Sunday, September 30, 2007

Dogs have owners, Cats have staff

Apparently Elsa has settled in quite well. She has no problem invading every one's personal space.

When I purr Don't infer
It's because you pat.
No, you pat Because I purr.
I am the cat,Don't forget that.

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Saturday, September 29, 2007

Our new baby

I wasn't planning on getting a new cat so quickly after I had Estelle put down. When I had to tell the kids what had happened to Estelle that day while they were at school I wasn't at all ready for their reaction. I Knew they would be sad. We'd been to two funerals this summer already. Their great-grandmother and their grandfather. They did really well at those. They drew pictures for both to be put in the wall with Manoo and in the casket with Grandpa. Kieran even brought his little American flag to decorate Grandpa's casket. When I talked to them that evening about Estelle Kyle sobbed. He couldn't stop, his whole body shook. Kendra cried and Kieran acted stoic until the other two had left the room. Then he cried too. It was heart wrenching. Plus Estelle's companion of 11 years, Bramble was at a loss. He hid under the bed for three days.
So, I started checking out the two closest shelters. There are so many cool cats and kittens. I've never had an actual kitten. I also figured a kitten would be better for Bramble and would not be afraid of the dog. We chose a little 2.7 pound orange tabby. I named her Elsa after the lioness from Born Free. She was spayed the next day and we brought her home. She immediately got a respiratory infection. My vet said it's common when kittens are spayed young and their immune systems are already weak from being in the shelter. Two weeks of antibiotics and shes good to go. She and Bramble play like they are both kittens. Each day they sleep closer and closer to each other on the bed. She still only weighs about 4 pounds but she can whoop some Border Collie butt. And the kids love playing with her. I still miss Estelle tons but the kids are better with their new playmate. Although my stoic boy Kieran comes to me every few days and says, he misses Estelle. It's a joy to know I have caring and sensitive children.

She's a big scary cat.

Friday, September 28, 2007

Gettin Reel Jiggy

So the kids found out Wednesday from their dance teacher that they will get to compete in their first feis (it's an Irish Gaelic word and its pronounced "Fesh". A festival of Irish dance, music and culture). All three will get to do a reel, light jig and single jig. Kendra is very excited because she will have the school's beginner dress made for her. The boys will wear the typical black trousers, dress shirt and tie. We all will get a weekend away in Rancho Mirage. Woo Hoo!
Now we have to practise, practise, practise.

I went on field trips both Thursday and today. We use parent drivers because buses are too expensive. I was shocked to hear the language coming out of these 7 and 8 year old's mouths. I was shocked and saddened to see what some of these kids were given for lunch. On the way back to school I listened to two of the boys in my car talk about video games. Pretty normal. Kyle is obsessed with his "E for everyone" games that he's only allowed to play on weekends and holidays. But then I started listening a little more closely to the talk about a game both boys played most often. I was shocked when this 7 year old said, "there was this granny and I went up behind her and shot her in the back of the head". What!!!! I'm supposed to be shocked, right? Am I just an old fart or is there something wrong with parents today? They (the boys) were also fans of YouTube. My kids don't even know what YouTube is let alone how to find it on the computer. I like YouTube. There are some great videos on it but I wouldn't let my kids go on unsupervised. I guess I'm just a boring old lady.

Monday, September 24, 2007

And so it begins...

The homework whine. They whine. I need wine. They did really well for the first two weeks. Now they're stomping, throwing pencils and making multiple trips to the bathroom. It's almost impossible to explain to a 7 year old that helping them does not mean I will give them the answers. Kyle is supposed to be getting the colored pencils for his math paper and I can hear a piano being played-Hmmm. Another stalling tactic.

I get so frustated by the whining and arguing . It's been never-ending lately. About anything and every thing. Girls are definitely the worst. How does a tiny little pink bundle of joy turn into a wailing banshee? Kendra would argue about whether the sun was up or not.
And the volume of all this whining and arguing. I just can't take it!! On a decibel scale I think they land right at about "chainsaw" which is just slightly below the range for human pain threshold and just slightly above the range for serious hearing damage. Isn't that special. I really don't think they can hear themselves. They can't possibley since they all talk at the same time and ask the same question three times while they're standing next to eachother.

So I'm guessing that in a few years this will be a permanent look for me and not just something Kieran has created. God help me.

And speaking of school, here's the first day of second grade picture.

I was just tallying how many times I said
"stop talking" while they did homework for 30 minutes.


Saturday, September 22, 2007

Stormy weather

I love stormy weather. Especially on a weekend. The kids love watching cheesy scary movies and having popcorn. Yeah-a storm-on a Saturday! But Nooooo (was that John Belushi?). Today Paul is out building a retaining wall in the front yard, in the mud. Although I am getting a few hours out with my sister with no kids. Bliss, right. You're picturing Starbucks, a manicure, maybe lunch. But Nooooo. We're going to be on Batiquitos Lagoon in a kayak this morning. We'll be cleaning the lagoon and getting a kayak tour. It's the only time you're allowed on the lagoon in a boat. As long as it doesn't pour we should be ok. And as long as the wind doesn't blow us out to sea.

Friday, September 21, 2007


Kieran is a "different" kid-in a good way. We call him the old soul. Sometimes I think he's the reincarnation of my Dad. He just randomnly has thoughts and says things that make me think, "Who is this kid?". Like his lunch preferences in the previous post.

Anyway, his most recent. The kids have been asking the question parents have dreaded for centuries, "Where do babies come from?" I've been trying to find an appropriate book on and off for a year or so. Then Jessica suggested one. I found it on and a couple of others. So Kieran asks me to read one. "Where Did I Come From?" It's old (1977). It's the book my brother learned from. It's a good book, definitely for the little bit older set. Perfect for Kieran because he's so smart and so curious. It's all cartoons but gets very descriptive about how babies are conceived. We read it, no biggy. Kieran's comments were mostly, "Gross". It was bed time when we were done so I told him to, "say 'goodnight' to Daddy". He marched (apparently with purpose) off to the kitchen and this is what I heard. "Daddy, did you put your penis in Mommy's vagina?" The accusation in his voice. You did that to my Mommy?!? It was great. There was a long pause. I was waiting in anticipation for the answer from my husband (raised by Pentecostal ministers who didn't allow dancing-you know what that leads to). I don't think the answer was thought out I think he just choked but it worked. He just said, "Um yes". Kieran said, "Oh okay, goodnight".

Monday, September 3, 2007

What a week

Monday the kids started second grade. It seems like just yesterday they were in diapers and drinking from bottles-lots of bottles. They seem to like their teachers. All three rooms have working air conditioning-yeah. It's been so miserable.

I had forgotten what a joy (?) it is to get the three of them out the door in the morning. And school starts 30 minutes earlier this year. I only have one kid who will eat peanut butter and jelly! The other two want regular meat, cheese, pickle, lettuce type sandwiches. Well, Kieran would like a bento box. He asked if I could "please put mahi mahi, rice and vegetables in his lunch". Who is this kid?

"What a week" was started on September 3rd. Almost 3 weeks later I'll try to finish it.

So, Monday 3 weeks ago the kids started 2nd grade. That was the high point of the day. And then there was the low-so very low. While the kids were happily eating their first lunch as 2nd graders, I was at the vet's having my sweet, constant companion of 12 years put down. It was one of the hardest things I've ever done. Estelle was the first cat I had in the first house I owned. I've had cats since I was in-utero-always. But I was cat less for 4 years while we lived in rentals that wouldn't allow cats. This cat was amazing. Best cat I've ever had. She was a "tuxedo" (black and white) with 1940's movie star eyeliner and a Charlie Chaplin moustache. While I was on bed rest for the last three months of my pregnancy, she was always on the bed with me. Paul would be gone at work for 48 hours at a time so she really was my sanity keeper. There were many wonderful years in between then and Aug. 27. Estelle got sick about two years ago. She was diagnosed with Chronic Renal Failure and I was told putting her down then would be best thing because the treatment was time consuming and untrained people don't do well. I wasn't ready to give her up so I decided to try to do the treatments. It meant giving her fluids with an iv bag and needle every day forever. I got the hang of it and she did so well the vet was shocked. My wonder cat had "normal" blood work for two years. Then she started to have cardiac problems. It becomes very hard to give fluids and not stress the heart with extra fluid. Big viscious cycle. The fluids were stopped and I had to increase heart meds. She took four pills and one liquid twice a day. It worked for a few months. All the extra fluid that had accumulated went away. But then the renal failure came back with a vengeance. All her kidney values were off the charts. The last weekend in August was bad. I had to syringe feed her all weekend. She was miserable. She wasn't passing any fluid and in the middle of the night on Sunday she started vomiting. I also forgot to mention that the high blood pressure had left her completely blind for the last 4 or 5 months.

I'd known for two years that this day would come. I was hoping her cardiac issues would just take her in her sleep but I couldn't wait any longer.

My sister went with me and my vet was wonderful. I held her while my vet put a needle in her hind leg. It was so quick and so calm. She just let out a last breath and was gone.

I realize this is a long ramble about a pet. I'm one of those people that feel a pet is a family member though. My husband doesn't even understand the grief I have for Estelle. She was my baby when I couldn't have babies. OK-I have to leave this because it makes me too sad.

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