I have to admit, it’s been kind of nice for the past few days to not feel pressured to post something just for the sake of posting, but at the same time, I find myself constantly thinking “gee, I should really write something.” I guess that’s the point of NaBloPoMo, to get yourself in the habit of writing on a regular basis, so you don’t end up posting once a year (hi, DaveM! I totally just called you out!).

Anyway, while Catie and I were in Mississippi, Dave mentioned that Teenie had some bald spots on her back. She tends to groom excessively when she’s stressed out; she actually has permanent hair loss on her belly because she licked herself bald every time I moved (which was once a year for a few years in my early 20’s). I figured that she was just upset because I was gone, poor kitty. I felt bad, but I didn’t worry about it too much beyond that.

When I got home, however, I realized that Dave was actually making light of the situation. She has two huge bald spots on her back. I started to freak, and Dave said, “yeah, it seems like something’s wrong with her skin too, we’re probably going to need to take her to the vet.” Now, it was 1 a.m. and we’d had a hellishly long day, but I still sat down on the floor and called her to me to try to check her out. And I realized that her skin wasn’t just bumpy, it was… moving. My cat is quite literally infested with fleas. Besides all the fleas crawling all over her, she was also covered with these tiny black grains of sand, which didn’t take me long to figure out were flea larvae. Oh my lord, I wanted to vomit.

Our cats never go outside, so I really don’t understand how they got fleas in the first place, except that we must’ve brought them in somehow. But Ive never seen anything like this before. I’ve seen cats that had a flea or two, but nowhere near this level. The poor thing must’ve been in absolute misery. It’s probable that Beaumont has them too, but his hair is so long and black, it’s impossible to tell. We’re treating him as if he has them too.

There wasn’t anything we could do about it in the middle of the night, but the next day we trooped off to PetSmart and stocked up on anti-flea stuff. We got both the spray to kill them now, plus the maintenance anti-flea stuff to use in the future.

Today I went to re-wash everything in the laundry room, since Teenie’s been sleeping in the laundry basket for the past several days. The basket and the floor surrounding it are also covered with black sand/flea larvae. So. Unbelievably. Gross. I would take pictures, but seriously? Y’all don’t want to see this. I’m about to go scrub the whole laundry room down with bleach, because that’s the only way I’ll actually believe that it’s clean.

Here’s a question: any of y’all know what we’re supposed to do next? I’m sure there must be other fleas in the house, and I have no idea how to get rid of them. Do I call an exterminator? I thought about getting one of those foggers, but both Dave and Catie have asthma, so I’m sure that even if we leave the house for hours, it would still mess with their lungs when they come back to those fumes. Surely there must be some sort of “natural” way to get rid of fleas? Anyone? Help?

back in NC

The 6 p.m. flight home yesterday was indeed a very bad idea on my part. Our flight from Jackson was a little delayed, but not too major. We had an hour and a half to make our connection in Atlanta, so I wasn’t worried. But then we sat on the tarmac for half an hour because the Atlanta airport was apparently shut down due to bad weather. And once we finally got going, we circled Atlanta for over an hour, since the weather had caused a huge traffic backup. I couldn’t decide if it was a good thing or not that Catie took the opportunity to fall asleep – on the one hand, it’s nice that she wasn’t awake and cranky on the plane, but I also knew that her dozing off at 8 p.m. was going to cause us some major problems later on.

We should’ve missed our connecting flight in Atlanta because of the delay; we landed a few minutes after our next plane was scheduled to take off. I had been making a backup plan in my head, trying to decide what I was going to do if we were stuck in Atlanta for the night – try to get a hotel, call my uncle and cousin (who live in Atlanta) to see if we could crash with them, or rent a car and drive the rest of the way to Raleigh, praying that Catie would sleep in the car. Fortunately (I guess?) our connection was also delayed, so we made it. We got home a little after midnight. Blargh.

Btw, I know that toddlers are often quite literal, but I really have to start being more careful about how I talk to Catie. At some point during the flight, I had told her that after our ride on the airplane, we were going to see Daddy. She got down, grabbed my hand, and led me to the back of the plane. I thought she was just exploring, and at the back of the plane was the restroom, of course. I figured, what the heck, might as well go while we’re here, so I brought her into the bathroom with me. She proceeded to pound on the back wall of the bathroom, screaming, “Daaaaaddy!!! Where aaaaare youuuu?!?!!!” So yeah, she thought that “after the airplane” meant that Daddy was literally behind the plane. Oops. Poor kid, I have to figure out a better way to explain the concept of time to her.

Oh also, our descent into Raleigh was really bumpy, and Catie got sick. I could tell she didn’t feel well because of the way she was burying her face in my chest, then she coughed, then sort of cough/gagged, and I knew I had about 0.2 seconds until she barfed. I quickly aimed her head over my arm into the middle of the aisle, and just in time. She only heaved once, but still, poor baby. The lady sitting behind me tore up her SkyMall magazine to basically wallpaper over the barf so all of the other passengers wouldn’t have to walk through it on their way out. I was grateful, I knew I needed to cover it up somehow, but the magazine idea never would’ve occurred to me.

Catie and I were both thrilled to see Dave at the airport; her face positively lit up the second she saw him. I drove home so he could ride in the backseat with her. They talked and giggled the whole way home.

As I expected, Catie was all well-rested from her nap, so she ended up not going to bed until close to 3 a.m. She woke up at 8:30, and Dave (God bless that man) got up with her and gave her some milk, then brought her to bed with us. It didn’t take long for her to go back to sleep, and we all slept until noon. I couldn’t believe it, she has never done that in her life. Since she slept so late, I figure that we’ll just push through her nap today and hopefully get to bed at a decent time tonight. Fingers crossed.

packing up

I almost can’t believe we’re flying home today. After being in Mississippi for the past 12 days, it almost feels like, “wait, you mean we don’t live here now?” Catie and I have sort of settled into a routine at my parents’ house over the past couple of weeks, and now we’re about to throw it out the window to get back to our real life.

Don’t get me wrong, I’ll be very happy to get home to Dave and our house, even though I’m pretty sure I won’t be getting any affection from Catie at all over the next few days, because I expect it’ll be a while before she releases her grip around his neck. Poor kiddo has been talking to her Daddy on the phone while we’ve been gone, which has helped a lot, but I know she really misses him.

(Oh, I’ll also be happy to get back to my two kitties who actually want me to pet them. My mom’s cat hisses at me every time I come within four feet of her. Her name is Blanche, but I call her Evil.)

The part that sucks is that the only flight I could get today that didn’t cost a ridiculous amount leaves at 5:50 p.m. and gets us home around 11 p.m. on the east coast. Which means we probably won’t be home until at least midnight. Faaabulous. I’m sure that’ll do wonders for Catie’s sleep schedule and overall mood.

Next post will be from our living room, composed on my lovely, lightweight laptop and not my parents’ enormous desktop computer with its freakishly ginormous text (you know, for the old people with bad eyesight). I can’t wait!

NaBloPoMo day 28

It’s getting a little difficult to keep coming up with blog posts every day, especially while we’re out of town. So here are some random notes:

1. Catie turned 22 months old yesterday. I meant to write a milestone recap for her, but I was cooking for most of the day. I’ll owe a post on that later, especially since her verbal stuff is exploding all over the place.

2. Thanksgiving food. So good. Ate too much. Yum. Also, urgh.

3. Today my sister and I posed Catie at my parents’ house to try to get a picture of her for our Christmas card. We got a few that turned out really cute, I hope we can get a good card out of it.

4. Tonight we’re going over to our friends’ Mike and Nicole’s house for a little playdate. Should be a lot of fun, I can’t wait.

5. We fly back to North Carolina tomorrow. I know my parents will be sad for Catie to leave, and she’s going to be heartbroken without her constant audience, but I’m really looking forward to being home. Besides, we’ll see them all again in a month, when they come to NC for Christmas. So that’ll be good.

I am a ridiculously slow learner

I did go with my sister to her little mini-reunion last night. It turned out that it was at a sports bar, so there was alcohol on the premises. Oh my lord, was there ever alcohol.

Tracy and me kissing Will, her prom date TWENTY YEARS AGO
That guy that my sister and I are both kissing? He was her prom date. Twenty years ago. It’s totally ok that I (as a married lady) am kissing him, though, because I am 99.9% sure that he is not into girls at all.

I think I had about four vodkas with cranberry juice, and I? Do not hold my booze so well anymore these days. You’d think I would’ve learned my lesson after that incident with the wine a couple of weeks ago, but apparently not. So I woke up today with an unbelievable hangover, cancelled my playdate with Danielle because I felt so wretched (I’m so sorry, Danielle!), and I’ve been trying to fake it that I’m fine all day because I don’t want to give my dad any fodder to lecture me about how I shouldn’t drink.

Besides, I woke up to this face, so I kind of had to try to get my act together:
laughing at Tracy

I’ve been nursing water, ibuprofen, multi-vitamins, and Pepto-Bismol all day trying to make myself recover. It worked pretty well. I met up with some of my friends from high school for dinner tonight at a pizza place that was sort of Chuck E. Cheese-ish, and I actually felt ok by the time I got there.

mommies and babies

See? Do I look hungover? I think I made a pretty decent comeback. I do still feel pretty lousy, though. Hopefully I’ll be totally over it tomorrow, because I’m planning to eat my body weight in ham, turkey, dressing, and sweet potato casserole. Oh, and we’re making cake. Mmm.

I really should've packed more carefully

My parents are at the airport as I type this picking up my sister. Catie is napping, so I thought it was best that she and I stay here, rather than wake up a grumpy, under-napped toddler, just to strap her into a car seat for a little road trip out to the glorious Jackson International Airport. (The “international” in that title always makes me giggle. I think there’s maybe one flight a month to Mexico, but I guess that’s enough to qualify as international.)

I’ve warned my parents that they should expect that all of the toddler hugs and snuggles that they’ve been getting for the past week to come to an abrupt end the minute my sister sets foot through the door. Catie adores Tracy (she calls her “Dacy”), and I know she will be absolutely ecstatic to see her.

This evening, Tracy is supposed to go to a little mini-high school reunion of her own, and she’s invited me along since I’ll know a lot of the people there. Most of them graduated with her and are a few years older than me, but it could be fun. The problem is that a lot of them are super-conservative, born-again Southern Baptists. Which means there probably won’t be any alcohol there, and lord knows I’m going to need a drink if I’m going to spend an evening with them and have to keep my big bleeding-heart liberal mouth shut.

I’ll probably go anyway. There will be at least two people there who I don’t get to see often who I really like, plus getting to hang out with my sister is usually pretty fun. And this also means that I’ll get a second use out of The Hot Shirt, because I didn’t pack anything else cute. So I guess that’s good.

Btw, have I mentioned that I miss Dave? Because I really, really do. And so does Catie. Ever since we started letting her talk on the phone with him, she now brings me the phone constantly, asking for Daddy. And when I tell her that no, we can’t call him right now, she cries. Poor kiddo. Oh well, only four more days until Saturday.