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Archive for the ‘Cats’ Category

Happy Halloween!

I LOVE Halloween! (Along with Christmas, they are my favorite holidays – because I love decorating!)

This year, I bought a giant pumpkin so I thought I would get creative with carving. Instead of doing my regular, standard jack-o-lantern face, I searched pinterest for some fun ideas. What do you think of my finished project?

Blog Pumpkin

The glowing is just because of a candle lit inside

Also, I enjoyed dressing Baby Girl up. She’s a cheeseburger!

She put herself here after seeing the big kids do it. (At Santa's Village in NH during Halloween Day)

She put herself here after seeing the big kids do it. (At Santa’s Village in NH during Halloween Day)

I went with a theme and tormented the cat (Anne Geddes, I am not!)

Blog version

They didn't really want to participate in this photo. Also, Baby Girl INSISTED on laying with the cat instead of sitting with him.

They didn’t really want to participate in this photo. Also, Baby Girl INSISTED on laying with the cat instead of sitting with him.

Finally, did you hear about the new Teal Pumpkin Project? I wish I had learned about this earlier and shared it with everyone sooner, but here is an explanation from the Food Allergy Research & Education (FARE) group

Teal Pumpkin Text

I have the poster hanging on my house and will be giving out vampire teeth. (next year I’ll plan better and choose something that doesn’t go in the mouth… just in case!) And in case you’re wondering, teal is the designated color for food allergies. Check out the FARE Blog for more info.

Happy Halloween to all!

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The Cat, the Baby, and the Gate

I am the worst when it comes to writing drafts and never publishing them! This was originally written in March!

The baby has been crawling for about 2 months now. This is both exciting and frightening (ah! we need to baby-proof the house!). We put up a baby gate in our living room to create a barrier from the front door and the stair case. Oddly enough, the activities around the gate are hilarious.

First bit of silly behavior is with the cat, well… one of the cats mainly. We have 2 cats: Chewie and Prissy Pants. My wonderful boyfriend likes to equate them to Pinky and the Brain:

Cats pinky and brain

If you’ve never seen the show before, Pinky is an idiot and the Brain is always plotting to take over the world. Don’t get me wrong, I love Chewie. He’s the sweetest cat… but he’s not planning on taking over the world. In his defense, I wouldn’t go so far as to call him an idiot really. But he’s happily coasting through life, unphased by most things. Heck, he wore that Halloween costume for HOURS! Prissy Pants on the other hand is always working some angle, she is trying to take over the world. She even figured out how to wiggle out of her costume in about 10 minutes.

We put up the gate and Prissy Pants immediately understood that she had to jump over it to get into the room. Meanwhile, Chewie is the better jumper. He literally catches birds in flight! But he couldn’t figure out how to jump over the gate. Instead he spent a solid 5 minutes trying to figure out how to crawl under it! It’s only a few inches off the ground! He eventually managed to squeeze under it while dislodging the side not screwed into the wall. I wish I had a video for you – it was so ridiculous. I couldn’t stop watching him.

Prissy Pants, sitting on a chair in the living room, watched the entire thing. 20 minutes later, she went to the hallway side of the gate and tried to burrow under as well. It took her about 4 seconds to realize it was ridiculous and quit.

 

The second piece of silliness around the gate involves the fact that Chewie is afraid of the baby. Normally, he is the most mellow cat. I could wear him like a scarf and walk around the house if I felt like it. But if Baby Girl LOOKS at him, he’ll run away.

He loves the gate because it’s clear plastic so he can sit in the hallway and see into the living room, but still avoid Baby Girl. So of course, she’s obsessed with sitting on the other side. She bangs on the gate and squeals at him, begging him to come sit with her.

Her constant banging on the gate is basically saying: "Please come play with me, kitty!" Please!"

Her constant banging on the gate is basically saying: “Please come play with me, kitty!” Please!”

His refusal to even look at her should be sending a clear message of "NO!"

His refusal to even look at her should be sending a clear message of “NO!”

 

So that’s the constant entertainment we have with the gate.

How We’re Adapting to the Baby

It sure is interesting to have a brand new human being in the house. T’s gone back to work and I’m still on maternity leave (because my company rocks). And we’re getting used to the middle of the night feedings and the entire afternoon sway fests, but how are the cats dealing with the change? After all, they never asked for this little whiner who takes all of the attention from their people and created chaos in their formerly quiet and mellow house.

Well, our male cat, Chewie is completely unphased, he’s still getting in his cuddles:

2 days after coming home from the hospital (T's actually awake here... I don't know why he pretends to sleep in photos)

2 days after coming home from the hospital (T’s actually awake here… I don’t know why he pretends to sleep in photos)

Waking up with T

Waking up with T

Also, he enjoys smelling her and has occasionally licked the top of her head or her feet (he’s named Chewie for a reason! He tastes EVERYTHING!)

But our female cat, Prissy Pants, took a little longer to warm up to the baby. She hid under the dining room table for 2 weeks after we came home from the hospital. But she has warmed up to the baby and will lay next to her and has resumed her typical napping places of next to me on the couch or next to me in bed:

Don't let that face fool you, she was loving those snuggles

Don’t let that face fool you, she was loving those snuggles

Also, she’s claimed all of the baby’s things (except the toys, oddly enough):

Sitting in an old style pram

Sitting in an old style pram

Testing out the bouncy seat

Testing out the bouncy seat

 

Laying on the activity mat (I had a feeling she might like it so I put down burp cloths just in case...)

Laying on the activity mat (I had a feeling she might like it so I put down burp cloths just in case…)

I think we’re all starting to get along with the baby!

Baby smiling

Peeping Tom Cat…?

I only talk about baby stuff lately… how monotonous! So I’m going to tell you a silly story about my cat instead (I’m not sure if that’s much better though…)

This is my little girl cat:

(Pictured here in a cape she made for herself out of a brown paper bag)

(Pictured here in a cape she made for herself out of a brown paper bag)

One of her nicknames is Prissy Pants, but she’s gotten much bolder since we moved. At our rental house, she usually wouldn’t go more than 50 feet from the back door. It was really rare to look for her out a window and not be able to see her in the yard. 

I recently found out from our new neighbor, Ann, that Prissy Pants has been breaking onto Ann’s 3 season porch through a doggy door. Prissy Pants will prance around Ann’s porch just smelling all of Ann’s furniture and plants – paying no attention to Ann watching her through a glass door. Nor does Prissy Pants seem to care that Ann’s dachshund is barking at her as long as the glass is between them!

Granted, my little girl is still less than 50 feet away from our back door but jeez! (Because our back door faces sideways – right towards Ann’s back porch.)

Luckily, Ann seems to be a cat person and is finding the breaking and entering funny. I told her that Prissy Pants is so friendly that Ann could literally pick her up and throw her out of the house, but I get the impression that Ann would be happier to pick my little criminal up and cuddle her (which would also be totally fine with Prissy Pants!). Thank goodness she’s friendly!

Everyone else in the neighborhood owns a dog. I wonder how many other doggy doors Prissy Pants is planning to break into!

New House: Major Flaw Already Discovered!

So the move happened on Saturday (and on Sunday…) As with any move, it was stressful and more work than we thought. I’ll post more about that later though.

I figure I’ll start with a major flaw we discovered on the first night we slept there.

Let me start with a little back story on some of the home renovations we did before moving in: the floors upstairs. The bedrooms are all upstairs and the floors are a soft wood (I think my wonderful boyfriend said pine). When we bought the house, two of the rooms were painted an old, scuffed up, chipping, unfortunate, dark brown. The color itself wasn’t terrible, but the condition was. The master bedroom was painted gray… like auto primer gray (touching it felt like nails on a chalkboard sounds, I don’t know how to describe it well… but I hated having to go near that floor with anything other than shoes). Both of the colors were so matte and flat. They were sort of depressing.

Something needed to be done. Our original plan was carpets! Then we priced that out… and we decided to add it to the list of improvements that we’d totally do… in the future… when we had saved more money. 

Our next plan was to refinish the floors. We were refinishing the hardwood floors downstairs anyway (and they came out beautifully!) We asked the guy who was working on the other floors what he thought and if he could give us a quote. He told us that there was so much paint on the floors (so many coats of different colors over the decades) and so many gouges, that in order to really make the floors lovely, he would have to sand off a TON! To the point where it wouldn’t make financial sense (he was such a great guy! I wish I could remember his last name, I’d recommend him to everyone in the area!).

In the end, we just decided to paint the floors again until we felt comfortable spending money on the carpets. We chose a glossy, black paint. And it looks awesome! I really love it!

unfortunately, we discovered the massive problem with our plan on the first night we moved in…

The paint color was probably called something like “Raven” or “Nightshade” but it could have been called “Tuxedo Cat Black!” Seriously, when our cats are army crawling on the floor (out of fear – this was their first move, I’ll post about that sometime too) and all of their white parts are concealed, we can’t see them against the floor! The shine and color of their fur perfectly matches the shine and color of the floor! Oops!!!

I would have taken a picture and included it… but it would have felt a little like Where’s Waldo? So instead, here’s a fur reference with my sweet boy cat sleeping on a couch in the old apartment:

Tuxedo Cat Napping

Body Image – Part 3

Things are going really well here in my land of pregnancy. Well, at least I think so. I have another ultrasound this week and I’m being tested for gestational diabetes… so I guess I’ll let you know later in the week if the doctors think all is well. Here’s the update from my point of view though:

My latest physical obsession: My fingernails are growing so quickly! They are out of control! I trim them and then bam! what feels like only 2 days later, they look like massive talons. Neither of the cats have complained yet though…

How I feel physically: Great! Besides feeling round, I’m not in pain. No sciatica or anything like that so I’m counting my blessings! Although, I’ve just entered the 3rd trimester, so I have a feeling that things are going to change. I’m hoping I remain pain free and just feel more and more round.

One side effect of pregnancy is a stuffy nose because of increased mucus production, and I’m totally experiencing that. I don’t think it’s a big deal, it just means that I blow my nose about 3 times per day. However, I’m pretty sure it’s absolutely freaking out the two germaphobes that I sit between at work. They keep mistaking it as some sort of illness, but I’m pretty sure “pregnant” isn’t an airborne disease…

How I feel emotionally:  I still don’t feel like a crazy psycho person hormonally, which is great. There is just one exception. Even before getting pregnant, I was pretty easy to make cry. Not necessarily in my daily life, but songs and movies could totally get me going (if there is animal abuse in a movie – forget it, I’m a mess!) So that personal trait has just been heightened. My wonderful boyfriend will say something like “oh, I just heard this song the other day and I thought you would like it” and the next thing you know, I’m full-on sobbing in my kitchen (next to the iPod speaker). It’s ridiculous. At least once per weekend, you’ll find me in the kitchen bawling my eyes out, with T hugging me, swaying slightly, and apologizing for setting it all in motion. And I appreciate it, because he must be trying really hard not to laugh. I know it’s all absurd.  Luckily, as soon as the song is over, I’m fine. For examples of the things that make me cry, check out Same Love  by Macklemore and Ryan Lewis and The Good Stuff by Kenny Chesney.

What others are saying: Last time I mentioned a very sweet compliment I had received about not looking pregnant… well I think that has gone out the window! One of the women I sit near (but I don’t actually work with) didn’t know I was pregnant “until she saw me waddle past her office.” 😦 Yep, that’s right, I waddle now. She’s a mother of 2, so I don’t think she meant to hurt my feelings. And I do waddle… so, you know… it was just the truth. (My feelings weren’t really hurt)

Moving: Booger is still wiggling up a storm in there and I’ve learned his awake times for the most part (they usually coincide with when I eat). But I’ve learned there is one sure-fire way to incite a dance party in my tummy regardless of the schedule: get a purring cat to lay across my tummy. Unfortunately, a belly dance party is also a sure-fire way to freak out a purring cat and get him to leave. Within 2 minutes of the purring cat leaving, the dance party stops. I think it’s the vibration and not the sound. Because if my sweet, male cat lays within inches of my tummy (next to me, on my lap, or on my chest), it won’t start a wiggle fest. It only works if he’s directly on top of the tummy.

Pictures:

Slowly getting better at the picture thing? Although it kinda looks like the belly is getting smaller... and it really isn't....

Slowly getting better at the picture thing? Except for the blurry face part.  Although it kinda looks like the belly is getting smaller… and it really isn’t….

Snow Day!

So… we got a little snow here outside of Boston this past weekend:

Peanut standing up, trying to assess the winter insanity at the back door

Peanut standing up, trying to assess the winter insanity at the back door

Specifically we got around 2 and a half feet (it’s hard to tell exactly because there was a lot of wind and thus, lots of snow drifts).

It was actually really nice! My wonderful boyfriend and I both worked from home on Friday which was a good thing because the roads were all closed at 4 pm on Friday. Or Governor declared a driving ban on all roads from 4 pm on Friday to 4 pm on Saturday (or so I’ve been told… I’m not 100% sure on the end time because T and I couldn’t care less). If you were found driving during that time you could receive a ticket up to $500 and/or up to a year in jail. The reasoning being that even minor accidents can take away the valuable resources that are first responders. Emergency personnel dealing with a fender-bender can’t also be dealing with a major accident where someone is desperately hanging on to life. This type of ban hasn’t been declared in MA since 1978. Of course the following people were exempt: emergency personnel, law enforcement, utility workers, medical professionals, and the media.

I think it’s a great idea. Yes, we all live in New England and we all know how to drive in snow, but that doesn’t mean we SHOULD!

T and I took it as a message: enjoy the weekend! All of our busy-person plans were cancelled and happily replaced with days of snuggling on the couch (usually together with the addition of at least one of our cats), watching Netflix movies, or reading books. We also spent a bunch of time cooking food in case we lost power. We never lost power (yay!), so all the extra lasagna has made its way into the freezer.

For some reason this storm was named Nemo. That meant we had to watch Finding Nemo! I love this movie, I’ve probably seen it 25 times. I whole-heartedly recommend it if you’ve never seen it before.

Eventually on Sunday, we shoveled ourselves out. By “we,” I mean T did it… the doctor said I can’t shovel, but I helped clean off the cars!

It was a really great weekend of forced relaxation and bonding, even if it did drive the cats a little nutty… At one point, my little peanut tried to shovel her way out the back door with her paw, all it did was make a pile of snow on her back feet. She was less than pleased…

Really?! It just keeps going?! This is ridiculous!

Really?! It just keeps going?! This is ridiculous!

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