Saturday, November 12, 2011

THE Cat Post

Since I NEVER talk about them, you might not know that I have three cats. LOL!  Oh,  I do talk about them? Well. . .I have an insane amount of pictures of my cats so I thought I’d group them all together in a cat post.  I have three of the best cats: Autumn, Tobey and Kelsey. 

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As a child I had a dog, a fish, 2 hamsters, 2 bunnies and a bird, but never a cat.  Two years ago, I got my first cat and I have since adopted two more. 

First, there’s Autumn.  It took A LOT of convincing for Ryan to let me get a cat.  I honestly didn’t think it would ever happen.  Had Autumn not been such a perfect cat, I don’t think I would have convinced Ryan to let me have any more.  She is 100% MY cat, however.  She is very low energy, sleeps 20+ hours a day and lives for the moments when I cuddle with her.  You’ll rarely see Autumn when you visit our house because she runs and hides at the first sign of a visitor (or a vacuum cleaner.)   She would probably prefer to live in a house without children as they kinda frighten her.  She’s very good with Olivia, but runs away as soon as Olivia gets the least bit rambunctious.  She tolerates children and other cats, but she would probably prefer to spend the day with me to herself.

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I can’t believe I just posted this picture of myself.  These are the moments that Autumn lives for!

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Did I mention that Autumn is a back sleeper?  LOL.  I love that she doesn’t jump on tables or try to eat people food, but she is the worst about clawing the furniture.

Next, we have Tobey.  He is quite the ornery boy.  I call him my bubby and Olivia thinks that’s so funny.  He recently had/has diskospondylitis, which is sort of a bone infection pretty uncommon in cats.  He almost had to have his tail amputated this summer, but miraculously gained use of it again.  I have to give him steroid shots every month, but he’s doing great.  We have no idea how he got it as none of my cats go outdoors.  Tobey LOVES Olivia and she loves him right back.  They fight, however, like brother and sister.  I can’t tell you how many times a day I hear, “Mom!  Tobey is bothering me.”  The two of them fight over toys. . .seriously!   

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For example, whose turn is it to ride on the tricycle?  Or, slide down the slide?  Regardless, Tobey is a perfect cat for Olivia and she has even started wanting him to sleep with her. 


Bless his heart, he even has tea parties with her and sits where she tells him to.  If only he didn’t nibble on my toes (I always have to wear socks) or tip over water glasses.  I used to leave a cup of water for Autumn on my nightstand.  Once Tobey came along I had to stop doing that because he knocks over any open container of water that he can find. 

Last but not least is Kelsey.  We adopted her in July and she is a total sweetheart!  She is our dare devil/acrobat!  She does things that the other cats haven’t even thought about trying.  I worry about her walking on the railing of the stairs because it’s a long ways down if she were to fall.  Kelsey and Olivia love each other! She is so good with Olivia and lets her carry her around the house.   She’s very much a kid’s cat like Tobey.  Tobey really took Kelsey under his wing and they are the best of friends.  Kelsey has even adopted some of Tobey’s mannerisms (and bad habits.)  Autumn appreciates it because now Tobey has Kelsey to play with and that leaves more time for her to sleep.

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I probably have the most pictures of Kelsey because she is so cute when she sleeps.  I can’t resist.

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Doesn’t she look like one of those stuffed cats you can buy that “breathes?” 

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Most of the time, you’ll find Tobey and Kelsey sleeping together or playing together.  They are pretty much inseparable.  What a sweet heart she is. . .if only she didn’t feel the need to lick my face at 5 in the morning. 

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So, that’s it. . .my cat post.  Did you make it all the way through?  Olivia has recently started asking for a puppy.  Um. . .don’t think that’s going to happen.  She may have to wait until she’s 30 something to get a dog like I had to wait to get a cat.  Cats are just so much more self-sufficient and our furry quota has definitely been met! I’d better wrap this up.  Olivia is napping and Autumn is awaiting her cuddle time. 

Friday, November 11, 2011

Friday, November 11, 2011

Olivia doesn’t ever want to do arts and crafts.  I have a really hard time getting her to try writing her letters or drawing or coloring, etc.  What is enjoyment to most kids seems like a chore to Olivia.  It reminds me of when we tried to get her to stack blocks and she hated it!  To most kids that comes naturally.  Many times Olivia has told me that it is really hard for her.  She struggles with the fine motor skills necessary to do a lot of these things.  We are still trying to figure out why it is a struggle for her. . .is it depth perception?  Hand strength?  We don’t really know.  But, I try and try to find activities that she might enjoy to help her progress in this area.  Two things that she does enjoy are cutting and painting.  So, we try to incorporate at least one of those into everything we do. 

Earlier this month, we made a pumpkin and she really enjoyed that.

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I precut the pumpkin and the strips.

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Then, she went to town with the scissors!

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We glued the pieces on the pumpkin and. . .

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I thought the finished product came out really cute.

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Tonight, we got out the paint and made a fingerprint tree.  She enjoyed that, but would much rather have spent her time bouncing on Rody. She got Rody for Christmas last year and paid little attention to it until she found it in the storage room.  Now, she says Rody is her best friend.  She sleeps with him next to her bed, eats with him, bounces on him.  Or maybe Rody is a she?

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Thursday, November 10, 2011

Biscuit Donuts

My mom used to make these yummy donuts out of biscuits when I was younger.  Olivia really likes donuts, so I thought I’d give it a whirl for breakfast this morning.  Just heat about 1/2 inch vegetable oil on the stove.  Cut your biscuits into donuts (I used the vegetable oil cap to make the holes.)  Plop them into the oil for a few seconds on each side.  I burned the first few because I thought it would take at least a minute.  Nope, they cook very fast!

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Then, have a paper towel covered plate ready along with a bowl of melted butter and cinnamon/sugar mix.  Dip each donut into the butter and coat with cinnamon/sugar.  I also wanted to make some powdered donut ones, but we were out of powdered sugar.  I guess Ryan used that all up when he made chicken* (only a few people will get that.) 

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Olivia LOVED them.  In fact, she took the whole plate and didn’t even want to share.  (I snagged one while she was washing her hands and they are just as fantastic as I remember them!)  I’ll just sit here and eat my almonds and cheese sticks. . .the only breakfast that doesn’t spike my blood sugar.  She liked the donut holes the best, so next time I may just make them all into “baby donuts.”

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Yum. . .yum!  You gotta try them!  My B12 vitamins are giving me crazy motivation.  Well, just motivation to cook and clean toilets, I guess. . .but, don’t worry. . .not at the same time!! 

While you have some biscuits, try this too!  Cut them into fourths, roll them in butter and then cinnamon/sugar.  Put them in a loaf pan and cook according to biscuit package. 

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Delicious!  I remember my mom used to make these also and my brother and I would fight over them like crazy.  When I moved into my first apartment, I remember thinking. . .”I could make some and have them all to myself!”  Of course, now I have to share them again, but I shouldn’t eat them anyway.  If you make any of the recipes that I share, be sure to let me know what you think!

*When Ryan and I were dating, he was cooking me chicken at my apartment.  He rolled them in “flour” and tried frying them, but they kept burning.  He tried over and over again.  One day, he finally got them to cook and we sat down to eat them and they were sweet??!!  Come to find out, he had been coating them in powdered sugar instead of flour.  I remember rolling on the floor laughing so hard.  That’s how persistent my husband is though.  He can actually get chicken to cook in powdered sugar!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

The Funny Things Olivia Says

Tonight Olivia started saying, “Well, I do declare!”  We have no idea where she heard it or how she’s turned into a little southern belle. LOL.  Ryan was watching Tombstone last night, but Olivia wasn’t paying much attention to it.  It completely cracked us up.

Also, last night we were watching Dora’s Journey To The Purple Planet and had the following conversation.

Olivia: I want to go to outer space.

Me: That might be kinda hard without a rocket.

Olivia: I bet we could get one at Target!!

Some days, I think she’s smarter than me!  She wanted to hang a picture up in her room, but I didn’t have a nail and didn’t know where the box of nails was.  The next day, she brought me the picture and told me there was a nail in the bathroom.  (When we redecorated the bathroom, we couldn’t find a new picture in place of our old one.  The nail, however, was still in the wall.)  Of course, I said, “We don’t want to hang it in the bathroom. . .it doesn’t match.”  Olivia looked frustrated and said, “No, we can use the nail to hang it in my room.”  Um, yeah, I was thinking the same thing. . .of course!  I just had to laugh.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

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My sweet, smiling girl. . .

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and her cute haircut.

We got our hair cut today and I got mine cut and colored dark (and got rid of the highlights.)  I figured I needed a more “fall” color.  I really like it! 

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That picture of me?  Not so much, but you get the point.

As you probably know, I’m attempting to be healthier. . .eat healthier, exercise, drink more water, etc.  When I got my braces put on over a year ago, I vowed to improve myself so that when I got them off I would be healthier and happier than ever.  Um. . .so I get my braces off in four months. . .oops.  I haven’t done anything so far.  So, I’m fast tracking it now. . .haha!  I recently had some blood work done that showed I was not as hydrated as I should be.  I don’t drink much all day, actually.   I drink maybe 16 oz of water and a glass of tea a day.  That’s it.  So, yesterday I vowed to drink 64 oz of water (the recommended 8 glasses a day.)  Wow, I got to maybe 40 oz and thought I was going to puke.  Today, I drank an 8 oz glass of water and my stomach cramped up and I felt awful.  I actually researched a bit and found that some people have a hypersensitivity to cold water and will feel like that.  Anybody ever hear of that?  So, I’m going to try to sip room temperature water all day and see if that helps.  The bloodwork also showed that my B12 level was on the low end of normal, so I started taking B12 supplements a few weeks ago.  Then, one day I had a surge of energy and motivation followed by another day and another. . .we’ll see if it continues.  Maybe that explains my recent cooking craze.  I haven’t repeated a recipe in over a month!  Last night we had ham and cheese sliders.  Delicious!

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I am so done with being tired and depressed.  I just refuse to feel that way any more.  And my legs, my awful restless legs.  Did I tell you I might have a possibly permanent drug-induced movement disorder?  And it’s from a highly prescribed prescription med.  I’m being referred to a neurologist who can hopefully sort it all out.  I just want to feel good again. . .emotionally and physically.  I have hope that I will someday.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Cooking is like love. It should be entered into with abandon or not at all. ~Harriet van Horne

After much hard work and determination, I am actually finding a bit of joy in cooking.  I’ve figured out a few roadblocks that have been in my way.

1.  Hard water – We have horrible hard water and our dishes and utensils never seem to come out looking clean.  It’s hard to get excited about cooking when nothing looks shiny and new.  So, we started adding A LOT of vinegar to our dishwasher and it’s made a ton of difference.  Sure, we go through white vinegar by the gallon, but here’s the before and after.  Amazing.

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2.  I have three cats. . .two of which feel like they need to try to eat everything on the table. (Thanks, Autumn, for being so awesome and just eating kitty food.)  I’ve learned to just shut them in the bedroom while I’m cooking.

3.  I have diabetes.  That makes it really hard to cook things that I really want to make.  I’ve been told to eat only protein and veggies. . .what’s the fun of that?  I’m beginning, however, to look at this as more of a challenge.  Eating at home, after all, is a lot better on my blood sugar than eating out.

4.  My daughter hardly eats anything.  No matter what I make, she lives off strawberries, applesauce, Smart Puffs and chocolate milk.  She will “try” almost anything, but takes 1-2 bites and is done.  I can’t even get her to eat more than a half of a Reeses Peanut Butter Cup and its her favorite candy! Getting Olivia to eat (and color) are  probably two of my biggest challenges right now.

5.  I don’t like cooking the same things over and over.  I love making NEW recipes.  I don’t think I’ve repeated any recipes this past month!  Thank you, Pinterest.

So, I’m putting together a new cookbook of recipes that I’ve personally tried and Ryan’s approved of. Ha!  I have like a zillion cookbooks and recipes stashed in different places, so I’m condensing them all into one.  And I found the cover of my cookbook:



I don’t look anywhere near that domestic in real life, but the little girl is the spitting image of Olivia.  If only Olivia would beg for food like that.  Sad smile

And, for dinner tonight we had Baked Parmesan Garlic Chicken, Onion roasted potatoes, broccoli, strawberries/bananas and 7 Up biscuits. Delicious.  Just click on the links for the recipes.

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The potatoes were my favorite.  Super easy and very tasty. 

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I will be a cook someday and I will enjoy it!  And if I ever find a recipe where Olivia goes back for seconds. . .I’m going to make it every day!  She may not find joy in eating, but at least she finds joy in wearing her pajama pants as a hat.  LOL!

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Sunday, November 6, 2011

I Feel The Earth Move. . .

Living in Kansas all my life, we’re accustomed to tornadoes, but earthquakes?  Yes, the 5.6 earthquake in Oklahoma last night was felt at my house.  Bizarre.  We had just finished watching the KSU vs OU game and Ryan was in the shower.  I was sitting on the bed with two of my cats when the bed started shaking and the pictures on the wall started rattling.  Ryan didn’t feel a thing in the shower.  The weird thing is that all day yesterday, I was plagued with awful dizziness.  Honestly, at first I thought the shaking was my dizziness going to a whole other level.  A dizzy person + an earthquake is kinda frightening.  Thankfully, facebook exploded with reports of everyone else feeling the earthquake and I knew I wasn’t going crazy.  Never thought I would feel the earth shake at my house in Kansas, but I guess stranger things have happened.