Archive | March, 2013

Organized Meals

28 Mar

I’ve recently made my life a bajillion times easier.  I’ve been loosely meal-planning for a while now, but I’ve reached that point in life where things really can’t be kept inside my head if I want to actually remember them.  Writing things down is key.  No longer can I rely on my memory to know that I wanted to cook a certain meal on a certain night.  My toddler is sucking my energy and my brain cells, apparently.

I went to Staples and purchased a Martha Stewart weekly planner that I can keep on the fridge.  It’s one of those sticky, yet not sticky things that easily peels off while leaving no residue.  I think it was a mere $5-6, and let me just say that it was money well spent!  I now spend a little time on Sundays planning out what meals I’m going to make, then I write them down on the fridge.

This has the added benefit of keeping me unstressed right now when it comes to cooking, as Alex is currently on a dairy-free elimination diet.  Everything on my planner is made without any milk products.  It’s a bit daunting to realize I can’t use butter or milk or cheese in any of my recipes, but it’s making a huge difference for me to have the whole week’s meals planned out in advance, as I can’t just run to any old, easy stand-bys, as cheese or butter often factor in.

I’m kind of in love with this thing.

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And just because I love me some organization, here’s my spice cabinet.  Yes, all the glass jars are alphabetized.  It’s kind of sick that this makes me so happy.

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Answered Prayer

10 Mar

Tuesday evening, I started noticing that our wild Ninja Cat was acting… mellow.  Too mellow.  Doogie was yelling for attention as soon as we put the baby down for the night, as is his nightly habit.  Usually both cats pile on either me or Steven the moment we sit down.  But Tuesday night, only Doogie wanted attention from his people.  I watched as Ninja, who’d been sleeping all afternoon, just burrowed under a quilt and curled into a ball.

The next day, things were worse.  He didn’t eat all of his “treat food,” which is what we call the Wellness wet food he gets to have each morning.  He lives for his treat food, so this was worrisome.  He slept all day.  I was trying to figure out if he was just cold and tired, or if he really needed to see the vet.  Then he got up.  He was limping.  Something was very wrong.  I made a vet appointment for him for the next afternoon and prayed for him.

Things were no different on Thursday.  His 4pm vet appointment couldn’t come soon enough.  The vet couldn’t feel any abscesses that would cause a limp, nor did Ninja cry out on examination of his leg, which would indicate an injury.  He had a fever and slight anemia, but nothing really jumped out to give a definitive diagnosis.  The vet even went so far as to ask where I got him, and when I gave the name of the rescue in Texas, he asked if they’d tested him for Feline Leukemia.  *gulp*  I started to panic, thinking he was saying my cat had that.  He was quick to reassure me that he hadn’t tested for it; he just needed to rule that out.  Because I didn’t know for sure without Ninja’s adoption paperwork in front of me, he went ahead and tested for it.  Negative!  Whew!

He decided to treat Ninja for a bacterial infection.   Goodness knows, this cat has had his share of them in his almost 3 years of life.  He gave sweet Ninja a shot and sent him home with another set of antibiotics.

The next day, I saw no improvement.  I was starting to freak out, thinking my cat had cancer or some other awful thing.  I cried over Ninja and pleaded with God to heal him.  He’s young.  He’s supposed to grow up with Alex.  He’s the only cat who tolerates Alex and willingly hangs out with him!  I need this cat.

But then, Friday evening, he perked up.  Woke up from his sleep.  Ate some cat food.  And stretched up to Steven and meowed during dinner, asking for food (which we never share, but he always hopes).  This was normal.  As we settled in for a movie that evening, Ninja sat with us.  Still resting, but wanting to be with his people.

Saturday morning, I woke up to a cat pouncing on me.  Over and over.  It was Ninja.  He screamed and ran for his treat food, which is his normal morning routine.  (Because if he doesn’t yell, repeatedly, we might forget to feed him, you know.)  And from that point on, he was better.  The limp is nearly gone.  He can run again.  He hangs out with the family, baby included.  He still can’t jump the baby gates and now has to meow to be let into the kitchen for his food, but he’s a billion times better than he was before.  Thank you, Lord, the Great Physician, the God of the universe, who cares even for a little Texan cat living in Oklahoma.

Our church here has a time where you can light a candle to put at the front to represent answered prayer.  We lit a candle for our beautiful Ninja this morning.

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How High the Cost

6 Mar

Doogie turns 14 this spring.  That seems so impossible, as he came to us as a kitten, only 4-5 months old.  He was a wild thing, as most kittens are.  And a climber.  Oh my, how I had to stay on him constantly to pull him off of anything and everything!

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The bad thing about his kitten days is that was when he learned to fear children.  My niece, who is now 15, was only 2 years old when she came over and followed Doogie, thudding behind him with that heavy step toddlers have, giggling and chanting, “Doogie!  Doogie!”  She did absolutely nothing to hurt him, but the experience terrified him, nonetheless.  From then on, he practiced avoidance of all children who entered our home.

I had hope that he’d learn to tolerate Alex.  I remember being up in the middle of the night for feedings when Alex was new, and I’d rock him back to sleep after he ate.  Doogie would come and sit in my lap, snuggled up against the warmth of the baby.  He accepted the presence of this little intruder, despite the noisiness of his cries.

But Alex grew and started to crawl.  Then walk.  And run.  Doogie lives in terror of this little tornado of energy and happy shrieks.  So he spends his days hiding.  This isn’t too horrible, I suppose, as he’s old and sick with kidney disease, which means he sleeps much of the day.  But he does like attention from his people.  However, he refuses to be in the same room with Alex.  I’ve had him come in, see me, get into my lap for a snuggle, then catch sight of the baby and hightail out of there.  *sigh*  He knows Alex’s nap schedule and bed time, so he’s always waiting for me when I come down the stairs after laying Alex in his crib.  He gets his needed attention and plays for a bit, then heads back into hiding when Alex awakens.

Fear comes with a high cost: time with his people.  My heart hurts that this is how his last days will be.  Hiding.  Running away any time he sees the baby.  Not feeling like he has the freedom he used to have.  We simply do our best to let him know he’s still loved and treasured.