Saturday, September 28, 2013

A New Furry Friend

Last week, on our way home from the zoo, we picked up Smitty. Or Smitty Mittens. Smittens the Kitten. Fluffy Mittens. (I'm not really crazy about the name Smitty but everyone else seems to like it so I've just settled for riffing on it as necessary). Let me just say that I had not in any way been in the market for a third cat; after our poor Juliett died last summer our other two kitties have been closer with each other and general cat harmony has reigned in this house. But, I can't really pass up a kitty in need of a home, so here we are. 

Smitty's story is as follows: Don's brother lived near Columbia, SC, for a spell, with a friend, and while he was there he adopted a 4-year-old black cat from the shelter. He loved Smitty but when his living situation changed and he moved he could not take the cat. The cat stayed behind with the friend. Eight months later, the friend decides she doesn't want the cat anymore, threatens to return him to shelter, and brother calls Don in desperate plea to retrieve his cat. With a sigh, we agree, and coordinate his pickup with a much-requested trip to the zoo, also in Columbia. 

That was last Saturday. Poor Smitty spent about 48 hours in hiding, but after that became more comfortable with each passing day. I took him to the vet for a full once-over and vaccination on Tuesday, and as of Thursday he's been free to roam the house. He is settling in remarkably well, and Ollie and Humphrey have been tolerating him better than expected. Ollie just keeps a wary eye on him; Humphrey is a little less charitable and has done a fair bit of growling, but there have not been any fights or hissing or open hostilities. I am amazed by Smitty's lack of reaction to the others - he is the most chill cat I've ever seen.  Though he was handed over to us with words to the effect of "he's a real meanie, don't feel like you have to keep him, he probably won't do well with kids" he has been remarkably sweet and interested in all of us and more patient with the kids than he even needs to be.  So far so good. 

We will certainly keep him and love him and care for him for now, but there is an outside possibility that he might be re-homed with my parents at some point, depending on where we move and how the general 3 cat dynamic continues to play out here. But for now we are enjoying his little white mittens and his relaxed, "bunny-foot" antics.  He's a sweet boy and we are glad that we can give him a loving home.  

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Memo to Mommy

Roger that, Amy. 

Thursday, September 19, 2013



By the time we get to Thursday, patience is running low and frustration lurks around every corner. William slips into the standard little brother role of tweaking and poking at his sister to get the attention he's been missing from her all day. Amy resorts to shrieks and/or tattling when he does. It's all just lovely. 

But for the most part, there are still lots of moments of sibling harmony, like this one after dinner tonight. I had moved the little table into the kitchen so Amy could focus on her homework while I put on the TV for William to keep him from falling asleep while I made dinner (they were both exhausted from playing, mostly nicely, in the pool all afternoon on yet another warm day). Amy thought this quiet space of her own was great, being otherwise too fragile (say it like the dad does in A Christmas Story) to work at the kitchen table amid the usual distractions. She returned here to draw after dinner, graciously let William join, and together they did some awesome work. 

William drew his first "person" - seen blurry below, note two legs and colored-in body with head floating above. I love this little artistic milestone and am just as delighted as I was when Amy suddenly sprang into the world of her own drawing. 


And Amy has been a pro with the markers and her little stick people acting out all sorts of elaborate, motion-filled scenes for awhile now, but drawings like this show how she's started to fill things out a little more, and I think that's just awesome, too. 


And now that they are harmoniously sleeping I'm going to get moving in that direction as well. Happy Friday! 

Tuesday, September 17, 2013


Quick, picture-less post from me tonight, just so I don't lose my momentum.

This pregnancy has been going smoothly enough, but it has been forcing a big lesson on me: the need to rest.

It is not in my programming to admit that I can't do it all. I really would like to keep up appearances that I am superwoman.

And this is not to say that I'm letting things slide, either. But guess what? The tub needs a scrubbing... it did yesterday and it will tomorrow, too. I'm not taking points off for not getting to it today.

It's hard to pin down why I feel so much more physically tired this go around. Could be because it's my third and I'm all stretchy and such. Could be because there are two others who need my energy, too. Could be because I'm thirty, and not 24 or 27 like the last times. Or could just be getting up at 6:30 for school every day. Or all of the above. 

Some days I'm more tired than others, and plenty of days I'm perky and energized, but generally this baby is requiring me to sit down or put my feet up quite a bit in order to make it through the day.

And I am coming to accept that that is not a bad thing. When I put my feet up in the morning I can watch PBS shows with William and work on my crocheting. In the afternoon Amy and William and I sit around the kitchen table and play Legos or draw or talk. And we have an awesome rocking chair on the front porch that makes a great spot to watch the kids ride their bikes. Not every moment has to involve me crossing something off my personal to-do list.

Tonight I've got the TV remote all to myself so I am going to keep with the resting theme, and rather than feel like I need to make it a "work" night of taming papers on my desk, I'm going to take a nice long shower and get cozy on the couch with some HGTV.

Rest is a very good thing indeed.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Fall Cleaning


Every single time I go through our front door I want to clean it. Pollen and dust and mildew have collected in all the little edges and ledges around the door and two front windows. Most of the time I enter the house I have a purse/child/water bottle/mail/keys/shopping bag in one or both hands, and once inside the problem is quickly forgotten. Today, finally, I took the time to do something about it. Soapy bucket, hose, stiff brush, and about 30 minutes was all it took to make the front of the house look a million times better. I was so buoyed by my success that I even fished out my one decent (and fairly autumnal) wreath to hang on the hook that's been vacant since the Christmas greens came down. 

It was 85 degrees with sweltering humidity while I was doing all this, but I'm hoping a tiny touch of fall decorating might help bring about a shift in the seasons, even down here. 

And while I was cleaning William spent the whole time talking to a little green bug who happened to be hanging out on his handlebars, seen below in the space between William's left ear and the bike: 


This boy loves his small creatures - furry, creepy, or otherwise - and he watched this bug's every move. 

And yes his helmet is on backwards. It's the only way he'll wear it lately. I probably should be a better mother and insist he wear it properly, but, well, at least he wears a helmet. 

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Frogging Complete


This is one yarn project that is no more. I've tried six ways to Sunday to use up a whole ton of my leftover Red Heart acrylic yarn. It makes such good afghans but I just haven't come up with a pattern or design I like for using up the assortment of colors I have on hand. This number had been sitting around, about 30" of it, for months, and I finally decided that it just wasn't doing it for me, and probably wouldn't ever, even if I did finish it. So in a very liberating decision I decided to just frog the whole thing ("rippit, rippit" - in case you don't know the joke). Don asked, "Isn't it discouraging, to undo so many hours of work?" Not really - honestly it was more satisfying than anything. An unburdening of a project that was bringing me no joy. On to other things. I've got a different, very nice afghan in the works, for example, that I can now devote all my crocheting time to. It feels good. 

And just to complete the picture above... there's that belly of mine... I'm rounding the bend into the third trimester... still seems like an awful lot of time left.  Beyond my toes are about three dozen toy cars and trucks scattered on the floor. They seem to be the favorite for one and all these days, and I've given up on trying keeping them in the basket. At this moment we were all watching Winnie the Pooh - the newest one, which William asks for every day. We happen to have it on blue ray and the animation is stunning, even if I still prefer the calmer pace of the earlier WTP's. 

There is a whole line-up of quick tidbits I'd like to share... tentatively hoping for a post every night this week to get caught up... hold me to it! 

Monday, September 9, 2013

Bedroom Tour

Aaannnd another two weeks of silence in blog-land. I'm not really sure how so much time goes by so quickly, and can only make excuse with the ol' school days conveyor belt we seem to have stepped on and my growing fatigue with being vertical. Come this time of night when I usually catch up pictures and blogs and such I've been tending to... not. But anyway, enough excuses.

Today I'd like to take you on a small tour of Amy and William's room. Last week I procured a new dresser for Amy and tidied up some things. Not much as changed yet I simply find myself looking around their room as we read at night and really, really loving it. Let's begin:


Amy's previous dresser was a four-drawer Christmas Tree Shop special purchased and assembled by moi before she was born. It was still functioning, but she could not make use of the top or top drawer very well, and being rather cheaply made 6 years and 3 moves had taken their toll. I got fixated on wanting something on the still-smallish side, but more horizontal, so that she could have more access to her little treasures and jewelry box and books on top. I had trouble finding the size I wanted, and thought it might mean a goose chase through thrift stores but good old Target came through for me. It took an entire morning for me to assemble (with William's help, of course), weighs about 500 pounds, but is generally sturdy and should last for awhile. And it was just the right size. 


I didn't change the things already on the wall - shelf of special knickknacks, her "medals" from school and Little Gym, and an adorable print by Sarah Jane. Oh, and that's Yavin 4 hanging from the ceiling. But I did add the lamp with the cool purple shade (since purple is her new favorite color). And right up front is a beautiful music box doll that our dear friends sent her - just because. She loves it - and loves it all; I was so pleased with her reaction when she came home from school and I surprised her with this. This dresser holds more as well and simply seems more grown-up and fitting my almost six-year-old. 


William's side of the room is pretty much unchanged, though I did scoot his dresser closer to the bed to make room for the second basket of stuffed animals. And note the solar system - I know I mentioned it awhile back but don't think I ever took a picture. 


William did get a very cool new set of sheets with construction machines all over them, so he's a happy camper too.  


I don't think I'll be featured on any decorating blogs any time soon, but still, I just love this room. It is sweet and simple and calm, and all the things in it are special. I also love that the only toys in here are stuffed animals, and just a handful of books. Everything else is downstairs (which makes for a clutter-battle in the living room, but a very peaceful bedroom). I didn't set out to have my kids sharing a room like this, but they continue to be happy with the arrangement and I am, too. Thanks for taking a look around!