Wednesday, May 29, 2013

My house isn't the only zoo.

Roz's grandparents came to town last week which gave us a wonderful excuse to hit our zoo for a great day.

Poor job on my part not to get a photo WITH Roz and her Mimi and DG!! It was a wonderful day.

This mama got a much needed haircut. Ella had her own salon time (loves going with me). Kelly did the honors of painting her nails a fantastic hot pink while Deb and I fussed over her. We even made time for our favorite Chinese restaurant this past week, too.

Even though our kittens were a HUGE holiday weekend bonus, visiting our favorite college town up north came in a close second place. We had an amazing day of strolling, window shopping and eating.

The kittens' personalities are shining through more and more each hour. Five days in and I can't say enough good about this experience. We are in perpetual kitten euphoria.

Simba looking out on the big, wide world.

Bootsie Brown is having a hard time eating from the community bowl. I scoop him up and sit on the counter with him while he lets his guard down to eat.

Roz got to see the cats for the first time on Tuesday. She did amazingly well!!

We are in full summer schedule mode now. I am in the office a bit more to tend to the busier workload and Ella is spending her Wednesdays with KatieRoz. We cannot thank Mama Katie enough for helping out.
With summer comes weddings. I am quite excited about an out-of-town wedding on Saturday. I will be helping NLP shoot a lakeside bash for a special young lady. I've known this bride since the day she entered the world at a tiny five pounds. I spent years with her and her big brother, being a little mother to them while their parents worked. So, I'll be the photographer crying, trying to focus - all at once. The other side of this big weekend is that Larry and Ella will be left to hold down the fort. ALONE. How many of you can call and check on him??? All joking aside, they will have fun, exhaust each other, eat all the wrong things, go to bed dirty and be really, really happy to see me walk in the door on Sunday morning.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Impulsive? Perhaps.

I have been called a lot of things but impulsive is not one of them (unless you count the ice cream we had for dinner last week.)

 I do have a strong sense of what I want, however, and 95% of the time I know my limitations.

This past Friday morning our local humane society put out a call to arms over a popular social network that they were busting with litters of kittens that needed foster parents. I mentioned it ever-so-slightly to Larry early in the day...then I put in a 'harder sell' later in the day.

By 6:15pm we were in the car, Ella in tow heading to the humane society to see if we qualified as a foster family.

By 7:30, we were the proud foster family to these four little ones. Larry didn't know what hit him. There was not one question in my mind we were right where we were supposed to be.

And it has been a four ring circus. And it has been awesome.

My/our reasons were many but at the very core was that they need love and we have love to give. It has been a positive experience for Ella - the girl who has shown indifference (at best) towards pets of any kind. Because all four need medications each day to get them healthy again, she has become my trusty assistant picking up each kitten if she can catch them!

Believe it or not, it has also become a nice parallel to Ella's story. We are having continuous discussions about how we are doing our part to get the babies healthy and chubby so that they can each go to their forever family. It really is a tangible idea for her now!

We have had friends visit and are happy to expose the kittens to all sorts of hands, noises and attention. We know it will make them even better pets in their forever homes.

In four short days, they have won full run of the first floor while we are with them and then retire to their big crate (or cave, as Ella calls it) for sleeping and eating.

Just today, Ella started story time with them as they nap.
This is short term. All of the kittens (oh, two girls and two boys) must go back when they reach weight for being spayed or neutered. I suspect that will happen around their June 8 doctor visit. After surgeries, they will be perfect little adoptable kittens. Until then, we are loving them like they are in their forever family. Of course we know we run the risk of Ella being sad over their leaving. Part of us hopes she'll be sad. We want her to appreciate the wonder a pet can bring. You should all be worrying about how I'll handle it.

Suffice it to say, Ella's blog will be riddled with kitty photos for the next few weeks. Enjoy the extra cuteness!


Monday, May 27, 2013

You Are Four. We Still Can't Believe It.

Dear Ella,

You are four years old now. First off, your growing up can slow down a wee little bit. It seems as every morning brings a new conversation or quirky mannerism from you. And I can't believe it. How cliché, really. But I promise you that it feels like just yesterday we were in Kunming trying to figure out who you were, as you were with us.

The birthday celebrations were nearly one week long when you factor in the party with your preschool class and the trip to the candy factory. It made the actual gathering at our house on the 19th laid back for your Daddy and me.

You got a new bike for your birthday and even though you didn't know it, you helped pick it out weeks before. We thought you'd love it. There were squeals of delight as you watched Daddy wheel it down the sidewalk towards our driveway (thank you R&R for housing the awesome ride over the weekend for us!).

Let me tell you, Ella, it was short lived. There were tears and gnashing of teeth. Here we are a week later and you are petrified to even sit on it. Mommy and Daddy will no doubt be driven to bribing you with M&M's or something...

Your buds Thomas and Roz came over and they did a wonderful job assisting you on blowing out the candles.

They also were quick to assist on sticking fingers into the frosting.

Oh, I haven't mentioned Thomas the Train yet? Oh dear, how silly of me. You live, breath, eat and sleep this little tank engine. It is 50 kinds of adorable. And if it isn't him, it is cars, planes, helicopters, trucks. You are a feminine little beauty with long, gorgeous hair dancing to and fro and you could give a hoot about anything frilly. You are just perfect.

You were a perfect little present opener, excited and appreciative about every gift.

We can't wait to see what this year brings, little lady. We love you "to the moon and back and back and back and back..." as you say.

And how blessed are you to have such awesome friends and family to watch you every step of the way?

You can thank Mama Katie for picking up the camera that day. She did a fantastic job of capturing everything!

Love you, Mama and Daddy-o

Thursday, May 23, 2013

What a difference.

(OK so I lied...birthday is not up next. Last day of pre-school IS.)

Arms stretched to the sky. Standing tall. Smiling from ear to ear. What a difference nine months can make.
On Left: First Day of School; On Right: Last Day.
Pretty nice transformation, don't you think?

My expression speaks volumes about her lack of cooperation.

And we have three pretty special teachers to thank for the changes we've witnessed in our big four year old.

Mrs. S and Mrs. K
Mrs. S and Mrs. K were a fabulous team. Mrs. S was on leave the first several months of the school year. Mrs. B came in to save the day, and Ella fell in love.

Mrs. B is a retired elementary school teacher and she worked her magic as well. To this day, you mention her name to Ella and she is awash with giggles. We were happy to spend the last day of school with her as well.

James and Larry talking car keys

It has been a week now since school ended. She and I both miss seeing all the familiar faces full of smiles. We are going to keep our promise to spend time with her classmates over the summer when my work schedule will allow. More than anything, we are looking forward to Ella spending another year with these awesome teachers and children.