Tuesday, September 30, 2008

the ups & downs of pet ownership

My life, on a daily basis, consists of lots of dealing with our pets. When you spend a majority of your time at home, they tend to want to hang out with you. All the time. And I'm pretty cool with that. I love animals, and I really love our two. Their personalities are so funny.

Take Ben, our beloved furry angel. He is 15 years old. He's always been more like a dog in that he will greet you at the door, and comes when you call him. He follows me around and has specific routines at certain times of the day. He has adjusted well to being an only kitty since Savannah passed away. One of the adjustments was a change in diet. He was eating her high protein food for diabetics (we tried valiantly to seperate them at mealtime. That was a full time job) and now he is on a senior weight management blend. NOT his favorite, but he eats it.
Then a funny thing happened. He walked into our bedroom and jumped up on the bed. He hasn't been able to do this for awhile. Our bed is high and he is fat.
(I am not the pot calling the kettle black, here. He is fat. I am fat. I call us 'fluffy')
So for the last week I have been startled every time I walk into our room and he is spread out on that bed. And he knows how to spread. I have never seen a cat take up so much real estate.
For years we have enjoyed a pet free zone in the bed.Now I'm picking off tufts of fur and 'scolding' him for being up there. Like he really cares. He was even lucky enough to spend the entire night in there with Bart last week, when I was all mucus-y and sleeping propped up on the couch. He must have thought he was in heaven.

Now Buddy, on the other hand, has the opposite problem. He goes downstairs the second I leave the house, and he's can't get back up. If I go out for more than a minute or two, he scurries to the basement and his old lumpy bed (right behind the hamper full of garbage that I've been meaning to take out for the last month. Hmm.) We have tried blocking off the basement, but the litterbox is down there so we can'r totally do it. It drives me nuts that he goes down there. Today when I came home from the grocery store I had to carry him up and he's no bag of feathers!It's just so pathetic.
You should see him sitting here right now, whining like he doesn't live the best dog life ever!

Sunday, September 28, 2008

lazy blogger, part deux

I haven't taken the time this week to chat about all the things going on around here. Sorry! When it gets busy I'd rather just read blogs than actually write one. Plus, I'm lazy.

So the coolest thing this week was that I got to go to a sock knitting class taught by  the famous Cookie A. It came up last minute, and there was one space available, so I grabbed it and left Bart to be soccer Dad. It was a very informative class, and I enjoyed it mucho. It's the very first class I have taken. I absorbed lots of sock knowledge.

Mixed bag of soccer games this week. each kid had three. Emma won 2 of 3 games (but not the Northville Cup game) and Evan is 1 and 1. He plays again tomorrow night. It was a good weather for soccer weekend.

I finally got off my keister and ordered pix for this frame project I had started a long time ago and never finished. The prints arrived and I spent a few hours Friday loading them into frames. Now I get to repaint the hallway or something. But we'll have some new photos to gaze upon. We've had the same ones up in the hallway since we moved in.

My sinus ick is almost all gone, so I have no excuse not to get out and walk next week.

Been watching lots of good tv this week. Next week will be even better. I love new fall tv.

Okay, so maybe it's not a lot going on, but I have been busy regardless. That's all I can remember, anyway! Hope you had a swell weekend.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

I had no idea

nom nom nom, originally uploaded by dogglips2.

How is it that I am forty years old and had NO IDEA what a pain in the ass it is to make Rice Krispy treats? Surely, at some point in time, I made these with my mother. Evidently I blocked it out, because I was cursing early this morning at them. Marshmallow + rice krispies = a huge sticky mess. Waxed paper doesn't seem to help. The marshmallow sticks to everything. I must have washed my hands 67 times so that I could continue on 'smoothing them out in the pan'.
My grand idea was to make the krispy treats like we buy at Kilwin's in Traverse City. Smothered in caramel, chocolate & M&M's, they are a decadent little treat. For the soccer team. For tonight's Northville Cup game. I have this small overacheiving problem.
The treats aren't covered in caramel, because the hot caramel practically melted the first two I made. Instead, I drizzled it all over. The chocolate was easier. And they don't have to be beautiful, but I wanted them to look like the yummies in my mind. Ack.
So in a few hours I will be face painting, hair spraying, nail polishing & ribbon tying, all in the name of soccer. Awesome.

Monday, September 22, 2008

the end of the world as we know it

happy birthday blitz!, originally uploaded by dogglips2.

Okay, maybe that's a bit dramatic. But, c'mon...a CELL PHONE. My baby is old enough to have a cell phone. She's old enough to program her own phone numbers and to text her friend Anna 50 bazillion times a day. (minor exaggeration. The bazillion text plan was too expensive). We decided to get her a cell because there are times when she & Evan, or she & a friend want to go for a bike ride or a walk, and I would like to be able to call them or have them call me if they need to. It's a product of our times. When I was her age, I wanted a phone in my room so bad! My parents put one in the playroom (there was a room between my brother & my rooms that we called the playroom) but it didn't dial out. Sucked! Right now, Emma isn't a big phone talker. She rarely calls anyone, and will only answer a ringing phone if prompted. It can't be on or carried at school, so for most of the day it won't even see the light of day. But she has it. For an emergency. For 'in case'.
We had a busy weekend with birthday celebrations and soccer games. I'm starting to come down with the sinus ick that Emma brought into the house a week ago. My head feels like it's in a vise and I'm pretty sure I could sleep until Thursday. I also slept weird on my neck 10 DAYS AGO and it still isn't all worked out. I haven't been knitting more than a few minutes at a time, and my neck would prefer if I didn't do it at all. Phooey.
Happy Monday to all!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

I heart the 80's

old school legwarmers, originally uploaded by dogglips2.

A few weeks ago (Friday, martini & dance partty night @ my dad's house) my Aunt Roberta asked if the Bee-Gees were good 80's music. (My husband & stepmom are BG fanatics) to which I gasped "Of course NOT!" in a huff. She needs an 80's mix tape, and I, of course, was a font of musical information. I do know they aren't mix tapes anymore, but you know what I mean. And while I lived thru the 80's, and loved most of the music of the 80's, I discovered that I didn't OWN but a handful of songs. How can that be? I must have had them all on tape (mixed tapes) and they never made it into my CD/iTunes collection. So tonight i was finding some tunes and started to get carried away. I needed to stop before I spent a months worth of grocery money on "Wake me up before you go-go" and "Footloose". Which of course made the cut.

Help me out here! What are some of your favorite songs from the big hair decade? I'm interested in all your wacked out responses.

In honor of the 80's, I decided to knit Emma a pair of legwarmers for her birthday. She has been wearing lots of skirts to school, and I thought she might like them for when it gets chilly. They are thick and wooly, with a delicate little cable pattern all around. If she likes them, I can make many other colors, lengths & styles. Or she may think I've lost my mind. Which may be true.

birthday in the house!

Guess who is eleven?
I can't believe that 11 years ago today this wonderful creature was handed to me.
Her birthday stash-which she can't open until Dad comes home. Unfair, I know. But it's the way we do things at our house. Trust me, she'll live.
After soccer practice we are going to have Noodles & Company for dinner-birthday girl request. We'll be having her family celebration on Saturday. Jimmy John's subs and Coldstone cake. I should probably get some ice cream for tonight.
Happy Thursday.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

FO-Twinkle Toes

I finished my first pair of toe-up socks last week, but never got the chance to photograph them or block them until today. I like the way they turned out-the colorway is very nice and the yarn was wonderful to work with. In the future I would not do the heavyweight; I don't really require heavy weight socks for myself.
The only thing I don't like about them is the cast off. I did a loose bind off, but they are still a little on the tight side. It's a good thing I didn't make them any higher or they wouldn't have gone over my calves.
Thanks for all the kind words about my stepdad. He has been progressing wonderfully. They removed 16 of his 18 IV's, his chest tubes, his fleur-evac, and most importantly the pacer. His heart is beating properly on it's own. He is spending time sitting up in a chair, and has been able to feed himself. Tomorrow they are looking to step him down to a regular room. I visited him with the kids this afternoon and he looks tired but so much stronger. He just needs to sleep. And sleep some more.
Hasta manana~

Monday, September 15, 2008

I'm pretty sure I know why I slept so much last week

...so that I could deal with the trauma that was this weekend.

My stepdad Jim has suffered another setback in the form of an aortic anuerism on Friday afternoon.
My Mom called to let me know that she had called 911 (from a restaurant) because Jim couldn't stand and was numb, with front & back pain. He wanted to go home, she insisted on calling.
I met them up at the new Providence Hospital ER. How many times did we joke that it was a good thing they were opening a new ER so close to them, after all the weeks we spent driving to Southfield? Countless.
When I got there he had just had a CT scan and an Xray, which showed the aa. All of the sudden this was serious. The med-evac team was on their way to take him to Uof M hospital for the earliest possible treatment. The helicopter team.
The course was changed to Beaumont in Royal Oak because another cardiac event was already taking place at UofM. My Mom & I jumped into the car for the drive while the helicopter was 30 feet away, preparing for take-off.
The minute we arrived @ Beaumont someone lead us to a surgical consult area, where we talked to the surgeon. He described the tear in Jim's valve and aortic wall. He gave us an 80% mortality rate for this type of anuerism. 80%. This is the same thing that killed John Ritter. It's quick and almost certainly fatal. The surgery would take anywhere from 8-10 hours.

2 1/2 hours ago he had been eating pancakes at his favorite restaurant.
Now we were calling everyone in to say their goodbyes.

The surgery lasted 71 minutes. Under 3 hours from first cut to last stitch. They replaced the valve and used a plastic piece to repair the damage. They were able to bypass most of the tearing by using the plastic, so the surgery was shorter than anyone expected. They didn't have to hook him to the heart/lung machine, or cool him down to protect his brain. He, at this point, was nothing short of a miracle.
He was waking up @ 7:00 a.m. when we were getting ready to leave. Responding to his name. By 3:00 p.m., they had taken out the vent and he was sitting up in bed, talking normally. Exhausted, confused, beligerant but Normal. Normal for him.
Yesterday was harder. He hadn't slept at all and was very confused. He thinks he's going home today. He's scared. They are treating him so that he can relax a little, but what he needs is a ton of sleep. They were hoping to remove his 2 chest tubes today. They are uncomfortable to say the least. Get him in a chair and moving. Every step forward will boost his spirits.
He is a miracle. If he can avaoid pneumonia and any other bug floating around the hospital, he will make a great recovery.
To me the most amazing part is how attuned into him my Mom is. If she hadn't seen a particular look cross his face, she may not have called 911. I don't think I would have. If she had waited an extra hour to take him in, he would have died. Plain and simple.

Take a minute today to say a prayer for an incredible man. He deserves a speedy recovery.

Friday, September 12, 2008

what a long,strange week it's been

T.G.I.F. Another one bites the dust.
I spent the whole week in a sort of fog. Not really sure why I'm so tired and generally bleah, but I have been. I need to exercise. I need to eat better. It's hard to get moving when you feel so exhausted. And I wasted a generally beautiful fall week with napping and lethargy. Ack!
Next week will be better. Yep.
Lots of soccer and homework this past week. Everyone is starting to settle into the school routine pretty well, even if we are all a little tired.
Sadly, this tree is not in front of my house. It's in front of the house that I park at when I get the little man. So beautiful and vibrant-I just knew I  had to bring my camera before the leaves fell.

Last night was middle school open house. This is a crazy event. You go to each class for 9 minutes, and you have 5 minutes to go from class to class. Emma is in an AR (Academic Resource) class that had a special meeting for 45 minutes before the rest of the open house deal. I didn't realize what a big deal it is- less than 5% of the students test into the class. Very elite. It's a smarty pants class. (If they had a smart ass class, she would test into that as well!)
The teacher was very intersting, and I think she will do well in this class. For her 4 main subjects she has a team of 2 teachers, both very enthusiastic. She has a lot of the same kids in these classes, so the 6th graders get to know a small group intimately before moving into 7th.
It's a whole new world. let me tell you. Her organizations skills are so much better than when I was a middle schooler!
Off to get the man-cub. Have a great weekend!

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

bestest days

The early days of fall are some of my most favorite. I love the cool nights, opening the windows during the days, no mosquitoes. The kids are in school and the days are mine to do with whatever I please. Yesterday was a good one.
My friend Jan came over and we spent the whole day together.
We enjoyed a coffee from Starbux.
We went to the cider mill for cider and doughnuts.
We had a tasty lunch @ Zoup!
And we scrapbooked. Really, we did!
I have proof, just in case you think I'm hallucinating or hit my head or something:
I'm working on a quick little mini book of our vacation to Glen Arbor & Sleeping Bear Dunes. I just gathered a bunch of stuff I thought I might like to use, a few pieces of cardstock, and a smattering of photos and went to town. It was very freeing to only have a handful of things to work with. I didn't stress out about being chronological, or the fact the I've only printed a third of my pix. I can add in wherever I choose. So what if I can't find my postcards? I can put them in later. No biggie.
We are going to play twice a month, so maybe just maybe, over time, I'll get back into the hang of scrapping. That would be good.
In the meantime, there is plenty of adventures to be had! See you soon Jan :)

Monday, September 8, 2008

I can sense a need for earplugs in my not-to-distant future

Guess what came to live with us today?

It's true. She's a band geek. A bando.
And naturally Evan loves it too, so in approximately 2 years I could be waking up to the sound of dueling trumpets at 7:00. Don't be surprised if I take up drinking in the a.m.

p.s. I may not love it, but it is 1,000,000,000 times better than the stupid recorder, and she hasn't even had a lesson yet. She can't stop laughing long enough to play!

Saturday, September 6, 2008

that was a week?

That was fast. I blinked and it was the end of the week.
In the end, I didn't spend two or three days doing the dance of joy. I didn't even spend one. I somehow got stuck in the never-ending loop of shopping, shopping and more shopping.
Emma's birthday is coming up in 2 weeks, so I have been hunting and gathering for her. I had to make several trips to stores because they were out of something or other that I needed, so I never got anything accomplished in one trip. Soooooo frustrating.
And I spent a ridculous amount of time looking for a badge holder for her. I had 4 of them. I threw them all away (probably). Now I need one and they are like unicorns, mystical and mysteriously hard to locate. After no less than 4 trips, I found one @ some office store. But c'mon. 4 trips? Shit and double shit.
I repeated this scenario in the search for shoes. Need a size 5? Good luck with that. I challenge you to find something that is not too babyish, cute, affordable, and doesn't have pink in it. See you in a month.
I also lost my mind and have been doing a little shopping for me. I know. Bad bad bad. But I am back on the wagon, so to speak. And if I wasn't, I think this week cured any impulse to shop.
But how cute is this?
How could I not buy that croc charm? Seriously.
The rest of the week was spent in a blur: visiting friends, having lunches, soccering, signing papers & trying to remember to pick up Evan.
The good news is that both of the kids are happy with their classes & teachers. It was a week with little homework or responsibilities. Emma's only complaint about middle school is the location of her locker...it's in a hallway. The 8th graders trample her every day when the bell rings. She needs to learn to be quicker.
I have 5 different projects on needles right now, but can only show this one, my first ever toe-up sock! I am doing a knit along on Ravelry and this was the pattern chosen. The cast on was much easier than I figured, and the yarn is divine. Not quite sure I like how boxy the toes look, but when you put them on they don't look like that. Progress is moving right along. Unlike the rest of my life!
Happy weekend to all!

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

back to school

It's not easy being a Mom who likes to take photos, especially on back to school day. I got one photo each before I got the stink eye and the "Mooooooom". When they are older they will wonder why I didn't take pictures (or as many pictures) as I did when they were little and cute.
Emma & Anna, preparing to leave. Not even a shot of the first day outfit. My scrapping Mom card is going to be revoked.
Walking to school with Anna's 8th grade brother Alex. The school is just down the street to the left; a 5 minute walk. It's 'cool' to be close, for whatever reason. Note the matching backpacks.
And here's Mr. Man in his usual uniform of sweatshirt & basketball shorts. Barely tolerating one photo, don't even think about trying to take one @ school.
They both had good first days. Emma likes her teachers and found she knew more kids in her classes than she thought she would. Didn't get lost one time. All good stuff. Tomorrow brings lockers...and locker combinations.
Evan's actual teacher is still out on maternity leave, but he likes his sub and seems to be ok with his class. None of his good buddies are in his class this year, so he'll have to work hard to make some new friends. Not a problem for him so much.
Off to fill out emergency cards!

Monday, September 1, 2008

Hello September

Ahh, the dog days of summer.
I'm lazing around a lot like the dog today
doing the bare minimum and trying to stay cool.
Funny how it seems like it's always 90 degrees the day school is back in session.
I'm making lists to help keep me organized with all the comings and goings
(I love my lists), not that I don't miss a thing or two
I feel like I am orgazined. That's half the battle.
Speaking of battles, bedtime should be fun tonight. 
All across the state parents will be wresting unwilling kids into bed (but it's not dark yeeeeeettttttt) and packing lunchboxes
and breathing a sigh of relief
that tomorrow morning when the bell rings
it will be quiet for the first time in months.