Saturday, July 26, 2008

Smushy the Cat

We had this cat. She was old, fat, and crotchety (?). She was Aiden's cat for years before I knew him. She has personality. I think it's fun when animals are so human that you think they actually understand English. We'd say things and she'd meow back at us as if she was in the conversation. Not just in reply but as if there was understanding. Like if we said she was a fat lazy cat she'd meow back snottily(?). Or if we said how cute she was she'd give us a short meow like "yeah, I know".

She was very old and getting sick in ways that would fit her personality. She knew she was Aiden's cat. She had a bloody bum a lot and would only get the blood on my side of the bed (generally the pillows) or she'd throw up on the carpet right next to the vinyl flooring. Because she could. Anyway, the decision was made that we had to put her down. So my fantastic friend Michelle went with me to the WSU vet hospital and we talked with the vet. She explained that Smushy may take a few breaths after she was dead but it was reflexive. She did not warn us she may have seizures. Michelle has worked at the humane society and had been a vet tech in the past so she knew what to expect and warned me (this was my first pet death to witness) that she may pee and/or seize.

They did the shots and it was peaceful and quiet. The vet and vet tech were holding her and telling her she was a good girl and it was all somber and still. THEN there was this high pitched squeak. I thought it was the vet's bum or maybe her shoes. I was confused. But it was short and not the time for anyone to say "excuse me" so I let it go. But then it happened again. And then it held out for a full 10 seconds going from high pitched and.... dry? to low and wet. I kept looking at Michelle to see if she knew what was going on and we caught each other's eyes and had to stifle laughter.

The vet realized she couldn't just let this go anymore and in the somber voice of a funeral director said "oh, she has a little gas". At this point we were almost rolling on the floor. The cat with the worst smelling poo in the world who bled only on my pillows must have realized in death that I was the one who took her here and took her revenge the only way she could; she farted. She stunk up the whole room making the vet team exit quickly so we could have "a moment" with her. They waited right in the hall and we were pretty abreviated in saying our goodbyes. Partly because this was Aiden's cat and I wasn't all that attached but mostly because we had tears rolling down our faces from the moment and the stink.

So my first experience putting an animal down as an adult was less than depressing. I have shared this story with some of you who may read this but I had to type it here for posterity. Someday we'll print this out and read this post and know again how that cat got the best of us.

As a side note, WSU does provide free clay prints of the pet that they will mail out in a couple days. It's a nice way to keep a momento without having the ashes and cost of cremation and urn rolled into it.

Another quote... if I get around to it I'll make a list

Aiden took Ashley to the gas station. She saw a pay phone and got all excited. "Look Aiden, it's a cell phone on a hook!" she said.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

A new title

I was told it is hard to find my blog. So I searched for it. Another blog with a very similar name came up so I, out of boredom, started reading.

I have also read several of the blogs you people keep in your sidebar. There is one in particular that Valerie has on hers where some woman I have never met goes on tirades about all kinds of things including women who can't stop saying "I can't believe I'm so blessed" and other stupid things to repeat.

I didn't think it could get bad enough to warrant actual ranting but then I found that blog. The one whose name is WAY to close to the name I was using until a few minutes ago. I wanted to throw up. I started looking at her page and could just tell that she was Mormon. Yup, I was right. This does not mean I think it's a bad thing to be LDS, it means it's a bad thing to be LDS in that way. Go look, you'll want to vomit. She has five (5!) FIVE kids and is pregnant, she can't stop talking about how WONDERFUL her husband is and how blessed her life is, and... AND she actually says she understands so-and-so's "PERSPECT". Um, did we lose the "ive"? I don't know, maybe it's just a word I don't know.

I can forgive the wrong to/too but not two. I can get over (barely) there/their but not they're. I make mistakes, but I don't think I often leave out SO much of the word that it ceases to make sense. I hate this woman.

I must really need some sleep. I have just re-read this post and I'm going to post it for real so you can laugh at me, at her, whatever. Maybe you'll decide you like her and become blogspot buddies. Go for it. (She's vegan, if that helps sway you my way). I have actually said here that I hate a woman I know virtually NOTHING about.

But she's under my skin so I'm changing my title so as to not ever be accidentally screwed up with her. *shudders

Monday, July 21, 2008

Ah, the addictive personality

I find myself checking way too often to see if any of the blogs I read have posted new things. This is because I am bored. And hot. You guys should really post more things so I'll have a good excuse to sit in front of our swamp cooler Amy gave us (I love Amy!) and read things online. Seriously.

When I got a myspace account I was addicted to it. For a long time. The more people I found on there, the more addicted I got. Then my account was a stupid and wouldn't let me log in for like 2 weeks. So I got a facebook account. (I am realizing I needed a hobby, I know). I haven't logged into facebook for a long time. This is especially sad because I am playing Scrabulous with some friends and all my games are just sitting there. I hate it when people do that to me and yet here I am doing it to them. I can't be bothered to log in because.... I'm stalking blogs.

Or I am outside melting. WHY is there only a minute and a half of spring and about an hour of fall but winter and summer last for ETERNITY!?! The best seasons get shorter and shorter. I was totally okay with sitting in the sun the last few weeks. Then it got muggy. Ick!

On a completely different note, and let's face it, this blog has absolutely nothing holding it together, Ashley just came in here complaining that she's hungryyyyy. I told her to wait for dinner in a little bit and she hucked a book at the back of my head. WTF!? Whose child is this that throws books at me? And not just any book. She threw "The Truth About Poop". She literally threw shit at me. Huh

~time passes.....~~~~

Now she wants my help to help her pull up her pants. I told her if she's big enough to throw books then she's old enough to pull up her own pants. Eventually I explained she needs to say "Sorry for throwing a book at you, Mom". She did. Then she said "now we give each others hugs". Awww... She has the fastest recovery of any child on Earth. Ever. She knows how to use her charm to the detriment of us all.

Aiden and I realized she could totally take over the house if she wanted to. Luckily she likes us so she hasn't tried. It may be a matter of time. Hopefully we get a cooler day before long so she doesn't go crazy with the rest of us and decide to try.

Oh, she's a sweet little girl.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Play along

1. As a comment on my blog, leave one memory that you and I had together. It doesn't matter if you knew me a little or a lot, anything you remember!

2. Next, re-post these instructions on your blog and see how many people leave a memory about you. It's actually pretty funny to see the responses. If you leave a memory about me, I'll assume you're playing the game and I'll come to your blog and leave one about you.


Monday, July 14, 2008

One fun kid

Val inspired me after being inspired by Kendra... I have a longer list that I have to sit down and think about but the funniest thing I heard today is from Ashley. She was riding her bike around the parking lot loop and got to the corner by a dumpster. All the kids have been crashing against the curb there so we've told them to take that corner wide (amazingly they all understood that right off the bat). She rode behind it and never reappeared. Aiden went to check on her and she informed him "that dumpster (*big pointing at it)... it bumped into me!"

Who knew dumpsters could be so malicious!?

Saturday, July 12, 2008

And then I couldn't get them off

Alex has always had a "I can conquer anything" attitude. Unless he thinks someone else might see him try and fail. Or if there's people his age who can already do what he's about to attempt. Learning to ride a bike was no different. In fact, it was the first time I have seen him have a real defeatist attitude about one thing for so long.

In Spokane our apartment complex was a low income housing thing which meant there was a lot of unsupervised kids doing whatever they wanted. Generally what they wanted was vandalism of some sort (throwing rocks at cars, graffiti in crayon because they are so baaaad, etc). Often times they rode their bikes in the parking lot which was not laid out well for visual awareness. Anyway, these kids ended up causing the landlords to make a lot of stupid rules because the parents couldn't be bothered to make their own rules (for anyone!... good rule: supervise your children!!). One of the rules governed bike riding: there was to be none on the sidewalks (they would actually run people down), grass (sprinkler heads were being broken off), or in the parking lot (obviously so they didn't get hit).

We had three kids and neither Brandon or I were really excited about packing up bikes and kids and snacks and drinks and going to find somewhere we could ride bikes without being in the way or hit by cars. It was hot and exhaustive and a lot of running (means exercise and I HATE it). So we just didn't.

Aiden bought all the kids new bikes last year since they had all outgrown theirs and/or had them stolen from where we were required to park bikes.

Anyway, the point is we did try to teach Alex last summer. He hadn't had enough practice to do it without training wheels so we had to go to a special bike shop to get training wheels that could support his weight. Then we had to figure out how to get them on his bike. Oh my goodness it was a long process. By this time he had a Razor scooter and didn't want to put in the effort to learn something somewhat hard. So he found excuses to not ride.

I got fed up one day and took the training wheels off. Grandpa had to show me how to fix his axle since I made it crooked and then he was forced to learn. And he refused. That kid is so smart he can reason and argue his way through any situation (I wonder where he gets it from?). I get worn down before he does so I let him skip by without it. Then Annie got her bike out and was zooming all over the place. I realized waiting until 7 is not a normal time to start learning this skill. So I took off her training wheels. She got it pretty dang quickly.

Alex still refused to go on the pavement where he swore he'd go too fast and die in a crash. He was so convinced it was easier to ride in the grass. (for those of you who do not live here, our grass is not a lawn. That implies a smoothness. No, our grass is a plethora of clumps of grass which all happen to be living next to each other and have a lot of poky weed neighbors). I forced him to go out and learn in the parking lot.

This sounds like it was a relatively short efforted thing. It wasn't. I had to enlist the help of Shaila's husband, Matt, who rides his bike to school/work everyday and is someone our kids look up to. Alex was having a hard time with all of it but the turning/steering thing was a big crux. He went around about half way in our parking lot loop (NOTE: This is not the death trap parking lot our old place had. This is an open and flat lot where there is one way cars will enter and exit. We are watching for cars all the time. ) and gave up. Annie got up on her bike, crashed a couple of times until I showed her where to ride to stay away from the curb on the island in the middle and she went around four times before she finally jumped off.

The next morning (Friday) I started our day with trying to get Alex out to his bike before all the other big kids would be up and about and see him failing (this is not how I said it to him, exactly but it was close). That little bugger had gone around once and was ready to quit. Two of his friends had come out and he was getting self conscious. So I got them to get on bikes and ride, too. It got to the point that Alex had to choice but to ride his bike if he wanted to play with his friends. Oh, there was whining and reasoning and crying (a bit) but he was backed into a corner. I thought "AHA! We've got him now!"

He started going around. One lap, two laps.... trying to ask if he can quit. So before he could finish asking, Aiden and I yelled that he was going to beat Annie's record. At this point Annie had done about 9 million laps in a row but he didn't know that, he just wanted to beat her four from Thursday night.

As he rounded the corner to fly past me for his fifth lap I asked him how many laps he had done. He told me through gritted teeth. On his next time around I was cheering for him and damned if that little booger wasn't smiling. Oh, he tried REALLY hard to not let us see he was actually enjoying himself. But then it broke through and it was a billion watt smile.

I love being a mom.

I also love being right. We kept telling him that he would get it eventually and then that would be all he'd want to do. The rest of his friends came out a little while later and wanted to play Pokemon. He's been telling me that was more fun than trying to learn his bike. All the sudden yesterday morning he was standing outside by his friends playing and was telling them "No, I want to play the bike riding game".

After lunch I was coming out to help them get started so they could ride some more until we had to leave for Ellensburg. They wanted to get in all the bike time they could before they had to not ride for 2 whole days. I was apparently too slow for them to wait because as I came out Annie was already going. Alex said she started herself (later she told me she figured out this trick of using the curb to stand on to get going. Interesting trick she "figured out"; it's the same one Aiden and I had been explaining for a week!). Alex said he needed help to get going so I told him to try on his own. He gave it a half hearted attempt and I said "OH MY GOSH YOU ALMOST HAD IT!!!" so he tried again and low and behold he didn't even need the curb.

Why do they grow up?!?

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Potty training everywhere!

Since I am still on my John and Kate plus 8 kick and Ashley's decided to potty train herself I thought we'd follow Kate's idea of taking the potty chair with us when we leave the house. This is what happened, then, at Boyer Park. I love it! Valerie can appreciate the similarities of this pic with another one of Aunt Lisa.

And of course it's uploading sideways. Sorry, just tilt your head. All the other ones I did today worked right. And yes, I had to change some.

Summertime biking

Alex learned to do his with no training wheels this spring but still cannot start on his own (he refuses to practice with the bigger kids of the apartments out there since they can already do it) so we're working on it on the sly.
Annie checking things on her bike. She's now got it pretty well with no training wheels but needs more practice and to figure out starting on her own. I'll get some pictures of it soon and put them up.
Ashley was going SO FAST on her Dora trike that she looked like a sewing machine coming down the sidewalk at you. So we got Grandma and Grandpa Smith to buy her a big kid bike for her birthday. Just 4 months early. It was so bad, we tried to get her a 12" bike but she was too long for it with the seat all the way up so BACK to Walmart to get her one of the 16" bikes. It's a smush too big for her but will last much longer. She's cruising and wants to be off training wheels by fall. I think she could do it.

It's adding up and coming off pt 1

Remember when Ashley had gorgeous long hair and we could put braids in it and make it all pretty? She got to a point in May where that was NOT happening anymore. She refused to let us wash it or do anything with it. So one night I asked her if she wanted to cut her hair short for summer. She was excited so we went to Supercuts (cue the tragic music) and picked out a cut and showed it to the girl.
This girl had just finished cutting a 17 year old boy's hair and had his MOTHER freak out (like crazy crazy crazy) that it was too short. In reality she did what he had asked for as he tried to creep out from under his mom's thumb before his graduation but the mom screamed at her and made a big show of not paying and talking on her cell about how upset she was. (NOTE: The boy asked for a number 4 on the back and finger cut on top. He looked GOOOOD. Especially when you consider that he came in with a mullet.)

Anyway, he looked nice and we figured she'd be fine. WRONG. I said I wanted the girls to have basically matching A-line bobs with it stacked up in the back. Annie's was shorter than I meant it to be but other than that, great! Ashley's lady kept asking me if it was stacked enough. I'm looking for depth and it's wet and I didn't go to haircutting school so I keep saying no. She is looking for vertically where to stop layering and kept raising it up and up. Once I realized we were talking about two different things we stopped but it was too late.

I think it was cute in the front but in the back, it just did not flow.

It ended up looking like she had cut it herself and we had salvaged what we could. Sad day for blending. (The irony starts here)

It's adding up and coming off pt 2

So we got her hair fixed so the back blended into the front more. God bless Shari Carter! It's not everything I ever wanted originally from Supercuts but it sure as heck was better than the choppy mess.

We have to put the girls to bed with one in their bunk bed and one in our bed so they will fall asleep. After they are snoozing we transplant them to their own bed. About 2 days after we got Ashley's hair fixed I had used some scissors to cut something in our room and left the scissors sitting on the dresser. I thought fleetingly about moving them but we make her a nest of pillows and explain she is not to get out of the nest for ANYTHING and to just go to sleep. Riiight.

I found a tag cut up on the dresser the next morning and thought how lucky it was that she had cut that and not her fingers. Then Aiden walked out in the kitchen with a handful or hair. Smushy Cat has been losing clumps of hair lately and I was confused because it was definitely NOT Smushy colored hair. Then I realized what it was. A handful of Ashley clippings.

She made a very nice cut down the one side and took out some bangs.
We were forced to make her wear it like that for a couple of days since I couldn't call Shari on Sunday to fix it and I was NOT going back to Supercuts.
We had to go to Spokane on Monday so I called my mom to see if her hair lady could fix it but Stephanie takes Mondays off. So she went to the Olive Garden looking like this.

I finally ended up taking her to Supercuts and getting a DIFFERENT stylist to cut it. My little girl has gone from long flowing hair she wouldn't wash or style (or let us, y'know what I mean) to looking like a boy. But hair grows and she's still cute. The funny part is I liked the cut she made better than the blended cut Shari put in but I was okay with them both. This is shorter t han I would like but she's indifferent.
My sister and I started a weight loss blog because she feels that she is officially FAT and I know I am beyond fat, probably in the neighborhood of (more like Mayor of) morbidly obese. So we decided to keep each other motivated by blogging our exercise, which I love doing, and celebrating our success at not cramming a box of Oreos in our mouths, etc. I think of it as a competition of sorts. Not so much against her, she's always been better at everything, but against myself keeping up with her. The day I cannot honestly say I did some kind of activity is the day I start losing. And not the weight.

Anyone who wants to join the blog should. The more people we have, the better it will be, right?

So right off the bat going to Boyer Park so much lately has been helpful. Swimming is good for me, you, and everyone else AND I end up not just swimming but pushing Ashley across the swimming part in her float. I'm pretty sure it takes energy, therefore burns calories, to keep myself warm in the icy water, too. I was pushing Annie across the river, too, but then I made her learn to swim in her life jacket so now she swims along with me. Which is so much fun but may be more work since I end up swimming the whole thing twice going back to tug her up with me and then push her ahead only to pass her, go back, and do it all again.

The biggest problem is that I have also been craving ice cream. No, not ice cream, DAIRY QUEEN. I wonder how many people work there for a year and are addicted for the rest of their lives. I have friends who have worked at other places and refuse to eat there now but I did not find that to be the case with DQ. Then they made Thin Mint Cookie Blizzards. Are you kidding me?!? This is not diet friendly or something I can easily say "no, Honey, you go ahead, I'll have some celery" to.

On a completely different note, I have been trying to get a blog with pictures done but I think I have to put all the pictures in and then type. I keep trying to add them as I go but then it goes into the beginning of the blog and when I try to move them they get all mad and freeze Internet Explorer for 5 minutes. So I have to finish getting pictures off my camera onto the computer so I can upload them backwards and hopefully get Shaila to show me the easier way to make it work. Otherwise I am not sure it's very worth it.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

To the elephant!... and other melted ideas

The update on my facebook accounts says I want to know what temperature actually melts humans. A friend of ours who lived in Las Vegas IMd me and told me try living there or Arizona. I KNOW those are hotter. I know. But I am still melting, I think.

I got into a whole thing with another friend on myspace in which I assigned myself the role of the wicked witch of the west (seeing as I am mellllltttttinnnnnggg... not for any other reasons you may be able to come up with so quickly). She said she's hot, too, but since she has AC (a rarity in this town) she says she should not complain. Then she guessed I was ready to kill. At which point I assigned myself the new role of Miss Hannigan from "Annie". But only the one played by Carol Burnett. I love how she says "Killll killlll killlllllllllllllll."! I want to use it now, but I can't seem to work it into the conversations I am trying to be inspired by Kate (ala John and Kate plus 8).

This woman is inspirational to me. Here she is, just wanting one more kid and she gets 6. And now they are all 3. I truly think three may be the hardest age for both parent and child. There are harder ages, I'm sure. But three must be the most mutually frustrating. I think you hear "terrible two's" because it alliterates well. But they turn three and you throw them a party because they are so cute and learning so much and you LOOOVVVEE them so much!!!!

the only reason you throw a party when they turn four is to celebrate the fact that you did not murder them somewhere in the middle of three.

But I digress. I have started DVRing this show so that I can watch this woman who wants to kill her husband and chants "I can make it through this day" and still loves her kids to their faces and behind their backs (sometimes harder) while also allowing herself a bit of sarcasm thrown in. I don't know where I was going with this. Oh yeah, I can't be Mommy Hannigan if I want to be inspired properly by Kate.

ANYWAY, it's hot. It's really really hot. Yesterday it was even hotter. Today it's only in the 70s and it's raining off and on. We welcome this break in the weather like a UPS delivery on your birthday.

But yesterday it was melt in your chair hot. Even the shade was hot. And there was the mugginess. ick.

Aiden and I decided to go search out Boyer Park and see what it's all about. It's a park (surprise!) on the Snake River. It has swimming, boating, camping, a little motel/grill/convenience store, and a very little playground but it was fun! It's about 18 miles from here so it was a fairly short drive through Palouse farm country. Ashley loved getting to see the horses and sheep and cows all the way there. We ended up driving behind some dude on a tractor forever. This may be a good time to inform you we had decided to see what life would be like if we gave up all use of exaggerations in our conversations. Turns out we didn't even like talking to ourselves so we gave up the giving up. Rehab is for quitters, right? Oh, and by "dude" I mean ancient old man with a keg belly and hair in all kinds of places but NOT his head.

The heat was the driving force behind the trip to the park. The realization of the need to go came from the craziness that we found ourselves in as we were getting ready for our day. (the kids were nowhere in sight. This was strictly adult idiot time). We had the CD player going and were listening to the Moulin Rouge soundtrack. Hopefully you've seen this movie. If you have not, you should try it. At least read the IMDB plot line. The gimmick is that they take a bunch of "current" music (Nirvana, Madonna, Elton John, Sound of Music, etc etc) and use the lyrics to tell a story set at the turn of the century.

We are both music lovers so we get a little out of control with it even without our brains meltin in our heads. And we were both in drama in high school. So here we find ourselves singing along to these songs using WAY more facial expression and body language than is necessary. It helps that there's a lot of duets so we can play off each other. THEN it became a need to sing the filler operatic male voice during the parts where we had nothing else to sing. (and NO ONE knows the words). Aiden decided he can't sing it but he can do "this" (picture a lot of wide gesticulating). "JUST LIKE CAMP!"

I don't know about that. The only camp I ever went to was Girl's Camp and there was some bad acting but not to that degree.

The only thing I can contribute is that in one of the songs the leads are singing a duet inside an elephant shaped room. Between that song and the one before it a character, who wants to see what the courtesan will do with the play write in her "lair", as it were, yells "to the elephant!!". This is the only thing I have to contribute to the madness.

We were being loud, we were laughing a LOT, and the neighborhood was outside playing on the playground. Yeah, we realized later they could not hear us over the dull roar the kids were making but at the time we couldn't stop laughing at ourselves and how crazy it must sound through the open window. And THEN we tried to think of who would be out there that could be pictured doing the same thing with their husband. It was a short list. And yet somehow the funniest part.

Anyway, this is a lot of nothing but if you are around and hear one of us say it's just like camp and/or someone declare "TO THE ELEPHANT" you'll now understand it is just that we are not medicated against melted brain in any fashion. You should proceed to dump us in the ice cold river where we can freeze our brains back into some form of solid matter that will hopefully not look akin to Swiss cheese by the time it's over.

If I ever figure out (or bother trying) how to upload pics to here, I'll throw some up from Boyer park.