Monthly Archives: August 2007

Please Excuse My Absence

… of late, but school started yesterday, so I have spent most of my time buying school supplies according to specific, teacher-supplied lists, for which I am grateful so that I’m not guessing and buying the wrong stuff, which would certainly result in return trips to the store, except that the lists keep on coming, so I’ve been to Staples three times and Target twice, in three days.

And Abby brought home another list today.

Also, Hannah needs new soccer cleats, Abby is waiting to hear back regarding whether or not she got a part in an October production of Little Women, I have a meeting with Sam’s teachers tomorrow morning at 8:30, and I need to find new dental insurance since our dentist, who I specifically chose because she was the only dentist within 25 miles who took our insurance, stopped taking it.

So tomorrow’s not looking so good either.

And since I’m on a rant (I may as well get it all out now and then be done with it, trust me on this) does anyone know why, exactly, I have to fill out new health and contact information, from scratch, for each child, every year on the first day of school, and why, on this paperwork, I am required to write things such as my phone numbers and e-mail address and social security number and monthly grocery expenditures and total number of cats several times over?

I understand that the information is important, but why can’t it all just be in one central place, in a computer somewhere, instead of written repeatedly on various colorful sheets of paper?

The trees! Think of the trees!

Okay, I’m done now.


So Much Kitty Kibble, So Little Time

I took my neurotic, chirping, one year-old, emergency backup sidekick cat, Lily, to the vet today, for her first annual checkup.

She did not appreciate it when I removed her from her sun-drenched post at the front door and unceremoniously stuffed her into her crate, then ran her out to the car and dumped her into the backseat.

Certainly, she thought she was being kidnapped (I was going to say “catnapped,” but that means something else entirely) and complained loudly during what must have been an excruciatingly nerve-wracking, seven-minute ride.

What’s to become of my water bowl? My fuzzy pink mouse? My luscccious catnip toys? WHO’S WATCHING THE DOOR?? Meow!!! I haven’t used the litterbox yet!!!

Lily calmed down slightly once she was out of the car, and she was uncharacteristically cooperative while being pawed (har) on the slippery, metal examination table. She didn’t even flinch during two surprise needle pokes.

She is healthy, happy, soft and bright-eyed. She is now up to date on all of her shots. And she received a courtesy nail trim.

However, the good doctor informs me that in contrast to her overall excellent health and relatively slow, steady heartrate, she suffers from a — get this; I still can’t believe it — “compulsive eating disorder.”

Translation: My assumption that she would use good cat sense and only eat what she needed when she needed it (that’s what the book said, dammit) was WRONG WRONG WRONG.

In one short year, she has evolved from this tiny ball of fluff (seen here snoozing on Abby’s lap):


into this queen-sized furball.


Um. Oops.

She has eaten reduced-calorie dry food for most of her life. As a baby, she even preferred the low-cal, indoor-lazy-cat kibble over higher-fat kitten food.

But still, images of an embarrassing, tell-it-all documentary keep flashing through my brain. Something along the lines of Supersize Me, the Feline Edition. Maybe I’ll rename her Morgan Spurlock and send her out on a media tour. Of course, I am the bad guy in this situation, to be sternly reprimanded and forced to enroll in remedial pet nutrition courses.

I am now faced with a challenge. I have to figure out how to feed this not-so-little-anymore compulsive eater, in small, scheduled, diet-plate sized meals, and keep her away from her older sibling’s bowl, until she manages to lose…

27% of her body weight.

Which, according to the vet, might take two or three years.

There is a bright side, of course. As eating disorders go, this could be worse, right? She doesn’t have kitty bulimia. She is not secretly purging herself with liver-flavored Ex Lax. The vet did NOT recommend Cat Psychotherapy (which really should be given a more honest name, if you ask me, like “Put All Your Money In My Wallet, Sucker.”)

The reason that cats appealed to me in the first place was because I thought they were low maintenance pets. But of course, there is no effective short cut here.

Lily’s joining Weight Watchers. Today.

Top 5 Hidden Positives to Returning from 10 days of “Vacation”

Note: And by “vacation,” I mean time spent away from my place of residence in another state with members of my family who may or may not be complaining about my sub-par cleaning skills (Mom) or reinforcing Sam’s new habit of saying “Hey, get your hand off my ass!” (Uncle Doug) or harboring germs and throwing up on freshly cleaned carpets (two out of Uncle Mike and Aunt Dar’s three kids) or commandeering the remote (Dad.)

But we cherish them, really.

So as I unpack and regroup and try to get myself in gear while the kids stare at the calendar in disbelief as the summer days dwindle away, it occurs to me that even though many of us paint the end of “vacation” as a bad thing, there is much positive spin to rejoice in.

1. I see the clutter with new eyes. I rarely notice it, but right now, no toy, piece of furniture or odd sock is safe. Who needs all this crap and why does it dominate my house?

2. I am driven to empty and clean the fridge, as all the forgotten leftovers and old veggies have acquired colors and fuzzy appendages not normally found in any food group. Most of the time I just try to make my best guess as to which broccoli stalk is the freshest, but as of tomorrow (or whenever I get myself to the grocery store) everything will be new.

For a week.

At which point I’ll start my leftovers collection again.

Which begs the question: can blue cheese ever really go bad?

3. The house isn’t any messier than when we left Thursday before last, save for a little a lot of additional flying cat furr.

4. I can safely throw away almost everything in my ever-growing Kitchen Counter Pile of Stuff. If I haven’t dealt with it yet, anything underneath the top half-inch of paper is probably expired, no longer relevant, or not worth worrying about.

5. Maybe Sam will begin eating protein again.

Back In the Land of the Reliable Wireless Signal…

… so I’ll return to my regular blogging post shortly.

Is summer really over?

When did this happen?

So Much for Subtlety

Most visits to my parents include some time with Uncle Doug, seen on this very blog, frequenting the comments section.

Abby and Hannah got to sleep over at Uncle Doug’s house one night, while Sam had a “Boys Night” with his cousins at Uncle Mike’s house, which featured sleeping bags, Cheezits, and untold rude noises.

Abby and Hannah’s sleepover included wacky latenight movies and evidently, no food (I assumed popcorn and had that detail written in the first draft of this post, but when Uncle Doug complained about my yellow journalism, I deleted it.)

Uncle Doug reports that he and the girls lined up on the floor, lying down on their backs to watch the movie. Neither kid wanted to be closest to the stairs leading down to the front door, for fear of “strangers, monsters or marauders of some sort.” Uncle Doug tried to resolve the controversy by bravely offering to take the Danger Position, which resulted in a new controversy, since both Abby and Hannah wanted to be next to him. He finally convinced Hannah to be brave, and he took the spot between the girls, putting an arm around each niece. He then suffered greatly from the dreaded Bilateral Numb Arm Syndrome, which evidently kicks in after 75 minutes of movie watching. Uncle Doug also reports that Abby passes impressive gas, which “smells like dead squirrels.” Because of this, he isn’t sure that he wants to repeat the sleepover again, ever. (I haven’t mentioned this olfactory detail in the past, but I’ll just say that really, he’s not exaggerating.)

The next morning, Uncle Doug very kindly swung by Uncle Mike’s house to pick me up, along with Sam, so that we could all go to breakfast at our favorite deli before he started his workday.

When I left our picnic table to fetch more coffee, I returned to find the girls accosting Uncle Doug, intensely quizzing him on when (Uncle Doug, WHEN??) he is going to get married. They wanna be flower girls, dammit, and they need to pull together a timetable for dress shopping and rose petal-tossing training and whatnot.


UPDATE: Abby notes that she no longer wishes to be a flower girl. Apparently Junior Bridesmaids are cooler.

One More Waterpark Pic

… just because I love this one. He had a good day.


A Day At the Waterpark


Sam gets dumped on


Who needs soap?


My little poser


Three wet kids