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Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Confused Kat

Ok so I have posted a previous blog about the cat and her tragic entry into our home. Things seem to just get odder.Stephen jokingly named her Kat and that name has stuck with her. After loosing all of her kittens Kat suddenly has milk (which she didn't have when she delivered the kittens).

Kat seems oddly confused about her motherly roll or should I say lack of. In the last few days I have noticed that every time Katie cries Kat does some super hero jumping and running. I really noticed it a couple nights ago when Katie woke up in the middle of the night and let out a big cry. Kat jumped from the floor, to my bed (landing on top of me) and instantly into Katie's crib, all before I could get the blanket off of me!

When I got to the crib Kat was coddling and soothing Katie! It hit me that she is post delivery and knows she should be tending her kittens, but as there are no kittens to tend to she is trying to tend to Katie.

I went to a web site called Catster and ask if it was possible that Kat has confused Katie with her own baby. Apparently its common for a cat to adopt other cats or other animals especially when they have lost their own kittens.

I knew this much because we once had a cat that had kittens on the same day that my daughter came home with a tiny baby rabbit. The cat went nuts chasing this rabbit. I thought she wanted to eat it. However once she finally caught me off guard enough to get the rabbit she took it and put it in the bed with her kittens and tried to force it to nurse. I suppose Kat is doing the same thing with Katie, she is trying to adopt a human baby to fill her motherly needs.

Crazy Kat...

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

best meds for baby!!

Katie had the worst couple of months, she had a virus then the flu, then another virus and as soon as she got over the virus and went back to daycare she caught it again. Thankfully she is much better now but all that sickness left her with the worst diaper rash ever. We have tried every kind of cream from over the counter to prescription stuff, nothing seemed to help.

Then my niece recommended using this Corona Ointment that is actually found at feed stores and made for horses. $4.oo for the jar and an overnight application and she is completely healed up!! Think this will be one of our staples in the medicine cabinet from now on!
Sadly we where not able to save any of the kittens, but Stephen seems to have a new pet who follows him every where. She even jumped in the care and tried to go to work with him this morning!~

Monday, April 20, 2009

A couple of years ago right after I moved into this house, both Sara and Shelby some how managed to talk me into letting them have one kitten each. Now I wasn't exactly wanting them to have the cats but well I am a sucker at times.

Sara had a female cat named Tiger that looks very much like the cat pictured above. The only difference that I can see is that Tiger had blue eyes and this cat has green eyes. And Tiger's hair was a bit shorter and slicker.

Shelby had Precious who you would think would be a girl and we thought it was a girl for a very long time. This cat was very long haired cat. He was a true ball of fur. White with orange trimmings. Beautiful cat really. The thing with Precious was that Shelby picked him out a couple days after he was born, then while she was waiting for him to be old enough to bring home, well some how he got under a rocking chair and the guy who gave us the cat smashed the kitten's head. We ended up waiting longer than normal for the kitten because the owner wanted to make sure that the kitten was going to be ok. Precious was ok, well sort of ok. For a very long time he didn't have a clue how to clean himself and he was a bit slow. Shelby had to bathe this cat, so much so that the smart fur ball would jump into the shower with you if he got half a chance.

Last fall when I was big and pregnant with Katie we realized that Tiger was pregnant. Stephen was beside himself worried that we would be over ran with cats. I personally was pissed that I had already been fat and pregnant for so long and this darn cat got to have her babies in no time at all.

When Tiger had her fist litter of Kittens she was a bit slow to mother them. However once I got her to nurse them she was fine and Nature took its course and she turned out to be a great mommy. Trouble was that she was still nursing kittens when she got knocked up again.

Needless to say we had a lot of Kittens, but we did find homes for all of them except one. Then all of the sudden both Tiger and Precious where missing. We had made them start living outside full time just before Katie was born. They where fine outside but then all of the sudden they went missing. and the one kitten was alone and sad looking really. But a day or two after the mom and dad went missing so did the kitten. I really thought something ate it.

We live on a circle drive where most of the homes are owned by one guy. There are only a couple of us that don't rent from this man. A few months ago I mentioned to the handy man that my cats had gone missing. The man said boldly as ever, right in front of my 10 year old " yeah I shot them, I was sick and tired of having cats all over the neighborhood so I shot all of them" Now I was shocked and pissed really. But Mostly I was upset that he said it in front of my daughter who cried about her cat being shot.

Then a couple of weeks ago the lady across the street starts calling and throwing a fit cause there was a stray cat on her porch and she swore it was our cat. We told her several times that Jerry shot our cats and we don't have any cats now.

Yesterday Shelby comes in with the above cat swearing that this is Tiger and she has to save her because the lady across the street has been hitting, kicking and throwing the cat. I was really tired and didn’t feel like getting into it with her, not to mention that at a glance this looks like Tiger.

The entire time Stephen is going on and on about how "that's not our cat, we are not keeping the cat and it’s not our cat!!" Then Shelby says the oddest thing. She is standing there holding the cat up to me going on and on about it being Tiger and the she says "Omg she peed on me!!!" I was so exhausted that it took me a second for it to click as to what she had just said. Once I realized what she said I thought ummm cats don’t normally just pee while being help up in the air.

Of course I look to see what Shelby is on about and I will be darned if there isn’t a kitten butt hanging out of this cat. Even though the darn cat's water had just broke on my bedroom carpet and even though Stephen was still chanting "it isn't our cat" I couldn't throw the cat out the door with a kitten hanging out of her. So I made a bed in a container and put her inside.

It didn't take long to win Stephen over, because it didn't take long to realize things where not going well with the cat. She had 5 kittens all of them where either butt first or sideways. Stephen had to pretty much pull the kittens out and three of them didn't make it.

Mommy was struggling to clean her self up and the babies where pretty much on their own. Now I know that the mom cleaning up the Kittens is what gets them started really breathing. Stephen had to do all the cleaning up and tried to rub them all enough to get them breathing but only two of the kittens made it.

Mom isn’t interested in letting them nurse and the kittens are not even trying to nurse. The kittens had no hair and no idea who to suck or swallow.

We put mom and babies in the laundry room on a shelf with a heat lamp to help keep them warm. Apparently this is necessary with premi kittens (per my internet search). When we came home today the kittens where gone and mom was wondering the house. We searched for a long time and found the kittens beside the tub we had them in, one had died during the day but one was hanging in there.

Mom refuses to leave the kitten any where besides on the cabinet so we actually have mom and baby on a towel on the cabinet with a heat lamp over them.

One of Sara's friends brought me the tiniest bottle to feed the kitten with. We are basically manually pumping milk from mom and forcing open the kitten's mouth to teach it to nurse but also giving it some vaporized milk in this tiny bottle. The kitten seems to be giving nursing an effort but it’s difficult because mom has very little milk. Also because mom isn’t really nursing she seems to have a very large tummy still. I am thinking this is because the nursing is what causes the uterus to contract back down and she has had no real nursing yet.

Stephen has named the mommy CAT, and for some reason CAT has decided that even though Shelby brought her home, I made her a bed to give birth in and Stephen insisted she didn't belong here, she is defiantly Stephen's cat! She follows him every where and jumps into his lap when he sets at the computer. This cat has claimed Stephen and now he is talking about buying her a collar.

Stephen swears that we can't keep the kitten but I have a feeling that if the Kitten makes it he will be so attached he won’t let it go any where. The girls want to name the kitten Faith or Miracle. Not sure about a name at the moment I am just hoping for survival for the poor kitten.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Drowning in work

Some days Stephen and I have to wonder how we manage.

Recently Stephen says he is drowning in photography work. All though its tiring and can be stressful, its a good tired and a good stress. Of course we would rather be drowning in photography than not having enough of it.

So yesterday morning Stephen had a photo shoot for the magazine and senior photos as soon as he was finished with that. The senior's mom calls on Friday night worried about every thing, she was concerned because at her sister’s prompting she had canceled an appointment at a photo studio where she was going to pay for a sitting fee and then order a package of photos, but we where charging her more than the sitting fee. She was certain that she wouldn’t be able to print our photos for less than what the studio was going to charge. Oh and if she gets wallets how would she cut them out.. it was a total panic moment, you know good and well that if she had a page of wallet photos in her hand after the fact cutting them wouldn't be an issue she was just in that "mom's first senior panic mode" Stephen actually said to her " you will use scissors.

So I called the mom back, before the call ended I had to put her mind at ease about hair, makeup, jewelry, our prices and my ability to convince her 18 year old daughter that these where senior photos and “sexy” wasn’t the intention. Been there and done that with my own girls, some times with teenage girls its easy for them to confuse confident sexy with porn sexy so Stephen and I work hard at keeping every one on the confident side and if the poses start crossing lines Stephen haa became comfortable with stopping for adjustments, and well I have armed myself with wardrobe tape!

I hung up the phone and had to discuss it all with Stephen, you see I used to be very uncomfortable with charging the $150.00 for a disk or charging in general. Its been said that I could bankrupt any buisness because I tend to want to "help out" every one and charge no one. So I needed Stephen to tell me again that we really where giving them a deal.

I realize they had canceled an appointment where she was only going to pay $35.oo for her setting fee but the setting fee did not include photos, hair, makeup and the photographer was not coming to her house. Not to mention the setting fee was for her daughter’s photos only, we had agreed to do the senior photos, some of each kid, groups of her kids and some family photos. What we are doing at the moment ( and this is sooooo temporary just to get things started), we sort out a place to do the photos and then take what ever photos they want. Then we give the customer a disk with all the photos and they get them printed. We have done weddings that included family photos for almost every family attending the wedding. We do it this way for now because the customer gets a heck of a lot of photos for their $150.oo. I think the last two weddings the bride got disk with 300 to 400 photos on them. The disk we turned over this morning for the senior photos had 280 photos on it. The only duplicates where, if we turn one black and white I do it in addition to the color photo, and a couple of the ones that I put senior 2009 on I did it as a duplicate so they maybe got 6 or 7 duplicates but the duplicates where not exactly like the original photo.

Now I have spoken to a few moms recently about their senior photos, most of them paid a sitting fee and the package cost them at least $400.oo. That is not including all the extra photos we take of the entire family. When Stephen and I first got married I felt odd about charging $150.oo for a disk but now that I am helping with the shoots and editing and putting in the time labor . honestly I am feeling ok about $150.oo.

I have makeup that I use every time Sara’s friends turn up here wanting some “cool” photos and I have some jewelry that I have picked up at various sales just for the photography. However I got to thinking that I needed a couple of things to make sure this girl would have what she needs. So while Stephen was doing his first photos of the day Shelby and I ran to Wal-Mart to look for some cheap but big ear rings, and a bag for my makeup, jewelry and hair stuff. I have been keeping an eye out for a bag but I had in mind what I wanted and I just haven’t seen it yet.

Turns out that Wal-Mart has very little jewelry these days. I remember when they used to carry a lot of cheap stuff that would make due. I managed to find one card of ear rings that was not what I was looking for but would do. The bag was another challenge. Near the makeup was some bags but they where just bags, no real slots for stuff. I stood there picturing makeup piled in those bags and me digging through the bag unable to really find anything that I needed. So I went to the hair isle and found pretty much the same thing, then I went to the purses and …nothing… Finally I went to the arts and crafts isle and even though it wasn’t exactly what I had pictured, for less than $20.oo I found a tote just like this only mine is pink instead of blue

This has lots of pockets and places to put stuff so I was pleased. I managed to get all of my make up and combs and hair spray in there. I even bought a plastic box to put jewelry in ( the box was made for arts and crafts items but it works for me) . The box fit right into the tote. I was quite pleased with myself until I looked at and saw this

Now I want this tote for my make up and jewelry and the pink one can be for curling irons, straightening irons and all that stuff.. not gonna happen as I am to frugal to spend a $100.oo on a tote.. the only chance I have of getting this tote is if Stephen goes and buys it with out telling me then once the money is spent I am ok but, me I would stand there and stare at it and want it and then think $100.oo buys a few packs of diapers or could pay a bill and I would never actually give up the money just because I want the tote.

So any how back to the situations we get into. After our trip to Wal-Mart, I had to take both seats out of the van, pack up all the makeup, hair tools and jewelry and I was suppose to get all the lights, background and support system ready to load into the van, oh and at some point I should at least brush my hair and put on a little make up too. I was in the middle of brushing my hair when Stephen got home, none of the lights, background and supports had been touched, but the van seats where out and my stuff was packed up!

Stephen didn’t complain though, I suspect that he left the house knowing that there was no way I could do every thing I had planned on before he got back lol. So Stephen loaded the van up with everything while I finished getting dressed and we headed off to do these senior photos.

I had explained to the mom call Friday nights phone call that the more her daughter was willing to pose the more shots she would get. The girl was pretty enough but she does exactly what my daughter does, she goes in her room or hangs out with her friends and acts goofy and snaps photos of her self. But put the lights and camera and every one watching they freeze and suddenly can't think of one cool pose. It really reminded me of Sara. One of the older boys brought out his horse and Stephen was able to get some good ones of the boy riding.

After the photos Stephen had to go farther away from home to pick up some bee supplies. Stephen had found some one selling used be boxes and other bee stuff. I personally wouldn't have bought them because the looked a bit yucky to me but Stephen went ahead and got them.

Needless to say several hours later when we got home, we where exhausted and ready for a day to crash. That didn’t happen though.

Today Stephen had another photo shoot for the magazine ( the magazine is the best these shoots almost always go smoothly). Then when he got home he had to sort out all of the used bee boxes he bought.. I will leave that part for him to explain on his blog.

While Stephen was out I was editing yesterdays photos and taking care of a cranky Katie. But things got really strange when Shelby came up to me with this cat that the neighbors have been hitting and kicking and throwing things at. They say it’s a stray and they don’t want it near their house. So Shelby is holding this cat up telling me how she needs to keep it and save it cause its been treated so awful when all the sudden she says “mom it peed on me”. Ok We had a long day on Saturday and I had been at the computer editing the photos all day so I staried blankly at Shelby for a few seconds before it clicks what she has said..I am thinking cats dont just pee on you!!! So .. I look down and I will be darned if I didn’t see a kitten poking its rear end out! So of course I am not going to throw the cat out the door even if its water did just break on my bedroom carpet. We got a container and an old towel and put the cat in there. Stephen only had one thing to say and he said it over and over and over.. Thats not our cat, thats not our cat, thats not our cat....

It didn’t take long to realize two things, The kittens are extremely premi!! And this cat don’t have a clue what is going on. The cat struggled to clean her self up let alone the kittens. The kittens have no fur, 3 of the 5 she had where born breach and dead, and the cat is scared to death to stay in the box with them. So suddenly Stephen goes from "thats not our cat" to CPR on a stillborn kiten!!! Stephen has had to actually help her get some of the kittens out, he has done all the cleaning up of the kittens and the two that are still alive, Stephen managed to rub them enough to get them to breath. I know that the mother cleaning the kittens at birth stimulates them to breath but with mom not cleaning them its been up to Stephen. He tried with all of them but only two of them finally started breathing. I honestly hold out little hope that the two kittens will make it. We did some research because the kittens are not attempting to nurse. Apparently if they are really premi they don’t know how to nurse or swallow. Its late at night and there is no place to buy the needed feeding tube and they will need feeding every hour and we both work all day so the only thing I can think of is to do what we can and hope that nature kicks in and the mom figures out what to do.

This week end is one of the reasons I love Stephen so much, We manage to book a lot of photo work, have 101 things on our plate and still get it all done, and them throw in a suprize cat/kitten rescue and he jumps right in and helps try and save them!

Darn what messes we get into!

Saturday, April 04, 2009

So its drill weekend and the very first time that I have ever spent the night away from Katie. Its been very strange and hard to stay in a motel and not go home. I use to drive home after drills but that is an hour away which is exhausting and costly. Recently the Guard started paying for our motel room on drill weekend. Most drill weekends include Saturday and Sunday but once in a while it starts on Friday. This drill started on Friday so I spent the night here last night.

They gave us some coupons for 50% off our breakfast at the Denny's that is in our motel. So this morning my room mate and I went to have your breakfast. We where ready to head to the unit as soon as we finished eating so of course we where both in our military uniforms.

My room mate had to run back to the room to get something so she handed me her wallet and took off back to the room. I pushed my plate back and pulled out my ATM card and was about to look for my friend's ATM card when the waitress came up to me. I was thinking she was bringing our ticket. Instead she came to inform me that some one had paid our ticket for us. I was left sort of speechless and didn't know how to respond. I eventually found my voice and ask who paid it so that I could thank them. However the man and ( I am assuming) his wife where already pulling out of the parking lot. I still really had no idea what to say.

Above is something that Stephen made to put on myspace or something a while back. Because he always says how proud he is of me. I even find myself wondering at times what is it that he is proud of, I am in the military because it is part of who I am, or it was any way. The last time I re-enlisted I had said for months that I wasn't going to re-enlist, I was going to finish my current enlistment, get out, marry Stephen and start a new life. My new life was to be for the most part separate from my old life. The only thing I wanted to bring along in my new life was my children. But at the last moment I simply couldn't let go. It was partly the sign on bonus, who couldn't use the money they where waving in my face? But honestly for the most part it was me not being able to see me breathing if the ties to the military where cut. It wasn't until the last year or so that realized that I have SOOOO many other things in my life that letting go of the military would be so much easier than I thought it would be.

Recently faced with the posibilitiy of being put out of the military due to an injury that occured while I was deployed I had to really come to terms with the idea that I may not be active in the military in the near future. A year or two ago I would have been 110% sure that if the military was yanked away from me I would have fallen apart, today I know that I would be ok with it.

So for many years the military for me wasn't about me serving my country nearly as much as it was about filling a need with in me. With me seeing the military as something that I need, something that serves a purpose in my life, I am always suprised and even shocked when people do things like pay for my meal just because I am in the military.

Things like this tend to happen, when we stop by Wal-Mart on our way home and a complete stranger comes up to us and says "I just wanted to say thanks for your service to our country" . Or a little kid stops you in the store and is beaming at you because your in uniform.

Or when we stop off to buy a soda on the way home from drills and some one pays for the drink or the attendant wont let us pay because we are in military uniform.

During our deployment to Kuwait in 2003 it happened a lot, where one Kuwait citizen or another would pay for your drink or food just because they are grateful that American Soldiers liberated their country.

Even outside of the military when I get a "thank you" or some other complement I never know what to say back. If I have done something for the person a "your welcome" works but if its just a random complement I am at a loss for words. As for the military and people being nice, I never want anyone to think I am being ungrateful or that I am being a real *@%@*, I just really don't know how to respond.

I think that the main reason I feel so awkward about people thanking me in reference to the military I never feel like I did anything in the military that warrants a person to be grateful or thankful to me. I joined the military originally to get medical insurance for my children. I ended up staying in the military for the last 14 years because the military became a part of me and eventually I couldn't identify me with out having some sort of military in my life.

Yes I went to Kuwait, yes I went to New Orleans after Katrina but in many ways those where selfish acts on my part. I have this weird need to be a part of something important. So I view the things I do in the military as a way to fill that need within me. I do realize that its very strange to say that I would WANT to put myself in less than cozy position in order to help some one else just so that I can fill a weird need with in myself. This is a part of me that I never realized or saw until just a few years ago.

So I suppose that I have a hard time knowing how to react to some one thanking me for doing something that in many ways I did for myself.

At dinner my room mate and I was discussing breakfast and the whole issue of people saying thanks to us. It turns out that she don't know how to respond to people either. She indicated that she often thinks "what exactly have I done to be thanked for" . Yes she has been on two deployments but even though she didn't volunteer for either deployment she wanted to go, wanted to see the world and meet people of different cultures, not to mention that they paid her a decent amount of money to do that.

Now don't miss understand deployments are not easy, you miss your family, you work long hard hours and endure some hard times, and well there is always the possibility of being injured and even killed. However we are lucky enough to be in a unit where the missions are more often than not in more secure places. I am not saying no one will ever be injured, shot at or in a battle but our chances of seeing that sort of action is slim.

I suppose that my whole point to this blog is that we don't feel like we have made a real true sacrifice so we don't know how to respond when people are so very grateful. Its hard to explain, how can you feel like you deserve thanks for full filling your own need? In many ways I feel like my family deserves the thanks more than I ever would. Its my children that missed out having a mother that suffers the most on deployment.