Monday, December 13, 2010

Tips from a Not-So-Supermom.

Today's tips - stay tuned for new tips every 3 months - haha.

Tips for Making Christmas Cookies with Preschoolers!

1. Lower your expectations.
2. Buy pre-made dough.
3. Lower your expectations.
4. Bake at breakfast time. You'll be more fresh and won't have to cook breakfast!
5. Lower your expectations again.
6. Embrace the mess as part of the process.
7. Plan to offer actual nutrition the rest of the day.
8. Plan on only you and your children eating or seeing the cookies. This way when they put the icing tube in their mouth you won't have to worry about your neighbor or their teacher getting their germs.
9. Make each child a cookie with the first letter of their name that they can decorate any way they want and then eat.
10. Take lots of pictures!





Sunday, September 12, 2010

Blessings

I'm sitting in my new kitchen. It's ginormous. (How did "ginormous" pass the spell check?) It's embarrassing, really, how big it is. The other day we delivered a loved crib to a single mama from our church. She has an absolutely gorgeous 6-month-old son with the hugest brown eyes you've ever seen. She lives in a small old house with a rotting porch with her mom, her older son, her little baby, and perhaps someone else - we couldn't tell. She and her mom were lovely and very grateful for a crib for their little sweetheart.

We dropped off the crib at the non air conditioned house and hopped back into our comfy, cool minivan to return to our new home where Granny was caring for our boys, much as that little baby's grandmother likely takes care of him sometimes, too. As we drove off I realized how embarrassingly comfortable we expect to be as a family.

In Austin we lived in a 1400 square foot house with two little boys. It was tight but we were determined to make it work until we could pay it off. People live with much much less space, obviously, and although we occasionally longed for a bigger place to spread out (mostly for a bigger kitchen), we were all happy there.

Enter a new city with a much lower average housing cost. We rented a big ol' house (to us) for a year, put an offer on this place in April, closed in June, and leased back to the original owners for two months. Now we're in our new home and are really happy to have more space. But we really aren't any happier than when we had less space.

I know as middle-class Americans we have much more than we need and are terribly spoiled. I know that "on paper," but dropping off the crib at this mom's house was a tangible reminder of how blessed we are. We could be wealthier, but we couldn't be richer, and we wouldn't be happier.

I would be happier if it weren't football season. (Just kidding, darling.)

Monday, September 06, 2010

Hindsight

Some of my most beautiful memories come from when we were struggling daily, monthly, and annually with infertility. How is that possible? At the time it was the most devastating experience of my life.

I look back at joining Hannah's Prayer after 9 months of infertility. What an amazingly incredible blessing HP has been for me over the years. I have been a member now for over 6 years and now moderate two forums. I have met endless beautiful ladies, some whose arms have been filled with children and some whose hearts have been filled with peace and joy as families of two!

Reading some of my old posts in preparation for my support group tomorrow simply warm my heart. Helpful comments from friends like Crunchy Christine who has now advised me every which way on topics like infertility, open adoption, breast feeding, and anger management. I get to see how God gave me peace and contentment in my life even before my arms were filled with my two precious blessings, and how He has grown me in the past 7 years.

Tomorrow I go sit with a group of ladies (no idea how many folks will turn up) who are currently struggling with infertility and my purpose is to point them to the God of healing and love. He loves us whether we feel it's true or not - it's just a fact. Whether I have faith or I don't, God is sovereign and holy and loves me. When I am angry with Him He still loves me. When I feel like I am not getting the good that I deserve, the truth is that I'm getting much more than what I deserve to be called His child.

Easy for me to point to God now that my arms are filled, right? Well that might be a valid point, but it doesn't make His promises and his word any less true. It's just hard to see clearly in times of personal crisis. It was for me, it is now in different situations, and it will likely be hard to see clearly for these ladies. I just need to continually remind myself that I cannot heal their hurts, but God can.

Support

My support group starts tomorrow. I was going to write about it when I heard on the TV about how lack of sleep can affect preschoolers FOREVER! So what am I supposed to do about that? Start bedtime at 6pm the minute my husband walks through the door so those kids can be asleep by 7:30? Drive myself absolutely INSANE taking it all upon myself to force those boys to go to sleep how, by holding them down in their beds and taping their eyes and mouths shut? I don't think so. I want those researchers to come to my home and get my kids to sleep by 7:30. Wouldn't that just look like an episode of Leave it to Beaver?

I have to make lunches for tomorrow. No time to prepare for my support group. Can I have a snack now? It's only 9:35 p.m. The kids have been asleep for less than an hour and I got an, "I hate you, Mommy" from my little angel. Perhaps all this nonsense is meant to be a distraction for me and I shouldn't let it.

Prepare...

Friday, August 27, 2010

This is gross. You may want to stop reading.

Not for the coprophobic.

This morning I decided to make a healthy green smoothie for part of my balanced breakfast (1 cup water, kale, 1 banana, 1 c. of frozen berries). I had my first 3 ingredients in the carafe and two boys sitting on the kitchen counter. They were, well, let's call it "helping."

I turned my back to rinse out the lid when the blender turns on and banana-kale-water flies into the air with the greatest of ease. "NO!" I scream, and walk speedily out of the room to get my bearings. As I went back to check the damage it wasn't that bad and so I counted my blessings.

Ah, here comes my delicious smoothie. By this time LB resigned to the Mickey Mouse Club on TV while BB was still helping me. Thank God I was standing there because BB picked up what looked like a flattened felt pad from the bottom of our kitchen chairs and went to put it in the blender. "Stop, BB," I said, and took the object from him. "What is that?" I thought aloud as I held it up to my face to inspect it.

It was then I realized that it was poo. It had fallen out of BB's pull-up and he'd flattened it with his foot. I squealed, threw it away, and vigorously washed my hands. I turned to BB who was looking bewildered from the kitchen chair next to the counter. I asked him, "Were you trying to make a poo smoothie?" He smiled sheepishly and we went on with our smoothie-making. One might think we would not want to drink the smoothie that almost went fecal on us, but we only had one banana left so we had to.

It was good.

You might be a mom of boys if...

Monday, August 16, 2010

Mom

That makes me:

Referee
Coach
Personal Trainer
Teacher
Pastor
Chef
Maid
Nurse
Mediator
Counselor
Friend
Mrs. Nice guy
Mean lady :o)

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Quiet.

It's quiet. What? I'm just soaking it in.

LB broke the blender earlier. That was loud. The boys are tired today. They're loud. I have a lot on my mind today. My thoughts are also loud. I'm paralyzed by quiet. What do I do now? As soon as I start something I'm certain to be disturbed. It's hard to get started on something cool when I'm always wondering when someone will wake up and need me.

I'm not complaining. Parenting is a gift. But it's a loud job.

What should I do?

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Humbled

A little under a year ago we moved to a new city and found a new church. It's very different from the church we attended last, a big Baptist church. Our current church is one of the world's largest (like #20 or so) and is filled to the brim with outreach ministries, both within the church and community. It has been wonderfully interesting lately finding out about all of the ministries, especially the Pastoral Care department. There are 20 or so support groups at our church helping people going through trials like alcoholism, marriage issues, and abortion recovery. It's amazing. But there has been a group close to my heart that has not yet been served - couples going through the monthly heartbreak of infertility.

Every service the pastor calls people to the alter who would like to receive prayer. I am usually in the choir loft during one of those services, so I often see the faces and tears of our dear brothers and sisters coming for intercessory prayer. I often wonder if some of those tears are for the monthly losses associated with being unable to conceive or to carry a baby to term. Every time I watch this type of alter call I pray fervently for those women and men. I began to feel led every Sunday to talk to someone about starting an infertility life group at the church.

After an obviously God-ordained series of events, I was put in touch with the director of support services in the Pastoral Care department and, long-story short, we met and proposed a plan to the Pastoral Care department to start an infertility support group in the fall. Last week I received word that our Community Bible Church has approved the group. We will start in September.

"Now what?!?!?" I ask. I am not a professional counselor, I am just a busy mom who has not forgotten where we've come from to get there. I don't look like a professional - right now I'm sitting in my PJs gazing over an extremely toy-strewn playroom and periodically making sure my boys are not eating from the sugar bowl like they enjoy doing. I don't dress to shoes every day and I've barely done any professional work for almost 4 years. I'm not a trained speaker, I ramble on and on sometimes, and I am certainly not "good enough" to be in a position to minister to how ever many women come to our fledgling group. But you know Who Is?

So I'm humbled that God has chosen to form this group and I am praying for a co-leader. I can't wait to see who God turns up! I know He has chosen her already and she just has yet to be revealed. How exciting!! We need to nail down a book to guide our time (I'm thinking Hannah's Heart by Jenni Saake), and then discuss some group details. I will have to pull out some of my counseling skills from Nat "What are the tears about?" Kees at Colorado State University. (That was a fun time in my educational career so it will be fun to think back on that.) Above all I will be praying for the ladies who would venture into our group.

Yes, we're parenting little kiddos now and our infertility days are not our current reality, but I have not lost the heart for this group of ladies and I am looking forward to seeing what comes out of this. I don't think anyone who has walked the lonely road of infertility has forgotten, either. Will you join me in prayer?

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Bible Gateway dot com.

“But the Lord is faithful, and he will strengthen and protect you from the evil one.”- 2 Thessalonians 3:3

That's all. :o)

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Operation Wear 'Em OutI

Once a week or so I have a mom's night. No, not a night where I go out and paint the proverbial town, but a night where I am the only grown-up. I have a plan. I shall retitle the evening, "Play-our-faces-off night." I need some high-energy activities for us so I can put them down early to bed and have some me time. I love me time.

Looks like Chick-Fil-A is on that agenda. They have a playscape that that boys love. LB is always dripping with sweat by about 5 minutes of play. BB wants to fill up the pool, but I might leave that for nights when Randy is home and can help me wash grass of these guys.

Operation Wear 'Em Out begins...

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Mommy, you're pretty.

I was just trying to get the kids settled down for their naps. They were pretty riled up. BB kept climbing into LB's bed and when I went to take him out they clung to each other and BB said, "But I love LB so much!" Awww.

A few minutes later I was singing the Cheeseburger Song (Veggie Tales), and BB said, "Mommy, your toenails aren't pretty." A month or so ago I had painted my toenails pink and BB was bragging to everyone about them. Who says boys aren't into beauty! I removed the pink a few weeks ago and went au natural until 5 minutes ago. Now my toenails are plum.

I asked BB, "Do you want me to paint my toenails?" and he got a sweet smile on his face and finally began to settle down. Who knew all it would take to get them to sleep was toenail polish?

I love my boys.

Sunday, May 02, 2010

Clean eating


I'm not sure what this means, but I know it doesn't mean what I ate for dinner last night! But, I am on a health kick and am interested in changing my diet so that I feel more energy and less moody. Today we are going to a local farmer's market for some fresh produce. They also have "clean, wholesome, grass-fed beef and pastured chickens," whatever that means.

We started "getting ready" at 9:15 and now it's almost 10:30. We do not do "getting ready" fast in this house! The blessing for this morning is that LB let me dress him without screaming at me. A small victory.

Off to the farmer's market. LB hopes to see a cow. I don't think he means a steak, though.

Friday, March 05, 2010

Unexpected, non-child-related blessing.


Today I had plans to go to my friend Elisabeth's house for lunch with some of the moms from the boys' school. I was expecting to either know everyone there or have something obvious in common with everyone. When I knocked on the door an older woman answered and I was momentarily confused and thought I had gotten the wrong house. But then Elisabeth popped around the corner and I was relieved. Elisabeth is Swedish, although she has lived in the states for 10 years, and today I met two other women from her home country. One was a young married woman, and one was an 85-year-old widow. I Americanized their names and then began to mingle with the women I knew.

Then I met Marion, an engaging 74-year-old woman who is also a widow of 4 years. Then Vienna who I didn't know, and Doris from Puerto Rico. I ended up knowing fewer than 50% of the women there. I wouldn't say I was disappointed, but it just wasn't what I was expecting.

The moms from school sat at a table together, and the other table was the "international table." Although there was a seat at either table, I sat with the women I didn't know. I had a fabulous and blessed lunch with my new friends. I spent most of the time talking with Marion, as she told me about her 52-year-old beau and her upcoming move to be closer to her daughter. I chatted a little with the Swedish ladies about the Americanization of their names, of their language, and of the failure of the U.S. to encourage language learning in our schools.

Elisabeth served a traditional Swedish Smörgåstårta or "sandwich cake." It was just amazing. Isn't it gorgeous? I could have eaten 5 servings. We had ice-cream afterwards, and that paled in comparison to the Smörgåstårta. I never ever ever ever thought I would have preferred a sandwich over ice cream. Crazy.

I'm not sure I can express why I felt so blessed afterwards. I guess because it was so unexpected and different than having lunch with a pile of people I knew. Also because Elisabeth was so hospitable and planned an interesting international gathering with a dish from her country. Plus, as much as I adore my kids, our conversation was pretty much void of kid talk. It felt great to have flowing conversation with people in a different life stage than mine.

I really have no idea who reads my blog anymore, besides my mom, Niki, and Allison! But I want to encourage "my readers" to maybe sit at a table full of people you don't know at the next social gathering you attend. I know I will.

Thanks, Elisabeth!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Resting


Boy, life has been busy lately! We moved in September, began to get adjusted, and the boys are into everything at all times. Then we rescued Gracie and rehabilitated her through a leg amputation and now a spay. We are looking for a new home and I have evening plans tonight.

I went to look at homes this morning with our awesome, smart, beautiful real estate consultant and then came home to quickly pick up my care group list for choir. I called Randy at work to update him on the home situation and he encouraged me to take a breather this afternoon. Now I'm breathing.

Random thoughts. I saw 4 homes this morning and two of them were very nice. Another was quirky and quaint, not exactly our style, and another had a complicated back yard that would not be conducive to our current lifestyle. However, both of the areas we looked in are a little farther out than ideal for us, so we probably won't continue to look in those areas. We go back out on Saturday.

Gracie is doing well and was spayed yesterday. So now she has an even more interesting fur pattern. Here is a picture of her from Saturday.

Tonight I am having dinner with a college friend who I have not seen or spoken to in over 15 years (until last night, that is). I'll find a nice Texasy spot for us to dine. Should be fun!

Monday, February 01, 2010

Pillows

As I sit and do some nonsensical work on my computer, two naked boys play sumo babies.

BB just chased after LB with their pillows held to their chests, naked baby booties passing me by. Both giggling with naked glee. "Let's go to the yellow room," BB said as they scampered off.

Blessings.

(I could make this into a haiku, don't you think?"

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Gracie's recovery, day 4

video

Gracie is very slowly and very surely perking up. She had her bandage taken off today and the vet said she looks really good. I'm not sure "looks good" describes it, but it is definitely an improvement from before. This is a real fighter. Not only is she getting used to being a house cat after living the wild life for the first 6 months, but getting used to two new cats and the loss of a limb. A lot of adjustments! She will need some time to figure out how to get around more stealthily with her new physique. I felt sad for her when she fell over during this video, but if you're not falling you're not trying, right? Maybe that only applies to skiing, I don't know.

Being scared of the other cats in the house hinders her recovery. She is still living in the bathroom and it's pretty small. There aren't really too many exciting things to do in there so there's not much reason to move around. Maybe she'll learn to flush the toilet. Although I'm not sure how, since we haven't used that bathroom for over 2 weeks. The vet thinks that after the sutures come out would be a good time to introduce all of these guys. I guess I should be glad to have another female in the house. This almost evens out the gender count at home.

Monday, January 25, 2010

She plays

These are some pictures from yesterday.

Photobucket

Photobucket


We went to the vet for a bandage change today. They took the bandage off completely and planned to leave it off until I reminded them that Gracie likes to lie around in her litter box! We'll leave the bandage on until Wednesday. Hopefully she'll be feeing much better and would rather hang in her bed instead of the poop box. The doctor said she seems to be doing well and things are healing up nicely. The visual image is a little Bride of Frankenstein, but not too bad. I'll have two days to get used to the image in my head before bye-bye bandage.

So tonight I went in to give her medicine and hold her for a little bit. She loves to be scratched under the chin. She purrs so loudly! After petting her for awhile I introduced the catnip mouse again. She actually batted at it for the first time. I was so proud! She looked very interested in it as I bat it around on the floor. Maybe some pouncing is in our near future!

Saturday, January 23, 2010

The recovery - day 1

Gracie one day post surgery:


The Fence, Gracie's nemesis:

Friday, January 22, 2010

Officially a tripod.

The vet called earlier today to let me know that Gracie is now a tripod kitty! He said she was hopping around before the surgery and he thought she would do great without all that dead weight. I can't wait to see her! She will have a drainage tube for 5 days and we'll have to monitor her closely for infection. In 2 weeks she'll have her staple sutures taken out and be almost as good as new!

Thanks, Dr. Fernandez!

I've got two legs.

Gracie has three. I think.

We took Kitten to the vet yesterday for a bandage change but there was so much continual damage they decided to keep her there and perform the surgery today. I am supposed to get a call when they are through. It's a little after 11:00 now.

Miss Kitty will have her front right leg amputated at the shoulder. Sounds gruesome, doesn't it? She will come home on Saturday and have to go back to the vet every few days for bandage changes and then to have her stitches removed. People at the San Antonio Feral Cat Coalition have given some money individually to help pay for these costs and we certainly appreciate it. Yes, it is expensive! How could it not be? But this kitty happened to end up in our fence and we will make the financial parts work. Consider it taking care of God's creation.

The videos I've been seeing on YouTube show tripod cats to function like many other able-bodied ones. I even saw a video of one cat a week after surgery and it looked like he'd been three-legged all of his life. Type in "Milton cat - one week after surgery part 3." His bandage is off and his fur has not grown back in, but it is not gory or anything. Unless that kind of thing totally freaks you out.

Oh, on another note, my neighbor captured the patriarch of this feral cat colony in a humane trap the other day. He has been neutered and returned to his colony.

So I'm off for lunch with the psuedo-crunchy Christine! I'll post another Gracie update later.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Gracie


Guess what. I like her! This little hissy kitty is turning into a real sweetheart. I am looking forward to getting to know her as a tripod kitty. I was just watching YouTube videos of three-legged cats and it seems to me they look pretty happy! Most are missing a back leg and Gracie will be missing her front, but they all seem to get along really well!

Last night a neighbor came by to meet Miss Kitty, so that I could get her opinion on whether or not she seemed adoptable. My neighbor felt quite confident that she would be. And so do I now. There was not going to be much of a life for a 3-legged kitty out on the streets of San Antone. At first the goal was reunification with her feral cat colony. But everyone is afraid that she would likely be harmed by another neighborhood cat or dog because she would be seen as the weak link.

One week from today she will have her surgery. Her post-amputation care will include regular dressing changes, medications, and stitches removal. Then after she is healed from this she will be spayed (insult to injury, right?) and adoptable. It has been a long week of kitty care, but I feel good about what we are doing. There must be a reason it was our fence she was caught in. More and more people are becoming emotionally invested in her life and recovery. This bodes well for kitty!

So am I going to fall in love with her and want to keep her? Uh, well, uh, no dear, not at all. That's my story and I'm sticking to it.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Two days later.

OK, so that wasn't really what I've been learning.

I've been learning that even when we are ugly and behaving badly that God still loves us and Jesus still died for us. Whether or not we "deserve" His love, we get it. He tends to us when we feel like nobody cares and maybe even nobody has reason to.

And I've learned all this from a kitty cat.

When we brought the kitten in to our home after my neighbor Sarah and I rescued her from the fence, I figured we were just a temporary holding tank. I thought Sarah would take her to the vet and then take her home to care for her. But Sarah had to work that afternoon and I ended up taking the cat to the vet.

The doctor said there were no broken bones and that she may or may not regain use of her arm. The veterinary bill was $150, which my sincere, animal-loving neighbor had given me before she left for work. No prob. I would give the kitty the medicine and she would learn to walk without her leg until the feeling maybe came back. At that point, there was still a little bit of hope for the limb. The kitty let us give her the medicine, so it seemed like things might be easy.

Until the smell. The wound had become infected but there was still circulation to the limb, so there was hope that she would regain use of it. The bill was $60 including the office visit, treatment, and meds for the infection. Upon going back today, however, more cells had died and there is no choice but to amputate the limb or euthanize the cat.

Yes it would be cheaper to euthanize the cat. I know it is an animal and not a human. But at what point is an animal no longer worth saving? No, this is not a beloved house pet, but it is one of God's creatures who needs help. I would not have taken this on by choice, but it has kind of fallen in my lap. Now it's not such an easy decision.

We've had this cat for a week and have been through a lot together. I know, "IT'S A CAT!" but it is still a living creature. I believe she will be adoptable, and I have been promised some assistance with the vet bill. Yes I will likely end up taking care of the cat after this procedure, but I'm willing to do it. She is used to me and she trusts me. And yes then we will try to find a home for her.

I have also learned that different causes speak to different people. Someone asked me today why I was going through so much effort to raise money to save this three-legged cat. Shouldn't I be more concerned with raising that money for medical care in Haiti? Or to help feed hungry children in Texas?

Of course I am concerned with those things. And at other times in my life I will absolutely give to similar causes as these. But right now I have a sweet kitty in my bathroom who I think has a great chance at being adopted and having a good life. There are plenty of happy, three-legged pets out there. In fact, more than one person has told me that pets with disabilities are often more quickly adopted than healthy animals. I am sick about what has happened in Haiti. I have several friends who have children, family, and friends in Haiti and are very worried about their lives and safety. It's terrible, and I am praying for those families.

If Gracie the cat, and yes, I named her, did not seem appropriate for adoption I don't think the best solution would be to have her leg amputated and let her back into the wild. Originally the goal was to get this feral cat back to her colony. In that case the most humane thing would be to euthanize. But now she's tame. She purrs. She's beautiful. In my heart of hearts I think she is adoptable and will bring someone a lot of joy.

I am not an animal rights activist. I'm not a vegetarian and I don't believe that plants have feelings. But I do believe that God created animals and He cares about His creation. I do have a very specific kitty to help. I'm not going to go out and roam the streets searching for kittens to take in, and I'm not going to stop giving to other charities because right now our money and the money of some other cat lovers are going toward saving the life of a previously feral kitty.

When I had a miscarriage years ago I began giving to the March of Dimes. Then that memory and resulting passion faded and I stopped donating there. I donate to the Special Olympics and other similar organizations because I am a music therapist and work with people who have those concerns. When there was cancer in my family I donated to the American Cancer Society. Right now I have an animal that needs help, so I am giving money to help her. Who knows to which organizations other circumstances might lead us in the future.

This post has changed directions. It was originally about what I believe that God is teaching me through this "feral cat ministry." Now it is me processing my beliefs regarding charitable donations. If you don't want to contribute to my ministry because there are other areas of ministry that you feel more passionately about, then give there. That's awesome! Keep me informed of other ministries and areas of need in the future. In the meantime, where's Bob Barker when I need him?

Sunday, January 17, 2010

What I am learning this week.

First off, I am learning that animal rescuing is not a passion of mine. I am happy to help out a few animals I've become attached to, but I am not in this business for the long haul.

Last Monday the kids and I were playing in the backyard for the first time in what felt like ages. We were playing chase and hide-and-seek and having a lot of fun. But I kept hearing this aggressive meowing from our neighbor's yard. Each time I would walk toward it it would stop, so we'd keep playing.

Finally I went all the way to the back of the yard following the meowing and saw what looked like a chipmunk stuck through the fence. On closer inspection I noticed it was a very swollen cat's paw and the meowing was coming from a pretty, long-haired grey kitten who was looking hurt and angry! I couldn't figure out how to get her out, so I packed up the kids and walked over to the house where most of the kitten was stuck. Nobody was home.

So I called Animal Rescue and they said they couldn't help with domestic pets. I tried to get her out from my side of the fence, but there was no way. I have no idea how she got so stuck. The opening between the slats where she was couldn't have been more than about 1 centimeter. I know how big a centimeter is because it's the size of a miniature marshmallow, right, Mom?

What could I do? It was nap time for the boys, I hadn't eaten lunch, and this cat was absolutely pinned in there. I ended up calling my neighbor Sarah who, in a related animal story, was keeping Pink the beagle who I've blogged of before. She had told me she had rescued many animals before, so I thought she might be able to help me with the kitten. She jumped over the fence, wrapped Kitten in towels and gave me instructions on how to open up the fence slat a little with the head of a hammer. She got the kitten out!

This paw was swollen enough that it was probably as big as a golden retriever puppy's. She had no use of it and obviously needed to be taken to the vet. So Sarah gave me some money and arranged a vet visit. They did an x-ray and discovered that nothing was broken, but she obviously had considerable nerve damage. So I came home with a strange, angry cat who has been living in our downstairs bathroom for a week tomorrow.

The vet gave us some anti-inflammatory medicine to give to the cat. I put out some signs and slipped a note under the garage door of a neighbor who I thought could be the owner. She later called me (this was Tuesday night) and confirmed to me that the cat was a bona-fide member of a feral cat colony in our neighborhood. This neighbor, Pam, had just returned from a workshop teaching about how to manage feral cat colonies!

More later, as I am now on nap duty.

Monday, January 04, 2010

A new respect for single moms.

Not that I am anything near being a single parent, with my husband out of town for five days, and not that I haven't in the past had a respect for single moms, but I've a new appreciation today.

Over the past three years and two months there have been weeks when Randy has been out of town, but I've always fled the scene! I've spent several weeks with my wonderful mother-in-law and one week a few summers ago with my mom and dad in Iowa. We became very spoiled when Randy worked his last job as he didn't have to travel at all. But in the past two months he has had to travel almost two weeks. I am just not used to this nonsense! But it's OK, honey.

Anyway, my MIL could not make it down this time and after traveling for the holidays I didn't want to traipse the boys all over creation, so we decided to stay put. So this is my maiden voyage of parenting two very active boys by myself for the week. Ee-yikes!

Today went very well until bedtime. Then yikes again! We went to Chick-Fil-A for lunch which gave the boys a chance to run around a little. They did great and we had fun. BB even ate all his chicken for the first time ever, but poor thing forgot to beg me for a brownie before hand, so I didn't have to get him "a brownie if you eat all of your chicken." Oh well! Nap time went great and BB only climbed out of bed once. A victory!

This afternoon we took it easy on the TV (only 45 minutes - wow!) and had some great races in the hallway - running, hopping, leaping, skipping, and marching. Then bedtime. Yikes (of course I know I'm overusing this word).

The kids were in bed by 7:30, but that is when the fun (ahem) began. BB is our problem bedtime child. He climbs out of his bed numerous times, asks for snacks, puts things in his brother's crib, jumps around in his bed, throws things out of his bed, etc. Cute, huh? Well he is, but not so much when we're ready to end the day. So there was a lot of mayhem going on.

The problem is that LB is a total mama's boy and can't stand it when I'm not right with him. So every time I have to put BB back in his bed, LB screams "Mommy! Mommy!" Well not every night, but tonight. So after putting BB back in his bed about 4 times, one time after which he came down to the kitchen for a cheese stick, and one time after which I found him sitting in our bedroom playing on my computer, I decided to bite the bullet and stay in their room until they went to sleep.

All was pretty quiet as I silently listed the 50 United States in alphabetical order four times, until BB stood up in his bed and was trying to touch me. Anything to get my attention, right? So I got up to rub his back and hair for a few minutes seeing if that would put him to sleep. He was quiet, but as soon as I stopped he started to stand up again. So I left. And LB screamed bloody murder for several minutes.

I decided to just let them fuss for a little while and take a break, but when I went back up BB was on his way to our bedroom again, the little stinker, and LB was still screaming. I'd had it! I don't remember exactly what then transpired, but I know that I not-so-sweetly scooped BB up and put him back in his bed and told him to go to sleep. Then I shut the door - a major no-no. But I know when enough is enough for me, so I just let them cry it out. LB gave up first, and BB eventually gave in, too. I went to check on them expecting BB to either be on the floor or in LB's crib, but he was sound asleep in bed. They both were. Halleluia!

So one night down, three to go! We can do it! Back to Chick-Fil-A tomorrow? Perhaps. But I do know that I need a good night's sleep, God willing. So I'm off. See you tomorrow.

Yikes. Double yikes!