Saturday, December 27, 2014

Sprout is Two Years Old!

Today Sprout is two years old!

Guys, Sprout is two!  Along with wishing people a "happy day!" she has been proudly holding up her thumb and index finger and announcing "Me two!" to anyone who asks.

-I know I've said this the past few months at least, but LANGUAGE EXPLOSION.  She is talking so much now.  My favourite phrase she is now saying is "Luf you Mama."  She is saying many other phrases such as, "May I (be) 'cused?" at the dinner table and usually "Time for a baff?" shortly after that.  She often says "Tanks, Mama" (or whoever) after she has been helped with something, which is so sweet.  And while she has the usual toddler stubborn streak, she is mostly sweet, sweet, sweet.

-I'm pretty sure I've also said this before, but she is funny.  She is a joker and likes to get a laugh out of people.  Her big thing the past little bit has been fake burping and then saying "'Cuse me!"  I don't know where she learned it or how she decided  it was funny, but it obvious she does it to get a laugh/reaction from us.  Her brother, of course, thinks it's hilarious.  Sometimes we can't help but chuckle.

-She's pretty opinionated about her clothing and will go into her drawer to pick out what she wants to wear.  She has many cute outfits, but seems to prefer a mismatched look.  She loves "Anna" dresses and spinning around in them.  She's also got at thing for shoes.  I think we're in for it. ;)

-She is solidly in 2T tops and somewhere between 18m and 24m/2T pants.  Shoe size is a 6.  (Her feet are enormous!)

-Her hair is getting long, but does not like having it fussed with.  Most days I try to brush it so it's not to tangly or crunchy from food that gets stuck in there and just let it be.  She will occasionally put up with my sticking it in her signature side half-pony.

-This month she has LOVED playing with peg puzzles.  We have one in particular where the pictures are drawn under where the pieces fit which she will do almost daily.

-The Bean likes building tall towers out of various types of blocks and Sprout likes knocking them down.  Understandably, he's not thrilled with this.  We're trying teacher her that she has to ask before knocking his towers down and that she can build her own to knock down.  You can imagine how successful we've been, but still we try.  (We often remind The Bean that he did the same at her age, and tell him that we used to feel the same way he does now when he knocked down our towers.)

-She still loves playing with her "babies."  She has a few of her own, a few that she shares with her brother, and one that are his that she seems to have adopted from The Bean.  She got two strollers, one baby carrier, three sets of dolly diaper bags, a feeding set and an adorable high chair for her birthday/Christmas.  Yes, she is spoiled, and yes, people who know her know that she loves her babies.

-Art continues to be a huge draw (no pun intended) for her.  She will happily colour, paint, or do Playdoh for extended periods of time.

-Other loved activities include dancing, spinning, splashing (in puddles and the bathtub), ice skating(!), jumping off of something and being caught mid-air, playing on the tablet/watching The Bean play on the tablet, and reading books/having books read to her.

-Eating has been going really well.  Breakfasts aren't big, but otherwise she eats a good variety of foods in reasonable quantities.  Cheese is probably her favourite food.

-Sleep... well... it is what it is.  She seems to be falling asleep around 8ish.  Usually fusses, but puts herself back down around midnight, and ends up in our room anywhere between 2:30 and 4:30am.  Most days she's up for the day around 6:30am.  She was napping well (2+ hours) for my sister, but the past week with me at home she has been really fighting going down.

-She is definitely very attached to me, but loves Mommy, The Bean, and other family members.  Lately she has been all about my cousin, Paul.

It's definitely hard for us to wrap our heads around the fact that our daughter is two.  Older than The Bean was when she was born.  Still our baby, but not a baby anymore.  A little person growing into herself more and more each day.  It's such a privilege to be her parent.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Crafty Goodness!

On Tuesday evening I was super-excited to open our mailbox and see a package inside.  Even before seeing the return address I knew what it was!  Our craft exchange!  

Mama et Maman sent the sweetest wooly crafts for us to enjoy.  

The three ornaments are hanging on our tree and the little toy owl, who I've named Eggnog, is being given lots of affection from the two littles.

Thank you Mama et Maman!

Hope everyone else receives their packages soon and shares them on their blogs.  I'll try to do a "round up" post here over the holidays.

Now off to bed!

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Slowly But Surely (Project 52 Catch Up)

This'll be an incredibly photo-heavy post.  Not entirely caught up yet, but getting there.  Some of these feel like such a long time ago already.

Week 37

The Bean: In the playground with a stick.  This is serious business.
Sprout: Climbing and posing.

Week 38

The Bean: First shaved ice of the season.
Sprout: In the woods.

Week 39

The Bean: Busy building.
Sprout: Artist at work.

Week 40

The Bean: He wanted a jet pack.
Sprout: Doll baby.

Week 41

The Bean: Hauling water at the Brickworks.
Sprout: Fall hiking.

Week 42

The Bean: Picking the perfect pumpkin.
Sprout: Made it her mission to finish this apple.

Week 43

The Bean: The Bean and Merrylegs meet again.
Sprout: Enjoying her favourite food: hotdogs. 

Week 44 

The Bean: Decorating the pumpkin the day after Halloween.  Because some years are like that.
Sprout: Cutest kitty on the block.

Week 45

The Bean: Leaf pile giggles.
Sprout: Leaf thrower.

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Comparing Kids

Sprout is 18 days away from her second birthday.  This is exactly how old The Bean was on the day she was born.  This "milestone" has been on my mind for quite a while now.  What would it be like if we were bring another baby home now?  (For the record: There will be no more babies.) How have the past two years gone by so quickly?  And how is our baby girl possibly the same age as her big brother was when she was born.  She is our baby.  He was so big.

The Bean (with Grandma and Grandpa) meeting Sprout for the first time.
Looking back, he really wasn't so big.  I suppose when comparing him to a newborn he was, but he really was just a little guy still.  Maybe because we have him now to compare her to, but Sprout just seems younger than he was at this same age.  Looking back he was doing a lot of the same things that she does now.  Hitting similar milestones.  It just felt so different.

I'm an identical twin.  I've always been sensitive to sibling comparisons.  Still, I find it nearly impossible not to compare our two.  I mean right from the get go we compared them in terms of their size.  (The Bean's 5lbs 10oz to Sprout's 9lbs.)  We compared their sleep.  We compared their eating patterns.  How do you not?  The Bean is our frame of reference.

That's not to say we compare one as "better" and one as "worse"  (though the Bean was a better sleeper ;) ) but we do compare.

I think that for all their differences we're fortunate that our kids are both loving and kind and affectionate and interactive and smart and active and funny and silly.  Similar, yet both so full of their very own unique personalities.  It is such a privilege to be witness to who they are and how they've grown.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Sprout is Twenty-Three Months Old

Today Sprout is twenty-three months old.

This little bug is only a month away from her second birthday!  Only days away from being the same age The Bean was when she was born.  It's unbelievable to me how quickly the time is passing.  One of my students asked how old she was and I said, "She'll be two in December."  My student responded, "So, she's one?"  It took me a beat, but I told her, yes, Sprout is one.  She said, "I thought she was a kid."  I said, "Well, she kind of is a kid." because at almost-two she is certainly not a baby anymore, though she will always be our baby.

So, this kid...

She is a very sweet little one.  She likes to cuddle and be held, but only on her own terms.  She's taken to telling me "Go away, Mama!" when I'm lying beside her at night but usually as soon as move into the chair across the room she runs over to me.  She still loves to nurse.  At times she demands it.  Other times she sweetly asks "Nurse please." She sometimes unlatches to say "thank you, Mama" or "milk good" or just "happy" all of which I think are incredibly sweet.  She is a true co-sleeper and cries when she wakes up and I am not in the bed with her.

Sleep continues to be an issue.  Maybe it's because she nurses.  Maybe it's because we co-sleep most nights.  I don't know.  She takes a long time to settle in the evenings.  She wakes up several times through the night.  I feel like it's gotten better, but it's more likely that we've just be that we've resigned ourselves to the situation.  She usually is down between 8 and 9pm (after a 7:30pm "bedtime") and wakes up between 5:30am (weekends) and 7:00am (weekdays).  Naturally.  Naps are mid-day and seem to last about 1-2 hours.  I'm usually at work.  On the weekends she'll sometimes go longer since I'm around to settle her back down.

Food is about the same as it has been.  She eats a fair balance of things, but not a super-wide variety.  Sometimes she'll surprise us by gobbling up something she's refused before (e.g. broccoli stems) , only to refuse it again the next time we serve it.  She loves hot dogs and sausages.  Usually likes fish.  Won't touch chicken or most other meats unless they're somehow mixed in to other food.  Soft veggies are the way to go with her.  She likes a good variety of fruits, but not usually berries.  She just started eating pears, so we'll see if that lasts.  Vanilla yogurt and she LOVES cheese... but who doesn't?  ;)

Her top left and bottom right canines came through late into her 22nd month or early into her 23rd
the top right and bottom left ones just broke last week.  She seems to be working on molars as she is constantly chomping on her fingers.  I'll be very happy to have a bit of a reprieve from teething once they come in.  I'm sure she will too.

Her hair is getting long.  No plans to cut it anytime soon.

She is mostly in 2T clothing now.  2T pants are still a bit long and need to be cinched at the waist, but they work.  She loves wearing dresses and calls herself "Anna" (from Frozen) when she wears one and will spin around.  Actually, we can convince her to wear many things by telling her they're "Anna" things... Anna socks, Anna shirts, etc.  She is in a size 6 shoe and size 5 diapers.

She loves music.  The Wheels on the Bus is still a favourite and often-requested song.  She also likes all the songs from Frozen.  She likes to dance and will do crazy downward dog-type moves, somersaults, etc.

She enjoys other gross-motor activities.  She's a good climber.  She's also pretty decent kicking a ball.  Swim class is over now, but she did enjoy it as long as her head didn't get wet.

Maybe I'm seeing this through a Mama's eyes, but I think she's got quite amazing fine motor skills.  She loves to draw and paint and will happily do so for extended periods of time.  She blew me away earlier this week by putting glue dots on Xs I'd drawn on a paper for a cutting/pasting activity  I didn't think she'd be able to do it, but she did it really well.

She's starting to say the names of more and more colours.  Actual recognition of colours seems to be getting better, but is still sort of hit or miss.  Most colours are "green" though occassionally they are "blue."

If you ask her how old she is going to be she will say "Two!"  But then again, if you ask her anything where she recognizes that there should be a number answer she says two.  (She can count to two and has counted all the way to ten alternating with me i.e. I say one, she says two etc.)

Word count, in general, is increasing.  Lots of short sentences now.  She regularly tells me "Love nurse" but hasn't yet said an unprompted "Love you."  Sigh.

She still loves being read to and will also look at books independently.  She definitely knows bits and pieces of books we read often and will "read" them to herself.  Just yesterday she read me bits of Farmyard Beat.  It was pretty cute.

We did a bit of a reorganization of our living room and she's started to use the play kitchen and play food a lot more.  She loves putting on the oven mitts and chef's hat and feeding us things.

I love spending time with this girl and seeing her personality continue to develop.  She is such a character.  I look forward to seeing what she's like as a two year old and all the other ages after that.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Holiday Craft Exchange Contact Information

It has been brought to my attention (again) that several people have problems commenting on this blog and using the "Contact Us" form.  I wish I knew how to fix this problem, but unfortunately I'm not that tech savvy.  So, if you're interested in the Holiday Craft Exchange but can't get in touch, please just email me at allison-lee AT rocketmail DOT com.

Holiday Craft Exchange

One of my favourite things in blogland at this time of year is the Holiday Craft Exchage.
I started participating several years ago, when it was hosted by S at An Offering of Love.  Then R at Insert Metaphor took over.  This year I volunteered to do the organizing.  ALL are welcome to join in... old and new, super crafty and not.  Here are the rules:
1. Enter the swap by emailing us through the "Contact Us" link on this page.  You must include:

  • your full mailing address
  • your blog name
  • the names of the people in your family and the ages of the children
  • which winter holidays you celebrate

Please sign up by the evening of Wednesday, November 26th, 2014.
2.  I will do a random drawing to match givers/recipients.  I will email you the name and contact information of your recipient by next weekend.  The exchange of names is secret, so you won’t know who drew your name until you receive a package in the mail.
3.  If you are unfamiliar with the blogger whose name you receive, spend some time on their blog and make a new friend!
4.   Create a homemade holiday craft and mail it to your recipient by Wednesday, December 17th, 2014.  Hopefully a week is enough time for it to arrive in time for Christmas or the last day of Hanukkah or maybe even Winter Soltice as long as Canada Post and USPS are bringing their A game. 
5.  Share a picture on your blog of the craft you received and tell us who made it.
Other info:
* Feel free to create any holiday-ish craft you want.  Aside from postage, there’s no need to spend much, if any, money on this.  I would like to open this up internationally, but if you have issues shipping outside your country or North America, please let me know and I will try to accommodate you.
* To participate, you should have an active blog so that we can all feel comfortable swapping addresses.  The only people who will see your name and address are me and your designated recipient.  I will not reveal your information in any other way.
*Feel free to post a link to this exchange on your blog and encourage folks to sign up.
* Please sign up only if you can follow through.  Speaking from experience, it's quite disappointing to never receive your craft. 

Friday, November 21, 2014

Not Enough Hours

Hi All.

Sorry for the absence around here.  I have been writing a lot of half blog posts in my head these days, because there's never really enough time to think them out in full, and there's certainly not enough time to actually sit down and get even half a blog post written out on the screen.

I feel like you guys get that though, right?

School is busy. I am still staying just ahead of the game from planning standpoint, which is so difficult for someone like me who likes to have a clearly articulated plan. A few weeks ago I found out that I had to write report cards 10 days before they were due. Of course, we had a visit to PA scheduled, which I panicked about when I found out about the reports, because a trip to Grandma and Grandpa's is not something that you can cancel (too many upset kids and upset grandparents), but ended up being a blessing in disguise.  Grandma and Grandpa (and Jen) kept the kids busy and happy while I holed up in the basement and wrote 70+ individualized comments over the course of three days.  It was brutal.  They got done though and the principal of the school told me I was a "fantastic writer" which felt good after agonizing over the right adjectives to use.

The kids still aren't sleeping well, but are pretty great otherwise.  They are getting so big so fast.  I was running late today so called home to let my sister know and The Bean answered the phone.  Listening to his little high pitched voice over the telephone, well, I don't even know how to describe it.  It's just remarkable to think this kid, my kid, is able to hold a telephone conversation, even if he has been doing it for nearly a year.  Sprout is becoming quite a little chatterbox too.  She's so funny.  Some of the things she comes out with make me laugh so much.  Of course, nothing comes to mind at this second, but really, she is such a little joker.  And observant.  And opinionated.  We certainly have our hands full with her.  We never really recognized or appreciated how compliant The Bean was/is, but now we have her to compare him we realize how easy we had it with him.  I have a feeling she is really going to give us a run for our money through her toddler years. We love her anyway, of course.  

Jen is amazing and one of those half blog posts I've been thinking about has a lot to do with her/our relationship and how wonderful she is but our relationship really needs to be nurtured more than it has been and how we might figure out how to do that with two kids who don't sleep well (and therefore don't do well with evening babysitters) and no time and just being exhausted, but we'll see if I ever get that far.

This is about all I have in me right now.

That and it's winter here.  The windows have been frosty.  The kids hands are warm.  The wonders of childhood are simple.

Happy Thanksgiving, friends.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Sprout is Twenty-Two Months Old!

Today Sprout is (well past) twenty-two months old!

This post is long, long overdue.  Our little bug is actually closer to being 23 months old now than she is to being 22 months old, but time sometimes gets away from very busy parents.  This will likely be a brief update, but needs to get recorded before we forget.  (Or before another month passes by!)

-Though I was concerned about how she would do being away from me, Sprout initially handled my going back to work very well. She definitely wanted a lot of attention in the mornings and evenings, but nothing crazy. She maintained her sweet and silly personality. Ate well. Etc. Etc.

-This girl and her brother are quite the pair.  She ADORES him.  He's pretty smitten with her too.  The two of them play nicely together almost all of the time. She often calls for him when she wakes up in the morning or from her nap.  It's so, so sweet to see and makes my mama heart melt.

-Her language has continued to blossom.  Lots of two-word combinations.  My favourite exclamations from her are her unsolicited comments of "happy."

-Eating and sleeping remained pretty much the same.  Not terrible, but not wonderful.

-She still loves to run and swing and jump and kick balls and just play in general.

-Definitely still loves books.  She's started trying to sneak extras in at nap and bedtime.  Sometimes we give in.  She's smart though and if we let her have an extra will go and grab another three in the hopes that we will read them too.

-She really warmed up to swimming lessons.  She still hates getting her head wet, but did really well kicking her legs and pulling her arms and even blowing some bubbles.  We won't continue through the winter because it's too far and gets too cold and just becomes unenjoyable for me, but I'd consider taking her again in the spring.

It's late and I've had a crazy weekend of marathon report card writing, so I'm going to leave it at that. Sprout's twenty-three month update will be coming soon. :)  This little one.  She's getting big so fast.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Bedtime Nightmare

It was five after nine when I left the kids' room tonight.  Their bedtime is seven thirty.  Eight o'clock is more realistic, if we're being honest.  But maybe not that realistic given past several nights.

I don't really know quite what to say.  Bedtime has definitely become my  least favourite time of the day, which is sad, because anymore it's the main time that I have to spend "quality time" with the kids.  Instead of enjoy baths and stories, I spend those many of those moments dreading (I know that's a strong word, but anxiously anticipating doesn't quite cut it) lights out.

Sometime in the past week or two Sprout figured out how to escape her crib.  In a sleep sack.  First we lost the sleep sack, a few days later we lost the side of the crib.  Unlike her brother, who was a dream when it came to bedtime and would lie in his toddler bed and wait to fall asleep and then call out to ask us if we could come get him out when he woke up, Sprout is awful.  She nurses demanding to switch sides ever other minute until I can't bear the thought of any more on and off and tell her no more.  Then she jumps in the bed.  She climbs down and runs over to the door, or the bookshelf, or toys, or her brother.  She  goads him into laughing.  Basically she does everything but lie down in the bed.  The only thing that has worked has been physically holding her in a tight hug while she screams and cries and eventually drops off enough to lie her down.  But I can't leave then.  As soon as I move more than an inch away from her she wakes up and calls out "Mama!"  In fact, her favourite sleeping position once she is in that early stage of slumber is hugging my head.  After an hour or more of trying to get her to this point, you can imagine how carefully I try to escape her headlock.

And of course The Bean has now made it his mission to get her/keep her going.  He has started saying he has to go to the washroom every thirty seconds.  (Sprout freaks out whenever he leaves the room.)  When he is in bed he kicks his legs, throws toys around until we take them away, talks "to himself", etc.  Most nights I threaten him (this week with taking away Trick-or-Treating) until he quiets down.  On good nights, offering a reward for being quiet, like rocking him in the rocking chair after his sister falls asleep, works.  I can't remember the last time he had a good night.

Bedtime has become a complete nightmare.  I wish I could think of another way to do things, but I just can't. Every night I hope it will get better.  Every night it seems to get worse.

Tonight I am listening to Ani DiFranco's new album Allergic to Water.  I am taking time to write a blog post rather than preparing tomorrow's lessons (which I really should be doing).  I need a break.  Anyone want to come over and babysit for an evening?

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

A Month In


Wow.  I am nearly a month into this new gig.  I am still getting my footing, but not as shaky as I was the last time I updated.  Fortunately I no longer feel like accepting the job may have been a huge mistake.  It was, most certainly, a lot to take on.  It's only really been in the past week that I haven't felt like I'm only a period ahead of where I need to be.  I'm starting to be able to look at things a few days out and am hoping that by the end of the week I'll be planning at least a week in advance.  Hopefully I'll be able to start doing some better teaching this way.  A lot of what has been provided is mediocre at best.  I don't like feeling like I'm doing a mediocre job.

The students and I are figuring each other out.  I made a girl in my class cry today.  I felt terribly, but I also feel like it'll probably be a good thing that it happened overall.  I was walking them through a worksheet (mediocre teaching, right there) and she and a few others kept chatting.  After asking them to be more attentive several times, I stopped and said that it appeared they didn't feel that they needed my guidance, and told them to go complete the work on their own.  Not my finest moment, but honestly I had reached my limit.  I'm hoping they remember this tomorrow and when I'm talking that they listen.

The Bean and Sprout have been doing really well with the transition.  The Bean, overall, seems to have taken on a "helper" role when my sister is here watching them.  Not so much doing things for the little ones, but doing things for himself, like putting his dirty plate in the sink without being asked, or tidying up his toys.  He gets a lot of praise for it and seems quite proud of himself.  I am so glad.  Sprout is also doing well.  She doesn't cry when I leave anymore and is going down for naps without nursing first, though she starts demanding "nurse" as soon as I walk through the door most nights.  Sometimes I oblige, other times I try to hold her off so that she'll eat dinner (and so that I can make dinner).  It's hard to know what to do.

I couldn't be doing any of this without Jen.  She has continued riding her bike into work in this freezing October weather so that I can have the car, even though my work is much closer.  She gets the kids fed, and often dressed, and always entertained in the morning while I scramble to get ready for work.  She's changed her hours on Wednesdays so that she can be home with the kids while my sister take her son to his program.  We are both exhausted more than 100% of the time, but she certainly couldn't be doing anything to make things easier on me.  She is so good to me.  I don't know what I would do without her.

Though I would love to write more about the kids, about this change, about a zillion other things (I'm talking about you, Summer Bucket List and Project 52), I really should go to bed now.  It'd be the first night I've gone to bed before midnight in, well, nearly a month.  I don't think I should pass up that opportunity.

Thanks to everyone for your kind words about the new position.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Overdue -The Big News

I tried to write this post last night, but it was nearly midnight and my better judgement won out.  Tonight it's only 11pm, so I'm promising myself that I will keep this quick, but I do feel not only overdue but also obligated (in the best of ways) to make this update.

In my last post I hinted that there was the potential of change on the horizon.  It came.  Much more quickly than expected.  

A few weeks ago a school that I had been substitute teaching at reached out to me about an LTO (long term occasional) maternity leave position teaching Grade One full time mid-November through January and then in the afternoons only from January until June.  I went in for an interview and it felt like it was almost an offer, rather than an interview.  They had me in for an observation and I was waiting to hear whether I would be offered the position or not.  I was caught a bit off guard to get a call from the principal on a Saturday.  He asked me if I could start Monday (September 29th).  I wasn't prepared (at all) but starting six weeks earlier than expected didn't feel like a reason to turn it down.

A few days later I wasn't so sure.  

The kids were really good, but those first few days were hairy.  There was so little prepared, no sense of organization that I could figure out, no prep time to prepare or figure things out  A classful of student to be accountable to, never mind parents or administration.  I felt as if I had made a terrible mistake.  (To say nothing of leaving the kids.)

Now, almost ten days in I am feeling slightly better.  Slightly.  Things are marginally more organized.  I am finding what few resources do exist.  There is still no prep time.  No money.  The parents and administration have been understanding, but I know it won't be too much longer until I'm expected to be caught up and to keep up.  

I am hoping that this was the right move.  It is giving me experience in a grade I haven't taught outside of my practicum experience.  It will close the hole that could have otherwise been quite large on my resume.  I only have seven Grade One students and they seem like Good Kids --kind, pretty keen, quite bright, respectful, etc.  (though I also teach a few SKs for Math and all the Grade Twos for History/Geography and Physical Education).

I am struggling with the "core curriculum" model that this school uses.  It is so vastly different than the IB model and honestly isn't a good fit for me from what I have seen so far.  I'm trying to think of ways that I can bring more of the IB elements in.  Of course, there is no time to think.  (For those to whom this comes across as as gobbledygook: core curriculum is very "facts" based whereas the IB strives to put things into context and look at larger and more open-ended questions.)

So forgive my sudden disappearance.  I am neck-deep in subtraction problems, Canadian Geography, line dancing, and Roald Dahl books.  

The Bean and Sprout are adjusting well.  My sister, aka their favourite aunt, is watching them during the days along with her own little guy.  It has been a huge relief to have her and to know that they are in good hands.  

And because y'all are so patient, here are some cute kid pics from the weekend...

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Twenty-One Months Old

Today Sprout is twenty-one months old!

It's hard to believe our little girl is going to be two the next time the seasons change.  I'm am amazed at how quickly she is growing up.

Along with growing up, it feels like her personality is becoming more defined.  Overall she is a funny, joy-filled, and go-with-the-flow little girl.  She has the best smile.  That said, she also definitely knows her own mind and do what she wants to do quite independently.  She will let you know if she's not happy about something.

Her vocabulary continues to explode.  There is no way to list all the words she is saying, but two word phrases are becoming commonplace.  Lots of descriptions -"big dog", "high plane", etc.  She calls her brother by his nickname now and will always ask for him when she wakes up.  She narrates her day "milk" (so that I will nurse her when she wakes up), "down" (off the bed), "knock" (so we will open the door), "brush" (her teeth), etc.

She has (adorably) started singing.  I am so excited for her music classes that start next week, I think she will LOVE them.  Her current favourite songs are The Wheels on the Bus (the babies on the bus go "milk, milk, milk") and Do You Want to Build a Snowman? (she will finish each sentence) and Let It Go ("ice!" "dance!")

Speaking of dancing.  Oh my goodness.  This girl loves to dance.  It is so fun to watch.  She is pretty agile for a toddler.  Don't get me wrong, there is no grace, but her moves definitely have some skill --spinning on one foot, somersaults, etc.  In fact, I'd have to say she is pretty agile overall.  She runs and jumps and climbs and slides and hangs off monkey bars and all sorts of things.  She is, however, the absolutely s l o w e s t stair climber in the universe.  We live in a three-story walk up.  It is painful.  (More often than not I end up carrying her up the stairs because I just can't wait 45+ minutes for her to make her way up on her own.)  And though she is agile, she really does not enjoy play that is too rough (she freaks out when turned upside down, for example) and is quite cautious in her play (going down the slide on her tummy, for example).  This week she starts swimming lessons.  I hope she enjoys them, but anticipate going under the water to be where she protests.

She is a sweet, sweet child.  She loves her babies and stuffed animals.  She also loves cuddles and doting on others.  She'll brush your hair, wash her brother's back in the bathtub, etc.  Her hugs are full -contact and just the best.

I know I've said this before, but given the chance she would listen to you read books all day.  She still loves Each Peach Pear Plum and also has been enjoying Duck and Goose Find a Pumpkin (which I think we forgot at Grandma and Grandpa's house --poor Sprout!).

I've been trying to do some art with the kids, and Sprout really seems to be enjoying it.  She covers papers in big crayon circles.  She also likes playdoh and painting.

Food is about the same.  She did eat some strawberries last week, which was a first (she never liked them before) and also has started eating vanilla yogurt.  Not sure why the change, but I'll take it!  She's been pushing her food away and saying "done" before she's really done lately, but I think she's cutting a tooth, so that could explain it.

Sleep is also about the same.  We did have one or two 6am wake-ups this month.  It was heavenly.

She's moving into 24m/2T clothing and size 6 (6!) shoes.  Though I know this is pretty average, she seems big to me, given her brother's stature.

I think that pretty much sums it up for the month.  The next month is going to bring some big changes for our family (more on that to follow) so I hope she is able to maintain her go-with-the-flow happy disposition.  She is such a sweetheart.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

No Answers

Or perhaps I should say no definitive answers.

We had a follow up with The Bean's pediatrician today to go over the results of his (second set of) blood work and ultrasound.

The ultrasound didn't show much.   A small blockage, likely because he had to poop, and some swollen lymph nodes in the lower right quadrant of his intestine.  These could be causing some of the pain he's been experiencing.  Unfortunately my question about how we could treat any potential pain resulting from this was met with a big shrug from the doctor.  Dr. Google tells me that warm compresses may help ease discomfort.  Jen started giving him warm compresses for his tummy a few weeks ago.  Score one for mom-tuition.

The blood work was not entirely conclusive.

I didn't get into the details last time, but one of the results that had shown up was anemia without iron deficiency.  Everything looked normal with his red blood cells this time, so we are taking that off the list of potential concerns.

Next there was some indication of eosinophilic enteritis.  Unfortunately something happened with the blood work (I have no idea what) and they didn't have these results yet.  The pediatrician was supposed to call this afternoon after the results came in, but no call.  Which makes me assume no results yet.  Basically they want to check whether the number of eosinophis is still elevated.

The final note worth point on the last set of blood work had to do The Bean's IgA levels.  The results had shown an IgA deficiency.  (They look for IgA antibodies when testing for crohn's/colitis.)  The second set of blood work showed the same thing: IgA deficiency.  There are a few things to note here:
-We will have to do a scope to see if the issues he's having are from crohn's/colitis.
-The doctors (The Bean's pediatrician and the allergist/immunologist he has on staff) want us to do more blood work to test for other Ig deficiencies.
-IgA deficiency is hereditary.  Jen's dad also has IgA deficiency which they discovered when he was diagnosed with bladder cancer last year.  We don't know if Jen does too, but we may request her levels be tested.

We currently have an appointment with a GI specialist schedule for the end of January, which is a horribly long time.  However, since the results are so bizarre, and our pediatrician has no idea what's going on he is going to push to get this bumped up significantly.  We plan on holding off on any further testing until after we see her so as to minimize blood-draw related trauma to The Bean.  He flipped out last time I took him in and we know she will order more  --better to get it over with all in one go.

So, for now, we wait.  Warm compresses on the tummy.  Immediate antibiotic treatment for any infections he may get between now and then.  Washed blood, should he (god forbid) need a blood transfusion.

Hopefully we get some answers soon.

Monday, September 8, 2014

Project 52: The Past Month

A portrait of my children, every week for a year.


The Bean: Our budding photographer.
Sprout: Little monkey girl.


The Bean: Loves spinning on the swings.
Sprout: Her thinking face.


The Bean: Was on his best behaviour to earn a ride on the merry-go-round at the zoo.
Sprout:  Not so sure about the merry-go-round at the zoo.


The Bean: The world is his playground.
Sprout: Sick little bug.

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Good Things

I feel like I am long overdue on a real update here.  The end of the summer has been a bit crazy.  All the usual summer activity, but also trying to get to the bottom of The Bean's health issues, some welcome but exhausting days of work, etc. etc.  It's a bit hard to even know where to begin.  So, in lieu of a real post, here's a little list of some good things:

1) All The Bean's labs are done!  We should have results early this coming week and hopefully be able to address whatever it is that has been going on.
Not so good: He freaked out when going in for the second set of blood work.  I think he was very worried about the pain.  Fortunately the hospital staff though to distract him with an iPad.  Genius.  He calmed down and they were able to draw the blood without any additional distress.  He was a bit concerned about the ultrasound the following week too, but was fine once it was happening.

2) I got work!  Which means I made some money!  In some ways it was nice to have a "break" from the everyday routine, but the job was exhausting.  (Childcare on a reality television shoot.)  I ended up having to cancel my last day on set because Sprout had a high fever and it wouldn't have been fair to anyone to have someone else watch her.  She basically nursed and whined and slept the whole day.  Poor bug.  She still isn't 100%, though she is getting there.

3) The potential for more work!  One of the schools I subbed at last year has added me to their list again and already booked me for two days later this month.  Another school, the school I interviewed at when I was newly pregnant with Sprout, also is adding me to their sub list.  I am SO happy that I am going to have the opportunity to work there.  It seems like an amazing school.  Not to get ahead of myself, but I there is the smallest sliver of hope that this could some day translate into a full-time position at there, though at this point I'd take a full time position just about anywhere.

4) I have the best wife ever.  She watched the kids solo for two very long days while I worked and then took the day off work to watch them for a third day when our babysitter wasn't available.  It certainly wasn't convenient for her, but she was so understanding about it.  Also, she cooks and cleans and gives really good massages and reads the kids books using funny voices.  

5) It's almost fall.  To quote Lola, who one of The Bean's current favourite storybook characters, fall is "my favourite and my best."  Crisp air.  Colourful leaves.  Mug after mug of warm tea.  Yes: favourite and best.

6)  I've been crocheting a little bit.  and reading a little bit.  I still need to get away from browsing the internet during my downtime.  It's really is such a waste of time.  But yay for crochet and books.

7)  Ani DiFranco has a new album coming out.  'Nuf said.

8) Friends getting married.  Friends having babies.  Friends who are happy and enjoying life.  It makes me happy too.

9) Baking!  Yum.  Found a new recipe, which I seem to enjoy more than anyone else, so likely won't be making it again any time soon.  But also there are some over ripe bananas and a can of pumpkin puree just waiting to be made into breads.

10) A trip out to see family soon.  A friend coming to visit soon.  Looking forward to spending time with people we love who live too far away.

And on that note, I need to go get ready for #8, part 1.  (A night out!  Can you believe it?!)

Friday, August 29, 2014

{this moment} dish washers

A Friday ritual. A single photo  - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. 

If you're inspired to do the same, leave a link to your 'moment' in the comments for all to find and see.

Inspired by SouleMama.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Sprout is Twenty Months Old!

Today Sprout is twenty months old!

The past few weeks, whenever people have asked me Sprout's age (as parents in parks seem to do) I've had to think for a minute.  I can't quite seem to wrap my head around the fact that she now twenty months old.  Well on her way to two.  While she'll always be our baby, her baby days are coming to an end.  That's a bit hard for this Mama to believe.

Sprout continues to be her sweet, stubborn, silly self.

-Words.  She says many.  As I mentioned before, it's not the easiest to understand all these words, but if you're clued in to the way she says things (without s's for example) you'll pick up on them.  She tends to stick to one word phrases, but is occasionally putting two words together.  The longest string I've heard her say is "each peach pear plum" (or rather "pum" but we know what she means) --the title of a favourite book.

-She LOVES books.  While she has always enjoyed bringing us book after book to read, she hasn't always sat to listen to them in their entirety.  That's changing.  She still won't listen to all The Bean's stories, but an age appropriate board book (or twenty) will hold her attention to the end.  The Zoe books continue to be favourites.  She's also been enjoying the very simple photo/word books where she now points and says what the photos are of.

-Aside from books, her great love is her babies.  Jean Luc, The Bean's baby, in particular.  Fortunately he doesn't seem to have any issues with her adopting him as her own.  She also likes stuffed animals.  The past few days she has taken to nursing almost any baby/animal that she is toting along with her.

-Speaking of nursing, though she has really only been nursing around sleep times for quite some time now, she is asking to nurse A LOT.  Almost always when she's fallen or been bumped.  Often at other times too.  I will concede occasionally, but more usually just tell her, no, milk is for when she is going to sleep and offer her a sippy cup with milk or other distraction instead.  I'm not sure what the story is exactly, if it's an attachment thing, something she's going through developmentally... I just don't know.  She gets lots of cuddles and kisses and reassurances, so hopefully that fulfills whatever she is looking for when she asks to nurse because I cannot handle being 24 hour diner or the on-off-on-off thing.  

-Sleeping in the kids' room is going well.  I nurse her as an end to the bedtime routine and then put her in her crib.  Sometimes she is already asleep, but usually she'll cry or more recently just talk and roll around for a very short time and then go to sleep.  Sometimes she and The Bean talk to each other.  Often he comes out to tattle on her for standing/jumping in her crib, but when we send him back into the bedroom, we can her him egging her on.  This girl and her brother.  They're quite the pair.

-She has really started mimicking behaviours.  Her brother's in particular.  She ought to have a shirt that reads "monkey see, monkey do" because really, whatever it is he is up to, she thinks she should also give it a go.  Most of the time it is quite amusing.

-She loves being outside and has really become quite adept at navigating the playground equipment --climbing ladders and slides, wanting to do monkey bars (with help) and slide down poles (ditto).  She loves being pushed super high in the swings.  Of course, water play is still a big hit and I'm sure we'll try to make it to several more splash pads before they shut them down for the season and we have signed her up for swimming lessons which begin in a few weeks. I imagine we'll spend a lot of time dancing and creating obstacle courses out of our living room furniture this winter.

-She is friendly, but reserved.  When we come out of the bedroom in the morning she gives Jen and The Bean a big "HELLO!"  She's also picked up on The Bean's habit of greeting our neighbours from the as they make their way to the subway in the morning.  She sticks pretty close to me in unfamiliar situations.  Even when she wakes up from a nap she'll often want to snuggle or sometimes will request "back" which means she wants me to wrap her on my back.

-We continue to keep the potty as an option, though she is almost always in diapers.  She does want to sit on it often, but if we let her go diaper-free for any extended period we end up cleaning up puddles while she exclaims "pee!" in surprise.  She has shown more awareness around BMs and will tell us "poo" before she goes.  She has no interest in sitting on the potty to poo.

-Much to my chagrin, she can be quite particular about her wardrobe choices.  Her favourites right now are her (Mickey) "Mouse" shirt, which she insists on wearing with her mouse socks, of course.  And an Elmo shirt of The Bean's which is at least two sizes too big, but she loves.  (Oh, and his Batman pajamas, which I am pretty sure she wears more often than he does.)

-In addition to loving Mickey Mouse (who she has never seen on television) and Elmo (who she has) she also really likes fish, bunnies and horses and will point them out in books, etc.

-No big changes on the food front.  She isn't a particularly adventurous eater, but she eats fairly well.  I'd like it if we could add a few new things to her diet, so we'll keep offering them and see where that takes us.

-The final thing that I can think of to mention is that she has started singing.  The Itsy Bitsy Spider is her "best" song, but there are definitely others that she's trying.  Twinkle Twinkle comes to mind.  The ABCs.  --She also recognizes letters and will go "a a a a... Mama!" almost, but not quite managing to copy The Bean spelling "m a m a... Mama!"

She's a funny one, this Sprout.  She certainly makes us both laugh and shake our heads at some of her antics.  Of course, we wouldn't have it any other way.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Sick Kid

A few weeks back now The Bean had a terrible stomach virus.  He's never been that sick for that long.  He could barely eat, had zero energy, and was obviously distressed.

After this had been going on for week Jen took The Bean to the urgent care.  Likely a virus, they said, but best to have some labs run anyway.  We also booked an appointment with our pediatrician.  We decided to press (again) to have the ongoing issues his had with his digestive tract looked at more carefully.  

Maybe because of the extreme nature of the virus, or maybe because we've brought it up so many times now, the pediatrician agreed that we should try to get to the bottom of what's been going with the Bean's GI tract.  

We left the office armed with kits to collect stool samples, and requisitions for blood work and ultrasounds.  

It took a few days to get everything done. The Bean was amazing (amazing!) during his blood draw.  Six vials taken by good (but not great) nurses.  Obviously uncomfortable but so, so brave.  He only complained a few times afterwards that it had hurt.  

Yesterday we had the follow up with our pediatrician.  There were some odd and potentially concerning, but not entirely conclusive results.  We are going to repeat the blood work.  Since I accidentally handed in the ultrasound requisition with the last set of blood work, we will take him to SickKids and have everything done there.  

If things come back the same, our pediatrician is going to request our appointment with the GI specialist be bumped up from its current late-January date.  He doesn't have the expertise to know where to go next with this information.  

I am trying to stay away from the computer and search engines that tell me that this could be Bad.  Hopefully we'll have more answers soon.

(In the mean time he is eating and sleeping and running and climbing and singing and chatting chatting chatting and doing all of the usual Bean things.  Surely it can't be that bad, right?)

Friday, August 15, 2014

Our Runaway Rainbow and a Giveaway from Sarah's Silks

Rainbows have a long tradition of being used to symbolize diversity, inclusiveness, and hope.  Though we've never owned a rainbow flag, bumper sticker or other rainbow paraphernalia, when my wife and I went to buy The Bean his first playsilk, it was the rainbow silk we were drawn to.  It seemed fitting for a little boy with two moms; but even without that as a factor, it was too beautiful to pass up.  

It quickly became the go-to for a game of peek-a-boo.  Then it became a ghost costume.  Tied around his shoulders it was a cape.  Around his waist it was a skirt.  On his head it was his princess hair.  The versatility of this "toy" is one of the reasons we wanted it for our son in the first place.  It proved a good choice.  Two years we had added another playsilk to our collection so that The Bean and Sprout could each have one for some creative play.


When we were invited to participate in WorldPride this past June, our host asked us to come decked out in rainbow gear.  I immediately though how perfect it would be to put the playsilk over the canopy of our stroller as we marched down the streets of Toronto.  Unfortunately in the hubbub of getting downtown and in place to march our beautiful playsilk blew away.  By the time we realized it, it was too late.  We tried to backtrack, but it was gone.  We were more than a little bit upset, but tried to get over it quickly as upset is not the mood one wants to be in at a Pride celebration.    

Even without the playsilk decorating our stroller, the parade was amazing.  

Still, we wanted to replace our playsilk.  While browsing, I saw that Sarah was looking for bloggers to review her products.  Hopeful, I reached out to her.  She graciously agreed to send some products to review, and even suggested a giveaway for our readers!  

The Bean was so excited when we received the Sarah's Silks package in the mail.  He eagerly tore into it and wanted to play with the new toys right away.  I draped the silk scape over our dining room table and the kids hung out in their "fort" while I grabbed some sweaters so we could go outside.  

Once outdoors, The Bean and Sprout ran in and out under their new rainbow silk scape, giggling joyfully.  The Bean then donned our starry night playsilk as a cape, while Sprout put on the rainbow cape and grabbed the other wand we had and then took turns turning me and each other into different animals.  After a short time that turned into more running across the lawn, this time with capes and wands trailing behind them.  Since then the playsilks have been used as blankets and babycarriers.  I'm curious to see what they get used as next.  


If you think your little one(s) would enjoy playing with one of the items at, please leave a comment  on this post saying what you think they would like best.  A winner of a $50 gift certificate (courtesy of Sarah), will be randomly selected a week from today.  Good luck!  

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Project 52: The Last Two Weeks

A portrait of my children, every week for a year.


The Bean: Thought he was well enough to enjoy some of his cousin's birthday treats. (He wasn't.)
Sprout: Hanging out in a bin playing with a toy house.  Naturally.


The Bean: Honing his Spidey Skills.
Sprout: Getting her first haircut.

Friday, August 8, 2014

{this moment} Helper

A Friday ritual. A single photo  - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. 

Okay, just a few words...  I was cleaning up breakfast dishes and heard The Bean saying, "This is how you do it, my sweetie.  Put your foot in here."  I turned around and saw this.  Sprout often refuses to let me dress her, or even help her get dressed.  Especially, for some reason, with pants/shorts.  I guess her big brother is allowed to help though.  I'm glad.  He's been so difficult lately.  This is a good reminder of what a sweetheart he can be.   

If you're inspired to do the same, leave a link to your 'moment' in the comments for all to find and see.

Inspired by SouleMama.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Rough Patch

We've been having a pretty great summer, but this past week and a bit has been anything but.  I know I've taken a step back from this place, but I really haven't had the energy or emotional reserves to process it all.

Of course we are still feeling the absence of our cat.  Even Sprout is looking for her now, questioning "Mo? Mo?" when she wakes up from her naps.  Pointing out the cats in her books and asking "Kitty?"  The Bean tells us a few times a day that he is sad because our cat is gone.  We are sad too.  My dad called yesterday afternoon and I ended up crying on the phone with him for twenty minutes.

On top of that we have been dealing with The Bean being sick.  Concernedly sick.  He seems to be on the other side of it now, thank goodness, but it was pretty awful.  I haven't written about it at length here, but he's had pretty persistent stomach issues for a good two+ years now.  At first we thought he was having a bit of a flare up --we'd been travelling.  Off our schedule.  He threw up.  We worried, but didn't worry too much.  He had started to have bad diarrhea.  We wondered if it was food related.  We booked an appointment with our pediatrician for Celiac (etc.) testing.  Then he started vomiting again. He threw up once a day for five consecutive days.  When we were out running errands.  When we was on the couch chilling out.  When he was sleeping in our bed.  He was barely eating.  He had next to no energy.  He'd wake up, go lie on the couch, and request to be covered in blankets even though it's the middle of the summer.  Jen took him to the urgent care.  They ordered more blood work and stool samples.  They took his weight and Jen noted that he'd dropped over 5lbs.  That's quite a bit percentage of body weight for a kid who just broke the 30lbs mark.  Anyway, things have been improving over the course of this week.  We still don't have any answers as to what it is/was, but I'm glad the worst of it seems to be over.

However, his  behaviour has been SO difficult.  Perhaps we were too forgiving of his moodiness and demands when he was sick.  We have had a lot of ignoring our requests the past little bit.  A lot of yelling.  Even quite a bit of kicking and flailing.  It's awful.  It's exhausting.  I've tried giving him extra attention.  Talking to him.  Listening.  Compromising.  I've tried ignoring.  Threatening.  Taking away privileges.  Nothing seems to be working consistently.  Jen and I were trying to brainstorm about what approach to take last night and after a little bit of talking I told her I was too exhausted to think about it any more.  Hopefully I'm able to gather my reserves and we can decide what we're going to do soon.  We can't let this go on.

On top of it all, it's August.  August is when I'm supposed to be thinking about starting back to work.  Only I'm not starting back.  Again.  And while we agree that me staying home with the kids and Jen working full time (gods willing) is what makes the most sense right now, it doesn't really feel like a decision.  It's more of a default.  Because truth be told there are no jobs in our city in my field that I am able to get.  I can't quite answer why that's the way it is.  I can't even get an interview with the public boards, and the job postings for the private schools are few and far between.  My fingers are perpetually crossed that something changes and I do get an amazing job at an amazing school and there is space for our kids in the daycare that we love, but it's not likely.  Which makes it hard not to think about next fall when The Bean starts kindergarten and what will happen then?  What if nothing changes on the job front between now and then?  What do we do?  Do I stay home until both kids are in school full time?  Do I apply for a job working the cash at a nearby store?  Day shift or night?  Do I take more courses?  Do I go back to school?  Again, we have no real answers here.  And honestly I find the whole thing completely overwhelming.

Anyway, that's sort of where we've been the past few weeks.  There have been some great moments to, to be sure.  And I will try to update on those before too long passes.  Concerts.  Parks.  Visits from family members.  Parties.  Play dates.  Hopefully things which stick in my memory more than some of this other stuff.  

Wednesday, July 30, 2014


I know I haven't written about her a whole lot, but today we lost our cat, Mo.

Jen got Mo from the Pittsburgh Humane Society back in 2001, not long after we started dating.  For some reason she went in wanting a white cat.  But, I think it was really how affectionate Mo was that won Jen over.  She went right up to the front of her cage and positioned her head just so so that Jen could scratch her all around her ears.  Their initial meeting was at lunch time... Jen was so worried that she would find another home if she didn't go back and get her right away that she returned after work that same day to adopt her.  

We didn't really realize what a kitten she still was then.  She was very playful, but also very well behaved.  She wouldn't jump up on any of the furniture until Jen encouraged her to do so.  LOL.  She was a people-cat from the get go.  She liked being around, preferably on, whoever was nearby.  

Jen sometimes left Mo in PA when she came up to visit me, but quite often she brought her along.  We both still get a kick out of the time Jen had a baffled border guard ask her, "Do you always bring your cat on vacation with you?"  In more recent years, we've taken her on trips back to PA with us, or asked my cousin to come hang out with her if it's a shorter trip.  She never liked being alone.  

Two years ago, the summer after I had been laid off, while I was pregnant with Sprout and we were on a family vacation, we got a call from our vet.  We had borded her, which we never did, because she hadn't been eating and we thought it was better for her to be with the vet than home with my very attentive cousin visiting, just in case something were seriously wrong.  It was good kitty-parent intuition, I guess, because our vet said that she thought we needed to take her to the emergency vet to get checked out.  We left The Bean with the grandparents (who were vacationing with us) and came back into the city to figure out what was going on with the cat.  

After multiple test and ultrasounds we were advised that she needed surgery, or would likely die.  I would love to say that it was an easy decision to make, but it wasn't totally easy.  We ended up spending the majority of my severance package on Mo's surgery.  A surgery we weren't sure would work.  Fortunately it did work, and though she never quite returned to her pre-sick condition, she survived.   

Though not having a job has been really hard on us, we've often reflected that Mo probably liked me being home.  When the kids went down for naps and I sat down, it never took her long to hop up beside me for some ear scratches.  I'll admit that I often scooted her down to my feet so that I could have my hands free.  I did that as recently as yesterday.  Of course, now I feel endlessly guilty for not giving her the attention she wanted.  But I also am thinking of looking up from playing on the front lawn and seeing her sitting on my desk (a no-no) looking out the window, and smiling even though she really shouldn't have been there.  And of brushing the knots out of her fur in the evening.  And of encouraging The Bean and Sprout to pet her gently.  

Today, like many days, Mo had thrown up.  We cleaned it up and went along with our usual routine.  She was a little more "around" than usual as the kids ate their lunch.  Jumping up and stealing my chair when I went to get The Bean more chocolate milk.  I'm glad I got a new chair, rather than shooing her down.  I took the kids in for stories and then nursed Sprout.  When I came out of the bedroom there were a few more little puddles of spitty throw up around.  I got some paper towel and Lysol and cleaned them up.  Then I came across Mo in the kitchen.  She was lying on her side panting.  She didn't look well.  I went over to give her a pat and talk to her.  Her head was in a puddle of spit.  I grabbed a towel and carefully picked her up and brought her over to the couch.  I called Jen.  Jen called the vet.  I called my cousin to come over and watch the kids.  I called Jen back and told her I thought she should meet me at the vet.  I lifted Mo carefully into a basket, because she doesn't much like her cat carrier and she already seemed pretty freaked out.  I pet her and reassured her until my cousin arrived.  I drover her to the vet.  Jen was there waiting and walked up the block with us.  Our lovely, loving vet came down from her lunch break to see us right away.  They took Mo to the back room and got her set up with some IV fluids and oxygen.  The vet came back and filled us in on what was happening.  They took some x-rays and blood.  No clear answers.  The vet suggested the emergency clinic.  Jen and I talked privately.  We had agreed on no more surgeries after the last one.  We debated the pros and cons of the chest ultrasound and the abdominal ultrasounds they were suggesting.  We thought about how things might play out if she ended up on heart medication.  We hadn't made a final decision, but I don't think either of us were quite ready to give up on Mo completely.  Then the vet came back in and told us the decision might not be ours.  Despite the oxygen, Mo was showing signs of distress again.  We went back into the room and she was panting again.  We both pet her and kissed her and talked to her, and then we gave the vet the go-ahead to give her the medication to put her to sleep.  It was heartbreaking.  

We stayed a few minutes longer.  We said goodbye.  And then we went home.  Sprout was awake, but too young to understand.  We told The Bean that Mo was sick, so we took her to the vet but she died.  Only seems to half-understand.  He asked a few times how our days were and then if we were sad.  I was lying down outside when he was bike riding and he came over and said, "Oh, I thought you were dead."  He said he wants a new cat.  He asked when Mo was coming back.  

I keep looking around wondering where she is.  She'd typically be lying on the couch beside me right now.  I have a feeling it's going to be a little while before I stop looking.

I miss her.  

Moses Washington Jones
March, 2001- July 30, 2014
May she rest in peace.