A lemon of a cat?

We got this sweet new kitty last month.  She is little and crazy and so cuddly.  We knew that she had some problems, but whatever, she’s cuddly.  I took her to the vet last week and the vet confirmed our suspicion that she is a little cross-eyed, apparently common in Siamese cats.  She also had a polyp in her hear when she was young (removed before we got her), which explained her drunken sort of movements.  I told the vet that Alan and I joked that she was a drunken kitty and the vet said, “yeah, her world probably does feel a little shaky to her.”  She also has allergies, to what we don’t know, and bad teeth.  Mostly this was not a surprise because most of it was written on the form when we got her.  The cross-eyed thing was new to me and the fact that the polyp affected her vestibular system (balance).  I’m telling Alan all of this later that night and he replies with, “So, we got a lemon of a cat?”  I cracked up!  Now every time I look at her I think she’s a little lemon.  I just told Lex the story tonight too, explaining what “lemon” meant.  We gushed over our sweet little lemon cat.  :)

Enrichment

I run an enrichment group at school where twice a week I work with a small group of kids who can afford to miss some class time.  The sessions run for 3-6 weeks, depending on the topic, and teachers chose which students to send.  For my upcoming enrichment group Eve’s teacher chose Eve to go.  I was talking to Eve about it the other day and said I was thinking about doing either electricity or book reviews.  She wasn’t thrilled with those options.  :)  She is pretty set on doing a research project about the topic of your choice and presenting it in the way of your choice (prezi, glogster, poster, Google presentation, etc.)

Tonight while I was laying with her I told her I just didn’t feel prepared for an enrichment group about research.  She said, “That’s ok mom, we can do it together this weekend! We’ll start with a rubric.”  The conversation went from there.  When I left her we agreed to work together this weekend on it.  When I went to check on her just now I found this:

Eve’s rubric

I love that girl!  We’ve got education in our blood!

A First Robotics demonstration

This weekend we went to check out a demonstration by the local First Robotics Competition (FRC) team, The Grasshoppers. FRC is the next level up from FLL, which we’ve been doing for the past few years. FRC typically starts in 9th grade, but the coaches told me that they have taken a few middle school kids over the years and would be willing to consider my boy next year. It looked pretty awesome!

This is their demo robot. The competition one is sealed up in plastic, ready for the next meet. The kids got a great close up of the workings in this thing and the high school kids and coaches did a fantastic job explaining it all.

This robot can climb a rope!!! They said it’s not finished yet and they still need to put guides on the robot to help it climb more straight, but it’s still pretty impressive!

We also got a tour of the workshop area and a demo of a bunch of machines they use to make the parts for the robots.

Lex got to adjust the something on the big grinder machine. It’s late and I forget the right words. :)

Dark goggles on! Time for the plasma cutter!

The plasma cutter can cut holes and entire pieces out of sheet metal.  It makes a dangerously bright light though, so everyone had to wear dark goggles.

The guy is holding the piece of aluminum he cut on the plasma cutter. It needs to be cleaned up, bent (another neat machine they showed us), painted, then attached to the robot.

It was a pretty cool demonstration over all.  The team has their next match in a few weeks and we might check it out.  I think it would be pretty impressive!

When the team starts up again in the fall Lex will have a chance to join them for a few meetings to see if he feels up for it and if they think he’s old enough.  If not, we can try again in 8th or 9th grade.  No rush.

Cookie monster

I just went up to check on Eve and found this…

A reminder note propped in front of her clock.

In case you need a better view…

Note to self.

I understand the excitement, but the fact that she wrote herself a reminder note is hysterical! I guess I know what’s for breakfast tomorrow! 😂

Jasmine

The cat calmed both children to sleep tonight.  They were each having their own issues keeping them up, but when the cat snuggled up with them they went right to sleep.  I’m glad we have a cat again 😊😽

Sugar update

February is almost over and we have started discussing “next steps” in this sugar situation.  We have done remarkably well, I think.  All of us.  Lex has done a great job following the rules, I turned down all of the sweets (except one tiny one forced on my by the maintenance guy who I want to keep on my good side ;) ) on Valentine’s Day, and Eve even said no to Valentine’s Day treats and birthday party treats this month!  I was shocked!  Alan has been doing well too.

We are all feeling positive effects as well, though no all of us will admit it.  :)  I have noticed a marked decrease in headaches and the kids noticed that I’m not so tired at the end of each day.  I used to doze off on a regular basis when I lay with them at night, but lately I haven’t been feeling so tired and groggy at the end of the day.  Alan said he noticed changes in himself as well, particularly around feeling better overall.  (Alan, feel free to add your comments if you want!).  Lex said he mostly just feels angry that he can’t eat bagels, but he also has remarked several times (and I agree!) that berries taste so much sweeter these days.  It’s certainly not berry season in February in Vermont, but I think eating less sugar in general has allowed our taste buds to reset a bit and better appreciate the sweetness of fruit.  I notice a change in Eve, though maybe not as drastic as I was hoping.  I think she’s more even-keeled, with fewer ups and downs.  I mentioned that to her when she said she felt no changes, but she argued that sugar is what keeps her up and without sugar she is all down.  It’s hard to reason with that one.  I’m hoping that this month and future months will help minimize the ups and downs and perhaps mitigate the sneaky eating.  That’s never a good idea, I say, speaking from experience.  I still find myself modeling poor eating habits.  It’s something we’re all working on.

Alan and I had a chat about next month and I brought it up with Lex today as well. The plan is to allow some foods with minimal sugar (not sure of the specifics yet).  Foods like bagels, Rice Krispies, and maybe certain crackers with minimal sugar.  I do not want to end up back at the dessert after every lunch and dinner and ice cream in constant supply.  Knowing that sugar calls to sugar though, means that we will have to be careful not to go down that slippery slope.  It’s a hard balance, especially with kids.

This week we are facing a Girl Scout cookie delivery (175 boxes, I think, and 10 or so of which are ours!) and a birthday party with a “cupcake station.”  We will have to be strategic and thoughtful with our sugar intake.  We can do that, right?  Right?! Sure.

Right now, after a very healthy month, the boys and I are watching Star Wars: The Force Awakens with BB8 while eating pizza and drinking wine (just me).  Not so healthy.  But fun!

BB8 likes watching Star Wars!  :)

BB8 likes watching Star Wars! :)

And she’s off!

Today was an anti-climatic day for me. Five hours in the car and I ended up right back where I started from (though with a yummy lunch in my belly and two bags of goodies from Target!) Miss Eve, on the other hand, is having a much more exciting day! We meet Rosy halfway between here and there and Eve headed home with her for a fun-filled “girls weekend” in the big city! :)  (“Girls weekend” with a few other people, and maybe the medium city… but still!)

Silly girls

We had lunch and said our goodbyes (*sniff, sniff*). Then I headed to Target for some retail therapy (why do we not have a Target nearby yet?!?!), then home. Luckily I got home to this smiling face.

Me and my boy

She likes the closet. :)

Between him and Alan and this sweetie pie, I think it’s going to be a quiet weekend. Arlo and I will have to bring in the noise! :)

Meet Jasmine

One afternoon last week Eve came into the library crying. Life was rough, bad day, missing the kitty, sob, sob, sob. I did what any loving mother would do and tried to distract her with birthday party plans. We’ve been talking about having a party at the local humane society, but they don’t do parties, so with Eve on my lap we pulled up the website for the next nearest humane society. Of course, once you’re on the website you need to browse the adorable animals too. Eve came across a brother/sister pair that she fell in love with. The listing said they were kind, gentle, and the girl was named Daisy! Eve was smitten. Then I saw a “February Special” on the front page saying if the cat had been at the shelter for over a year you could get it for free! I was smitten! Two sweet cats for free?! We decided to go visit on Thursday.

That morning I called to ask some questions and learned that Daisy and Kashmire (brother and sister) were pending adoption. Sigh. The kids decided they wanted to stick with the plan and to visit the humane society anyway. We’ve never been there before so it seemed like a good thing to do.

We met lots of cats (and laughed at some pretty entertaining dogs), but when we saw this little girl we were in love.

Miss Jasmine

The kids were ready to take her home, but it turns out that place doesn’t do “same day adoptions” so we had to put in an application and wait. And wait. And wait. Four long days of kids wondering if we would be approved, wondering when we can get the cat, and hoping, HOPING, no one else took her first.

Today we finally got word that she was ours. The kids were thrilled!! They set up all the cat stuff (food bowls, litter box, toys) and we headed down to pick her up.

Lex can’t get enough of her. He even said, “Sometimes when you cry it’s because you’re happy.” :)

Paperwork done and ready to go! Just one quick photo for the adoption website (and mom’s blog!)

We got her home and put her in the bathroom to explore. She found the “behind the dryer” spot pretty quickly. :) Daisy found that spot a few times too!

Lost already!

She was pretty happy back there. Purring away. We pulled the washing machine out and she peeked out a few times, but kept tucking herself back again.

After awhile she came out and met Arlo. He was intrigued, but not aggressive.

New friends

Eve brought her upstairs and the kitty quickly found another good hiding place. :) I spent the afternoon reassuring the kids that she is friendly (she is!) and that she’s just shy right now, but it won’t last forever. We are watching a movie right now and Jasmine is exploring upstairs. I hear her walking around and knocking things over! She came down the stairs once too, looked around, then headed back up. She’ll be snuggling in laps in no time!

Under the bed is cozy.

And then there’s these goofballs! :)

Arlo and Lex

Be Mine, Valentine.

We managed a sweet Valentine’s Day today, even without sweets.

This is a mix of old, new, and cards from others. It made for a cheery cheery display though, and the kids loved it.

I spent the day saying “thanks, but no thanks,” to adorable children offering me treats all day long.  Eve shocked me by also saying “no thanks” to the treats in her classroom.  She said she even skipped the Ritz crackers because they have added Sugar.  Luckily there was lots of fruit and cheese for her to eat.  

I gave all the candy to a lucky 5th grader walking by at the end of the day.

I hope you all had a sweet day too. ❤