Thursday, July 31, 2008

Why I have the friends I do . . .

Today I called one of my dearest friends to sheepishly mention that I was wondering if she could refer me to a psychic. I asked because I knew she was studying alternative healing practices, I asked sheepishly because this is the sort of thing people can really think you're a wack-a-do for wanting to try.


So my friend not only completely understood, but she had the name of a pet psychic right in her purse.

I actually talked to my brother's wonderful girlfriend about pet psychics, as well, and she had some folks in her circle she was going to talk to for me.

There's also a name of a pet psychic I got as a referral online, so I may be taking an appointment with her. Not exactly sure yet.

So there you have it. I will be consulting with a pet psychic at some point tomorrow. I feel like this is the right step for me and I feel like it's going to help tremendously.

Oops, and PS, this same friend who had the number will also be doing some hypnotherapy work with me tomorrow. SOOOO excited.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

My hero.

I have an amazing fiancee. I only get to call him that for like three more weeks and then he's my husband for the rest of my life! I adore Matt. I adore him to pieces. He is terribly good to me.

Last night he went to some neighbor's houses and looked all over their yards for me. Tonight he went to another neighbor's yard to look. While he was there he got stung by a bazillion bees because he must have stumbled on to a bee's nest. Oh, geez. The things he does for me!

And on top of all of this, he's been having a very stressful week at work, getting there VERY early in the morning, coming home later than normal, and he's recovering from his vasectomy. Despite these things, he's been completely focused on what's going on with me, helping me out with searching for Benjamin, picking up the slack at home and cutting me TONS of slack because I'm just not functioning quite normally right now and am having a hard time taking care of pretty much anything.

Anyways, no new news on Benjamin. I used to have a call placed to 500 of our neighbors about our missing cat. My mom said she knew a dog that was found through this service, so I figured it couldn't hurt. So far we haven't heard a thing, though.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Still not home.

Benjamin is still missing. At this point I don't think he would still be alive. I am hoping and praying that he has, as has been suggested, gone off to die a peaceful death. I can't imagine he would have gone very far. I don't know, maybe he has? He couldn't get around that well anymore so I hope that means he is close by.

I tried going to the neighbor's homes on both sides of us to ask if I could search their yards but there was no answer when I knocked on the door. One person was actually home, but I don't know about the others. I would have gone in their yards anyways if I knew for sure no one was there. I just want him home. Even if he is dead.

I've already began composing my "Remembering Benjamin" post in my head, but I won't write it until I know for sure he is gone. I'll either find him or my heart will 100% tell me his is definitely gone.

At this point the absolute worst thing is that this kitty has been my constant companion for the last 13 years of my life, since I was fresh out of high school. He has lived everywhere I have, he has been patient and loving and a constant presence through the huge changes of my life. To have him just up and vanish is more upsetting than I really want to think about. In fact, I can't let myself think about it because I know I will just fall apart. He was supposed to die peacefully at home, damn it. Apparently he didn't get that memo?

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Our missing kitty

I'm so heartbroken. Our beloved cat, Benjamin, is missing. He went out yesterday afternoon and still has not returned, which has never happened before in the 13 years that I have had him. We checked with animal control. We put up flyers. Now we sit and wait and wander the neighborhood and hope and pray that he is either still alive or died a peaceful death. I can't imagine never seeing him again and I certainly didn't think the end of our long relationship would end like this. I pray it hasn't. I just want him to come home.

Tonight I was joking with Matt that maybe Benjamin found a nice old couple without kids or dogs who just want to sit and pet him all day long.

It probably sounds dramatic to be so forlorn after 24 hours of him being gone, but the truth is, he's very old. He's about 18. A young soul in an old body, but he is old. He can get around, but he can't run very fast or defend himself very well. He is a good sleeper. And pooper.

Anyways, if you can, please send good vibes that wherever Benjamin is, he's safe and happy. Whether that is here on earth or in kitty heaven :(

Friday, July 25, 2008

Officially a family of four

Today Matt got a vasectomy. I am so excited I can hardly stand it. To say I want no more children is an understatement. In fact, can we start giving back the ones we've got? (just kidding!)

I love, love, love bigger families. I came from a three child home myself. However, it's just not at all right for us. The thought of going through another pregnancy, child birth, baby years, wow, it is just terrifying. I haven't regretted my wish for Matt's vasectomy for a moment. Not even when I was holding my friend's beyond adorable two week old baby. So you KNOW I mean business!

So Matt gets a little extra TLC this weekend. And in to next week. And forever and ever. I'm really lucky he was willing to take this step for our family.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Oh dear blog. Sorry it's been so long!

Oops, I forgot to post this last night:

Where have I been? Here. Sitting at home. Dealing with cranky children. Fretting about wedding stuff. Enjoying some new technology things like my new T-Mobile Sidekick, my Facebook account and my Twitter account.

I've been so tired and blechy feeling. Of course it's after 11:00 here and I need to be in bed, but I'm not. I get so excited when the girls are in bed and I want to stay up and party like a single person, but alas, I need to sleep and am only compounding my issues by avoiding it.

Honestly, everything is mostly great. I was just thinking earlier this week about how awesome my life is and how lucky I am. In the grand scheme of things, I'm blissed out, on a day-to-day level, I'm exhausted and ready to throw in the towel. It feels like my break will come on August 24th. The day after the wedding. That morning I will sleep in without concern. Eat a yummy breakfast, let other people watch my children. I won't have to do anything in particular that day, including even getting out of bed if I don't want. But until then, it's full steam ahead, whether I like it or not.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Oops-- Eloise turned 23 months yesterday

So you know what that means, dontcha? She will be TWO in a month! Wowzers. And where does the time go? I know, I know, cliche but true!

I remember when Iris turned two. I thought she was such a big girl. So independent and on the verge of becoming a big sister. But Eloise? I still think she's a baby. She still needs me (even when she insists otherwise!) and is so tiny. The difference is so interesting and I wonder what it is that is making me see them differently. Maybe because I knew Iris was going to have to do some quick growing up when her little sister arrived? Maybe because I know Eloise will be our last child and I want to hang on to her babyness as long as I can? Who knows.

The other day on a small message board I love full of mamas of children who are all Eloise's age the subject of birthday gifts came up. It wasn't until I read the thread that I realized I hadn't once thought about what we were going to get her. Now I'm a little bit in panic mode! I can't think of anything she needs or anything we have much room for. Or anything her sister won't immediately claim for her own. One idea I had was bringing her to Build-a-Bear Workshop to pick out her very own bear. Iris has been there twice and loved it both times, but Eloise has never had the chance to make her own.

Eloise is in the position of getting so many things handed down from her sister, which of course she thinks is great (and wouldn't know the difference if it was brand new or not!) but every once in a while I want Eloise to have a little something that is just hers. I don't know, I guess we'll have to keep thinking about it!

This past month Eloise and Iris have started to see a new babysitter, whom we all love. I originally hired her to do care for just Eloise, but Iris and the babysitter's daughter have so much fun together I'm trying to find ways to take them both there at the same time. It's only $3 more to have both girls there over just one, so honestly there is no reason not to if they both love it! I'm thrilled to have a babysitter who shares parenting values with us, as our last babysitter didn't at all and, well, that didn't work out so hot.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

I made it!

Matt just returned home after a short business trip. I have had some rough times in the past when he has been out of town but this time, finally!, I did really good. No panic attacks, relatively easy time with the girls, all was well. It's super hard keeping up with everything around here without Matt's help. I've never been under the illusion that it wasn't, but even when I'm doing great, it's hard to deal with chores AND kids. Lots of times Matt and I keep on top of chores by having one of us hang with the girls while the other does the housework. I very often want to do the chores because I'm the one home with the girls all day and Matt is often wanting time to play.

So anyways. He made it home. I didn't fall apart while he was gone, but our home definitely could use some TLC. We'll get to it. Some day!

Monday, July 14, 2008

Needing well wishes

Last week I got a group email informing me that my midwife, Heike, the one who attended Eloise's birth, was in Italy with her family and her 14 year old daughter was hit by a car while she was walking. At the time her daughter was in very serious condition in a hospital in Italy, and she still is in serious condition, but it sounds like there have been some definite signs of improvement.

Heike's description of how she felt at the accident are truly heart-wrenching. I couldn't imagine being there feeling helpless not knowing if my daughter was going to live or die. She has been in Italy as her daughter recovers (hopefully fully) and is only allowed to spend 30 minutes a day with her.

If you are the praying or well-wishing sort, please send some of those over the giant pond to Heike and her daughter and the rest of their family as they continue down this long, hard road to recovery.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Babies babies everywhere . . .

. . . and not a drop of lust. Whew!

I know three mamas who have given birth to perfect, gorgeous baby girls in the past two weeks! It's so exciting. Two of the mamas live on the east coast so I am not sure when I'll get the chance to see them (but rest assured, someday, I will!). My other friend lives right here in Seattle and had her first baby completely naturally! I was so proud of her. Having been transferred to the hospital with my first birth I give serious credit to those mamas who do it without drugs the first time. Well, any time, really, but especially the first time.

It's just so neat, all of the babies. It's an amazing miracle every single time it happens and blows me away just how tiny and perfect babies really are.

So far it's been an okay weekend. A crappy picnic last night and a literally crappy afternoon today, but there has been some higher points, too.

Today as I was nursing Eloise to sleep I couldn't figure out why I kept smelling a wretched poop smell. I got up to lay Eloise down and saw a big puddle of what looked like diarrhea on the floor. I was a little alarmed and as I looked around I realized that Heidi had taken Iris's poop out of the (open and unflushed) potty. And made a mess of it everywhere. I kind of freaked out because it was soooooooo gross. Eloise woke up. I cleaned up the mess with lots of diluted bleach and gave the dog's muzzle a bath. Gross, gross, gross. It was in a whole new category of gross. I had no idea Heidi would do that considering she doesn't even notice cat poop. Blech.

I got a couple of hours of alone time today, though. Matt took the girls out while I watched Six Feet Under on DVD and folded and strung cranes. Almost done! 75% of the way and I'm really ready to be DONE.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

To train up a child . . . and a dog . . .

Okay, just kidding. This isn't a post about the awful Pearls.

I was just thinking about how much training we are attempting to do with our dog, and all of the changes we are making with our daughters at the same time. Too bad we can't lump all three of them in to the same class! lol

With our dog, we reward her constantly, lots of "good girl!" and things like that. Lots and lots of treats. See, now with kids, you're not supposed to "good job" them too much. I was wondering, hmmm, if I wanted Iris to do something I wanted, why not just treat her with Skittles every time? Like "pick up the crayons! good girl! here's a skittle!" I mean, come on, it works for the dog!

Soooooo kidding. But the thought has crossed my mind. Matt was commenting a while back on how he had to re-train his brain that saying "good job!" wasn't a bad thing for a dog, like it can be for a child. Empty praise, you know. Dogs thrive on it. Kids, not so much.

The problem lately is that I have time on my hands. I know, big problem, huh? I mean, I am busy with the girls, but not constant, relentless busy-ness, so I theoretically have time to work with the dog to help her learn her basic obedience skills. The problem is that every time I start to work with the dog the girls are right there shouting commands, begging to treat Heidi, throwing dog toys at her. As you can guess, not a terribly conducive training environment. While I would like Heidi to be able to do her obedience work amidst that sort of distraction, it's not how she's going to learn it. I get really excited about all of the stuff we have to work on, but there just isn't enough (quiet) hours in the day to work on it all.

Funny, the same goes for my girls. If I had all of the time in the world I could be more sensitive to Iris's delicate needs. I could work out everything out with her without the tears/screaming/hitting that we have going on right now. If I had more time with Eloise she would probably be doing her ABCs by now, as Iris was when she was turning two. Eloise is lucky to get a diaper on her butt these days. You think I'm kidding, but yesterday I loaded her in the wagon, walked over a mile to the playground and let her play for half an hour before I noticed she was bare assed (with a dress on). Um, yeah.

So, needless to say, there's a little flailing about going on around here, but we're moving slowly toward where we want to be. Everyone just has to wait in line a bit to get their needs met.

In other news, I let the girls strip naked this morning and paint with their feet on a giant piece of paper in the living room. They had such a ball, I couldn't believe I hadn't thought to do it earlier! I almost wish I had left their undies on as now the pics aren't appropriate to post on the internet. Maybe I will photoshop them a bit and see if I can blur out the naughty bits?

Sunday, July 06, 2008

The 4th

Here are a few pictures and a video from our 4th!

Matt and the girls waiting for the bus:
Go team USA!

Cool sign on the side of the Fremont Bridge

This is the Fremont Bridge

This is the Aurora Bridge

Iris and I being silly

More silliness

Eloise waiting for the darn sun to go down already!

Iris loves her glowy necklaces. Thanks, WaMu!

Iris likes to go to Halloween

Saturday, July 05, 2008

Pros and Cons of the Fourth of July in Seattle

I'll start with the Pro list, since it's MUCH shorter:

1. the fireworks
2. Matt gets the day off of work

Now here's the Con list:

1. paying to have the dog in overnight care so we can . . .
2. leave at 6:15 to take the bus to Fremont
3. walk from the bus stop to Gasworks park
4. Enter the battle zone of the WaMu Fourth of July festivities complete with blasting 80's pop and miles long lines for all of the vendors
5. Find a place to sit on a very steep hill
6. Plunk down at 7:30 for a 10:00 fireworks show
7. Only have semi-interesting snacks to eat since I'm terrible at packing for this stuff
8. Kill 2 1/2 hours waiting for fireworks with two children who are not amused
9. Get crowded in by like maybe 50,000 people who are also there to see the fireworks
10. Crane neck and shift body around because even though you've been there for 2 1/2 hours other people have no issue standing in front of you because they just arrived and there is no where to sit or they are just assholes and want to set their tripod up right in front of you
11. File out back to the bus stop
12. Wait roughly 50 minutes for the bus to come because traffic is so awful
13. Ride home with drunks, crazy people and small children up close to four hours past their bedtime
14. Get to bed at midnight

So I don't know. Worth it? I'm thinking no. I miss the days of my childhood when we saw the small town fireworks show at the local park. Maybe the fireworks show wasn't as spectacular, but the rest of the experience greatly overshadowed what we did yesterday.

Matt and I talked about going somewhere else for the 4th in the future. Like to his parents or to Olympia or something where there are fun festivities and a small fireworks show.

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Blah de blah

Today was a mixture of okay stuff and annoyances.

I took the girls to story time for the first time and they had a blast. I think the last time I was there Iris was maybe 18 months old and was a lunatic. We ran in to a friend which was really nice, as well.

Oh! And there was a mama next to us with two little girls and her little one was being so crabby and was trying to whack kids over the head. I was SO HAPPY to see another child acting this way. I thought it was only mine who did that! Whew!

Eloise didn't nap today. It wasn't so bad because she was out like a light at 8:3o instead of battling with her until 10:30. We went to pick up our car from the auto body place and it is really nice to have our car back. I *only* had to shell out close to $600 for everything today. Zoinks.

We walked to our favorite Mexican restaurant for dinner since Matt is at a Mariner's game tonight. We got take out and walked to a park to eat. It was all down hill from there. Heidi's leash was looped around the handle of the stroller and she pulled the whole thing over, with Iris in it. Oh geez. I was so mad at Heidi, but really mad at myself for leaving her like that and walking away. What was I thinking!?! Heidi was being a little shit at the park, too. I let her off the leash so she could run around and she just flipped out and raced around and would NOT come back. It's annoying having a dog who won't come after having the most well-behaved dog ever with Lily. I swear Heidi has hit her terrible twos or something. She has been so sassy lately! We are working with her, though, slowly but surely.

On the way home Iris freaking LOST IT over Eloise taking her mug of water that she wasn't even paying attention to. I got so mad. I was like, WTF?!?! It's a mug of water! That you weren't even looking at! And we had quite the struggle. But, the girls are both in bed now, and have been for a while. So I'm resting. My days without Matt are always long.

I swear, I should just put my voice on tape recorder for Iris:

"Please don't hit your sister"
"Please don't hit the dog"
"That is absolutely unacceptable, we do NOT hit the dog"
"If you hit your sister again, you're going to have to go to time out"
"Did you hear what I just said?!"

ad nauseum.