-The kittens getting fixed (who knew being able to have babies meant you were broken?), and the subsequent visits when Nightia did not do well...
So, we got all 3 kitties "fixed" (we have 2 boys and 1 girl already, and the amount of people that allow their pets to reproduce then "can't" find good homes for them is appalling!) about a month or so ago now. All 3 were fine, though I was really nervous as I had read a recent blog post by a friend who had just gotten her female dogs fixed and one of them had stopped breathing during the surgery... We dropped them off and picked them up the same day. We had them sequestered in our bedroom/bathroom for a day or 2, so the kids wouldn't overhandle them, then we let them loose. We also told the kids they could not pick up the kitties for a few more days. All 3 appeared to be doing fine until Friday (exactly one week after the surgery) when Nightia threw up the entire contents of her stomach right after she ate. We actually weren't worried at this, b/c she's thrown up before (before the surgery), and we just didn't want the kitties to eat it (like they do, yuck!), but when Robert picked her up to move her away from it he noticed a big drop of clearish reddish liquid on the ground. He thought she had lost control of her bowels, then we discovered more and realized it was coming from her wound. We packed everyone up ASAP and ran to the vet's after calling them and telling them we were on our way.
They checked her over and made us wait an interminable amount of time (I couldn't go home b/c I was too nervous, so we wandered to Pier One to look at nothing), and eventually told us she was OK, just reacting a little to the stitches and that we could take her home. We headed to the store to get something, then as we were getting back in the car (about 45 minutes later) I picked up Nightia's carrier and noticed something whitish and blobby sticking out of her wound! I totally thought her bowels were coming out! We ran back over to the vet's which was close by, calling them again so they wouldn't leave without looking at her (it was close to closing time by now). This time I went in with her and waited to talk to the vet himself (he had done the surgery, which was nice). He explained that he had seen much worse, and it was not her intestines, just some fat coming out, and that her body had basically dissolved the inner stitches and they needed to open her up again to restitch her up with thicker sutures. Apparently this is not uncommon with females. You know, put something foreign into a healthy living body and it will fight it, in this case dissolving the stitches before they should have dissolved. I lost it and started crying in the vet's office. How stupid did I feel (?!), even though I know he must have seen this before (the client crying thing), but I felt like somehow I had done something wrong to my cat and I hadn't done enough research and didn't take good enough care of her or something! The doctor calmly explained again that he had seen much much worse and that she would be totally fine and that they were going to do the surgery again right then, and we might even be able to pick her up again that same night.
To make an already long story shorter, we were able to pick her up a couple of hours later, take her home and sequester her in the bathroom for a couple of days (which she did not like!), then put a big stupid-looking collar on her for a few more days (which she also did not like), then get the outer stitches out over a week later (she really didn't like those stitches and showed us so by peeing all over the house). Whew, and now we are back to semi-normal. We are planning on potty training the kittens after out trip to Utah next week. No more scooping kitty litter! Yay!
-Fun happenings while we waited out IKE
Some of Robert's side of the Family from Baytown got to come stay with us. They came right before Ike hit, so we started our hurricane party Friday night (this was before the kitties got fixed) by watching a movie on the projector. Just as we got to the climax of the movie, the power cut out. This was just about 10:30. No flicker, no warning. So we all went to bed. The boys slept in our room, Isa and H slept in their room, and EJ slept in the porta-crib in our closet, since the full-sized crib is in the guest room. Robert's Aunt and Uncle stayed in the guest room, 1 cousin slept on the futon in the library, and the other cousin tried to sleep on the monstersac (not a good idea, since the monstersac raises body temperature exponentially from the point that you lay down on it!). We all lived through the night, but R(cousin #2) and I could not sleep (too hot!)(and loud!). I tried reading my scriptures in the kitchen by candlelight (I cannot imagine people staying up at all after dark before the advent of electricity and the light bulb) and eventually got an ice water bottle from the freezer for me and R, which helped a bit to sleep with. I was very grateful to not be pregnant during that time b/c I would not have been able to stand it! The next morning we waited out the rain. The family helped move some trees and stuff -mostly stuff that had fallen on their car and gave it a few good dents and broke a small window(!)-, then we played some games in the afternoon (and learned what our 8-year old does not think his parents should do). We ate as much perishable stuff as we could, and the fam' left the next day. I think we were starting to get on each other's nerves (as everyone does, right?), but overall it was fun to have them and dulce (their doggy).
It turned out they had power at their house, and a bit of cleanup to do, but their house was fine. We waited the longest almost 3 days of my life for our power to come back on. We prayed a lot for those 3 days. We got to stay with some friends who had a generator for a night with fans! We were envious of friends we know who had power back 6 hours after Ike, and felt horrible for those we knew who still had no power over 2 weeks later! We offered help to anyone we could communicate with, but phone coverage was sketchy, too, limiting our outside communication. It felt really cut off from the world. Very weird. Robert got to take a few days off of work, with pay! And it was wonderful to have the time with him.
-Huge tree almost falling on our house and paying an exorbitant amount of money to have it (mostly) removed
Here is the before picture. You can't see it very well, but this tree was literally at a 45-degree angle to the boys' bedroom window. The root ball was half out of the ground, too. See the window in the middle right of the pic almost totally obscured by leaves and branches?... that is Angel and Oli's room. Scary to see, and scarier when you have no idea how strong the darn tree is being held into the ground! We had no idea if the tree would stay up or continue to fall, so we tried to get it removed ASAP. We were blessed to be on the "current client" list of a good tree service, since our problem was not an emergency. If I had known how strongly it was still in the ground I might not have paid to have it done, but now I know for next time. And it WAS a huge tree that was still pointing at my house, so I was not going to mess with it. The next pic is after we had it removed. Also, after helping cut up and remove fallen trees from lots of friends and neighbors houses (and ours), I am no longer so eager to pay someone to remove the 2 small (I mean not even 8 inches in diameter), dead pines in my backyard. Just loan me a chainsaw, somebody, and I'm all over it.
And the last thing I have time for before my children rebel and start cooking something for themselves for dinner...
-EJ learning to talk and sign
I am amazed at how each of our children is talking sooner and better than the last. Angel waited to speak until he was older than 2, and Oliver was finally diagnosed with a "speech delay" right before he was 3, but since then (and since we started signing ASL with them), all of our subsequent children have spoken and signed quite early. EJ started signing milk, more, and please recently. She'll say momma, daddy (her favorite), please, more, Oli, Angel, and some more I don't remember. She will just grunt or scream for attention, but if you calmly ask her to sign or say please, she'll do it. It's also funny to see her mouthing words and making little puffing sounds like she's trying out her mouth. It is so cool to be able to ask what she wants and get an answer.
So for next time, maybe I'll get to these things I listed a while back.
-My parents (who live in Florida, we haven't seen in 8 years, and who have never even met their 3 youngest grandchildren) DROPPING IN with about 3 hours notice
-Women's Conference (President Uchtdorf is awesome!)
-Church with 5 children and no husband (he was out at Galveston on a Sunday "mucking out" houses), NEVER AGAIN (knock on wood!!!)
-General Conference with 5 children and a husband out with a work party for the 1st session.
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