Wednesday, March 26, 2008

One of those almost-decapitated-the-cat kind of days...

No, not on purpose. And just a disclaimer before I begin: No cats were killed during the making of this blog. Bruised a little, yes. Nearly strangled, yes. But not killed. Here we go...

Did you ever have one of those days where even the simplest task is ridiculously complicated? If so, welcome to my life. Today's task: take two of the cats in for their shots. It started out fairly simple. We usually start in January with the dog, and one pet per month gets shot up by the vet until we're done. Sometime in November. Anyway, due to a horrid new respiratory virus that is wiping out cats throughout the Midwest, everyone has to have a two shot series this go-round. In brainstorming the best way to go about getting this done, I decided to take the cats in two at a time this year. This presents a few small problems. The biggest of the small problems is that I have a tiny little clown car. Two cat carriers won't fit in it without removing a toddler car seat, and if you've ever had to remove a car seat, you'll know that you'd go to a great deal of trouble to avoid it. Brilliant woman that I am, I came up with a plan to put two cats in one carrier. This involved some experimenting with who will tolerate whom within the confines of a carrier. Miss Mouse and Jack get along very well, so I decided to start with them. Since we grow 'em big in these here parts, I had to use the biggest cat carrier. I haven't used it a long time. This is where it gets interesting.

I stuffed both cats in the carrier and began the short walk to the car. Then I realized that I'd forgotten to lock the front door, so I set the carrier down to rectify the situation. Then I fiddled around with the front seat for a while, so I could cram the carrier into the car. At some point, I looked back and realized that something was horribly wrong. The back clip on the carrier had broken, so as I was walking to the car, there was a gap between the top and bottom halves of the carrier due to the weight of the two cats within. Miss Mouse had made a break for it. Sometime after she got her head out, but before she got the rest of her body out, I set the darned thing down and the top clamped down on her neck, held firmly by all the other clips still holding it together. There she was, blue tongue protruding from her mouth, thrashing horribly. A lot of scrambling and a few broken nails later (mine, not hers, she's declawed), I managed to free her. She seems to have recovered nicely. Since we were on our way to the vet anyway, I had him check her out for side effects of strangulation. She has a clean bill of health, and is traumatized for life. As am I.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Houston pictures (finally!)

Ok, here it is...the moment you've all been waiting for. The moment you've waited for so long, you've forgotten why you were waiting in the first place! Let us start the tour. Exhibit A: Birds that did not poop on me. These are flamingos at the zoo.

The strangest things amuse me. Giraffe fanny. In a window. Why isn't
this window higher?? It is, after all, a giraffe barn!
This is a little park across from where Chris was training. The fountains were a little mesmerizing. We're pretty sure they were set to music that we couldn't hear, because they kept changing patterns all the time. We tried humming along, but none of the tunes we could think of fit the pattern. Maybe the fountains were into heavy metal or something.
Dinner at a very nice Brazilian steakhouse! Well worth the large bill. Not that we were paying for most of it! Thanks, Bank of America!
This park was the site of the infamous bird pooping incidents. Plural. This could only happen to me. Or possibly my father.

Sam Houston! See, the birds left him alone! And he's a statue!
Another good birdie who didn't poop on me. I should've devoted an entire blog to birds that didn't poop on me.
Ok, it's sideways. But it's a bluebonnet. The first bluebonnet I've seen in...twelve years? More or less. So you'll just have to turn your head sideways to enjoy this one.

Denea and me in Old Town Spring.

Chris and me at the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo Barbecue cook-off. We happened to meet one of the teams in our hotel, and it resulted in a night of barbecue. And margaritas. And tequila. Never try to keep up with Javier when it comes to the consumption of tequila. Trust me on this one!
Still sideways, but this one is well worth the crick you're going to get in your neck. All the tents were required to post occupancy. This one chose an odd place to post it. After I took a picture, it suddenly drew a crowd. Then a drunken cowboy felt the need to tell me that we could probably fit 86 Mexicans in there. In front of Javier. The look on his face when he noticed Javier (and how could he not, because Javier is a good-sized guy) was priceless. I wish I'd had the nerve to take a picture of it. Lucky for the drunken cowboy, Javier is good natured and well aware of the jokes us white folks make about his race.
And, speak of the handsome devil, here's our dear friend Javier, with Kathy, the team member who got us into the party tent! She liked Javier a lot. Who can blame her?
Galveston, on our last day in Texas. There were lots of birds. None of them pooped on me. Chris was disappointed, since he wasn't with me the day that three of 'em got me.

Isn't it ironic, don't you think?
They were thinking about it. You can tell by the smug smirks on their beaks.

Bishop's Palace. We toured it. We're thinking of buying it for a summer home. What do you think?
The ocean was really choppy. In fact, a wave washed right over me shortly before I took this picture. See the teeny tiny yellow car off in the distance? Hi, Tweety!
So there you have it. Our trip to Houston. And it only took me a month to post these pictures. Halybird, you can expect pics of my trip to see you in...say about three more weeks! And considering the craziness that is my life, a month behind really isn't bad. I'm six years behind on my scrapbook, and the knitting projects are stacked sky high in my bedroom. So see, you people are my priority!

Easter Festivities...

My modem has once again condescended to do a little work for me, so here are the Easter highlights:

Dying eggs. This was Timothy's first year to participate, and it was with great fear and trepidation that we let him anywhere near the dye. For further explanation, see "Timothy Joins the Blue Man Group". However, he did very well, and the only disasters were minor and in the form a few smashed eggs that he threw into the dye a little too hard. Blue egg salad, anyone?

I, have crazy eyes in this picture. No idea why. But since this is the only picture of me I figured it should be included. For posterity. If posterity reads my blog.

Gabe often reminds us of "Little Orphan Annie" cartoons. Poor kid, there's such a glare on his glasses that you can hardly tell he has eyes.

Timothy decorated his eggs with Sesame Street stickers. Then he peeled them all off and stuck them all over the house.

Chris looks amused. Timothy looks cheesy. What I'm saying is that this picture is very true-to-life.

Easter morning! I have to share that when the boys came out of their rooms, they found empty baskets (we like to make them work for their candy) and Timothy was confused by this. "Where are my eggs?" he asked. "You have to find them," sez Chris. Off Timothy ran to the kitchen. He flung open the fridge and yelled, "I found them!" Yes, we have the weird kid that would rather eat hard boiled eggs than candy. Ok, not once he discovered the plastic eggs filled with candy, but he still ate a hard boiled egg for breakfast. Shudder.

"Look, an egg!"

Gabe's favorite thing in his Easter basket was another book in the "Series of Unfortunate Events". Well, that and a plastic cow that poops brown jelly beans when you push down on its back. Yes, it's disturbing, but I can't complain because I'm the one who bought it!

Eating Peeps! A child after my own heart!

Quick, take a picture before someone gets candy on their Easter clothes! Here we are, at Mom and Dad's right after church.

Time to hunt more eggs! We went a little overboard this year...I think there were about 10 dozen eggs total. And only four kids to hunt them!

I feel bad that there aren't more pictures of Gabe on this blog. Truth be told, I tend to take them vertically, since he's now so tall, and I can't figure out how to flip them so they're not sideways. Anyway, here he is right off the starting line, ready to find some eggs!

Gabe and Lane, trying to balance their baskets of loot.

This cracked me up. Timothy's rollerblades were right by the back door. All four kids ran straight by them and never found the eggs hiding inside!

Saturday, March 22, 2008

"Why do all these stupid things keep happening to me?"

Today I publicly ran into an automatic door when it refused to open for me as I was leaving Target. Walked smack into it, no doubt leaving a face print on the glass. Now why would an automatic door suddenly refuse to open? After I ran into it, it opened. After people laughed at my misfortune, it opened. So why? I feel like the girl in "Support Your Local Sheriff", who first uttered the words in quotes above.

And just so you know, this would hack me off far less if it were not the second time I've run into this very door at this very Target. Why me?

Thursday, March 20, 2008

An Eclectic Assortment of Random Pictures

Progress as promised! Here is our life in pictures, minus the trips which I will post separately and soon! First: The Pinewood Derby. We didn't win this year. But we did have one rockin' car!

Next, Chris felt the need to turn both our sons into mini versions of himself one night by blow drying their hair back after their showers. I tried to warn you about the randomness!

And, just in case anyone wondered about the pecking order in our household, I think Moses says it all in this picture. Yes, that is a stuffed dog between his legs. Yes, he put it there without any help. 'Nuff said?

Can anyone deny that this boy is trouble with a capital "T"? He is wearing a diaper in this picture, but you can't see it. Believe me, we don't let him run around naked. Far too dangerous. He seems to have learned a few tricks from the dog!

Miney appears to be getting fatter. This isn't really news, but it amuses me so I thought I'd share.
Finally, I have discovered the joys of cakewaffles. Cake batter, cooked in the waffle iron, covered in chocolate chips and whipped cream! Yuuummmm! Thank you, Completely Pointless and Arbitrary Group group for your help in making my life complete! (For non-Ravelers, I realize there are two "groups" there. Not a typo, it's the name of the group. I'm a proud member. Figures, doesn't it?)

So there you have it. You're mostly caught up on my life now. And it totally wasn't worth the wait! That'll teach you to wait in line for things when you haven't seen the trailer!

Cake Lamentations

Oh, Lord, why didst Thou lead me out into this wilderness of Wilton character pans and decorating tips? Why didst Thou resign me to multi-colored fingers and icing stained counter tops? Why did I give birth to my firstborn son in the month of February? And why doth he insist on a complicated cake each year since?

Why didst Thou then allow me to fall in love with and marry a wonderful man, whose birth also happened in the ill-timed month of February? Most of all, why was I born a competitive first child, doomed to walk the earth in search of ways to outdo all the other wives and mothers when it comes to birthday? Why was I allowed to run out of icing at midnight, and have to scrap the whole idea of making a fantastic Greenbay Packers cake (after having made an Elmo cake already that night...bear with me, folks, there's no good way to order this lament!)

Why, oh why didst Thou allow my wonderful husband and me to suddenly lack the ability to count to nine, and thus give birth to a second son, also born in February, two days after his father? Why is he obsessed with Elmo, and insistent upon having an Elmo cake?

When will I be rewarded for my toils? Oh, Lord, when I look upon my second born, covered in red icing, I am reminded of why I toil upon the earth! Look at that face! Even though Thou hast delivered me into a wilderness of Wilton, I am blessed with icing-covered children!

Ok, here's the story. Gabe wanted a race car cake this year, and I was thrilled. I already own the pan, and have made that particular cake many times. Unfortunately, the night before his birthday I realized that the pan had been swallowed in the black hole that hides in our house, waiting to swallow items forever. That resulted in a last-minute trip to Hobby Lobby for a newer and more complex race car cake pan. Which I finished moments before it was time to leave for his party. Then, since Chris and Timothy have birthdays two days apart and Chris and I were leaving for Houston on Timothy's birthday, we decided to combine their celebrations and split the difference. This left me with the task of making two cakes in one night. Timothy's came first. Unfortunately, I didn't finish it until almost midnight, and by then was too tired and sticky to make another complicated cake. So Chris got an ugly cake. It still tasted good, and once it was on fire, you couldn't really tell it was ugly.

Random kid story and an explanation for where I've been

Yet again, where's the camera when you need it??? Still packed, is the answer, since the boys and I just arrived home from Texas yesterday afternoon, in time to let an inside cat out, a dog and an outside cat in (with horrific and muddy results!), have a toddler face plant in a deep lake of mud in the backyard, lose the above-mentioned dog, shower, go to work, have the dog come home again...well, it's been a busy time for us. But I digress...

Gabe entertained himself today by catching Jack the cat and forcing him to wear a Superman cape. Funny, right? Well, the funniest part is that he was interrupted by his friend, Tristan, knocking on the door and wanting to play. Off he ran to the back yard. Several minutes later, I heard a strange and alarming noise coming from behind the couch. It was Jack, still in the cape, but trying desperately to escape it. I'm going to have to have a talk with that boy when he gets in about-wait, what exactly am I going to say when I try to scold him for forgetting to undress the cat?

PS Since Chris took the leafblower to the house while I was gone, the floors are (more or less) clean. So as soon as I post this, I'm off to dump the camera card. Pictures by this afternoon! Thanks for forming a line. It's very validating!

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Coming soon to a computer near you!

I've been dreadfully lazy about updating this thing. I literally have a LIST of blogs to write and pictures to post, but I'm too darned lazy to download all the pictures in my camera to the computer. And that's pretty lazy because I now know how to do it and it's not that hard. Woe is me. I will do it soon. As soon as I finish some laundry. Demanding family members seem to expect clean clothes. Sheesh. And unearth the floor from under the...everything. Because the floor is so covered with everything that shouldn't be on the floor, that you can't actually see it right now. What I'm saying is that you should expect a new post sometime in the next several months. Think of it as the movie "Titanic". Remember how they kept delaying the release? And you had to wait in line for hours to see it. Every Sunday. Is this sounding familiar to anyone? Anyone, anyone? So, when I finally do post my pictures and stuff, I expect there to be lines to read my blog. LINES, people! That is all! I now return you to your regularly scheduled nonsense.