April 28, 2008

The Circle of Life Rears its Ugly Head Yet Again

I lost a friend yesterday. My beloved cat, Shadow, went to the big scratching post in the sky....
We're still not quite sure what happened to him. He was a scrapper, that's for sure! He'd be gone for days at a time and come back with a ripped ear, patch of fur missing, etc. I'd patch him up and he'd stick around for awhile...until he was called on his next big adventure, that is. He was six years old and must have lived all nine of his lives to the fullest. If that cat could talk....
David called me while I was running errands last night with 2YO to tell me that he found Shadow dead. I was shopping, of all places, at WalMart at the time. I'm still not quite sure I've processed it all. He was my cat. He would find me every couple of days or so and just want to crawl up on my shoulder for some attention. He would meow like a pitiful kitten even though I had usually seen him with a dead squirrel or gopher in his mouth just hours before. He was even good with the kids. He seemed to know to restrain himself when dealing with a young child or baby. As the child grew older, his patience wore thinner.
With the exception of all the dead and dying creatures he brought in the house to share with us, he was the smartest cat I'd ever known.
Ironically, while still shopping in WalMart, I found myself looking for some cheese. Two women were standing next to me. One asked the other to borrow her cell phone. The other woman told her that she purposely left it at home so her family couldn't bother her while she shopped.
Myself and another lady on the other side of them giggle. We've all been there, right? I mean, my husband had just called me to tell me he'd found my cat dead, forcing me to finish the rest of my errands with knots in my stomach. Shopping without a phone could be a blessing, I think.
So, the lady on the other side that also giggles starts explaining why she has to have her cell phone with her.
"I need it in case something happens, and the clock is telling me that they're still seven minutes apart. I want to wait until they're four minutes apart to head to the hospital."
Yup. This woman was in labor and shopping by herself to kill time. Myself and the other two women start bombarding the poor woman with questions:
"You mean you drove yourself?"
"Is this your first baby? How long were you in labor with your first one?"
"Do you feel okay? Because you really shouldn't be out shopping by yourself..."
"Does your husband know you're in labor?"
When asked about her husband, she chuckled and said she had to get away from him.
"He was getting on my nerves. Ooooh...I want popcorn."
And she walked away, cell phone still in hand.
I am very aware that cats and people aren't the same, but it sort of put me at ease to know that, while I lost a kitty, someone else was having a baby.
Life goes on, you know. And things will always change. We win, we lose. We do it again tomorrow.

April 20, 2008

HEY! Who's in charge here???

Some things have come up recently that have caused me to question how much of a handle I really have on things around here. For instance, did I even mean to take this shot with David's hand peeking in from the side? WHO KNOWS?
I mean, we've always been sort of cocky about how many children we have. Not so much how many, but how much control we feel we have of it all. I get pregnant the month we start trying, yet we have no 'surprises' when we're not. Or do we?
(NO. I'm NOT PREGNANT.....but thanks for asking!)
It's been a common joke in our household that he throws his underwear across the room, I catch it and I'm pregnant. I know we are SO BLESSED for it to be that easy. But, wouldn't that also mean that it would be that much easier for us to have 'accidents?' So far, we've been lucky there, too.
*knocking on wood*
Seriously, I'm sure most of us 'active' girls have had our share of 'Could I be Pregnant?' moments. And it's not just from the textbook reasoning, either.
Gosh. I just cannot seem to get enough peanut butter lately. Could I be pregnant?
I haven't been this tired for no real reason since....
(checking the calendar)
Why am I so hungry all the time???
Our thought process takes some interesting turns when we throw in the possibility of pregnancy. I've pretty much decided that we are probably done having children. We have three amazing daughters with three completely different personalities. Life is good right now. Our family feels pretty complete, really. Besides, I currently weigh a little less than I did when we got married. I finally feel like I have my body back. We only have a three bedroom house. As it is, two of the girls will always have to share a room. And what if the next one was a boy? Would we be able to add on to our house? Would be buy a bigger one?
Now, I could go on and on forever with reasons to not have another baby. But, truth be told, David and I would embrace any 'surprises' with open arms and shift our plans accordingly. If being a parent teaches us nothing else, we definitely learn how to be flexible.
I woke up with big plans today. I usually do....but my day never ends the way I plan it to. I want the kids to do what I ask and this house will be a lot more organized than it was when we woke up this morning. But, the girls are getting along so well this morning and are headed outside right now to play catch. How can I argue with that? I just took a Claritin and I think I'll head outside myself and try to straighten up the chicken coop. I can drink as much coffee as I want without worrying about the consequences. And that works perfectly. For today.
While we ponder taking more permanent measures to ensure we don't have another child, I wonder if the decision will be made for us. I know of someone who became pregnant five years after her husband was 'snipped.' And YES the baby is his and YES they have proof. It's like wearing your seatbelt: You can take all the measures possible to ensure that you survive that trip to the supermarket but, in the end, it's not really up to us, is it?
So, for today, my entire family will continue to wear their seatbelts and I will continue to try to take that little white pill within the same hour or so every night for three weeks a month....
...and the rest is out of our hands. And that's okay, too. It has to be.

April 10, 2008

It's almost as if she just dropped off the face of the planet...

If you are reading this, than you must know that I still exist. I do, don't I?
Aside from our brief venture to the edge of the continent, I haven't really gone anywhere. I'm just busy, I guess. I blame the children or, more specifically, SOFTBALL SEASON. Did you know that the older girls (14 and Under) have two or three games a week? And that they still practice a day or two on top of that? Yeah..I didn't either. Plus, I have my 5YO on a 6 and Under team. She only has one game a week. THANK GOODNESS!!!
I also babysit a BONUS5YO before and after school during the week. I'm not sure if I've mentioned that here. It's been so long since I've mentioned ANYTHING here that I've lost track. B5YO is on 5YO's softball team. Actually, you could probably say it's the other way around since HER MOM is the coach! 5YO has really come out of her shell and hasn't shed one single tear yet this season.
Great. Now that I've written this, she's going to be a giant ball of emotions at Saturday's game! I should know better than to jinx myself that way. Like when your baby starts sleeping through the night and you feel so inclined to brag about it. The following night, demons take over your baby and you get less sleep than EVER. Kids live to make liars out of us, don't they?
I'm sorry. My train of thought seems to have derailed. It happens....
So...David and I just celebrated our 6th anniversary. After a long, exhausting day of softball last Saturday, he and I pawned the kids off on Grandma and hit the road. We went to Pismo Beach. It was a really wonderful time. The weather was awesome, though I could have done with a little less wind. Then again, it's the beach and we were alone together so IT TOTALLY ROCKED!
(So did our neighbors in the motel we stayed at, by the way. Their 'noises' woke us up in the middle of the night. David still thinks it was the tv [gotta love HBO!] but I think I know a live show when I hear it! Those walls must have been pretty thin, I tell ya!)
Between the 'frisky neighbors' and the lady who hauled off and spit like a trucker in the parking lot while we ate, David and I had a lot of things to point and giggle at.
I know. I know. We are SO going to hell! At least there will be people to make fun of there, too!
We began our adventure with dinner at Rosa's. YUMMY! If you are in Pismo and enjoy Italian food, you should really check that place out! The prices were actually pretty reasonable and the food was divine. But, they really had me when I ordered hot tea and they brought out this giant case of at least ten different types to choose from. A tea buffet, if you will. I *heart* Rosa's and will go back again, when the opportunity presents itself!
We concluded our trip with the clam chowder to go, from none other than the Splash Cafe. There is nothing else like it. We've purchased their clam chowder at Costco before and it's good...but not as good as getting it while actually AT Pismo. Atmosphere makes it even better.
By the time we got home on Sunday evening, we had been gone a total of 24 1/2 hours. That was 24.5 hours of total bliss, though. We have decided to take the girls back there this summer. We will stay at the beach the entire time, which will make the girls very happy. They could dig in the sand for hours on end and not tire of it. Then again, so could David.
David drove the entire way and I knitted most of that. We chatted and fought over music...it was AWESOME! Now that our youngest is 2, we will try to find more and more opportunities to get away. Alone. We get so caught-up in the whole 'parenting gig' that we almost forget how to just be 'husband and wife.' Then again, I think that happens to so many couples. It's the phase we're in, I guess. But, things will change. Kids will grow and schedules will change. And, when it's all said and done, we need to remember how to get along without them. If it all goes according to plans, they will eventually not need us so much anymore. And that will be bittersweet.
But, for now they continue to need a lot. Help with homework, rides to practice, money, clothes, food and such all rest on our shoulders right now. And TIME...
...there just never seems to be enough time!