All About Cats

A few weeks ago my mother and I took the kids up to Oklahoma to visit family.  We saw the kids’ great grandparents, and I finally met my Aunt Cyndi and Uncle Pat’s kittens.

Kitten might be a bit of a stretch.  They are about a year old, and huge!  They have two beautiful Siberians and I think they might be the most spoiled cats I have ever met.  Observe…

First, their living room toys.  

Then, the tower.  

Next to that, the window shelf that Pat built.  

And the ramp to the loft that he built for them.  Not to mention all the baskets of toys they had.  So, as I said, spoiled.  But if we had cats this beautiful, I might be inclined to spoil them as well…Not to say that our cats are not lovely.  And since we do love and want them to be happy (and want Bonny to stop climbing the walls) I was inspired to come up with something myself.  We already had carpet in the garage, so I found a cheap bookcase and altered it a bit.This is what the original should look like.  We had to do some hack work to make it sturdy enough for two hyper cats. So we added boards to the back to brace it a little bit.
I cut holes in the shelves and added carpet.

When the whole things was done the cats seemed quite pleased with their new toy.

After all the pain and frustration this thing caused, if they didn’t play on it, I might have strangled them.

Published in: on July 26, 2010 at 7:36 pm  Leave a Comment  

To My Father

Anyone who knows me knows how much I’m like my mother.  If it weren’t for her, I have no idea who I would be.  She’s given me drive, passion, and one hell of a sharp tongue.  I am so grateful to her for so many things.

It’s not always obvious that my father and I have much in common.  Our personalities are not as identical as my mother an I.  But when I think about it, he gave me so much.  So for fathers day, I have to say to my dad, thank you.

Thank you for being so protective over me.  For teaching me how to defend myself both physically and mentally against anything that might come my way.  Thank you for preparing me for whatever might happen.

Thank you for showing me how to live my life without fear of anything.  For showing me how to move forward with my dreams and desires.  For teaching me to believe that anything I want is well within my reach.

Thank you for all of the hard work you did to make sure your children had a good life.

Thank you for showing me what a husband and father should be.  For giving me a wonderful guideline in choosing my own husband.  And thank you for being as kind a father to Aaron as you have always been to me.

Thank you for being an amazing Grandfather to my two kids.  For always striving to entertain them.  For always lighting up their faces.

Thank you for all the love, wisdom, and joy you have given us.  Thanks for everything you have shown us.  Thank you for the amazing places you have taken us, the art and music you have shared with us, and the experiences that you have made possible for us.

Thank you.

(Of course now I’m going to hear it from my mom.  All she got for mother’s day was a phone call.  I guess I’ll have to make up for it next year.  Hopefully she’ll forget by then.)

2009 and the New Year

Stolen from Lissa, because that’s what good friends do.  They steal memes.  Also ice cream.

1. What did you do in 2009 that you’d never done before?  I had a girl. I can’t say that I had a child, because I already have Ashton, but a girl is a new experience.  So was having a planned c-section.  It was nice having a baby without all of the drama of an emergency surgery.

2. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year???  Lets see…

I wanted to work on dancing, but the pregnancy thing kind of messed that up.  I wanted to work on a group that does parades for the studio, and didn’t get around to saying a word about it (until this last month, and it wasn’t to Isis).  I didn’t work on jewelry making the way I wanted to, but I have started to tat.  I’m not very good at it yet, but I’m getting there.  Also, I’m slowly but surely learning how to sew.  Did not find any part time jobs, and didn’t get to work on flower design at all this year.  One day I want to make a job out of that.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth???  Um… me?  Also, on the exact same day, in California, Aaron’s cousin had her second child as well.  Both girls.  Ours is our precious Anwyn, and theirs is a cute little one named Brynn (I think that’s the spelling).

4. Did anyone close to you die???  We lost some people in the Ren community this year.  Some suddenly, and some who we knew were getting ill.

5. What countries did you visit???  Man… I didn’t even visit the country we have around here.  Seriously, I didn’t get out much this year, what with the giant belly and all.

6. What would you like to have in 2010 that you lacked in 2009?  More money.  Aaron’s job cut his pay at the beginning of the year and we’ve been much tighter financially this year than we like being.

7. What dates from 2009 will remain etched upon your memory, and why? ??  August 31, because my daughter was born that day.  That’s pretty much it.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year???  Dude, I created another life.  An actual human being.  What the hell did you do?

9. What was your biggest failure? ??  Not finding my husband a new job.  And not getting the boy fully potty trained, as I had planned to.  He’s a tough nut to crack.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?  This pregnancy was much harder than the last, and after the surgery I had some complications.  What turned out to be an infection looked like I was bleeding excessively.  That was a rather scary moment.

11. What was the best thing you bought?  I’d say Anwyn, but that seems tacky.  Babies are expensive though.  I think it might be the chairs to go with my new table.  They’re very nice.

12. Whose behavior merited celebration? ??  Ashton’s, for almost having figured out the potty.  And for all of the amazing things he’s learned over the last year.

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed???  My son’s, because he’s a three year old.  He can too be the answer to both questions!  Politicians in general annoy the hell out of me, and I’m tired of them (as well as the media at large) preying on the fears of the public.

14. Where did most of your money go? Medical bills.

15. What did you get really excited about? My baby girl.  She’s amazing, and exhausting.

16. What song will always remind you of 2009? I can’t really think of one.

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:? – happier or sadder? A little sadder. This time last year I had just found out that I was pregnant.  This year things have been difficult – thinner or fatter? More or less the same, but since I had a baby 4 months ago, I guess that’s not a bad thing – richer or poorer? Most certainly poorer.

18. What do you wish you’d done more of?  I’m not sure.  Maybe get out more.  I’ve turned into a bit of a home body lately.

19. What do you wish you’d done less of?  Being pregnant.  I know, not really possible, but toward the end there I was D-O-N-E.

20. How did you spend Christmas?  My parents came to town, and we spent it with Aaron’s family.

21. Did you fall in love in 2009?  I had a baby, so yes.

22. What was your favorite TV program?  Most certainly Glee.

23. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?  Not really.

24. What was the best book you read?  I don’t know, but I Hate Myself and I Want To Die was up there.

25. What was your greatest musical discovery?   The show Phineas and Ferb?  I don’t really know.

26. What did you want and get? My new table.  A hula hoop.  A tatting shuttle.

27. What did you want and not get?  I don’t know.  Maybe some new costume stuff, like a new skirt.

28. What was your favorite film of this year?  We didn’t get to see to many movies this year.  I didn’t really have a favorite.

29. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?   We had a party, and I turned 30.  Anwyn spent the night at Aaron’s parents’ place, and she did fine, but she hasn’t been able to stay with anyone since then.

30. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?  I’m not sure.  Maybe being able to get Ash into a school program or finding a way to contribute to the house financially.

31. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2009? Mom, minus the Mom Jeans.  Those things are horrible.  Mostly maternity clothes.

32. What kept you sane?  Dancing.

33. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most? For some reason I think John Simm is painfully adorable.  Especially as the Master.

34. What political issue stirred you the most?  Gay marriage.  Aaron and I have talked about getting our marriage changed to a civil union if that ever gets passed in Texas.  We’re not religious people, and if marriage is a religious event, why should we call our union that?

35. Who did you miss?  No one, really.  I occasionally think about old friends and wonder how they are, but that’s as far as it goes.

36. Who was the best new person you met?  I didn’t get out much, didn’t meet a whole lot of new people.

37. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2009.?  No matter what, no two children are the same.  Even if you’ve had children already, you’re never ready to have another one.  And the most amazing sound in the world is still hearing your new baby cry for the first time.

38. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year?  Can’t think of any.  God I suck at this.

This year has flown by so fast that I can’t remember half of it.  I spent so much of it suffering from placenta brain, that I honestly couldn’t tell you which way was up for half the year.  But it’s over, and here’s hoping for great things and new opportunities in 2010!

Published in: on January 1, 2010 at 10:04 pm  Leave a Comment  

Odd Pregnancy Dream

I have two real honest to goodness posts that I need to make.  But because I can’t be bothered with it, I’ll put up a quickie for you all instead.

Last night I dreamt.  I really hate it when this happens, typically.  I dreamt that I woke up with both my son and my husband in bed beaming at me.  I asked what was going on and Aaron told me, “You had the baby in your sleep.  All by yourself, and you didn’t even wake up!  She was so beautiful!”

I found it odd that he used the the past tense so I commented on it.  He looked embarrassed and admitted that he had called the doctor.  “You were asleep and I didn’t know what to do.  I knew she was still kind of early.  They asked if the umbilical cord was still attached and when I said yes they told me to put her back in.  Walked me through it and everything.”

I nearly killed him.  He then went gushing on about how pretty she was and how she was already so big.  He couldn’t wait for me to meet her.  I started crying and then I woke up.  I was still kind of pissed at him when I was awake, and had to remind myself that this was only a dream.

I am so done with this.

Published in: on August 3, 2009 at 5:12 am  Leave a Comment  

Because Jess Kicks Ass!

I got my tummy made all pretty!

I remember not long after having Ashton seeing a website with several pregnant women with henna on their tummies.  I cursed myself for not thinking of doing it, and swore up and down that with my next pregnancy that I would have it done.  I brought this up to a friend of mine who said she would do it for me, and so it was agreed that next time I became pregnant, she would henna my belly.  I wanted it toward the end of my pregnancy, so July seemed like the logical time to get it done.  So we set a date, and I ordered the supplies.  On Saturday she came over.

Sadly, because I have no idea what I’m doing and have never done any henna work outside of my friends hair, I had no idea how long it should set before we used it.  I thought a couple of hours would suffice, but was told afterwards that 12 was a much safer amount of time.  So Jessamyn’s amazing artwork was rather light colored when all was said and done.  Regardless, she did an amazing job.

That evening we went to Aaron’s parents’ house for his sister’s birthday party.  Everyone loved the henna work, but we noticed as it was flaking off that it was, in fact, going to be too light a color (as I said before).  So when we got home we got the left over henna out of the freezer, and set it out for the next day.  Sunday afternoon after we finished up at the grocrey store, Aaron took the bag and traced over Jessie’s design.  Thankfully he did a great job, and the henna was considerably darker this time.

Published in: on July 21, 2009 at 3:09 am  Leave a Comment  


My mother has been in town since Monday helping me out getting the nursery ready.  We got a few things done, went on a few shopping trips, and got all of Ashton’s clothes all boxed up and ready to be given away.  It was wonderful having her here.  The best bit was when she first arrived.  Ash greeted her with open arms, then immediately looked past her and demanded to know where Grandpa Dude was.  That made her feel all warm and fuzzy.

Friday night we skipped the usual TV fest and went to Arlington where they were having a festival for the fourth of July, only they did it on the night of the third.  Aaron had to be out in that area anyway to reserve the family’s “spot” for the parade (a long standing tradition.  Aaron and his father and usually a few cousins spend the night on the sidewalk so we have the best seats for the parade the next morning) and the rest of us dragged picnic munchies and chairs out and hung out at the festival.  It was well done, they had free bounce houses, a cute little petting zoo, and lots of other activities.  There were free concerts at the pavillion, including the headliner for the evening, Fastball.  As soon as I remembered why I knew that name (shut up, I’m pregnant) I was very excited to see them live.   I was also surprised to learn that I knew more than just one of their songs!

The pavillion has a really pretty fountain that the kids played in.  Ash got to run around in it, and because I didn’t think to pack any swimmer diapers, we just had him in a regualr pullup.  So by the time he was done playing (rather, we were done with him playing) his pants were desperatly trying to fall off, and he was running around with one hand holding them up at all times.  It was funny as all hell.

They put on a fireworks dispaly during Fastball’s intermission.  It wasn’t the most amazing display I’ve ever seen, but it was nice.  Ash had a good time, family seemed to have a good time, and Lissa had a great time, so to say a good time was had by all is a bit reduntant.

The next day we saw the parade, which was fun.  We went home and relaxed (and Aaron washed the street off because WHEW!) and ate lunch.  Dad made it into town so we got to visit with him for a bit.  Then we went to Judy’s for early dinner, and headed from there to get ready for fireworks that night.  We watch the fireworks in Bedford (because that’s where we live, duh) and join friends of ours at Isis Studios because it’s a great place to watch from!  Charles and Zoe met us there, and there were a few kids, all between the ages of 2 and 4, so they all kept pretty entertained.  The fireworks were wonderful, and by the time they were over I was ready to pass out.  Ash went right to sleep after bath, so we must have worn him out as well.

Mom and Dad packed up themselves and Ashton this morning and headed out.  Mom and I usually take a summer trip to visit Oklahoma family, but this year I can’t travel.  So Mom and Dad are going to take Ash up there to see everyone.  My little boy is going to be gone for four whole nights.  They’ll come home Thursday and I’m really not sure how to feel about that.  On the one hand it will be relaxing to not have to keep up with him for a week, but on the other hand I’m gonna miss my little boy.  We’ll see how it goes.

I’m sure he’ll have a blast.

Published in: on July 5, 2009 at 5:42 pm  Leave a Comment  

And Now We Know

Ok, I already have a boy.  I know what to do with a boy.  I’ve got the boy thing mostly figured out.  I don’t understand him… but I can mostly handel him.  Boys should not present any problem.  On that note…

What the hell am I suposed to do with a girl?

Yes, I know, it wouldn’t have mattered what the gender was.  They would have been completly different anyway.  The problem with kids is none of them follow the blinkin rules.  The “experts” come out and say all this stuff, and I’ve never met a kid that followed any of it.

Maybe it’s because kids can’t read yet.

So… there you have it.  Ladies and Gentelmen, I would like to introduce everyone to Anwyn Renea Thomas.  I will try to scan the sono photos soon so I can get them onto flickr.

21 Weeks

I’m 21 weeks along, close to five months pregnant.  Everything is going well, the baby looks healthy.  I’m gaining the right amount of weight and size.  Things are going swimmingly.

We did another sonogram today to see if we could get a glimpse at the baby’s gender.  The kid had it’s back turned to us the whole time, but we could at least see between it’s legs from the back.  Since there was no sign of male genitalia, the doctor is guessing that it’s a girl.  There is still no way to be sure of this, so I’m going to wait YET ANOTHER MONTH before I feel that I know for sure.  So no screaming it from the mountain tops… yet.

I think I might have to break down and get a harness for Ashton.  He’s way too quick and active and has no interest in staying anywhere near his parents.  I have no idea how other parents train their children to stay close, but it seems to have something to do with the child’s desire to not lose his mom and dad.  My kid couldn’t care less, it seems.  I found a really cute monkey backpack, where the tail is actually detachable a strap for parents to hold onto.  For about 10 to 13 bucks I won’t have to worry as much anymore.  I finally reached this decision when we went to Scarborough Faire yesterday and I was by myself with the boy.  With no stroller (because it’s kind of a pain to deal with out there) it was almost impossible to keep him in check.  So… monkey backpack.  They’re actually called harness buddies.  I’ve never liked the idea of putting a leash on a kid, but Ashton is way more active than most, and I can’t keep up with him in my “current state”.

There are several parents who call this lazy.  I would like them to chase my son around for a few hours and then have a chat with me.  It’s not lazy, it’s just desperation.  My favorite comment of all is that you can train a dog to heel, you should be able to train a child just as easily.  How do you train a dog to heel?  I always used a short leash.  Somehow the logic just doesn’t translate there.

Okay I’ll stop my silly rant here.  I know it sounds like I’m trying to justify myself and this decision, and I kind of am.  To myself.  I’ve just been against the idea for so long that I’m having a tiny issue coming to terms with the fact that this might just save my sanity.

This is all for now.  You will know as soon as I do about the parasite and it’s details.

Published in: on April 27, 2009 at 4:50 pm  Leave a Comment  


This Monday will mark the half way point for us.  20 weeks.  It can only get more exciting from here, right?

Because the doctor is super paranoid with this pregnancy (Ashton had some problems, putting me at high risk for getting pregnant again) he’s done a sonogram I think every time I’ve gone in.  We had an official one last visit, to make sure the baby is ok and hopefully see the gender.  The baby is either shy, or very very VERY interested in that part of his/her anatomy, because it wouldn’t take it’s hand out from between it’s legs.  And because it was still a little early, we couldn’t see anything.  So the fetus is still an “it”.  I’ll just continue calling it a parasite for now.  It’s fun, because it makes everyone around me crazy when I do that.

I just don’t feel all that connected to this baby.  Not like I did with my last pregnancy.  Maybe I got myself so psyched out in the first couple of months (I was sure that I was going to lose it) that I’ve not been able to get back to that attachment?  I genuinely have no idea.  With Ashton, I could feel how he was doing all the time.  I knew he was a boy long before the doctors did.  There were no surprises until he was actually born, and had been having difficulties.  Even that wasn’t much of a shock.  I went to the hospital because something didn’t feel right.  I was so in tuned with him.

This one?  I just can’t get a feel for it at all.  I know it’s active because we’ve seen on the sonograms how squirmy it is.  But I just don’t feel as much movement as I would have expected.  And I really have no clue about the gender.  I have always imagined myself having two boys.  I would love a girl, but I’ve never imagined having one, and the idea really never crossed my mind.  Now that it’s a real possibility that this baby will be a girl (50/50 at least) I’m not sure how to respond.  I would like to know so I can adjust my brain to the idea of it.  That and so I can clear out all of the boy clothes that we’ve kept behind from Ashton’s wardrobe.  And buy new stuff.  It would also be nice to be able to tell my mother so she’ll stop bugging me about it.  And you thought I was impatient!

On the outside, Ashton is bound and determined to make me insane.  This whole “I’m not taking a nap and you can’t make me” thing is crap.  The bedtime routine hasn’t gotten much better.  The potty training has improved by leaps and bounds, but only when he’s in a good mood, which is not when he’s tired.  So you can see the problem we’re having this week.  My mood isn’t helping things much, because I’ve not gotten a decent night’s sleep in about a week either.  Maybe the kid and I just need a break from each other.

I’ll let you know about the baby as soon as I do.

Published in: on April 16, 2009 at 8:36 pm  Leave a Comment  

St. Patrick’s Day Story

We went to Austin this weekend and had a wonderful and exhausting time with my folks, and I will be happy to give you a play by play… later.  For now I have a story to share.

A few years ago Dallas stopped doing their St. Patrick’s Day parade.  Isis and her dancers would dance in it every year, and the last time they did it was my first and last St. Patrick’s Day parade to be in.  I was sad that they didn’t continue it, because it was a lot of fun.  The parade was filled with some fantastic acts, dancers and musicians alike, and I think everyone really enjoyed it.   The next year we heard that Fort Worth would be putting on a parade for the day of green, so we decided to check it out.

It was probably one of the more offensive parades that I’ve ever seen.  Admittedly, there wasn’t much that was Irish about it.  Mostly it was a parade of people riding horses through the street wearing green.  Now, I understand that this was in the Stock Yards, but some other representation would have been nice.  While this was all rather boring after a while, it wasn’t that insulting.  That was right at the very beginning.  The entire parade opened with a gentleman wearing a red kilt.  With a bagpipe.  Playing Scotland the Brave.

If you don’t know why this would or could offend someone, then I’m not going to explain it to you.  I would suggest you go read up on Irish history.  Pay special attention to the bit about their loving relationships with the Scottish.

Edit:  There used to be a family friendly parade that went through part of downtown Dallas.  This is not to be confused with the “parade” that happens at night on Greenville Ave.  This is more of a block party and for adults only.