circle of life-ish (or live fish)

I wasn’t sure how Catie would deal with the loss of Teenie. She’s known that cat her entire life. We talked for several days beforehand about how Teenie was very old and sick, and how it was almost time for her to go to Kitty Heaven. But I was dreading telling her about it when it happened. The poor kid has been through quite enough over the past year, she deserves a break.

She took it all really well at first. She knew it was coming, so it wasn’t a total shock.

But the next day, she walked into the room and said, “Mommy, I just don’t feel like myself without Teenie here.” I told her that I knew exactly what she meant. Then she burst into tears. There wasn’t anything I could do except hold her while she cried for a long time.

She asked if since Teenie had died, could she get a puppy?

I said no way, kiddo, sorry. Mommy is responsible for cleaning up quite enough poop around these parts. We aren’t adding a puppy to the mix.

She said, then can I get a hamster?

I said no, because hamsters stink and Mommy doesn’t want to clean its cage.

She said, then can I have a fish?

Sigh. Damn it.

I’m not made of stone, y’all.

Internet, meet our newest family member(s)…

(See the 3 blobs at the top of the green aquarium plant? Yeah. Them.)

Their names are Mario, Luigi, and Yoshi. Catie named them herself. Obviously.

So, yeah. Fish. At least they’re really low-maintenance pets, right?


Not so camera-shy Teenie

I found my cat, Teenie, sometime around my 21st birthday. I don’t remember if it was a few days before or after my actual birthday. It doesn’t really matter.

What I remember is that I was living off-campus in a house that I rented with two other girls. There was an ice storm, and I came home really late, like at 3 a.m. (I don’t remember why I was out so late – again, doesn’t really matter.) As I was walking up to the front door, I saw something run from the front porch. It was dark out, and the blob that I saw running was so tiny, I thought it was a squirrel. Then I thought I heard a meow. Just to be safe, I said, “Here, kitty-kitty-kitty?” She came running to me.

I searched all over the neighborhood for her owners. It quickly became apparent that someone had dumped her during the ice storm, probably figuring she wouldn’t last through the night. My parents told me that they were already helping to support my living expenses while I was in college, and I was not allowed to keep a cat. I lied and told them that my roommate had decided to keep her. But Teenie was mine from the moment I found her.

(For the record, she got her name because compared to my roommate’s three humongous cats, she was this wee little kitten, so she was, quite literally, teenie.)

I’ve had Teenie for over 15 years now. She’s moved all over the country with me. I found her in Memphis, TN, but she’s lived in Mississippi, Wisconsin, Massachusetts, Washington, and North Carolina. She travels like a champ. I used to joke that she needed her own frequent flyer account for all the times she flew home with me.

When Catie was born, Teenie would stand guard in front of me while I was nursing her, and hiss/growl/swat at anyone who came near me and the baby. That included Dave too. She just knew that Catie was “ours.” The same was true with Lucy, too.

a girl & her cat

Teenie hasn’t been doing well for a while, and her health has taken a serious turn for the worse in the past couple of days.

This is part of the deal with pets, right? They typically live shorter lives than their owners. And it’s horrible and heart-breaking, but that’s what you sign up for when you adopt a pet.

I’m having Teenie put to sleep this afternoon. It’s a horrible decision to have to make, but it’s time. She’s been a really good cat and a great companion, and I will miss her terribly.

I don’t know what else to say. I’m just really damn sad about it.

May you rest in peace, Teenie. I hope Kitty Heaven is full of bologna and cheese.

good stuffs

Things that were good this week:

1. Nobody is sick. I’m almost scared to say that out loud for fear of jinxing it and bringing the Germ Fairy back to our house. But for the moment, nobody has The Crud. So that’s awesome.

2. I’ve hit the point in my diet/exercise plan where I can now see the difference myself. I’ve lost around 10 pounds, my clothes fit better, and I caught myself checking out my own butt in the mirror. Like, more than once. Not so much being vain, more “hey, look at that!”

3. Lucy seems to have figured out this whole “standing up” thing.

Ok, who taught the baby to stand up? Because it sure wasn't me!

Now I need to hurry up and figure out the whole “baby proofing” thing, because man, she is into EVERYTHING. And unlike Catie, Lucy wants to put EVERYTHING in her mouth. I can’t even tell you how many times I’ve had to stick my fingers in her mouth to fish out something she shouldn’t have gotten. Neither of us are happy when this happens, and yet, she keeps doing it. Babies really don’t catch on quickly, do they?

4. I’ve been having late night Skype dates with Matt after the kids are in bed. I think my crush on that guy is bigger than it was back in 1999. He makes me giddy.

5. I’m going out with a girlfriend tonight while my parents watch the kids. I can’t wait. I need to get dressed up and get out of Mommy Mode for a while.

So yeah. Pretty good week here overall.

on Valentine's Day

I was in a little bit of a funk yesterday.

This is the first Valentine’s Day that I’ve been single since 2004. Eight years is a pretty long time.

Also, exactly one year ago (on Valentine’s Day eve) was when Dave first announced that he wanted to split up. I was pregnant with Lucy at the time. So I guess you could say that I now have sort of a sour taste in my mouth about Valentine’s Day. It was never a huge deal to me to begin with, really, but that’s a pretty bad association to have with this particular holiday.

I completely forgot about the Valentine’s Day party at daycare today, so I ended up filling out Catie’s Valentine’s Day cards for her at 10 p.m., after both girls were in bed. Those kids are getting the most slapdash, thrown-together Valentine’s Day treats ever. Seriously, I used Ziploc sandwich bags filled with candy and stickers with the kids’ names on them. I figured that when you’re 4 or 5 years old, you only really care about the candy, not the card, right?

Still, that seems like the lamest Valentine’s Day goodie bag ever. It felt like a huge “mom FAIL” moment, even though I know Catie doesn’t care.

So, yeah, I was bumming pretty hard yesterday.

Then I got some messages from Guy #3. I need to call him something else because the other two guys are really out of the picture now. Oh screw it, his name is Matt. I’m not posting his last name, and there are enough Matts and Matthews in the world that I doubt anyone searching for him is going to stumble upon this blog post by accident.

So, yeah, emails from Matt. He managed to steam up my inbox pretty well. (Note: that is not a euphemism. He’s still in another time zone.) My day was brightened up considerably, as pathetic as that may sound.

And then, this morning, Catie brought me a flower for Valentine’s Day. Sure, it was a fake flower that we already had in the house, but still. I thought that was really sweet.

So, you know, maybe it’s not so bad after all.

Still… - My Valentine runs on batteries.

Sigh. Yeah. Sad but true.

finding my flirt



This is kind of a weird topic for me to bring up, but I use my blog as a place to kind of vent whatever is on my mind, and this seems to be taking up an awful lot of my brainspace lately, so I thought maybe writing through it might help me figure some things out.

(Also, Dad? If by chance you’re looking at my blog today, stop reading now. Really. I don’t want to hear it.)

So, lately I’ve been doing a little… um… flirting.

This all started innocently enough. I have a guy friend from college who I always had a crush on, but for one reason or another, we never dated. We’ve stayed in touch off and on through the years, but in the last month or so, our texts have suddenly taken a turn for the steamy. (As in, “Damn, you text your mama with those fingers?”) Funny, considering I’ve never even kissed the guy outside of a peck on New Year’s Eve.

But, you know, he lives in another state, so it’s not like anything is ever going to happen.

Then there was another guy who I dated (very) briefly, who dropped me an email just to say he heard I was getting divorced, he’s divorced too, he’s been thinking about me… which, ok. It was a random, but totally G-rated exchange. Still, the “I’ve been thinking about you a lot lately” was flattering and nice, and it didn’t come off as creepy, which I appreciate.

Then, there’s Guy #3, who, man, where do I start? We were never really a couple. I knew him when I lived in Wisconsin. I hung out with a bunch of girls there and we all had a crush on this one guy at some point. He was gorgeous, and had absolutely no clue how cute he was. (Which, seriously, is an awesome trait to have if you’re a good-looking guy. Guys who know they’re hot? Tend to be a bit on the douche-y side.)

There is no possible way to explain this and sound like anything less than a total slut, but basically: we never dated, we just fooled around a lot. Like, I don’t think we ever had dinner or saw a movie together or anything. It was just casual and fun.

What can I say? I enjoyed my 20s.

So, Guy #3 (as I’ll call him because I probably shouldn’t be posting his name on the Internet) found me on Facebook a couple of weeks ago and messaged me. Turns out he’s also in the middle of a divorce. We had some friendly “what have you been up to for the past decade?” emails. Then he started emailing me with stuff like, “Hey, remember the time we [fill in the blank with something completely X-rated that I am not about to write here]?” And the emails are… well, they’re pretty hot, I have to say.

The thing is, none of these three guys even live in the same time zone as me, nor are any of them really suitable long-term matches for me. And besides that, I absolutely do not want a relationship right now at all. I have way too much on my plate to deal with. It wouldn’t be fair to drag some innocent bystander into the chaos vortex that is my life at the moment. And it would be absolutely unfair to my girls.

Oh, and let’s not forget that thanks to ridiculously stupid North Carolina divorce laws, I can’t even file for divorce until August, so I’m still technically married for the time being.

So, nothing is gonna happen. I mean, outside of harmless flirting with guys who are all at least 1,000 miles away in one direction or another.

But, what’s interesting (to me) about all of this, is that fairly recently, I would’ve sworn on a stack of Bibles that I never wanted to have sex again. And something about these exchanges lately has reignited some little spark in me that I didn’t think I had anymore.

Obviously, I’m not going to act on anything anytime soon, but it’s got me thinking about the idea of “Someday.” I’ve been so caught up in trying to get through my day-to-day life, that I hadn’t really thought about the future at all. And I don’t just mean sex (although yes, that would be lovely, please and thank you). I mean the whole relationship thing. The idea that I might be willing to give men another chance is a pretty new concept for me.

So, yeah. That’s kind of weird, huh?

Just because

Once again, I mention that Lucy seems fine in one blog post, so it’s pretty much inevitable that we’d end up at Urgent Care over the weekend, right?

Lucy had been acting a little out of character (grumpy, tired, etc.). Then today, I noticed her pulling on her ears, which is basically THE BIGGEST, REDDEST FLAG EVER.

So, off to Urgent Care we went.

Turns out, filming the baby with an iPhone is a good way to keep her distracted while waiting for a doctor.

The doctor said her ears don’t look infected, but her sinuses are so infected that her ears were clogged (sort of like the airplane ear-popping effect, but for poor Lucy, it was all the time), so now she’s on an antibiotic.

In case you were keeping track, yes, that now makes all three of us on antibiotics.

I’m giving the cats the side-eye. They better not get any ideas. I’m getting sick of shoving syringes in people’s mouths up in here.

Friday notes

I feel like every blog post lately is either “we’re all dying from The Snot Crud OMG send help aaaaiiiieeee….”, or it’s some version of “hey, we survived and I think we’re all better now.”

As for today: I don’t know. I suddenly got waaaaay worse and had to go back to the doctor’s office, and Catie has an ear infection, so at the moment, we’re both on antibiotics. I’m hoping we can knock this out once and for all.

Lucy seems ok for now. She’s got the eternal case of Drippy Nose, but she doesn’t seem terribly bothered by it, she’s still happy and funny and sleeping well.

(Oh man, can I tell you about the sleep? I mean, no, I know I can’t tell you about the sleep because that will jinx it and she’ll go back to waking up every 3 hours. But suffice to say: God bless sleep training. We seem to have hit some sweet spot of sleep, and I know it’s likely temporary and we’ll have to start over the next time she gets sick, or a new tooth comes in, or she hits some other developmental milestone. But for now, it’s so, so good, y’all.)

Lucy climbing on her uncle Chris's legs.
Maybe this makes me a terrible mother, because you know, unconditional love and all that. But I find her much cuter when she lets me sleep at night.

As for crawling – yes, Lucy is crawling, kind of. She gets herself into a yoga downward-facing dog pose on her hands and tippy-toes, then can’t seem to figure out what to do next, and she gets really mad about that. Sometimes she’ll kind of throw a leg out sideways and scoot like a crab. I’ve seen her do a normal hands-and-knees forward crawl only a handful of times. So, unlike Catie, who started crawling one day and then never stopped crawling, Lucy seems to be taking her own sweet time with this.

Or, you know, maybe Lucy just prefers to sit on the floor and scream for me to come pick her up. It certainly seems like it some days.


A couple of other random Lucy developments:
1. Probably because Catie and I have been sick so much, Lucy has developed a fake cough. Seriously. If I cough, she smiles and echoes me, like it’s a game. It’s both cute and pathetic at the same time. How many times do you have to cough in front of your baby before they learn this? APPARENTLY A MILLION COUGHS. WHICH I HAVE DONE.
2. She’s started waving bye-bye and saying “ah-bah,” sort of like bye-bye. The only problem is that she seems to have no idea of the appropriate context of how or when to use this. She says bye-bye to the bathtub, to her toys, to the TV, to her own shadow. I think she just likes doing it over and over.
3. According to her teacher at daycare, she learned to say “uh-oh,” but I have yet to get her to repeat that one at home. The few times I’ve tried saying “uh-oh” in front of her to see if she’ll parrot it back to me, she just laughs at me like I’m hilarious. So, who knows.


Unrelated to anything: I’m in the process of registering Catie for kindergarten. I just… man. That’ll be a whole other post someday, when I come up with the words to adequately express my feelings about it. For now, I think “overwhelming” about sums it up.