Friday, April 25, 2008

A post? You want a post?

Ok. How about next week?
Been crazy here. N & I had a WONDERFUL weekend last wekend. I need to print photos and make a little book, just for the two of us.

Then, I think Monday was a normal day? So long ago activity-wise. Since then Sarah & I spent all morning getting our eyes checked (I need new lenses, she is farsighted like me, but no need for glasses yet). Softball games, Church choir & bell practice, Junior Achievement Biztown training, a head cold, workers tuckpointing the chimney so it no longer looks like pieces will fall out on small children, capped by my spending the majority of Friday (today) with 3 classes of 5th graders running their own businesses. Cool. (Mira got to go to work with Rich and made a mess of his office window by sticking out her tongue at all the passers-by.)

Now I'm going to go scrap and catch up on LOST and Battlestar Galactica, then wake up and get a massage tomorrow. Phew.

And hey - whoever turned the outside thermostat down - would you PLEASE turn it back up? 35 degrees at the end of April is not ok. Thank goodness the chimney cleaning happens tomorrow instead of earlier in the week as originally planned, but this is the LAST time in 2008 that I will say "This is the last fire of the year." And if there is snow tomorrow I may just skip the massage and go back to bed.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Growing Up.

This weekend Natasha and I are attending a retreat for only Moms and daughters. Will be some serious discussions, and lots of fun off on our own together. Natasha has been looking forward to this for SO long. I just hope she is well! The poor child started off the week with a migraine and has had a fever every morning this week. (Bad mommy, she was fine Tuesday morning so I sent her to school and she came home with a fever. Sigh). I am SO looking forward to summer and healthy kids! I'm starting to think I need a weekly standing appointment at the Pediatricians office!

I made this journal for the two of us, going to give it to her at the end of the retreat, at dinner somewhere in the Old Market after we wander around and shop and decide where we want to eat. (I so love having daughters!). The glossyness/wet look is due to the flash bouncing off the Mod Podge - it's dark and grey today so no natural light to be had. The effect is much more subtle in person. The goofy designs in the middle of the cover were actually cool just embossed into the cover - a rose, sun, snowflake, leaf. The detail just did not look as cool when painted (actually a bit messy) so I sanded and grunged before adding the rest of the detail using various rub-ons (Doodlebug, Heidi Swap, fancy pants, Art Warehouse), and Ranger alcohol inks over a Heidi Swap Mask for the branch. Hard to see, but in the word Secret there is half a compass, and past the T that little white blob is an N for North, the words along the side say "Get Directions" and the torn piece of print is a definition of the word Meaning. Love how it all turned out. I PROMISE to post a better photo when the sun comes out! The inside covers I am planning on eventually being covered with grafiti, scraps and other bits as we use this book together -Natasha is very arty :) with a natural talent for drawing and painting. So I started with a simple inscription: Natasha, you are growing up and there will be many little secrets you'll want to share, but maybe not with your sisters. This book is just for you and me. Funny little notes, cartoons, secrets you want to share with me, questions you have {you can always ask me out loud}. Draw, color, add stuff - this is our project and I hope something we can look back on with satisfaction when you are all grown up. Keep it on your shelf, away from little hands, and hand it to me when you add something. I love you, Mom. April 2008

We'll start a new one once this is filled up. Almost can't wait to do this with my other girls, but I can wait for them to grow up :).

Saturday, April 12, 2008

No more Stellas

Wow. Sad day - as I posted yesterday Stellas is THE place for a birthday in our family. Thank goodness I have scrapped evidence of birthday fun at Stellas. Because as we drove up last night, 6 p.m. on a Friday night, the place was dark, and while you could still see all the parephenalia lining the window sills, you could also see the chair legs sticking up from the tabletops, and a huge for lease sign on the front door.

The girls are still mad about it this morning. We ended up having a decent dinner elsewhere, just not with the wild fun. Saved that for the Barbie/Pony fest that happened after Mira opened presents :).

Remember what my yard looked like a few days ago? Well, it's back. Ugh. Snow on April 12th. Yesterday a friend asked for a reccomendation for a dandruff shampoo - not the kind of request you usually see on a public bulletin board. But then I laughed because she followed with "because the sky has a really bad case of dandruff at the moment." I hope it's sunny and GREEN where you are today!

Friday, April 11, 2008

5 actually.

Ask Mira how old she is and that is most likely what you will hear. "Five actually." Although, today, on her actual birthday, she did say twice that she was three.

It's been a nice celebration so far - yesterday I hung out with her at Preschool - love seeing her in a different environment. This morning we danced and sang at Kindermusik, picked up a few party things and came home to relax while reading and watching (what else) 12 Dancing princesses. Guess what kind of cake she is having tonight?

At 1 p.m. the fun started - 4 friends, dressed up in the favorite dress-up dresses, and pink hats (our party favors), drinking chocolate milk, orange juice or water 'tea', eating tiny cookies and cupcakes, and truly behaving like little ladies, saying please and thank you to each other. When not at the table? They alternated between playing with the Cinderella Castle (Thank You Auntie Melissa) and playing tea party with play food. I got to talk to some lovely grown-ups too!

Right now the 3 sisters are happily continuing the play tea party and watching for Daddy. We'll have dinner Stella's - the ONLY place for a birthday dinner according to my girls. They have a jukebox, hula hoops, pour your malt into your glass if you hold it on your nose or head (don't move!!!) and when you have a birthday, they stand you on a chair, place a funny hat on your head, and make the whole place sing to you while a disco ball lights up the room. Not bad huh? Then home for the standard cake & presents. Phew!

Now, if only I could get over the fact that she's 3. Where did the time go?

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Yes, I am awake.

Silly me, I know... just finished scrapping a few pages I can't really show you, because the lighting is too poor to take a decent photo. So here are a few I finished yesterday :). Both Ms. Sarah - dancing and enjoying the moment, and the other is about 3 wishes she wrote on an assignment a few weeks ago... "I wish I loved everything. {because sometimes I don't}". "I wish I was a Fairy." and "I wish I knew everything like Jesus does."
This girl amazes me... such deep thoughts mixed with little girl fun - makes me happy. Proud too - she just passed the Gifted/talented tests with flying colors - 99% in both Math and Reading. She'll be spending all day tomorrow reading as she stays home from school. She's been having headaches daily, so we visited the Dr. for that and came home with meds for strep! Funny thing is she feels perfectly fine (and of course the one day she has no headache is the day we see the Dr.). Think she'll finish each of the 3 books she has started?
Ramses update: He is doing mostly well. Eating, going outside, head up and looking around, more of his personality showing. Though he has been quiet and sleeping more than usual, he had his last 'kitty morphine' tonight, so we'll see an increase in activity tomorrow. And whether he regrets letting his guard down enough to lick Silvara on the nose. Usually he is above noticing the other two cats!

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Ummm, spring please?

Natasha said it was like being inside a snowglobe afteschool, and it WAS very pretty, but really, was this neccesary?

Squinny Look out!

Ramses is NOT happy, but it looks like he will have many more adventures. His tummy is bare halfway up his sides, but he is eating and happy to be home (just don't tell him he still has to go for his dental). The U/S specialist found nothing. No spots anywhere, or enlarged organs, or anything else other than his organs are squished over on one side. So he just has a weird anatomy? Or the fat is just being stored on one side? I dunno, and neither do they. Hopefully the off lab values are just off due to the fact he hasn't been eating/drinking and that tooth infection is really bad. I can deal with that - I like having him around, and since this saved us (and him) from having to have surgery to look & see what that mass was and finding out it was nothing, I'm happy.
Here's a page I scrapped about him last summer.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Ramses Cat

I have a list a mile long this week that I have barely touched, and while I am usually good at procrastinating on my own, I do have a fun-list of things to do after the must-be-done variety. Instead, I've spent much of the last two days at the vets office or on the phone with them.

Ramses, a lovely wild and fierce but amorous grey cat with yellow-green eyes adopted us shortly after we moved into this house 13 years ago. He keeps our garden relatively rabbit and squinney-free, usually comes home when we whistle, and asks to go out instead of using the litterbox. He just finished a 2 week course of antibiotics to take care of a tooth infection, and was obviously feeling much better. Then all of a sudden he was hiding, not eating or drinking, his breath was back to nasty and instead of his already age-slowed loping up & down stairs he was climbing them one paw at a time and having trouble trying to figure out how to climb down off the couch.

Even now with all the time at the vet we still aren't clear exactly what is going on. His organs are being squished to one side by a thing (a growth? extra fat deposit?) so the vet can't even see some of his organs to see why the blood work is off. He really needs a dental which involves anesthesia so he can eat* and we can't risk that until we figure out what is going on. So tomorrow or Friday he will have an ultrasound so we can figure out how to treat him. This morning he shied away (Don't Touch!) when I rubbed his right side where everything is squished, but the left I could pet. Yesterday while Mira & I cuddled up to read books Ramses sat on my lap and snuggled, half the time looking straight into my eyes. Not his fierce let-me-go-or-I'll-Scratch-I'm-done-cuddling-and-want-to-go-outside look, nor his I-AM-going-to-sit-on-you-as-close-to-your-face-as-I-can-get-and-cuddle-and/or-sleep-on-you-while-you-pet-me-devil-with-whatever-you-were-trying-to-do look. Just a look of - I'm not sure what's going on and I don't feel well but I'm glad you're here. Made me want to cry.

He has a pretty good life - all the wild game he can catch, food and fresh water inside when he doesn't want to hunt, AC to sleep in during the summer days, a warm bed to sleep in all winter, with servants/ahem, us to let him outside and back in when he wants to do his business. And five people who love and pet him and give him catnip.

Once he went on walkabout for 6 weeks - just up and disappeared one weekend, right after I left for a business trip. I worried that perhaps he had gotten locked in my trunk and was still there at the airport, because you know, when a self-sufficient cat who has the best of two worlds goes missing - what else could have happened? Nevermind I would probably have heard him meowing to get out. I returned, he didn't. We called shelters, neighbors, vets offices. No one had seen him alive or otherwise. We eventually thought perhaps he had gone off to the woods to leave this world, with a slight hope that maybe he been taken.

The cat-napping theory was not really likely as he runs away from the street when he hears a car and he can be pretty fierce with his claws. Once he attacked a large dog that had wandered into our yard - swatted it right on the nose. The dog ran away. Once he killed a raccoon. But at least with that hope we knew he might find his way back to us. Being an outdoor kitty, he only used the litterbox when there was a blizzard going on and he had decided the snow was too deep - and that only after he had looked out all three doors of the house. Really. As I mentioned above, he asks to go out when he needs to do his business, and if no one is home he waits or on the rare desperate occasion uses the despised box. But if someone did try to keep him inside when he wanted out? Well, their house was going to smell bad pretty darn fast, so there was our hope he could 'escape' or be given away and find his way back. After 6 weeks with the November weather turning cold, well, we assumed the worst. Had THE talk about cats & heaven with Natasha who was maybe 3 at the time. Then one Saturday morning we were making breakfast in the kitchen and heard a plaintive meow. There he was - several pounds lighter and dirty and scruffy - sitting on the kitchen windowsill, asking to be let in. We never did find out what happened and eventually decided he had just needed to see the world.

I really, really hope this isn't the end of his adventures.
* he is eating now, a lovely high calorie-fat-protein soft chicken fish oil poultry liver cat food concoction that brings all the cats running and require no chewing. Don't think were starving him.

What happened to the Lamb?

Where's the Lamb Part one: Ever since March came in like a Lion, and Sarah started bringing home cutouts, poems, drawings and the like of both Lambs and Lions all month, Rich has been trying to tell me that the saying goes both ways, March either comes in like a Lion and goes out like a Lamb, or comes in like a Lamb and goes out like a Lion. Ok, so a: I've never heard that, and b: While I do remember some warm and mild Marches, and he's a rather intelligent guy, well, I just think he's goofed up on this point! (hehe - Hi honey). Of course the weather rarely follows the rules - kinda like the groundhog telling us there will be six more weeks of winter. Usually things start warming up mid-march anyway, so other than fun for the kids and a few grown-ups like me who want to pretend winter is going to end a little sooner, it really doesn't make a bit of difference.

No matter, because this year neither one of his options was correct. This year, March came in like a Lion and went out like a Lion. Cold and snowy mixed with rain in that first week, and thunderstorming yesterday, with lots of rain, ending in a light dusting of snow in the wee hours. April Fools Mother Nature - and thank you for making it melt by 10 a.m.

Where's the Lamb Part Two. While March often does start off roaring like a Lion, the reason we didn't end with a Lamb is because we ate it. Except we have no proof. Let me explain. Every year since I can remember, my mother has made a wonderfully scrumptious lemon pound cake, molded into the shape of a lamb, and frosted with the yummiest buttercreme frosting ever. I took over the baking and frosting when I was somewhere around 12 years old. Last year, Natasha took over the job of frosting our lamb cake. This year, she measured, grated, mixed, poured, baked, and frosted. I pulled out the recipe and washed, greased and floured the lamb mould. Oh, and I sliced some strawberries to have with the mini cake we make from the leftover batter that doesn't fit in the mould.

The other day I edited photos and thought to print the photos of Natasha baking the cake as, being a crazed scrapper, I have photos of her measuring, grating, mixing and pouring the batter. It was then I realized we hadn't taken a single photo of the finished cake, frosted all creamy white with jelly bean eyes and nose, a pink ribbon around it's neck and green frosting grass piped all the way around the bottom. Ooops. Ok ok, so I have photos of every lamb cake I have made since we have been married, including the one Natasha frosted last year (already used those for a scrapbook page). I suppose this years page will just be about the baking huh?