Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Halloween

I can't remember many costumes I wore as a child. I asked my father on the phone this morning if he could recall any of my halloween costumes and this is what he said to me:

"No, you just dressed like you usually did and when the people answered the door they'd scream in horror. AHHHHHHHHHHH!!!"

This from the man who used to give me the following advice when I was going out at night:

"Just make sure that when someone grabs you, they do it in the light so they can see your face. Once they see it, they'll let you go"

Self-esteem builders for sure. He was joking of course. At least I think he was.

I do remember one costume I wore as a child. I used to have hair down to my rear. One Halloween I flipped my head over, brushed the hair down then put a pair of my grandpa's glasses over the hair on the front of my face. I was Cousin It from The Adams Family.



I recall using paper grocery sacks for trick or treating and most Halloweens it seemed to rain. You can guess what happened. My girls have bright orange plastic pumpkins to do their candy-begging. The bottoms never fall out and they'll never stand sobbing in the rain with all their candy on the sidewalk.

Ally is going to be a witch, and Ashley a cheerleader. I'll have pictures to post later. And what will I be? The most frightening costume evah. A Suburban Housewife.

Go me!

Monday, October 30, 2006

Dinner serenade

It's hard to believe that this boy playing his guitar for me as I made dinner this evening was the same maniac who filled his pumpkin with gasoline and set it on fire last night.

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I was making stirfry for dinner, one of his favorites. Some chicken, water chestnuts, carrots, broccoli, a sweet onion and my secret ingredients. He loves it. After a bit The Daddy joined in and they jammed some incredible tunes for me. Then they played The House of the Rising Sun while I belted it out. Such fun.

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I love little unexpected sweet moments like this... I live for them. And no pumpkins were harmed. An added bonus.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

My Son Has Outdone Himself Once Again

My son is insane. I say this with affection and love, but with the conviction borne of having known him these fifteen years and 7 months.

He almost didn't make it to fifteen years and 8 months.

Today he carved his pumpkin. It is a small pumpkin, a tiny one in fact. He did it quickly, and at one point was having difficulty getting the knife into the gourd, so he stuck it between his legs and took the knife
down there to cut it!

"STOP THAT!!
I would like to have grandchildren by you at some point in time. You + sharp knives close to your bits and pieces reduces that prospect considerably! Are you insane??"

He mocked me for being 'over protective' as usual. This from the son who has placed his fingers into a blender, jumped from a second story onto a trampoline and been drug by a dirtbike about 20 feet into traffic. So yes, this was me being
'over protective'.

After the carving, he disappeared for a minute and then went out the sliding glass door to our back patio. We weren't paying a whole lot of attention to him, but apparently his movements need to be monitored at all times. The next thing I hear is yelling from my Ally "He's lit his pumpkin on FIRE!!!"

He went to the garage and got gasoline from the gas can, filled his pumpkin, carried it outside and
lit it on fire.

Flames shot out the mouth, eyes and nose holes. In an attempt to put out the flames, he removed the top lid and
blew into it.
This of course caused huge flames to blow out the eyes and nose and mouth of the carved pumpkin, right at his face. This did not deter him at all and didn't do much to put out the flames, so
he did it again.

This time he lost all the hair on his hands. Still burning. I'm yelling at him to stop blowing on the pumpkin, so he of course does the next best thing.
He kicks it down the steps.
This of course spilled what was left of the gasoline onto the the steps and created a lovely dance of fire across the patio. He yelled for water to put out the fire. Um, no. Pouring a lot of water on top of burning gas would have knocked it onto the lawn and perhaps set it ablaze as well.

It finally burned itself out and now he's very proud of what he calls his Goth Pumpkin.

As I said. He is insane.

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Carve your own pumpkin!

Here is a cool little place to go and take a time out from life and carve yourself a cute little pumpkin. I stole this from my friend's blog What on earth is that smell? It was steal-worthy.

Also, if you like fruit, and specifically bananas as art, you may wish to indulge yourself and go here. Try to find the one that's my favorite and you win a prize.

Saturday

The girls are cleaning their room. If they were to do it right, they would be there in their room for the next five days or so. It's not dirty, it's just messy, as only little girls can be. They fling their stuffed animals and toys all over the place. Their clothes are pulled from drawers and tossed onto the floor as they search for just the right ensemble for second grade. You can never be too careful in your clothing choices. At any rate, they are doing this amazing feat without complaint and do you want to know why? Because I promised to take them to the pool this morning if they did so.

Nothing lights a fire under them faster than the promise of chlorine laced water.

So I'll go play with them and this time hubby wishes to stay home and get some things done around here. He too them to the carnival last night, I'll take them to the pool this morning. Tag team parenting. It works.

Tonight there is the Trunk or Treat at our church for the kiddies. Everyone goes with their vehicles (hence the trunks, or boots for my across the pond readers) and the kids put on their Halloween costumes and go beggging for candy. Just what they need. TWO nights of unbridled sugar-driven mania.

yawn I think I'll go hide under the covers.

Friday, October 27, 2006

Beautiful

Today was beautiful. Especially after the strain of yesterday. Lovely blue skies, a nice pool workout this morning and a leisurly drive out in the country while the children were at school. I found some adorable little lakes south of me, surrounded by the oranges and reds and yellows of leaves trading their summer greens for fall brilliance. Tiny vacation cottages dotted the sides of the lakes, some built down steep inclines so harrowing that I wonder how the people that live there manage to climb down to their homes without injury. Where they live probably compensates for any possible downside.

I feel refreshed. I drove to the end of long deserted roads, turned off my engine and got out of my car to listen to the silence. Breathing fresh mountain air, touched with the kiss of woodsmoke from someone's beachside fire, I marveled at the beauty I am surrouned by. Solitude can be a wonderful thing.

I wish I'd not forgotten my camera.

Tonight my husband has taken our two youngest daughters to their school carnival. I'm not good with crowded places and I have a deadline tonight, so I stayed home to work. He's a wonderful father. I've been so blessed to have him by my side all these years.

Life is good. It really is.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

People are rude

I'm whining today. I think I have the right. My friend's mom sells Cookie Lee Jewelry and I agreed to host a party for her at my home tonight.

I sent out about twenty invitations via the mail and I only had two people call me to say they couldn't come. Two. Two kind people called to let me know they would not be able to make it. The rest ignored the invitation.

I cleaned my house, I made two apple crisps. This afternoon I called everyone I sent invitations to. I know people are busy. I get that. it's not that I'm not busy either.

I'm just...disappointed in people. I feel let down. Silly of me, huh? But I do.

Good thing I have apple crisp and vanilla ice cream for my family tonight.

On a positive note, I went to the pool this morning and had a nice workout. Felt better for having done that and plan on going tomorrow as well.

Now I'm getting the 'what's for dinner mooooom???' queries. I think tonight it will be fast food. I'm all played out right now.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

My father and my sister came to my house to pick up the beagle today. What I didn't realize is that six other people were coming to my house as well. Thank goodness my kitchen was cleaned up the night before, or I'd have been embarrassed. My brother came with two of his neighbors, my niece came with her two children. All I had in the house was a bag of chips and some salsa. So that's what they got.

My father held his great-granddaughter Taylor and you can see how happy they both were. Isn't she a little doll?

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Sis held Taylor while Papa let her have her first taste of chips.

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When Ashley and Ally came home from school, the first thing Ashley wanted to do was hold the baby. She loves babies, much like her Mommy.

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I am so blessed in the love of my family, immediate and extended.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Let me in!

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Oh puhleeeese let me in!

This is my new house guest. My father's little Beagle. She's spent some time outside in the backyard and she's not liking it much. I've just let her in and she's very much the happy doggy now.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Modern Medicine

He lives! The angiogram went well for my father today. It took me two hours to get to his house this morning because rush hour traffic was so bad. I'm very grateful that I don't have to drive in that on a daily basis. Here he is in all his hospital gown glory. That's my sister sitting down.


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Dad was nervous, but he settled right down after they gave him a sedative. Julie and I went and had a salad at the hospital cafeteria and talked about a lot of things. When the nurse came to get us, she was smiling and I immediately felt good about everything.

The bottom line is that there isn't anything they can do surgically for the vessels that go to the lower part of his heart because they are too small for a stent. They said that the doctor will be giving him some different medications to help with symptoms. Sooooooooo.... he had to stay flat on his back for the following six hours. He wasn't too happy about that, but he did it.

Julie did some cleaning up at his house and I went to the store to pick up some groceries for him so he won't have to go out for a while. We also each took a dog home so he won't have to be walking them both morning and night. I took the beagle and she took the rhodesian ridgeback.

All in all, not a bad day. ...big sigh of relief...

Huge thanks to everyone for emails, phone calls and prayers.

Saturday, October 21, 2006

His First Date

Tonight we saw our son off on his maiden voyage first date. Personally, I don't believe he should be dating until he's twenty, but that's just me. Tonight was the homecoming dance at his high school.

I was informed that he needed a tux on Wednesday. Dance on Saturday. Riiight. That was happening. We met in the middle by buying him his first suit. (Alms for the poor.....alms for the poor)

So Thursday evening he and I set out in search of a suit. Today, the very day of the dance, we asked him if he'd thought about a corsage. Of course not! He's only human, why were we putting so much pressure on him? He didn't even want to go! He could have mentioned that before the big bucks were shelled out for the suit, shirt, tie, socks, belt and shoes, but nooooooooo.

Hubby and I drove him over to the girl's house. Actually he drove us, so as to, you know, look cooler.

Here they are. The clueless couple happy couple.
"Hey, what are these things?"

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Corsages? Oh look! They come out of the little boxes!

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"I can do this! Of course I can!" "Hey! Don't poke me with that pin!"
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"Mommy! Help!"
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Mommy to the rescue!
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The happy couple.
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And now we wait for him to come home.

Friday, October 20, 2006

Mother's Lament



My arms
hunger to hold
the you that was
tiny, precious, new
skin to skin
changings
feedings
mouth to breast
heart to head
tiny fist curled
around my finger
nights spent
listening
inhale exhale
sweet breath of life
in and out
out and in
miraculous

I your universe
you mine
butterfly kisses
midnight cuddles
unconditional
forever
and beyond

My arms hunger
to hold
the you that was
yesterday
diaper changes
lotions
belly kisses
giggles

today
college
boys
fists that once
curled around
now open
outward
reaching
going
leaving

My heart hungers
to hold
the you that was
eyes struggle
to see
tousled blond curls
is it ok mommy
can I mommy
look mommy

Goodbye mommy

Oh how my arms
my arms
my heart
they hunger
they hurt

~Pamela 10/20/06

Sometimes it's ok

I was with a good friend last night, crying my eyes out and realizing how long it had been since I'd really had a good cry. There is something cathartic to letting it all fall from your eyes and let it go.

I felt better for having done so. It's nice to have a friend with good strong shoulders and a listening ear. Especially one that can make you laugh in the middle of your own pity party.

Thanks darlin'. You're solid gold.

I have a lovely calligraphy piece that is framed and hangs in my family room. It was given to me by a wonderful former neighbor with a big heart. It reads:

Our family
is a circle of
strength and love-With
every birth and every union,
the circle grows.
Every joy shared adds
more love. Every crisis
faced together
makes the circle
stronger.


Our circle is a strong one.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Guess it WAS contagious after all...

Ashley now has pneumonia....

Oh, and my sister has been called back to the boob-squishing department. Seems there is a suspicious asymetrical mass in her right breast.

I do believe we've won the bad news trifecta here! Don Pardo, tell her what she's won!

Well Pamela, pack up those bags under your eyes because you've JUST won the exciting opportunity to administer breathing treatments every three hours to your little girl! Yes Pamela, you'll be waking her up in the middle of the night and having a party! But that's not all! Pretty soon those matching bags under your eyes will be sent on an all expense paid expensive trip to Seattle to wait for the results of your father's angiogram and possible heart surgery while simultaneously awaiting the results of your sister's biopsy! Who could ask for anything more?

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Stress Test

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This is my father. Eight years ago he had a triple bypass on his heart. Today he flunked a treadmill stress test. The cardiologist said the bottom part of his heart is not functioning. Monday he will have an angiogram done at the hospital, and if the results are bad, there are two things that can happen. They will either want to do another coronary heart bypass on him, or put in some coronary stents.

My father has already told told us that if he ever has to have another bypass, he will refuse the procedure and just let nature take it's course. I want to respect his wishes, but I also want him to be alive and kicking for many years to come.

This makes me wish that I had moved this summer so that we could be there to take care of him.

Monday, October 16, 2006

Google

Google brings the most interesting people here. Today someone googled 'back spasm' and landed here. I'm blaming them for my current spinal pain. I have been in agony today.

Someone googled 'bad news from the dentist' and their search brought them here. It's true, I've had a lot of bad news from dentists in my life time, and I expect quite a bit more. I have four children. There is no escape.

Another googler from Quebec arrived on my doorstep (figuratively) by typing in the words 'don't cry over spilled milk'. There has been a great deal of spilled milk in my life. I can't recall ever having cried over it.

Another visitor from Chile came to visit me via searching for 'earpiercing' pictures. Two of my children did have their ear's pierced this year, so I suspect that was bound to happen.

Someone in Massachusettes came by looking for 'girls in' Not sure what the girls were in exactly, and I'm not quite sure I want to find out.

As for now, the searches bringing people to my blog appear to be innocuous. I won't worry until people arrive here via searches for 'Vicus and his Wankers' or 'Girls in jello' and 'Tommy goes to the big city', I'll be happy.

Here is a pic of the momma and her pussycats, one week old. How time flys...

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Sunday, October 15, 2006

My Happy Place

...is a little stretch of sand, where an old beach cabin sits. The beach cabin is my happy place, where I'd willingly toss aside everything and spend the rest of my days.

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We spent this past weekend there, hoping to scrape one more sandy, sunny time from the dregs of summer before we officially call it quits and haul out our winter clothing. It was a good thing we brought some of those winter garments with us, as the nights were quite chilly and the last day was downright frigid and rainy.

The first night I took Ally and Ash, and our doggie Cassie. This was Cassie's first real beach trip with us, and she did wonderfully. You see, Cassie doesn't travel well. She usually tosses her cookies at some point in the journey, making an unpleasant time for all. This time she had her own space in the back of the suburban and all was right with the world. As you can see here, she loved the beach.
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I'd also invited Jen and my her boys, Dillon and Daniel and their doggie Dora to join us. (Her hubby Dan continues to be whole and healthy in Iraq). Here is Jen and Dillon roasting a hotdog over our campfire that first night.

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The next day my hubby Lance drove up with the Reluctant Teenagers. Neither wished to be there, but after some time breathing the salt air and jogging on the beach, they resigned themselves to the Family Bonding Time.

We were treated to guitar playing around the campfire by The Daddy.

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And the son saying "No, that's not how that goes!" Wherein the guitar was removed from The Daddy's hands and The Teenage Son proceeded to show us all just how it was done. I could not tell the difference.

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Ashley enjoyed playing in the sand, but not for too long as it was awfully chilly there.

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Daniel toasted his marshmallow a bit beyond 'toasted' and went right for 'blackened cajun' style. Still, he did eat it!

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We had to take time out for Ally's breathing treatments while we were there, and she was a real trooper about it all.

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Dillon was fascinated by the fire.

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Ally and Ashley were a wee bit chilly.

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Stephanie, as always, looking gorgeous, even at the beach.

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We had the wood stove going in the cabin and the campfire going outside. It rained buckets out last night and so we had to clean up, pack up and leave in the pouring rain.

I do think we consumed significant amounts of S'mores in those three days. Enough, perhaps, to hold us over until next summer.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

A Bloody Mess

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Ally awoke early yesterday morning to witness the messy, queasy, bloody miracle of birth. Momma kitty had her babies, beginning around five a.m. I put her in a box with towels in it for the first birth. On my bed. (The cat, not my daughter) This is where Allison viewed the first messy miracle. She (Allison) did turn a bit green as she realzed the mommy was actually chewing off the umbilical herself and then my poor girl nearly keeled over as she saw the afterbirth being consumed.

She asked me why the cat was doing that and I said that's what mommies do. Her eyes got huge and she said, "You didn't have to do that, did you??"

Now some have opined that I should have said yes, as that answer would have been useful as a new form of birth control for my daughters. Had my eldest been there, I might have said yes, but seeing as it was my sweet and innocent Ally, I told her the truth.

Here is the first kitten. It appears to be all white.
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I do not have a picture of the second kitten's birth (isn't it always that way with the second child? Oh suuuure, you have millions of pictures of the first baby, but hardly anything of the second offspring, which causes the second child to ...erm.. but I digress) because the mother snatched the first kitten by the neck and went to hide under my bed!

I was not pleased. I left the room to do something, and when I returned there was a bloody mess (and I do mean that literally) on the carpet inside my door. I think she had her second kitten right there and then she'd tried to leave my room, bled all over the place and then retreated with her second kitten to the darkness under my bed.

So I took the box with the towels and put it into my bathroom, yanked the bed out from the wall, grabbed the two kittens from the mum and put them into the box. Mom followed of course, not at all pleased about the sudden moving of her babies.

Too bad. I didn't want to have to clean up any more bloody messes on the carpeting. I kept thinking that if the CSI guys with ther luminol sprays and black lights were ever to stop by my house, they'd think I'd killed someone. Yes, I watch entirely too much tv.

At any rate, we now have four kittens, one white three black.


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They'd make really nice Christmas presents! So call now, operators are wishing they were asleep standing by to take your orders. Only four adorbale kittens left! Call now!

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Four New Lives~~ so far.

Momma kitty started giving birth around five this moring.

So far we have four kittens.

I do believe there are more in her tummy.

Pictures to follow.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

My Ally

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Poor angel, the meds made her sick, gave her entire body the hives, and we had to go to urgent care. Now she's on steroids for her breathing, a different antibiotic for the pneumonia and another kind of albuterol for the nebulizer.

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Tomorrow we're going back in again.

Ashley Turns Eight

Our baby girl turned 8 on Friday. It was a difficult day for her, because her sister Ally was so sick. Right before I was supposed to get Ashley her birthday lunch from McDonalds and take cupcakes to her second grade class, Allison threw up all over the place. I wasn't sure I should leave her alone, so I called the school and asked to speak to Ashley to let her know that Allison was worse and that I wouldn't be able to come.

Poor Ash...she was so upset. I managed to dash over the McDonalds and pick up her lunch and get over to the school in time to see her coming around the corner, clutching a lunch tray with a plain hamburger and a chocolate milk on it. She was crying. I felt about as horrible as you can feel.

I sat with her and we shared some Mcnuggets and I tried to comfort her. I explained that I'd be back later with the cupcakes.

It did not go well.

Later in the afternoon we had a better time because we had her birthday party at our house.

Here's Ashley ready to hit her pinata.

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The candy scramble.

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On to the cake and ice cream! Oh wait, that was the pizza. Then it was the cake.
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Then it was time to open presents.
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We got her a bike. You can't see it, but Lance is holding on to the box and Ashley is looking at it.

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Here's Ashley reading our extremly funny birthday card. Ok, it wasn't that funny.

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Thursday, October 05, 2006

So Cliche'

As some of you may know, my ten year-old Ally has been sick for a few days. Her breathing was so strained today that I decided to take her in to the doctor. I was worried, wanting to get there quickly and I wasn't watching the speedometer.

Yep. You guessed it.

Two police cars were parked by the side of the road ahead of me and as I came up to them, one of the policeman waved me over quite forcefully. So I pulled over. And I was laughing.

You see, I've gone mumble mumble years without ever having a ticket. In my entire life. Never. Ever. Oh, I've deserved plenty. I once ran into the back of a patrolman's vehicle and never even got a warning. (I was in college at the time and the aforementioned officer was young and cute). I have pulled over for a police car when I thought it was me he was after, only to find out it was the guy in front of me. Yes, I've desereved many tickets and I've always laughingly said that I have a natural immunity to the police.

It apparently ran out today.

Officer: "Ma'am, do you know wny I pulled you over?"
Me: "Uh, yeah, I was uh, I'm sorry officer, my daughter is really sick and I was in a hurry to take her to the doctor's"
Officer: "License, registration and proof of insurance please. I clocked you going 11 miles over the speed limit"
Me: "Really? I...uh...ok"
Officer: "I'll be right back"

Meanwhile, my poor girl is sitting next to me, burning up, wheezing and coughing.

He came back and told me I was being cited, explained the form to me and had me sign it.

I tried to make Ally laugh about it, because I certainly was, but no. She wasn't having any of it.

Then it was on to the doctors as I realized how cliche' I'd been. "I'm sorry officer, but my chid is sick and I'm taking her to the hospital!" I bet he thought I was lying.

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I wasn't. My baby girl has pneumonia.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Why??

Can someone PUHLEESE tell me why one of my cats enjoys going to the litter box, standing outside of it with his back feet, while he flings litter and doo doo from the box out onto the floor of the laundry room with his front paws? It's driving me insane. I want to hook up a little electric current to zap him each time he does this maneuver of his. Not a big zap. Just a teensy-weensy zip to show him its wrong and I don't want to walk in litter and cat crap in my bare feet anymore!!!

And to think, we're about to be gifted with kittens from our female. I was sure she was going to give birth by now, but apparently the little felines need more time in the oven. Her belly is so swollen.

...goes off to clean kitty litter and ick off my floor.....

Monday, October 02, 2006

October!

It must be October, because I've gotten all the boxes down and decorated the house for fall. I love putting up the pumpkins and the leaves and the gourds. I went to the gym this morning and had a wonderful time in the pool. Ahhhh. I'm enjoying that part of losing my job. Not much else though.

I had my baby boys back for an overnight and here they are with a breakfast of crepes, strawberries, cream, vanilla and strawberry yogurt, sausages and scrambled eggs. It was a great morning.


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Then we all cuddled and watched the 176th Semiannual Conference of the Church from Salt Lake City. Wonderful counsel was given and the choirs were amazing as always. It felt good to listen to the Prophet's voice. He's an amazing man.

The girls made beds to lay on during the broadcast. Here's Dillon crawling over Lance and Ashley.

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And Lance cuddling his baby girl.


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Yesterday my baby girl Ashley Rose had her face painted like a tiger when she was in Steilacoom with Miss Jenny and the boys. How cute is this?

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