Month: April 2014

I’m home

I’m home in person, if not in spirit. 

Easter was lovely.  Jack had oodles of fun and ate way too much sugar. 

The house painting was estimated as a two day job, when in my heart I knew it would take three.  Then it was pushed from Thursday to Friday.  Saturday night Ben confirmed that they would be back Monday to finish up.  Not wanting to come home with a posse of kids to an unkempt, paint-not-yet-dried home, I decided to keep the kids in GJ for one more day.  Good thing, because Monday night I came down with a fever.  A wretched, bone-chilling fever like I haven’t seen in years.  By Tuesday morning it was gone but I was still a little dizzy with cold sweats all day long.  So another day was spent in GJ.  Good thing I had my parents there to corral the kiddos and give me extra nap-time in the morning and evening. 

This morning I loaded up the car with kids and bags, and myself with Tylenol and Sudafed, and we successfully made it home.  I feel like I’m underwater with head pressure and fuzziness.  My throat burns when I swallow and I keep coughing up gunk.  But at least we made it home safely and I have most of our stuff unpacked. 

The new paint in the house looks good.  I’m not in the best mind to receive it, but I’m happy overall.  I wish I had my strength back to start putting art back on the walls.  It felt like moving into an empty house when we got home. 

But at least we are home.

Lovely walk

I'm in GJ for a quick getaway! Ben stayed home to work and enjoy a quiet house, except for the painters. Yes, I used the contractors as an excuse to get the kids out for a few days. It's good for everyone.

Sam is Seven Months Old

Wow, did this month go really fast?  Sam is already seven months old.

Sam is Seven Months

He loves baths, loves jumping, loves Jack, loves tickling, loves swings, and LOVES food. 

I don’t think I can express how much Sam loves food.  If he sees one of us eating he groans and growls and lunges for our food.  I can’t feed him by spoon fast enough for his liking.  He can slurp a whole squeezie in under a minute.  He likes it when I give him solids to gnaw on (celery, arrowroot cookies, apple, french fry, bread crust, etc).  But I have to be right there because he will keep shoveling it in even if his mouth is full.  He can’t really chew (still only two teeth), but he will mush it with his jaws as much as possible.
Sam is Seven Months

Not much has changed in his movement.  He shows no interest in the crawl position, but can flail around the ground to reach what he wants.  Tummy time is worthless now because he flips as soon as I put him down. 
Sam is Seven Months

Sam is Seven Months

He prefers sitting up and will hold a crunch position forever until you assist him.
Sam is Seven Months

This week he has starting babbling with proto-words.  I adore those garbled simple syllables.  I also adore this derpy picture.
Sam is Seven Months

His fine motor control is coming along though.  He’s getting better at manipulating objects, orienting them the way he wants them.  He’s between raking and pincher grasp, but he can pick up little puffs and get them in his mouth.

He regularly goes to bed around 7.  He will sleep until 4 or 5 in the morning without needing to eat.  If he is teething or having other problems I have to get up to give him the pacifier again, sometimes hourly (last week was bad).  But it seems like most of the time he can go all night with just the one waking.
Sam is Seven Months

Sam is Seven Months

Naps are tough.  Because he is the second child, I don’t plan my day around his sleep schedule like we did with Jack.  Sadly he has to be carted off to errands and classes, so his naps are a mess.  Generally he goes down 1-2 hours after waking, cat naps during car trips mid day, and depending on how that went he will do either one or two afternoon naps. 

He’s a trooper about it though.  I love you, Sammy!
Sam is Seven Months

This and That

Here’s a few photos from the week so far.

Jack is helping me with chores.  Besides clearing his dishes, he can load laundry and dust furniture.


We met up with story-time friends at a park today

Who then came over for lunch.  Hazel and Jack had animated conversations about butts and pee.

After dinner we went to Sweet Action (mmmmm, lemon basil).  This is the face I endured while eating my waffle cone:

Who can resist sharing with that??

Molly’s illness

Our cat Molly has led me on a mystery this past month.  I started finding blood spots on my bed sheets.  Then I tied the blood to the cat when it started showing up in other favorite spots of hers.  The blood got worse, smears on the stairs, drips across the floor.  But in every other way she was perfectly normal.  Happy, diet and elimination all normal.  No signs of illness, no visible wounds.  It always appeared in the morning, so I never caught her bleeding.  A complete mystery.

I suspected a UTI.  Instead of taking her to the vet right away, since she seemed ok, we switched up her diet and gave her supplements.  After a week it hadn’t improved.  I also noticed the blood was whole, not diluted like you would expect with a UTI (and I would know – I’ve cleaned up a LOT of blood in my old line of work 😉 

I begrudgingly took her to the vet.  Everything checked out normal again.  The vet was stumped.  When the urinalysis came back normal she said without more data, all we can assume is that she had a UTI that she cleared up, assisted by our diet changes.  She gave me a plan for if we wanted to search further, but I didn’t feel like it was worth the expense (I just spent $101 for a check-up and UA that was all within normal limits, felt like a waste of money).

The blood stopped after that.  I hoped she was better.  I suspected it was a nosebleed, after talking with Andy, because that fit the pattern and explained the lack of wound.  Then last week I heard Molly yowl up on my bed.  She ran downstairs and licked her tail furiously on the stairs.  Then she flopped in front of Jem, showing off her belly, then casually settled on the couch under the window.  When I got up I found these and many other spots:


I called Ben over and we examined her.  The tip of her tail was totally bloody!  I called the vet and she was relieved to know we discovered the source of bleeding.  She recommended some bitter apple spray and agreed after our discussion that it’s probably due to stress.

After further research online, here’s what I deduced:  Molly has feline hyperesthesia syndrome, or FHS.  It’s a somewhat rare illness, sometimes called skin rolling disease.  The cat has extra-sensative skin that twitches.  It can be worsened by stress.  The cats react by licking, running away, biting, and scratching the skin.  Here’s a video of another cat with it.

Molly has always had twitchiness like shown in these videos.  She licks herself when it happens and sometimes scratches.  The last 6 months she has been chasing her tail more often, and sometimes getting angry at it.   She definitely does the running away suddenly thing too.  I always thought it was general cat weirdness.  I mean, come on, cats do really weird things.  But Amanda said her cat never does anything twitchy like that, and I don’t remember Scruffy being that way. 

FHS often manifests in older cats (check), cats fed exclusively dry food (check), and in response to stress (check).  For that last one, the first blood appeared after I hosted a big party and we did some furniture rearranging.  Things calmed down.  This last bloody episode happened right after we had some more visitors, and we had a stair railing installed. 

It sounds like they don’t know a lot about FHS, but they think it’s either an OCD type behavior in response to “neural-dermatitis” or it’s a form of epilepsy.  The treatment ranges from playing with your cat, keeping a regular schedule, and adding wet food, to medicating with phenobarbital, gabapentin, and SSRIs.  Uhhhh, we are starting with the easy treatment.  She doesn’t seem as bad as some videos online.  We are adding wet food, and if we anticipate visitors or house changes we can spray her with bitter apple to prevent biting.  Like when we paint the house in a couple weeks.

Poor kitty.  I hope she gets better.  She’s had this behavior for years as far as I can remember.  In fact, for several years when we first got her she had bloody scabs on her head from scratching her ears.  I wonder if it was the same issue.  

Lots of friends

What a fun weekend it has been!  Friday we got to play at April’s house with Ella, Charlotte, and their friend Nicolas.  I had a great time catching up with April and Jack was in heaven playing with other kids. 

That night Neil gave us a ring because his wife was out, leaving him with their girl McKayla, and he was in our neighborhood.  Of course we invited him over to watch Frozen and eat pizza with us.  Sam got a tray of spaghetti and he was soooo happy.

After the kids were in bed Amanda came over and we finally watched the second episode of Sherlock from the last season.  Oh man, it was so good.  I’m in love with that show.  This episode was really sharp too.  I can’t wait to rewatch it after I finish the season.

Saturday I escaped to Zumba for an hour, then ran errands with the family.  After quiet time we picked up Indian take-out and trekked up to the Arcands house in Conifer.  Erin and Steve are our friends with two kids our age. 

Here’s Sam and Henry.

And buddies Nora and Jack. 

Oh my word, these two get along so well.  Every time we get together, Erin and I remark that we need to do it more often.  These two are so well matched for play.  They are absolutely adorable to watch play act with their toys and crack jokes all through dinner. 

In the above they were watching Tangled together.  Right then Nora put her hand to Jack’s ear and stage whispered “I love you, Jack.”  He turned and smiled “I love you too.”  Erin and I about died.

Tomorrow we get to watch Wolfie for a few hours, so the playdates continue!  I’m looking forward to a laid back day since it’s General Conference weekend.  Plus Ben said I could sleep in tomorrow – woot!


Another round of classes has started for Jack.  After drama he did short session of Messy Art Class again.  Now he’s on to Tumbling.  Next week he also has Wee School – sort of a faux preschool class for a couple hours once a week.  I had a request for tumbling pictures, even though I don’t think they turned out that good.

It was a lot of running around.  They did some opening exercises very similar to his dance class – circling up and stretching and moving in different styles.  Then the split into smaller groups and worked on the equipment. 



Sam was fascinated the whole time. 

At the end of class they each got to run down the trampoline strip into the foam pit. 

I love the tension in this group of kids waiting their turn.  Look how fast Jack pops up.  They were all wound up springs ready to pounce.

He LOVED tumbling and said over and over that he didn’t want to leave.  Later during quiet time I found this:

The sign of a good day.

Bouncing and playing

Hmm, what to say? I just have a cute video and photos to share, but I feel like I need to have some substance.  We had a fun weekend with family.  Jack has discovered Pokemon and I’m scared.  Sam is a teething monster.  I’ve hardly had any sleep the last few nights because he wakes up nearly every hour.  We got a stair railing installed and I LOVE it!  It was one of the first big improvements we knew we needed to make on the house.  It’s much safer now and it looks good too.  Next up?  Paint the walls!

Anyway, here’s the good stuff:


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