What’s the Haps

Hi all. Now that it’s fall, and the kids are back in school, and everyone is back from whatever fabulous summer adventure they went on, I get asked a lot, “What’s new?” My answer is long and rambly, because there’s a lot of little random new things with me. Thought I’d share it with my bloggy friends too.

1. I got a nose ring. Not really big news. But, new. A modest tiny shiny stone of some sort. Most people don’t even notice it, even people I’ve known for years. When I point it out they say it “just fits your personality.” Which I don’t know how to take, I guess. But, it’s fun, and it’s one of those things I always wanted to do. Actually, when I got my eyebrow pierced 15 years ago (I’ve since taken that one out) I had regrets that I didn’t do the nose instead. So, another one checked off the bucket list. And I love it.

2. I am in school! I’m in an online program with Penn Foster for a vet tech degree. It’s like a nurse but for animals. I’m so excited, and can’t wait to be done and get a fun job. I have always had a love for animals, but it wasn’t until recently that I realized how intensely I love them and I want to work with them. I think it’s a combo of losing my 19 year old kitty recently, and through the magic of the Internet, seeing that there are so many animals that need help. Pets get surrendered at shelters and rescue organizations for the dumbest things, like “he pooped too much.” And all the abused and neglected animals, it just breaks my heart. With my degree I’d like to work with the SPCA or a shelter or rescue organization. It will feel so wonderful to get to work with animals every day, and make a difference in their lives.

3. Speaking of animals, we recently got two pet rats. Their names are Laverne and Shirley, after the show, which was a childhood favorite of mine. (The vet called to confirm “Shirley and Laverne’s check up” and I was like wut. Somebody doesn’t know their 80s TV shows.) They are sweet and gentle and wonderful. I was worried that our cat would torment them and stalk their cage. She has a history. But, she seems like she couldn’t care less. They, of course, are terrified of her, but that’s easily solved. They really are a great pet for kids. Better than a hamster or gerbil because they can be easily handled, and smaller than a bunny or guinea pig for keeping in your house. And I have not been bitten once, not even a nip, they’re very gentle. Two more members of the family.

thegirls

4. Ferris turned three! I really should be dedicating an entire post to that, but who has the time? H’s really forming his little personality, and it’s so fun.  He asks for water all the time now. It’s only so he can fake belch, but whatever, he’s drinking water. Favorite phrases: “No.” “I hate it.” “I love it.” “Two minutes.” (As in, I’ll do it in two minutes, a phrase picked up from mommy and daddy.) He absolutely loves miniature people and furniture and animals, so we got him a dollhouse for his birthday. Big hit. And he’s hit the picky eating stage. He used to be my great eater, I bragged about it all the time. No more. In case you were wondering if a kid could survive and grow on milk and white bread, I’m here to tell you yes, it’s possible.

5. Bowie started second grade. His teacher this year is amazing. We are over the moon for her. She was immediately so much more supportive of his classroom needs and tolerant of his issues. I couldn’t be happier. There’s only been one major incident with another child, and even that was mild. This time last year, we’d already had two classroom meetings and a meeting with the principal, and he was back in OT. He’s now not currently in OT and we’ve not had a single call from school. I’m so happy. For me, but so much more for him. He’s figuring it out. I am so glad to see him growing and maturing in this way.

So, there you have it. Lots going on. But life is good. What’s the haps with you?

A few quick things

>I’ve started doing a wee bit o’ writing for Circle of Moms. Check my first post here.

>The fleas in California this year are at apocalyptic levels. Outdoor Kitty had them so bad, she gave herself a skin infection from all the itching, requiring a double round of antibiotics and steroids for the irritation. And even though I have given both kitties their monthly dose of Advantage, I am still finding fleas on them. Which makes me itch and scratch like crazy whenever I feel the tiniest little itch. Pair this with my strong distaste for the silverfish problem our house has and…I’ve got the creepy crawlies 24/7.

>When I was pregnant with Bowie, I ate a ton of junk food, fast food, sugary stuff. This time I really haven’t craved it all that much. Once in a while (like, once a day) I want chocolate, but I don’t overdo it. And I almost never want fast food at all. (Which is just weird for me, pregnant or not.) (But I’m not complaining.) SUCH a different pregnancy, in so many ways.

>Also about this pregnancy: it’s all of a sudden going super s-l-o-w. When I hit the 20 week mark, I thought wow, this is going SO FAST. And now the days are dragging, I can’t imagine myself making it all summer long being pregnant, and I spend all my time either yawning or peeing or being hungry. Or yawning while peeing and being hungry. And for all that yawning, you’d think I’d be able to sleep at night. But, no. My body gearing me up for sleepless nights with the babe, I guess.

>Bowie’s behavior at school improved drastically for a few weeks, but this week went back to its normal ugly self. And I am truly scratching my head. Sometimes in life, I have these thoughts, “If I’m really going to be honest with myself, I know what the problem is here.” But this time? That is NOT the case. I’ve been trying my damnest to be the patient yet firm, fun-loving parent I know I need to be, I really have been trying. And it seems to work some days, but not other days, normal I guess. But, I can’t deal with my normal as ending my day with reports of other kids getting injured by my son, and having my own scratches and bruises from him to contend with. The occupational therapist we have met with is taking her dandy old time getting back to us on what she thinks about his issues or lack thereof with sensory processing. I have a very strong feeling that is the issue (like after a violent outburst in a crowd of kids he tells his teacher “I thought everyone would push me and step on me”), and I’m dying to meet with her and hear her strategies for dealing with it. With the new baby on the way, I’m operating on borrowed time here.

>On a much lighter note, my garden is going off. I guess the past few years of experimentation and poring over gardening books is finally starting to pay off. I’m definitely still experimenting here, but so far so good! I just hope it all doesn’t go to pot when A) we finally get our normal San Francisco cool, foggy summer weather and B) I have a newborn.

Ok, I think that’s it for now. I have to go, I’m hungry. And I have to pee. Have a good week, all!

 

YOU GUYS.

Disclaimer: this post may not be for the overly squeamish.

On Monday, my second fur baby Velcro (aka Outdoor Kitty for my Twitter peeps) had to undergo last minute surgery. So not what this mama wanted to put her through.

She’s been an outdoor kitty for about a year now, at my husband’s insistence. She was a stray when we found her, and she was always trying to sneak out, so finally we let her go. And she’s super happy, but also she gets herself into some jams.

For instance, about 5 months ago, she came home with a bleeding hole on her abdomen. HOLE. Not into her belly or anything, it just went under the skin, but A HOLE. A BLEEDING HOLE. We monitored it for a few days, and eventually it healed up, no big whoop.

So, last Thursday when she came home and looked like she was smuggling two golf balls in her cheek, I was slightly worried, but not overly so. I kept an eye on her, and she seemed ok. She went back outside on Friday morning, and when she came back the golf balls were gone. DONE, I thought. But oh how wrong I was.

When the wound had first drained, I could see a couple of little tears in her skin that I figured would heal up. On Sunday? She had a 2 inch full-on open wound and we could see her face muscles inside. We figured she’d need some stitches.

Veterinarian: Well, she’s got some infected tissue that will have to be removed, and she’s got some granular tissue that will also have to be removed, and I highly recommend surgery.

Shit.

Shit, not only because, I’m not sure if you non-pet people realize this but, THE VET IS FLIPPING EXPENSIVE. Shit, also because hello, it’s almost Christmas. Yeah, I wanted an ailing kitty with a cone on her head for Christmas, THANKS, UNIVERSE. And Shit, because my poor little baby girl.

She’s on some heavy duty meds (I had to prove that I was old enough to buy them) so she’s just hanging out in the dog’s old crate, sleeping it off. Today she had some food and water. Poor girl.

I’m still amazed it’s her I’m nursing back to health, and not my ailing, arthritic, senile 17 year old cat (aka Old Man Kitty aka Nashua Beano). If something happens to him anytime soon…Lord help me.

Newton

I got Newton as a birthday present for Brien about five years ago. Brien was dog crazy, but all we had were cats. So, I found some cheap beagle puppies in the paper, and we drove out to a farm on a cold January day and picked him out.

He was independent from the start. He was the only one of the tiny puppies to come up to us, smell us and let us pick him up. He also loved playing with all of his puppy brothers, and I almost felt bad plucking him from his family. But, he became our “baby”.

I wasn’t even sure at first that I liked owning a dog. We never really had one when I was growing up (once, briefly, we had a black lab, but that’s a story for another time), and I wasn’t cut out for all this potty training and sitting and shaking and learning to socialize with the other dogs…it was so much more exhausting than owning a cat!

But, eventually we bonded. Especially when we were moving to California. Brien went ahead of us, and it was just me and Newton for 6 weeks. And, several years later, when I was pregnant, Newton would cuddle by me and put his head on my belly like he just knew that his world was about to be turned upside down by a little wiggly baby, but he was happy for mommy and daddy. And he really was the first baby. We tried so hard not to shut him out once Bowie arrived.

Brien has always had bad allergies. He figured it was the pets, and put up with it for a long, long time. Medication seemed to help. But recently, it stopped helping. And he was having more and more really bad allergy days. So, he went in for an allergy test. And lo and behold, he’s allergic to many things, near the top being dogs. (Strangely enough, he’s not allergic to cats!)

So, we made the decision this past winter to find Newton a new home. Hoping to keep him in the area, we talked to a few friends about it, but nothing seemed to pan out. So, my in-laws have stepped in, and will take him. Back to Wisconsin.

To say we’re heartbroken is an understatement. Really, the only thing that keeps us going is that we know we’ll get to see him whenever we’re visiting in Wisconsin, and we know he’ll be well taken care of. I feel so much better now than I did when I thought we’d have to turn him over to strangers. But still, it’s hard.

I’m trying to learn to live dogless after so many years with a dog, a dog that was so much a part of our everyday lives. It’s going to be quiet around here. Bowie fills a lot of that void, but something about it is so different.

Miss you doggie. Have fun with Grandma and Grandpa!

Red-eyed Newton