When we were expecting Clara, I had so many people ask if we were planning to get rid of the cat. This drove me crazy, because I love my cat, and I see no reason to assume she will cause a problem until she does. I had personally never heard of a situation where an animal was a real threat to a baby - the only cases I knew of where a couple had chosen to get rid of a cat were because their child had been diagnosed with an allergy, and we would cross that bridge when we came to it.
Our cat is named China, and she was born in 2006 - I think - which made her about 4 years old when we brought Clara home for the first time.
She mostly stayed away from the new tiny screaming thing, except to explore all of the new beds we had obviously brought home for her! I'm pretty sure she used this bouncy chair more than Clara ever did...
This is on the rocking chair in Clara's room - with my 'Breast Friend' nursing pillow lying on top of her. She actually crawled underneath the pillow, which was just sitting here - we didn't set this up.
We weren't entirely sure how China would respond to a baby, as she hadn't had a lot of exposure to babies and her exposure to toddlers had just made her (quite understandably) terrified of them. As Clara has gotten older, though, China has seemed less interested in her in a 'What the hell is that?' kind of way, and more irritated in a sort of big sisterly way. 'Seriously, can you shut up???' She's very much not afraid of her, which is probably helped by the fact that Clara is bizarrely good with her, despite not having been trained at all. We have never had to ask her to be gentle, or stop pulling hair or anything like that - she is gentle with China naturally, although she does occasionally like to lie on her which China doesn't always appreciate...
Clara has lately discovered, however, that it is the utmost in hilarity to chase China around the house with a balloon or some other kind of untrustworthy object. China tries to stand her ground, but has discovered that now that Clara is much bigger than she is, it might be time to find some better hiding places!
How do your pets and kids interact?
Last week, I managed to arrange transportation for my dollhouse to go from the dusty chaos that is my Dad's shop, to our house where I can hopefully find it easier to spend some time getting it ready for my daughter to play with.
I wish I had photos of the process, but I remember being just tall enough to see over the edge of my Dad's workbench as he built this dollhouse for me. Years of being not-so-carefully tucked aside on a shelf in his garage has made it a little worse for wear, and it won't be a trivial project to clean it up to how it looked when he had just finished it. The railings are obviously in need of help, and there are more than a few missing shingles. There are also a few random paint splatters on it - some are probably from when my Dad painted the interior, and some may have come from simply being in a garage where things were happening. My first project, though, is to clean it up, since it has been allowed to collect dust for over a decade. Last night I brought it into the yard, and with an air compressor, a toothbrush, and a rag cut from an old t-shirt, here is the progress I made:
A bit of an improvement on the roof, I think. At the very least, I got the thickest layers of dust off - I will let the dust settle (and allow my lungs to rest!) And try the same thing again in a few days. Then I hope to bring a scrap of the cedar from the roof to a wood store and find some pieces to use to replace some of the loose and missing shingles. Here is what I did on the inside:
I actually managed to dust the entire inside of the house, but the photos are on my husbands camera, and he is currently at work, so this is all I have for now. Obviously dusting made a huge difference in the big room upstairs. I'm hoping to clean it up, re-stain the outside, replace the porch railings completely, repaint the inside and put in some dollhouse flooring. Looking online, I've found that you can buy carpet and hardwood flooring for dollhouses! As soon as it is basically cleaned and ready, it's time to find furniture - I'm thinking of using the Calico Critters furniture and dolls, although they are slightly too small, because it's hard to find nice and child-friendly furniture for dollhouses.
I'm so excited about this project!
Summer Blog Challenge #59 - How does your life measure up to the vision you had when you were younger?
I like this question, because for me it has a happy ending.
Despite the craziness of parts of my life (read my About Me page for all of those details), I currently have everything I ever hoped for when I was younger. It helps that I didn't really need much from my life, but I'm so blessed to say I have it all.
1. I am married. Call me stereotypical and girly, but I have always dreamed of being married. I think I was always insecure enough to believe that I could never really be someone unless I belonged to someone else. When Brian and I started dating when we were 16, I dreamed about someday being married to him - and now I am.
2. I am a mother. This was actually #1 on my list of things to do in my life, but in my world that requires being married - so marriage was necessary first. Not having had a mother myself, I always dreamed of being on at least one end of that relationship. And honestly, I have always desperately wanted a daughter.
And that's it, really. All I have ever wanted in my life - a loving husband and a baby girl. I feel like the luckiest girl in the world!
Weight gain/loss: I still have no idea...
How Big is Baby? About 14.5 inches long, and close to 2lbs.
Feeling: Still tired, but otherwise not too bad. My hips are separating, which makes me walk funny for a few minutes after every time I stand up! :(
Sleep: Better this week than last, I think. It helps that the house has cooled somewhat after our crazy heat spell.
Food Cravings: Liquids lately, probably because of the heat.
Food Aversions: Foods that seem tasty at first I will have absolutely no appetite for after about three bites. I keep calling her my 'diet baby'.
Movement? Still lots, but no more than last week.
What I miss? Being able to fit between the chair and the wall when people are sitting at the table - and other 'normal-person' sized spaces.
Best Moment this week: Hmmm... guess it's been a sad week.
Baby Preparations? Not nearly enough, probably.
What I'm looking forward to: September when my daughter is no longer in daycare!
What I'm afraid of, or NOT looking forward to: Poopy diapers. Clara isn't yet potty trained, but she has (mostly) been pooping in the potty since she was 8 months old. Just tonight, however, she chose to bless me with the messiest diaper I have ever encountered - and I am terrified of having to deal with these on a regular basis! I know... I've been spoiled!
Next Appointment: August 14th
Milestones: May be responding to light.
Spent a bit of time tonight on my blog - making it look prettier! (I think). Any thoughts? Better? Worse?
Summer Blog Challenge #58 - When was the last time you 'roughed' it?
When I was ten or eleven, my parents bought property in an undeveloped cul-de-sac by the side of a lake. There were, at the time, about 4 roads subdivided into lots intended for cabins in a future lake community. The property had been discovered by an uncle of mine, who had already purchased a lot or two, and my parents fell in love with the area and jumped on board.
There was no village nearby, and the campground was a 30 minute drive to the other side of the lake. We had a tent trailer, and our van. We started staying here before we had built the outhouse - which meant we had to find a big tree to squat behind - and obviously there was no running water or any sort of electricity. I had never experienced anything like this before this time, and although I was grossed out and uncomfortable about almost every aspect of living this way - I was proud of myself for sticking it out. I felt as though it somehow made me 'tougher' and more experienced.
It wasn't long until my parents built an outhouse, and a well for water so although we still didn't have water coming from a tap indoors, we could pump it when we got to the lake instead of carrying it with us in our vehicle. They built a 10 foot X 10 foot two-storey cabin - which is as tiny as it sounds, but there was just enough room upstairs for my parents to have a double foam mattress for themselves with me sleeping on a single cot at their feet, and my brother on a single cot along the side of our parents' bed. A couple of years ago they even got electricity and were able to watch satellite TV when we were there - I'd like to note that there still isn't running water in the cabin, and you have to walk around the back of it to go to the biffy, but hey - priorities, right? ;)
Anyway, I 'roughed' it many years ago, and although I'm not lining up to do it again - I'm glad I experienced living with almost no modern conveniences. Someday, I would love to bring my daughters camping somewhere to experience it as well.
Summer Blog Challenge Day 56 - If I could have a Super Power, what would it be?
I just realized that I am a day behind on the summer blog challenge, but the real topic for today is something I have no thoughts on at all, so here's yesterday's and I'll just skip today's.
I haven't thought much about this recently, although I think if I had a Super Power right now, it would be to stop time - then I could get all kinds of housework done, hobbies accomplished, etc. and still be able to get enough sleep, make gourmet meals and spend time with my family! Everyone would be amazed at how much I could accomplish with seemingly zero effort! ;)
When I was a child, however, I thought about this in great detail. Have you ever heard of the Borrowers? Or the Littles? I loved these books as a kid, and I always wanted to be about 3 inches tall.
If I could fit in someone's pocket, I could hide in tiny spaces and spy on people. I could actually LIVE in my dollhouse, and the thought of creatively repurposing small household items for practical uses seemed like a ton of challenging fun. That makes me sound like a nerd...
I could ride around on my cat's back (I didn't consider the idea that my cat would probably eat me...), and if I made friends with birds (because people who are less than 5 inches tall can do that) I could even fly!
I guess that's not really a Super Power, but it was what I dreamed of as a kid. It could have been fun, anyway. :)
If YOU could have a Super Power - what would it be?
Do you ever feel like your whole world is spinning and upside down, and no matter how hard you try or what you do, you can't make it stop?
By the end of 2012, I will have been closely involved in a Funeral, a Wedding, and a 50th Anniversary celebration. I will have had a baby, and potty trained a toddler (hopefully). I will have worked three jobs - piano teaching, summer administrative assistant, and babysitting. My husband has been working multiple jobs also, and our debt load doesn't seem to be diminishing.
My house is an absolute mess, and as much as I try to clean it, it never seems to get any cleaner. The piles of laundry in our rooms never seem to get any smaller. And again today, I have no idea what I will put on the table for supper in less than two hours.
I'm running in circles, and yet I'm accomplishing nothing. I want nothing more at this moment than to have a break! To be able to stop and not worry about anything for at least 24 hours, and just enjoy the stillness. Is this what motherhood is like? Is this what life is like?
I feel like I'm missing something...
I'm joining up late with the Summer Blog Challenge with Going Green with the Grizls not because I feel at a loss for blogging topics at the moment, but because I want to challenge myself to blog at least once every day - and because I find it a challenge sometimes to 'complete an assignment' that someone else has given me! It's like being in school again, which is always fun for people like me! :)
Here is a list of my favourite go-to meals and snacks for my daughter.
1. Peanut Butter - if I ever run out of ideas or food in the fridge, we almost always have some sort of nut butter in the pantry to save me!
3. Banana Muffins - when I haven't been lazy and there are some kicking around.
4. Quesadillas - it helps that Clara loves cheese, but you can sneak black beans into these easily which are so good for you!
5. Eggs. Done any way.
6. Sweet Potatoes. In fry form is the best!
7. Fruit and berries.
9. Waffles. We can make a large batch and freeze half to have toaster waffles for weeks. Yummy and fast breakfast!
10. Oatmeal. You can sneak all kinds of things into oatmeal also - I like adding blueberries or grated apples.
11. Cheese. My daughter is obsessed with it, for one. And it helps to know it's not completely unhealthy for her either.
When I was a teenager, I used to imagine I was famous and plan out my answers to all of the interview questions that Oprah and Rosie O'Donnell would ask me when they inevitably called me to be on their shows. I haven't made it there yet, and I don't think either of these shows still exist, but I'm sure eventually all kinds of talk shows will be lining up to ask me questions! ;)
I guess the point to that little story is that I like talking about myself. That's not a small part of why I started this blog, actually. I don't think I'm alone, either... I think there are some of you out there who also like to talk about yourself...
Well, here's your opportunity! If you like my blog, you're a mom, and you enjoy answering questions about yourself and being a parent - I'd love to interview you for my new 'Thursday Interviews' series!
Starting next week, I will be interviewing someone different each Thursday. This is a chance for me to get to know you a little better - and maybe share some readers!
Email me or comment on this post. Thanks!!
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