Monday, March 30, 2009

An Ode to Maple

Maple was our spunky, funny, loving, mischievous, sweet, naughty, cuddly kitten. He just turned one on March 9th. He was especially Pepper's cat and she could do anything to him--dress him up, drag him around, follow her everywhere. She loved him and he loved her.

Rose Bud and Banana Boy loved to play with Maple. One of Maple's favorite things to do was to chase a string. RB and BB were especially good at finding strings for Maple to tackle. He would play for 20 minutes with a string.

He has caught 2 mice in his lifetime. He was very proud.

One of his very favorite things to do was to sleep. Anywhere. With anyone. The more interesting place, the better.

His favorite nasty habit was to chew on the foam play mats we kept in our basement. For some reason, he just loved to bite at them. They started out with claw marks, then teeth marks, then he chewed off a corner. Eventually, he pulled the whole edge strip off and he would carry it around the house. He also ate pieces of the mat and it always made him throw up. We were forever finding puddles of cat barf with a piece of mat in the center.

We finally had to put the edges away. Since moving, we've had the mats up in the attic where the cats don't normally go. Three times, Maple has gotten into the attic and each time he attacked his favorite chew mats.

Saturday, he got into the attic. Saturday night he threw up. Sunday morning, cat barf greeted us in the kitchen. We locked him in the basement for the day until he barfed up all the pieces. Sunday afternoon there was one piece. There were also 5 or 6 other puddles. Sunday night he was still barfing, but only bile. We figured he'd get another piece up soon, so he spent the night in the basement (Spider, too, since the litter is down there)

Monday morning I went down to check on him and fed them (usually Pepper's job) Normally, Maple shoves Spider out of the way and eats Spider's food, then eats his own. Today he didn't even go near the food. There was more barf, again, only bile. He even came to me to be petted and I'm not normally his favorite person.

So into the cat crate he went for a trip to the vet for an x-ray. He barfed again at the vet's and they couldn't see any mat in his stomach although there did appear to be something (and there shouldn't have been anything, since he hadn't kept any food down since Sat. night).

One option at that point was to do a barium study and if they found mat, do emergency surgery at a more skilled clinic than our own. $1000-2000. Together, the vet (whom I really like) and I determined that since surgery was not an option for us financially, there was no point in doing the barium.

We did feel that fluids might help, especially if the continued vomiting was due more to dehydration and an upset stomach, and if there WASN'T any mat, this was a smart option. Perhaps getting him hydrated and offering him some bland food would get him back on track.

At closing time, the vet called with an update and felt that he was perking up with the fluids, but then she called back two minutes later to say he had vomited again. She didn't feel like he was in any immanent danger or in pain, so we decided to reassess in the morning.

Still, I began to prepare the kids for the worst.

This morning we stopped in when the clinic opened at 7:15. I was pretty sure what the outcome was going to be and I wanted the kids to have a chance to say goodbye. The receptionist had to clean out his cage first as he had been sick all night. I took Rose Bud and Banana Boy in first and left Sunshine with Daisy. Banana Boy just wanted me to lift him up for a quick look and one pet. Rose Bud stroked him for a little bit. Maple looked pretty good although he was really thin. He had an IV in for fluids so at least he wasn't dehydrated.

Then I had the girls come in. As soon as Pepper said "hi" to him, he began a roaring purr and snuggled up to both of their hands while they petted him behind his ears and under his chin. He closed his eyes in kitty-bliss and felt the love. I lost it.

We spent the morning having coffee with AJ, who gave us Maple in the first place, almost a year ago. The vet was really busy all morning and didn't have time to call with an update, so I stopped in on the way to pick up Sunshine from school to sign the papers. She said at that point, he was projectile vomiting and she was pretty sure there was something in his stomach.

I gave her the go ahead and went back to have lunch with AJ and all the kids. On the way home, we picked up the box with Maple's body in it.

So it's done. Pepper and I had a good cry this afternoon. The rest are still processing.

Most of this post, up until the details of this morning, I wrote last night, which was good because I really don't feel like rehashing the story anymore right now. I'll update tomorrow.

Here is a little tribute I put together. The writings are from the girls' journals.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

When Life Gives You Lemons...

Why, you make lemonade, of course! And lemon bars. Yum!!

Lemons with a few brown spots, 6/$.49, on special!

Beautiful Braids

Pepper has been wanting her hair in braids, so last week we sat down one morning with the spray bottle and the comb and bunch of little bows

Of course, the really fun part is taking them out!

There Were Five in the Bed

I rearranged the boys' room yesterday and in honor of everything being "new," Banana Boy invited the girls for a sleepover. The cats invited themselves.

Here for your viewing pleasure is 2 girls, 1 boy and 2 cats (14 legs, as BB pointed out) in a twin bed. Enjoy!

In case you can't decipher it, Daisy is on the left under the Dora blanket, BB is next to the wall and Pepper is splayed out, taking up most of the bed. The cats are, of course, in the middle where it is warmest.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

The Happy P]ooping Dance

Yeah, we've been doing it here lately. Suddenly, Sunshine is on a potty kick and maybe this will be the time it sticks. He's been pretty good about p]ooping on the potty and just yesterday, he was actually keeping his unders dry. As in, staying dry inbetween the times I'm taking him to go potty. And then when he does go potty, he's not just squeezing out a token drip, but actually emptying his bladder, something he's not been willing to do before.

I put ye old cheerios in the toilet yesterday for him to aim at. I think that helped with the emptying as he had to keep mustering ammunition. In any case, he thought that was fun.

I bought him some super-cute new unders on Etsy and he is excited for them to come. I told him he can't have them until all his diapers are gone. I can't share the photos, but here are the links to the prints I chose... Diggers Elephants and Zoo I only chose the last one because I liked the little huts.
And I'm sparing you pictures of the Happy P]ooping Dance. It's just not that pretty. But Sunshine likes it.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Head Holes Update

Well, Banana Boy got two stitches in his chin. I can't get a picture yet as he is at Grandma and Grandpa's house this weekend. Here are the sketchy details I have, not having been directly involved in any of this myself...

He fell on the blacktop on the playground. He took himself to the office. He cried a little. He didn't get any blood on his shirt, just on his hands.

He fell asleep as soon as Mr. GT got him in the car heading to the doctor's. He was SO brave! He didn't cry at ALL (he cried in his head, he said) They used numbing gel rather than a shot (yay!) and he has two stitches. He said he has whiskers.

And apparently it isn't sore, since he hasn't complained at all.

Yes, Mr. GT bought him ice cream afterward (the flavor of the day was Snicker Swirl, lucky duck!)

Sunshine is fine too, BTW.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Like We Need A Hole in the Head

Two holes, actually.

Sunshine was dancing around this morning, doing circles around the sunroom, got dizzy and landed temple-first on the prayer bench. The prayer bench Mr. GT build with nice sharp corners. Pepper brought him to me all sad and crying and then I noticed blood dripping steadily from his poor head. It stopped quickly with a little kleenex pressure. So now he has a bandaid in his hair.

This afternoon I laid down for a nap with Sunshine, as per usual, and when I woke up, Pepper said to me, "Someone keeps trying to reach you. They've called the phone twice and your cell phone keeps ringing."

!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (so come and wake me UP! already!) Pepper and I had a quick little talk about how that means that's an emergency and she should wake Mommy up, please.

Listen to messages. One from Mrs. Hey (old neighbor--well, not old old. She's not old. She's really quite young. I mean old, as in, we used to live next door to her), and two from the school secretary. Two on the cell phone, one from Mrs. Hey and one from the school secretary.

Call secretary. Turns out Banana Boy has fallen at recess and cut open his chin. Secretary thinks he needs stitches. She left messages for me (at home and on cell), Mr. GT (at work and on cell), called Nonny but didn't leave a message (she was napping, too, but would have answered the phone if someone left a message) and Mrs. Hey, whom she actually talked to.

Meantime, poor BB, rather than sit in the office and unable to have Mommy, opted for Mrs. S, his teacher and went back to the classroom.

Mr. GT's cell never rang. Stupid cell reception.

ANYWHO, I sent Mr. GT off to pick up BB, called the secretary back, called Mrs. Hey back, called Nonny to let her know, called urgent care, called mr. GT on his cell to tell him what to do once he got to school....I think that's all the calls I made.

BB promptly fell asleep once he got in the car. Good, then he can't get his poor self worked up about the upcoming stitches.

Pictures to follow.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Now For a Word From Our Sponsors

Don't forget to visit my super-cool and about as infrequently updated Homeschool Blog, Small Things With Great Love

And now back to your regularly scheduled blog

Solo & Ensemble

Rose Bud participated in Solo & Ensemble this year. I got to take her to the meet and we had some nice Mother/Daughter time in the car.

She was nervous, but not unduly so. She's been practicing and practicing and I thought it was a fairly hard piece, even though it was Class C. It had lots of high notes and eighth notes and if you've listened to a seventh grader play high notes on the clarinet you've experience that special squeak that only comes from a clarinet. Even the high schoolers we listened to were squeaking on the high notes!

She didn't squeak! She did a great job on her clarinet solo! Unfortunately, even though she played at 2:38 in the afternoon, they STILL hadn't posted the scores by 4 pm when we had to leave. We'll update on how they scored her when we know.

A Play, By Daisy, Pepper and Banana Boy

A few notes on the play:

I believe the Daisy in the play and MY Daisy are two different people

Did you see the characters bow at the end?

Most of the scenery was produced by the real Daisy, although Pepper did Summer and BB drew all the birds. Daisy wrote the scripts and Pepper and BB made the puppets.

It was a surprise for me--they wouldn't tell me what they were doing all day yesterday.

Aren't they CUTE!!!!!

Friday, March 6, 2009

Welcome to the Circus!

The Strong Man and his Wife

The Juggler

The Bearded Lady??

Breaking Something

Sword Fighter in a Raccoon Hat

The Strong Man and His Wife, Again

Toddler Tamer

Let's Talk Vomit (A Photo-Free Post)

First of all, I don't DO vomit.  I mean, I vomit, but I don't like other peoples' vomit.  (Who does, really)  Vomit makes me vomit.  I even gag if I have to pick up cat puke.  Even through 7 layers of paper towel, I can still feel the squishiness.

Poop, on the other hand--Bring it on.  Doesn't phase me a bit.

Anywho, back to the vomit.

So last night Banana Boy starts crying at 10:30 pm.  He's been doing this lately.  His foot hurts or his hand hurts and because he has such a low pain threshhold, he WAILS.  My theory is that it's fallen asleep, but I suppose it could be growing pains.  Whatever.  I have to rub it for a while and snuggle him and he can go back to sleep.

So I carry him downstairs and we rock in the green chair.  He also has night terrors, especially when he's overtired and with going full-day to school three days a week now, he is often over tired.

So, to the green chair.  I don't talk to him.  I don't rub him.  I just hold him and we rock under a blanket.  He soon falls back asleep.

Back to bed.

Ten minutes later, he is crying again, so this time I have Mr. GT bring him in bed with us.  He's more lucid now and says, "My tummy hurts."

Uh oh.

Did I mention in our new house, all but a few rooms are covered in new ugly beige carpeting?  Thank you, former owners!

Off we go to the potty.  Potty.  Back to bed.  I rub his tummy.  I rub his back.  He's dozing off.

"Ow!  Ow!  My tummy hurts!"

"I'm hot!"

"I have to go to the bathroom."  Ok, Sweetie, go ahead.  Do you want Mommy to come with you?

(and this cracks me up) "No, only if you want to."  I mumble about how I'd rather sleep, thank you.

And he cries from the bathroom.  I run.

Now, I have to say, he's only ever thrown up twice since we've known him.  The first time was many years ago.  He was sitting on a carpet square on the (carpeted) floor at church and he cried, he coughed, he ralphed.  Very neatly all over himself and the carpet square.

Don't tell anyone, but I just had dh throw the carpet square into the dumpster behind the church.  WE weren't cleaning it!

So, I get to the bathroom door, hear the distinctive cough and turn right around, yelling for sweet Mr. GT.

Mr. GT likes puke.  He gets that from Grandma, who is also handy to have around when there is stomach flu.  More than once, Grandma has rescued me from a barfing kid.

Ok, he doesn't really like it, but it doesn't bother him either.  He NEVER throws up.  He's thrown up once in his life.  Ever.  Lucky.

Have we talked about vomit enough?

Suffice it to say, Mr. GT cleaned up the little rug that sits in front of the toilet.  Yes, BB did it again.  He made it to the bathroom over acres of carpet and deposited right on the little rug.  No fuss, no muss.  Good job, BB!

He cleaned up BB and changed his jammies and brought him and a towel back to bed.  BB's tummy felt much better.

I did not feel much better.  I decided to camp in the boys' room with Sunshine for the rest of the night.

I don't like surprises, especially when I'm sleeping.  Right next to someone's face.

The end of the story:  (thank goodness)  BB only was sick that once, but his tummy did hurt until this morning.  He stayed home from school (too bad, he was supposed to be the Super Star today).  He's kept down 7-Up (doesn't anyone really buy actual 7-Up anymore?  This was actually Sierra Mist), toast and a cup of tea.  I think he just went out to play.

Just before I began to blog, he said, "Mom!  You should have taken a picture of me throwing up for the blog!"

uh, yeah.

Luckily for you all, the only thought that occurred to me at that point last night was to run the other way.  Far away.  In the opposite direction from my camera.