Saturday, July 24, 2010

Thursday, July 22, 2010


I love indoor cats! I'm not so much into flea-bitten barn cats, but I have to love those overindulged, spoiled inside cats that arrogantly stalk the house, claim a spot on top of the refrigerator or jump into your lap at their whim, as long as they purr contentedly.

When Jason and I were first married, I considered my home incomplete without a fat cat lounging on the sofa. My husband had other ideas. But later, because of his great love for me and maybe due to some pleading on my part, he deferred to me and procured a nice, big, orange specimen that had already been fixed and declawed. Mort was a great birthday present! And best of all, he won Jason's affection. Mortimer was famous for falling asleep with all fours in the air, usually when company was present. Unfortunately, when we moved to another house, he developed a fascination with the outdoors, and due to his lack of claws, fell prey to some roaming coyotes one night. It was tragic.

Through our ten years, we've gone through several cats, some with better personality than others. Bristow, a hunter at heart, had to eventually be banished. She caught lots of wild animals in her forays outside, and left them headless on our doorstep. The last cat we tried to domesticate was a disaster on four feet who couldn't figure out how to use the litter box. We never figured out whether it was male or female, so we named it Meatball and sent it outside to live. Meatball tried to cross the road one day, and met his/her demise. The kids were unaffected by what might have been to some a tragedy, but there was simply no attachment.

Life with a cat provides endless humor and entertainment, and we missed having one around. So when we found this kitten through a Facebook friend, we jumped at the opportunity.
She came just in time for Father's Day. We named her Mirabel.

So far, she is a very smart kitty. She easily passed the litter box test. She plays energetically. She sleeps curled up in the cutest places. She is very curious about bathtubs. And the kids love her.
Jack especially has taken to her, and will even refill her food bowl, unprompted. Here he is roaring at her.

Some words I have been repeating lately:

"Don't hold the kitty by her neck like that!!!!"
"No, no, NO!!! The litter box is NASTY."
"Stop dumping her water into the litter box."
"Mirabel has enough food now."
And our favorite--"Why is the cat wet?"

Monday, July 19, 2010

Party Party!

One of the things that is so nice about a two year old, or any young child for that matter, is that they don't really understand that a birthday is supposed to be celebrated on a particular day. Since we already had plans for Jack's actual birthday on June 26, we delayed the big celebration until we could throw some more party in the pot. Jason celebrated the big 3-5 on July 1, and since the Fourth fell nicely on a Sunday this year, we invited the family over for a bit of hoopla.

It took Saturday to make the cake, which was again lifted from the pages of Family Fun. Here is the empty barnyard that Helen helped make. I can't resist the nod to my pun-prone inlaws to say it was desserted. You can all throw pie at me now.
Then the animals gathered. Owen helped with the livestock, mostly in the hopes of candy rejects.
Here's my tell: a can of black olives shoring up the rickety structure. You'd think that being a builder's daughter I would know the importance of a good foundation, but I was just following the magazine instructions.
Here are the birthday boys! Jack had already gotten into the chips, and had to be torn away from the bag. Poor deprived child whose mama hardly ever buys chips!

He extinguished the candles on the first puff.He and cousin Allison had the best seats in the garage. Look at their plates. What in the world?! After supper, there was plenty of hang out time before the Poarch Indians' fireworks, which we watched from our house. The kids roamed the soybean field and raided the blueberry bush.David and Jace brought their new potato gun. The younger ones played with their hands over their ears, never knowing when the next potato would be launched. OK, so it was mostly Helen being fearful. In all of my pictures from that evening, she has her hands clenched over those ears. It reminds me of her response to automatic flushing toilets.
Jack opened his loot, and by the end of the day, was quite spoiled. The favorite was the John Deere truck, trailer and tractor. We had a great evening, and I felt quite spoiled when my mother in law and great aunt Lois washed all the dishes. We love our family!

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Jack Jack turns 2

2 years! Unbelievable! 2 candles on that pancake! What? The days go slowly around here, but the years travel fast. On his big day, Little Man went out for the traditional birthday breakfast with his daddy. We had a special breakfast-for-lunch in his honor, since we had plans with our Life Group that evening. He nailed the candles on the first and second blows.

He loved his new dump truck that we found at Ross for $8. We loved that too. I made rainbow cupcakes for our Life Group's meal. I snatched the idea right out of the Family Fun magazine. Those cute little cupcakes got clouds of whipped cream just before being served.
We are so thankful for Jack! He makes us laugh. Doesn't that pose make your neck hurt?
More pictures of the actual birthday cake to come. Silly Blogger is acting up.

New Dress!

I love my new non-maternity dress that fits over my big pregnant belly! After the baby comes, I'll just cinch that belt up a little tighter, and the gathers on the skirt will be a clever disguise for the postpartum pudge. Ahem.

I used some super-cheap Walmart clearance knit fabric from my stash that I had bought to practice sewing knits. I've used mostly woven fabrics in my short sewing life, and it was time to learn a new skill. This probably wasn't the easiest pattern to use for that purpose, but it worked. I had used it before, so at least I wasn't struggling with a new pattern for an even bigger headache. I used some non-stretchy iron-on interfacing in the yoke (or whatever you call that part of the bodice other than "neck opening") and the waistband. It helped the fabric keep its shape in those areas where I didn't want the dress to stretch out of proportion. Most importantly and most restrictively, I tried not to rush through the project in an afternoon.

I was 29 1/2 weeks in this picture, but I'm finally posting it when I'm 33 weeks along.

Monday, July 5, 2010

A Story

Today, as the natives were restless after a late night of feasting and fireworks, I sensed a distraction was necessary. I pulled out an activity I remembered from my 1st grade class--collective story writing.

Only Owen was interested. Helen hollered about her paper being bent and Jack scattered chalk. Here is the result:

Once upon a time there was a squirrel named Owen. Owen liked to work on the baby room, because he was going to get a new baby sister squirrel. The new baby's name was Helen. One day as Owen was working on the baby room, he saw some acorns. So he dropped his wood and his chop saw and fell out of the window. He scampered to the acorns, picked them off the tree and brought them home for supper. The End.

By Owen and Mommy