, only 3 at the time, said she had "googly" eyes. Now mom and daughter were on a race to see who could be the most prolific producers of kittens. I almost always managed to find homes for most, but it seems there is always at least one that ends up being left behind.
All this to say that, at present, we have FOUR mama kitties who seem always ready to pop out another litter. And while I love kittens, enough is enough! It has been my goal since February to get them all fixed so that we can put an end to this kitty-cascade, but have you seen how much it costs to get them spayed?!!! The cheapest I could find here in our area is $85 per female cat, which I think is highway robbery.

Every-other month the "Big Fix" mobile clinic comes to Logan for one day to offer dog and cat spaying/neutering for much-reduced rates: $25 compared to the $85. Every-other month since February I have locked a kitty in a crate the night before, starved it, listened to it yowl loudly and mournfully all the way into town, stood in line with hundreds of other people and their pets, only to be turned away because they can only take the first 40 or 50 pets. The first time I was only two people behind the cutoff. Arrggghh! I then drive my yowling cat back home and let the poor, bewildered thing out of the crate. I'm sure that they all think I've lost my marbles. I don't understand WHY they can't just let people make appointments, as I'm told they do in other areas.

I've finally given up on the mobile clinic, so last week I called and made an appointment at the local vet clinic for today. I'll do a cat a month. We got home fairly late, so I went to grab the kitty carrier, only to discover the missing door. I still cannot figure out WHAT possible use there could be for a cat carrier door, without the cat carrier, but it is gone. Of course no one KNOWS where it went, or why, and, "Oh geez, here mom goes again..." I finally kicked Stitch, our goofy black lab, out of his crate that he sleeps in. Door? Check. But, what's this? Even though there's a door attached, it doesn't actually latch.


I finally got Stitch out and the cat in, held the door shut by bracing it with garden implements, and went to bed. I'll deal with it in the morning. So, here we are: the day of reckoning! I still couldn't find the cat carrier door, and I couldn't get the large dog crate with meowing kitty into the Tahoe without help because I had to hold that door shut. I finally got to the vet and went inside to ask if they had a smaller carrier that I could bring her in with. They handed me a tiny little crate that looked like it might hold at least half of her, and off I went. I opened the back doors of the Tahoe, scooted the large dog crate around, held the new crate (with a door!) in front, and proceeded to TRY to stuff her in. Man can she put up a fight!

It ended with her making a leap up and over the smaller carrier, over my shoulder, and off into the parking lot. By this time, the two vet assistants had come out to see what the obvious hold-up was. The three of us circled the clinic from different angles more than a few times. I'd finally catch her, stand up and start for the doorway when she'd dig her claws into whatever appendage happened to be closest, and then launch herself back into the bushes again. One of the assistants finally grabbed her and held her in a great hold that I'm thinking I may actually try on the kids when they start lipping off.

Anyway, one cat down and three to go! I'm exhausted...

July 27, 2009

July 24, 2009

With apologies to Lewis Caroll...

"I'm Late, I'm late, for a very important date!"

For those of you who know and love me, this will come as no surprise. I remember a time, oh, let's say about 16.75 years ago when I rarely ran behind and was actually on time to things. However, since I added children into the mix, I have been consistently behind ever since, a little more with each one!

Anyway, all this to say that my goal this year had been to do special "birthday blogs" for each of the kids on their birthday. I managed to do so with Evan's and Josh's, but then I lost it. So, today's blog is for SAVANNAH, or our little Nanna-Girl as we call her, whose birthday was on May 23rd (yes, I am honestly that far behind!). Next up on the agenda, hopefully within the next day or two, is Braden's, which we celebrated on July 12th, so I'm not quite as far behind on him.

Savannah turned the big 1-0 this year, which is making me feel really old since she is my baby (sniff, sniff...). It's so hard to believe that the years have flown by so quickly, but it's been fun to see what a wonderful, sweet-hearted young woman she is becoming. I have to say that now as a reminder, because I know the teen years are roaring towards us and she will cease acting human!
Shortly after Savannah was born it was discovered that she had some sort of a viral infection and she nearly died. She spent the first 10 days of her life in the NICU, and when she finally got to come home with us, she was an ORNERY little thing. Whew - the girl had attitude! Being born into a house with so many brothers, that was probably a very good thing. :o)

One of my favorite "Savannah-moments" was on her 3rd birthday. We were having a birthday party for her in my parents' back yard and everyone was watching her open her gifts. My mom had gotten her a "dress-up" kit with the high heels, feather boa, and jewelry. Savannah has always been very petite, and she just looks so tiny and delicate. Braden, who was 8 at the time, grabbed the high heels from her and was in the process of shoving them on his big, ugly feet. Before any of us could even say a thing, Savannah had him tackled to the ground, and the shoes were soundly back in her possession! The whole thing played out so quickly, I think we were all stunned. I knew then that my daughter would have no problem sticking up for herself!

She has proven to be the perfect combination of tom-boy and girly-girl, and she has a heart of gold. She is a HUGE animal lover, and even more, they love her. She currently has her sights set on becoming a veterinarian when she's older, and I have no doubt that she'll reach her goal.

Love you Nanna, and sorry I'm so late in getting this done! You'll understand someday when you have kids of your own, you know, after you turn 42 and are finally allowed out of the house... :o)

Love, Mom

July 24, 2009

July 7, 2009

Motherhood is an Experience

July 7, 2009

Several months ago, one of the soccer moms on Savannah's team asked if I would be interested in having Savannah join 4-H (Head, Heart, Hands, & Health) over the summer.

"Sure!" said I, not realizing what lay ahead.

I figured that it would be a fun thing for her to do and would give her something to look forward to over the long, boooorrrrrrrring summer ahead (at least that's what she always tells me it is). J explained that it would be a fairly low-key thing with only about 6 girls total in the group. All the moms would take a week to teach some sort of "crafty" or "homey" skill, spending 1-2 hours. Sounds fantastic and easy, doesn't it? Do not be deceived!

Shortly after, I attended her home for the planning meeting and signed up for a date far, Far, FAR in the future: July 7th. I very carefully wrote the date in a very reliable spot: the back of the envelope on a bill that I had shoved in my purse sometime in the last 5 years. Heaven knows I would NEVER throw that away! As is my wont, I came home and immediately forgot to write it down anywhere I would actually see it again this side of the grave.

Savannah, not having lost all her marbles yet as I have lost mine (oh, but fear not, little girl! You are my daughter and your day will come, much as I didn't think I'd follow after my mom!), asked me on Saturday (yes, just this past Saturday, with that really busy holiday-thingy thrown in): "Mommy, what are you going to teach my 4-H group on Tuesday?"

Me (with just a touch of hysteria): "THIS Tuesday? Are you sure it's THIS TUESDAY?"

Savannah cheerily affirmed the date and time for me, silently making a note to herself to check into the old folks' home availability as mom forgot, again, something so easily remembered.

I called J to make sure, and sadly found that this was true. I spent hours of my life over the holiday weekend perusing the craft stores in town to figure out what to "teach," because, guess what?! I really have no craft or home-making skills! At least none that wouldn't instantly put the girls to sleep...

I finally decided that something in plastic canvas would be simple and so purchased
oodles of yarn, needles, canvas, several pattern books: one for "simple to make" bookmarks (yeah! At least I could get one of my loves in there for them - who doesn't need a new bookmarker?) and another for different "butterfly" patterns: grocery bag holders, tissue box covers, toasters, etc.

After coming home, I perused both books from cover to cover and decided on a nice, simple "daisy" bookmarker. Of course, I needed to do a test run, so I
proceeded to spend an hour cutting the stupid canvas to match the pattern, only screwing up 2 times before I got it right. I then grabbed Savannah for her first "lesson." Three minutes in, her eyes glazed over and she slipped out of sight as soon as my head was turned. Ah well... I'll just go this one alone and see how long it takes me. I'll add another 30 minutes on top of my time, and we'll be good to go!

5 hours later, I added the finishing touches to my beautiful new bookmark, which, by the way, is much too fat to actually keep in a book without doing permanent damage to the spine. But I made it! So, scratch the book marks... Back to the pattern books: too tough for them, too tough for them, too tough for me... Then I found it: Butterfly magnets for the fridge! They were 10-year-old girl cute, could be done in any combination of colors, and better yet, were extremely small in comparison to the bookmarks - only two 1.5 x 1 inch wings wrapped together with a little pipe cleaner antennae to top it off. Quick, easy, and adorable!

Anyway, today I took off work several hours to do my "relaxing" afternoon with the girls. One of the girls couldn't make it, so there were only four others plus Savannah. Easy-Peazy...

I won't go into all the gory details, but 4 HOURS later, I finished up with the last of the butterflies, gathered up the giggling, gabbing gaggle of girls and delivered them back to their homes.

Can I just say, I have never been so exhausted in my life?!!!! I can't wait to get back to work tomorrow to recuperate :) The saddest part is that next year, when Savannah wants to rejoin, I will probably have forgotten what a tiring experience it was and will subject myself to it all over again.

July 3, 2009

Happy Anniversary to Us!

July 3, 2009

Several months ago, I wrote a post about how my dear hubby had not sent me flowers in 13 long years. Wednesday, we celebrated our 14th Anniversary, and for the occasion -- Ta-Da! -- he sent me flowers! Real LIVE ones, in a vase, delivered to me at work by a real florist and everything!! Who wouldn't keep this man? :-)

I didn't notice until after I had taken this photo that I also captured our "wedding" picture that I created a while back: it looks like we sacrificed a tree by carving our initials in it, but in reality, I just photo-shopped it to make it look that way. (Okay, end of shameless self-promotion there).

It is so hard to believe that it has been 14 years already, and in other ways it seems like it has to have been more, as is true, I'm sure, for almost every married couple out there. In honor of the occasion, I thought I'd tell our "story."

I was a recently divorced mom of a toddler and an infant when I decided that I'd better get my life back on track because I wasn't doing so hot
controlling it on my own. Every day on my way to work I drove past the cutest little storefront church which always felt like it was calling to me. After about a month, I finally broke down and gave it a try. A few weeks after that I had bopped in to the Pastor's office to ask him about something, when he introduced me to this cute guy and my heart immediately did that funny little pitter-pat, which I did not want it to do. For weeks after that, I would eyeball him as he sat across the room during the church service but didn't ever try to talk to him. I had started dating someone else (yet another disastrous relationship) and was not looking for love any more, thank you very much. However, Braden, who was not even crawling yet, had other things in mind. It did not matter where I sat, or where Tom sat, but when I'd lay Bray down on his blanket to play with his toys, he would roll to wherever Tom was. Once again I tried to tell God that I had things under control, but thank heavens He had other plans!

I did what any reasonable girl would do: I quit going to church again. I'll show them! In the meantime, Tom had the same types of feelings when he saw me. After I quit attending church, he asked the Pastor where I worked. At the time, I was working for the "Big Nickel," a want-ads paper. One afternoon when
I was working the front desk, guess who showed up to place an ad for his (what I now know was his beloved) snowmobile? I didn't learn until much later that he put it in for a ridiculously high price so that nobody would call him on it.

Long story short, I started attending church again, and we went on several lunch dates, most with the kids in tow. On our first "real" date, he asked me to marry him and I accepted. After he left that night, he immediately asked himself "where in the hell did that question pop out from?!" and I was in my apartment asking my ownself "what in the hell did I just do?!" :-)

Anyway, it's been a wild ride these past 14 years, but I can honestly say that I can't imagine spending my life with anyone else. We've recently had some "new beginnings" in our life, and I can't wait to see what the next 14, or better yet, 40, bring! Happy Anniversary my love...

Wow! Don't we look amazingly young? I didn't have ANY gray hair at that point, and Tom still had all of his. Makes you wonder how long after we got married before we started falling apart!