Tuesday, November 20, 2007

snakes and snails and puppy dog tails...

if that's what little boys are made of, then no wonder i am still throwing up every day...

we had a level 2 ultrasound yesterday where we confirmed that all the parts are present and accounted for, everything is working like it's supposed to, and that we are indeed having a boy. kieran, not rosemary. it's a mental adjustment to let go of the idea of either gender at this point, so you know--it's a combination of excitement and disappointment. i am excited by the thought of a healthy and sturdy little hippie toddling around after his father trying to fix things with a leatherman micra and learning to sail and writing computer programs from age three. but i am also sad to lose the prospect of ribbons and dresses and knitting little lace sweaters for a girl, too. life is filled with bittersweet things like this i guess. don't get me wrong--i AM happy about the boy in spite of my desire for a girl. and mostly i am happy that he's healthy and active and robust. he's about 5 days larger than his gestational age would indicate, which is right on target for us. the hippie was over 10 pounds at birth. my brother was 11 pounds and 10 ounces. this doesn't bode so well for my comfort level, but it does mean that we don't really have any worries in the failure to thrive department either.

i'd show you some pictures from the ultrasound, but honestly they were mostly crap. we only have a few in spite of the hundreds they took--no one gave us a fabulous DVD this time--and none of them are really very clear. sad. i can tell you though--it's awesome to see him and spend so much time watching him move about. he was sucking his thumb, which was really cute. he has all his fingers and toes, we saw all the chambers of his heart, his brain, his abdominal organs, the bones in his legs and arms, his skull--all of it. it's mind-blowing.


have to get used to saying he instead of it.

and now the house is officially full of testosterone. two boy cats, a hippie, and soon, a little boy baby. i told the hippie--i am getting a fluffy girl dog and tying it's fur FULL of pink ribbons.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

back home, on my own...




too cute
oh yeah--i blew it. that whole posting every day in november--well--we got on the road on friday, and i just utterly forgot. and then it was already screwed up, so i admit, i just didn;t worry about it over the weekend while i was at my parents' house. oh well--nothing lost i guess, although i admit i am a little disappointed in myself. stupid type a personality...

anyway--check out these cute as hell babies! these are kimmie's twins, matthew and katherine. they have an older sister, caroline, who is also very cute, but who, unfortunately, i didn't take a single picture of. heck, i barely took any pictures at all on this trip--i was mostly holding babies, or feeding babies, or riding, or feeding babies, or something. i gotta say, kimmie got lucky here--these babies are good natured, adorable, smiley, and they smell good. in short--they are nearly ideal. it is my experience that matthew (my new boyfriend--sorry, hippie!) is more demanding and would mostly rather be eating than just about anything else. katherine seems more reserved and mild-mannered. clearly she thinks her older brother is bourgeois. caroline is toddling around, and appears mostly indifferent to her tiny twin siblings. she's in that phase where she's learning to talk, talking a mile a minute, and you can understand about 2/3 of what she says. she can very clearly say "backyardigans," however, and thank god for it--her love of that show probably saved our asses on the drive down. (btw, the backyardigans have my vote for cool kids' show, even though their website kind of sucks. i am not a fan of dora, who yells everything and tells lies. a riddle is NOT just a silly question, dora! but i digress...)

so that's where i was on friday--kimmie and i (with major help from the man of the house) loaded up the luggage and babies in the minivan and headed south from detroit to our hometown in western nc. the drive went FAR better than we expected. by the time we got to dayton, we had a feeding and dvd schedule all worked out. i was even able to feed both babies at once due to my extraordinarily long arms. the only down side to me is that i feel i have now had enough road food to last about 3 years. i am currently in detox mode. but i digress... so--we got into the hometown at something like 4am, at which time i fell into my parents' guest bed and slept like a dead thing till at least 9 when the parasite demanded i go eat something. kimmie, unfortunately was not as lucky. when she arrived at her parents' house, caroline decided she was up for the day. at 4am. after a 13-hour drive. i know that i will have some moments like this at some point in my future. tell me how parents resist the black market purchase of tranq guns, people. whew. she seems to have recovered. and now i am back home until next wednesday when we split town for t-day. too much travel, man.

anyway--i am on my own till friday while the hippie is off at a conference in reno. the house still seems weird to me without scout, and even weirder with no hippie. and i admit, kind of missing those babies. kimmie, if you are reading this, go kiss the peach fuzz for me.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

slow day at the office

today was fairly uneventful. i spent the bulk of it holding one or more babies and trying to do the job I came to do. tomorrow afternoon we will leave michigan and drive down to rutherfordton--should be quite an adventure. y'all cross your fingers for us that things go well. for now, i think i will retire early to rest up for the coming trip. us knocked up girls need our rest...

highlight of the day: it snowed this morning--so pretty to watch out the window with a baby sleeping on my lap.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

michigan, baby

ah, blogging from my phone... how well i remember this from last year. today i flew up to detroit to see my friend kimmie and meet her nearly 4-month old twins. it's so awesome to see her not so little family on their home turf. the babies are adorable and caroline, the toddler, was very funny today showing off for me. i will be spending a couple of days here with these guys, and then we will pack up all the babies and our stuff and head down to nc to our hometown. cross your inger that we all survive the 11-hour drive in tact! meanwhile, prepare for more phone blogging from me...it's all i got for ya right now. :)

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

new baby in a new hat

i still haven't found time to clean up the SAFF pictures, but i did squeeze in this one little beauty from last weekend. this is madeline, my brother doug and his girlfriend chrissy's new baby. isn't she the cutest? and check out her fabulous new raspberry hat. see? i really have been knitting some--just not as much as i would like. which is why madeline's baby blanket, and the sweaters for kimmie's babies are still all half done. i will be meeting kimmie's babies tomorrow, and well--i am empty handed. this is very un-Southern of me. but i digress... so this is the third fruit hat i have knitted from ann norling's lovely pattern, and i still love it. it's fast and cute, and yet, still practical. this one was done with my beloved julia on some size 6 needles. i bet i make some more--there are more babies around, after all. :)

Monday, November 05, 2007

the road to hell...

i really do always have good intentions. but you know--life and work and all--they get in the way, and the next thing you know, i am back in that handbasket and feeling the flames get closer and closer again... today is no exception. i have lists--lots of them. i have prioritized and re-prioritized everything i need to do. and i feel like i am in one of those dreams where i am running and running, but getting nowhere. god, listen to me bitch. this has just been one of those days, y'all. here it is not even 9 o'clock, and i am beat--i feel like i have been through the ringer. i have all these pictures i want to get off my camera and onto flickr, but that ain't happening tonight. i have a lot to say about SAFF and ravelry and the cool knitting people who keep crossing my path. i want to tell you all about meeting my brother's new little baby and finding out that his oldest daughter is also pregnant. i want to talk about being knocked up. but man--today is not the day. i gotta get all scarlett o'hara on you people--i will tell you some of this stuff tomorrow. and then maybe some more the next day. right now, though--i am thinking maybe i will make and drink a cup of tea to fortify myself to handle one last load of laundry, and then i am crawling into the bed with a book. unless i skip the tea and laundry and go stright to bed. i'm just--done. wow. two days in a row of writing about being too tired to write--i am doing great over here, aren't i? lol--it's just been a long couple of weeks is all. i promise, it'll get better...

note: i DID manage to update the baby blog if y'all are interested... i can't decide whether to keep my ramblings about pregnancy over there or integrate back into one blog now that the word is out. any opinions?

Sunday, November 04, 2007

too tired to write anything coherent

i'd like to have a real day off. today i tried to be somewhat productive, as i had pretty much let everything go for the past week. yesterday i thought i might be productive, but the truth is--i was just too washed out--tired and sad and useless. it wasn't a bad day, but productive it was not. today, however, i washed a ton of dishes, dragged my butt to the grocery store to re-stock, made a fabulous beef and lamb stew for dinner, and spent about 3 hours, maybe more, ironing the massive pile of linens i have been procrastinating dealing with for about a month. yes, i iron my linens. i may be the last person on the planet who is not a paide servant who does this. people make fun of me, but man--i love me a crisp, ironed, lavender-scented sheet on my bed. and especially pillow cases. you know, this is when i would normally say, "but i digress...: but in this case, i am not even sure what my point is. i am tired. the hippie and thk are a bit tipsy and being amusing in the kitchen. lord i love laid back sundays. i just need a repeat one tomorrow where i could maybe stop working around the house and just knit. i remember liking knitting...

i'm tired. i think i should maybe shut up.

Saturday, November 03, 2007


when i moved back to north carolina to go back to school, i moved into the cheapest house i could find to rent that was close enough to walk to campus. next door to me, renting from the same slumlord, was a woman, kathy, and her 8 cats. kathy had a soft heart and took in any kitty in need that crossed her path. a big orange tabby named roger, a balck and white tom named biscuit, a little matching black and white girl named molly, a few others who were too skittish to get to know, and a half grown tabby female named scout. all these kitties were loved and well-cared for, and most of them had clipped ears--kathy took them to the aspca to have them spayed and neutered because she could not afford the vet bills, and the aspca clips the ears of feral cats brought to them, presumably so that they don't duplicate the surgeries.

scout in a sunbeam

when i met scout, she had recently been hurt--trapped under a car and burned on her back--and was a bit wary of strangers. she was also the most vocal meower i had ever seen. after a bit of time, she learned that i was a cat person, and she started meeting me at my car when i would pull in, meowing for a scratch or two. in the other half of my duplex, a botany grad student sheri and her dog billie moved in. billie and scout were fast friends and took to sleeping ina pile on out front porch. even jojo, my former cat who hated everyone, took a liking to scout--they communed through the windows onto the porch. scout was just--part of life. not everyone treated her well--the frat boys down the street did SOMETHING to scout that made her panic when she was picked up--i don't know what, and i don't WANT to know. but she never ever wanted to be picked up--she fought tooth and nail if you tried. literally.

years passed. kathy met a man and got married. she moved away and took all eight cats with her. a couple of months later, there was a familiar meowing from the porch--scout had come back. she was starving and bedraggled and in a sad state. i went out and fed her, petted her, and supplied her with water. she stayed. she got better and fatter and happy again. i had jojo in the house, and scout outside. then jojo had a heart attack--she was sitting on my lap purring one minute and gone the next. i was shocked and devastated and unprepared, but in retrospect, that was about the best pet death one could ever hope for. by this time i had graduated from school and was thinking about moving out of the ghetto--the time seemed right. i made plans to move to an apartment complex in a newly developing area. but what was i going to do with scout? i didn't really feel ready to take on another pet, but i could not just leave her to starve either. i called every no-kill pet shelter and rescue i could fine, and no one would take her because her ear was clipped. it still shocks me that something the aspca had done to the cat rendered her un-adoptable to every rescue place on the map. so--i did what i had to--i kept the cat.


in one day, i changed scout's life forever. i lured her into the house and closed the door behind her. the same afternoon, i took her to the vet for shots and a check-up. she was healthy as a horse they said. scout and i moved away from maiden lane at last. she howled like a banshee the whole way to the new place and hid under the bed for a week. but she adjusted. she came out and interacted with me and slept on the bed at night, but it was clear that she was lonely. she had never been alone in her whole life. so--i decided to get scout a kitten. when a man i work with brought in a litter of 8 kittens his girlfriend had rescued from a madman, i immediately told him i wanted one. instead, as happens with people like me who are ultra-susceptible to the cute, i came away with two, samson and fergus. the difference in scout was night and day. fergus was, and still is, scout's cat. he was her shadow, her annoyer, and her constant companion. and scout--scout became one of the best cats i have ever known. affectionate, loving, happy, vocal, content. she loved other animals and children, and she was patient and tolerant of everyone. she was a slut for pleasure and adored anyone who would sit on the couch and absentmindedly stroke her silky fur. she liked to be between the hippie and me best of all--this is where she spent every moment possible for the past 4 and a half years. she was a cat who just made good company.

over the past three weeks, we noticed that she was losing some weight, but she didn't seem sick at all. cats are really good at masking symptopms, as it turns out. this is the first time in her life that scout has ever been sick, and i guess the last as well. it was just too much to fight. when they told me what was wrong, all i wanted to do was bring her home, and i am so glad i did. her last night was spent sleeping with me, and her last day was spent napping on her favorite blanket, purring the time away on the couch. when we took her in, she was calm and not afraid. and at the vet's office, i let her out of the carrier, and she snuggled down between me and the hippie and purred and licked my hand. when the doctor came in, he was surprised to find her purring. it was simple and fast and painless, for which i will forever be grateful. i know we did the right thing. and although it is AWFUL to lose her, i am glad she could die with dignity and without suffering.

kitties under the tree

the past two weeks have been terrible. the last few days, some of the worst i have ever experienced in my life. but i weigh this sadness against the years of happiness and all the joy that scout brought into my life, and i have to say--it is all worth it. she was the best cat ever. and oh, how i loved her. i will never forget the feel of her thick soft fur or the sound her loud-ass meowing or her warm comforting presence by my side. i will miss her every day.

i am grateful for the support of everyone over the past week. it's amazing what an impact a pet can have on you and how hard it is to lose one. they really do become members of your family. people get this, it seems--they come out of the woodwork to offer prayers and condolences. the original vet who saw scout yesterday called to see how she was and how i was and what had happened. two of my amazingly good friends figured out where scout had been hospitalized and called to make donations to help cover her massive bill--that was a shock when i went to pay the bill yesterday. unexpected and generous, unnecessary, but utterly appreciated. i have good friends, what can i say. i love you guys.

ok--i am going to stop now--i guess this is something like a wake for the kitty, it's a damned shame i can't drink a bunch of beer in scout's honor--i totally would if i weren't knocked up.

Friday, November 02, 2007

a youth in asia

today is scout's last with us. i brought her home from the hospital last night and took the day off from work to spend it with her. and i am so glad i did. she's purring and napping by my side right now. she hides her symptoms so well that you would almost not know she is sick. but he is. she has a large mast cell tumor in her abdomen, and there is nothing to be done for it--we COULD choose to put her though a major abdominal reconstruction, which she may or may not survive, and then treat her with chemotherapy afterwards. but to me, this is not an option--it would mean buying her some poor quality time for purely selfish reasons. i just cannot do that to her. right now, she is weak, but not in pain. she is not suffering, but is fading quickly. so this afternoon, we will take her back into the hospital, and end her life in a loving and humane way. and i have to say, this is the worst and hardest thing i have ever had to do in my whole life. i know with complete certainty that it's the right thing to do, and i hate every second of it. i have been lucky as a pet owner--this is the first time in 38 years i have had to make this kind of decision. this week has been pretty much god awful. it's just life, and i know that, but man--it sure feels heavy right now. i would really appreciate any good thoughts y'all could send my way today.

Thursday, November 01, 2007


1) it's november. i will be posting daily again. we'll see if i can pull it off.

2) i'm knocked up. i'vee been quietly blogging about it on the side over here. i'll link that blog in in the side bar when i get a minute.

3) my cat, scout is very very sick and probably dying. i am depressed as shit and am in hermit mode as a result. blah.

4) i have pictures and all kinds of news and shit. a lot's been happening, as evidenced by my conspicuous absense from this here internet. it's coming people. be patient with me.

did i say blah already? if not, then--blah.