Losing a Pet

10 years ago my husband came home with a big surprise. A cat! After we lost a kitten to leukemia 3 months prior we decided that any future cat would be from a rescue home.  So we welcomed Sable to the family. Since she was from a rescue facility we really didn’t know too much about her. We didn’t know her exact age but they guessed around 3 years old. She was an outdoor cat when she was rescued. She was spayed by the rescue house; they said she had a couple litters. Life was about to change drastically for our little Sable. She went from fending for herself outdoors to becoming an indoor cat and sharing the home with another treasured pet, our dog.

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Over the course of 10 years she would help us welcome each of our 3 children into the family home. She learned where to pee and where to not pee (pee in the hubby’s shoes, not mine, lol!), she learned that the dog would always and forever be sniffing her butt, she learned that little ones were not always so gentle when it comes to tails and ears, and that the littlest loves her so much it is wise to run if an older child or adult isn’t around.  She is clearly much wiser after her time and experiences with our family. Oh how the children are going to miss her.

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Since her main companion is a dog she has adopted some dog –like behaviors. She is very social and love sitting on laps, being pet, and receiving attention. She makes a mad dash to the kitchen when she hears the rustling of her treat bag and sits just like the dog in order to receive her treat. Her and the dog have such a similar relationship to the children it is amusing. In fact on evenings when the children are in bed and the house is quiet they usually start playing around….the cat always wins. And then seconds later you will find them curled up together and the cat licking the dogs face. Oh how the dog is going to miss her.

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She is my little shadow. She likes racing me up and down the stairs during the day…she always wins. Haha! She snuggles up with me whenever I sit down. She sleeps just above my head on my pillow at night. She is so affectionate. She also drives me nuts at times with the messes and hairballs but they are all worth it! Before her I was never a cat person…I am not even sure if I would define myself as one now…I am a Sable person. Haha! Oh how I am going to miss her.

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Over Christmas break we noticed a lump on her belly. We took her to the Veterinarian. They diagnosed her with breast cancer. Her prognosis was 3 weeks. It has been 3 weeks since that visit.  The mass continues to grow and now she starts bleeding at times. This is so hard. I understand that every living creature has a different lifetime and hers is coming to an end but when children are involved it amplifies the pain. As a mom all I want to do is ease their heartache and pain, I want to make it all better but they have to learn that mourning is a part of life. I have to allow them to feel, hurt, cry, and go through the process. To teach them that life will have pains and heartache and the appropriate way to process all those emotions.

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I am just so grateful for the time we had, she’s been such a blessing to our family and has helped each family member grow in some form or another (Oh the things you learn from having a pet…patience, love, gentleness, compassion, responsibility, etc.). We will treasure the memories always.

#23 Playing Dress up

There are 101 reasons why 3 year olds rule and here is #23…….

Playing Dress up!

So there I was casually folding laundry in my bedroom when our 3 year old came skipping into the room declaring, “Mommy it is dress up time!!” Clearly I had not been given the updated itinerary….silly me, I thought next on the agenda was put underwear and towels away. Haha!

“Let’s do dress up and nails!! Please! Pink and purple please?” she said with those big baby blue eyes that make it difficult to say no. Hmmm…put underwear and towels away or play dress up and do nails with this little cutie…duh, total no brainer. Haha! “Of course we can!” I declared as she ran into the family room to get one of her dress ups on. Meanwhile I set up the nail polish while I eaggerly awaited a little princess to come around the corner. So you can imagine my surprise when she came around the corner dressed in this….

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Haha! This is the cutest little Spiderman I have seen in a long time. This was one of her big brother’s favorites.

 

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So for the first time EVER I got to paint Spiderman’s nails. Haha!

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Pink and Purple of course!

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No matter what age your children are there are easily 101 reasons why they rock too! Do share…Why do your kiddos rock? What have they done that had you laughing hysterically, crying, or simply smothering them with kisses?

How I Survived the Umpteenth Snow Day

The kiddos had yet another snow day today! That means that with Monday being Martin Luther King Day, Tuesday a Teachers Work Day, and Wednesday a delay start day, the children have gone to school for a grand total of 10 hours this week. That paired with the fact that today was the 24th of January and as of today they have only attended 7 days of school has me longing for Spring.  Don’t get me wrong, I love hanging out with my children. But the activities we do on these frigid snow days have to be indoors; it is just way too cold for them to play outdoors and the wind-chill only exasperates the situation. So what’s a mom to do?

How I survived the Umpteenth Snow Day

Started it off by saying a little prayer….

Prayed for patience. A LOT OF PATIENCE

No Mother Left behind….

No mother should have to survive a snow day alone. Haha! Called a friend and made plans to do something (it wasn’t a level 3 so it was legal for us to be on the road) we normally wouldn’t do, something indoors of course. Like visit the local cupcake shop. Cake in a Cup Baby!! Mmmm…

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Surprised my mom…

Why not drop in for a visit and bring a few friends?  Nothing like a surprise visit!! My mom is the best. We did just that, we totally surprised her by stopping by. She is a school counselor and her district had a snow day too. So, on her snow day, when she didn’t have to see the 500+ kids in her school building she received a surprise visits from 2 mommas and 5 kiddos. Did I mention my mom is the best!?!

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Know thy limits…..

Initially my 3 year old and I were excited to attend a birthday gathering at Chuck E Cheese for lunch. Well, once school was cancelled I knew that I would be pushing my limits with my already fleeting patience at Chuck E Cheese. Let’s just say I am almost certain that my crazy would have officially shown had we gone to Chuck E Cheese. I can do one 3 year old at Chuck E Cheese by myself. I cannot do 3 kiddos in 3 different directions asking me a magnitude of questions while other kids climb on things, scream, and big animals perform catchy, yet annoying, songs in the background.

Never underestimate the power of Costco…

I don’t know what it is, maybe the samples, the anticipation of what‘s around the next isle, or maybe it is just being bestowed the privilege of holding onto the receipt as you exit in hopes of receiving a smiley face? But Costco is an exciting trip for the kids.  My kids love it! And today was no exception. They discussed who would hold the card on the way in, rushed to each sample, begged for all the sugary processed crap, visited the restroom twice, and we even managed to buy a few items to get us by these next couple of weeks (Yes, we got the bread and the milk. Haha!) So all-in-all it was a very successful trip!

Costco continued…side note…

I have to be honest, since we started shopping at Costco I have a hard time going out to eat. In fact in the last month I have been out to 3 different restaurants and ordered the salads. I was disappointed in the quality, quantity, and price of each one of them. Why go out when I can make 5 of these fabulous salads for only $9.99 (the price of one salad at a restaurant)?

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Just Dance….

Looking for a great indoor activity that will have kiddos burning off some of that bottled up energy? Want the kiddos to sleep great at night? Looking for something fun to do on a Friday night? Just Dance!

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After dinner we had a blast taking turns with the newest version of Just Dance! This version is much better than the last. The variety of songs is superb and the kiddos get a kick out of the different characters…including those from the popular Disney movie Aladdin. Which just so happened to be our 3 year olds pick every time. Haha!

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Yes, even Momma got in on the action…the dog clearly thinks I am nuts. lol!

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After dancing for a couple hours the kiddos were tired and asked to go to bed. Score! Haha!
All in all it was a good day. We filled it nicely. I think the key to survival is having a variety of activities, keeping in touch with family and friends, and Just dancing!

Were you stuck at home today? How do you survive snow days? Please share…I could use some ideas, looks like we might have one or two more in the near future.

Kat’s Words of Wisdom

This past weekend I celebrated my birthday!

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I am officially another year older and wiser.  So, what have I learned in my past 30 something years on this planet? (these are in no particular order, except the first one, that’s a solid #1)

1. Pray often. Never underestimate the power of prayer.

2. It is the PEOPLE that matter most!

And thankfully I got to spend my b-day with all my people. There wasn’t one moment that I was alone. It was beautiful. It started with donut breakfast with my kiddos. Then my dear friend Mary drove over in the snow with her baby in tow and surprised me with a cake that she had baked. I was awestruck! The company and the cake were amazing! Shortly after she left I had another friend stop by with her daughters and the girls all played while we moms finally had the opportunity to chat which was a gift in itself. She has 4 kiddos and I have 3 and between the 7 kiddos we hardly ever get a word in edgewise (this is when texting comes in handy). Then in the evening my in-laws came over to watch the kiddos so my true love (just to clarify I am talking about my husband, not coffee) and I could go out to dinner. Throughout the day I received birthday wishes from many friends via texts and Facebook (thank you everyone, you each mean so much to me and I great appreciate you taking the time to remember my b-day).

The next day (did I mention when your b-day is on a Thursday or Friday you can celebrate it all weekend…I am pretty sure it states that somewhere in the Bill of Rights. Lol!) I attended my BFF’s Bridal shower. Seeing your best friend absolutely glow with pure joy over finding the love of her life is such a magnificent gift…second only to life itself. After the Bridal Shower I hit the road and headed to Maumee Bay State Park for a fun filled family weekend!

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3. Love unconditionally.

4. Forgive unconditionally.

5. Joy often follows those who humble themselves.

Truth be told,I did tell my husband, on my birthday weekend that I was wrong, he was right, and I was sorry. Sometimes we need to simply admit our faults, own up to our mistakes, ask forgiveness, and move on. Do not dwell.

6. Focus your attention on the things that matter in life…there will always be laundry and dishes but we never know when someone’s lifetime is up.

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Here is a picture that expresses this sentiment. I had much more important things to do then to clean the room, like going sledding, going on a nature hike, and swimming!!!

7. Wisdom is a gift and you’d be a fool to trade it for youth.

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I went to Merle Norman on my birthday and I was told I could receive a gift package at a special rate. Guess what the gift package entailed? Wrinkle care! As if! I will wear my wrinkles proudly thank you very much!

8. Lower your expectations. Better yet, eliminate all expectations. That way you are never disappointed.

 

9. Turn off your phone! And enjoy the beautiful gifts around you, like nature and a sunset.

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10. Focus your attention on the right numbers. Not the numbers on the scale but rather your years of wisdom….it is also wise to know your cholesterol, triglyceride level, and blood pressure so that you can continue to grow in your wisdom.

11. Don’t sit on the sidelines  of life, or the chaise lounge at the pool watching everyone else have fun. Put on your bathingsuit and go swimming with your kiddos…make memories.

Moms, put on your bathing suits, no matter what size you are and enjoy making memories with your kids! Stop waiting to live your life until you are the perfect size. You are beautiful and perfect as you are and those who truly matter will know this about you…forget about the rest of them.

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12. Never be afraid to ask for help. When you do so not only do you get assistance but you allow someone else to feel needed. And who knows, maybe you asking for help from that person ends up dramatically changing their outlook on life.

I have to be honest; this getting older thing is pretty awesome! Each year I grow more comfortable in my own skin and my soul grows closer to God.

Have you found yourself growing older and wiser? What is the most significant thing you have learned at your age right now?

Healthy Snacks

I have decided that 2014 is the year that I will finally get rid of the baby weight. Seeing as the baby is now 3 I would say it is time. Haha! I have 15 ornery pounds that have been lingering on my body since my first pregnancy 8 years ago. Talk about annoying!!

In an effort to determine where my problems were I kept a journal of my eating and workout habits for a couple days. It didn’t take long to see where my main weakness was in my daily routine, turns out, besides my typical ‘mommy chores’ I was not working out at all!! Talk about denial, I seriously had myself convinced that my walking up and down two flights of stairs thought the day, walking Costco every other week, doing the dishes, etc. was enough of a physical workout.

Now for the good news! Turns out my eating habits are not that bad. After reviewing what I eat with the food suggested on healthy eating, cleaning, etc. websites I came to the conclusion that my eating habits are decent, even good. I was shocked! Haha! So I thought it only fair to share.

Main requirements for my snacks:

  • Convenience factor- I am often on the go and need a snack that can be tossed in my purse or eaten on the go.
  • Variety is the spice of life-my taste varies day-to-day, even hour-to-hour, haha! So I like a variety of sweet, crunch, sour, etc. snacks.
  • Needs to satiate- I need a snack that will help tie me over till the next meal. No empty calories. I look for snacks with fiber.  That being stated I also need to satiate my mental need…if I want something sweet I will have something sweet as opposed to eating something else and then eventually caving and eating the sweet snack in addition to all those other ‘filler’ snacks.

Here are a few of my favorite snacks……

Minnie Sweet Peppers (a lot of punch for only 30 calories)

I love these with a little hummus or even just by themselves, they are so crunchy and sweet, they definitely satisfy!

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Celery with Almond Butter and Chia Seed a.k.a. Ants on a Log

Adult take on a classic kids snack! This snack is packed with crunch, sweetest from the almond butter and it definitely fills you up thanks to the protein in the almond butter and fiber in the Chia seeds.

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Carrot Crisps!

These are perfect for on the go moms! These are a great substitute for the crunch of a potato chip. Though these have a sweeter taste than a chip they have a powerful crunch and are a great source of fiber and vitamins. And you can just throw them in your car thanks to the individually packaged servings. I recommend doing so, since you will be less inclined to go through a drive-thru when you have a snack on hand!

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Greek Yogurt, Muesli, and Honey Parfait!

This is a yummy treat that truth be told I sometimes enjoy for breakfast. It is the protein and fiber that really helps keep my blood sugar at bay and ties me over for hours and it’s the touch of honey that satiates the sweet tooth.

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Brookside Dark Chocolate Acai and Blueberry flavored snacks (dark chocolate is an antioxidant)

These are perfect for those people who need to devour something sweet in the evening. Like me! You can eat up to 16 little morsels for only 170 calories! They definitely satisfy the sweet tooth and when you take your time and let the chocolate slowly melt in your mouth they last longer…making it feel like you ate more, for more of a physiological satisfaction.

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Classic Golden Delicious!

God’s gift to us Momma on the go! The absolute perfect way to stabilize the blood sugars in the afternoon, give you some added energy to make it through to dinner time without losing your mind. And I love the crunch, juiciness, and delicious taste. I keep these in my car along with the Carrot crisps.

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So what is your snacking temptation…salty, sweet, crunch? Do you crave something sweet in the evenings? What is your go to snack? Know of a great site or blog that has great alternatives to the high sugar, high fat, high processed snack? Please share.

Having THE Talk

I can remember it like it was yesterday.  It was way too quiet in the family room. I had only left them alone for a few minutes to empty the dishwasher. By ‘they’ I mean our son and daughter who were 4 and 1 year old at the time. As I walked into the room I noticed clumps of brown on the floor.  Silence from two ordinarily very loud and busy munchkins and a clump of brown….my mind was putting all the clues together. Could it be? No! Please, no! And the final clue, scissors with a tiny chubby finger and thumb still grasping it. Then my eyes darted up. Oh the Horror! Our son had not only given himself a horrific, choppy, scary haircut but he gave his sister one too.  That was her FIRST haircut! Moms know how special that moment is and I totally missed it!

When I asked our son why he cut his sister’s hair he exclaimed that she was hot and her hair was in her eyes so he was just helping her….and since he gave himself a haircut he needed to share because sharing is good. Haha! Yes, I can laugh now. Mind you it has taken me 2 years but I can laugh. Funny thing is he wasn’t the first family member to venture down the path of hairdresser failure. Our oldest daughter did it 2 years before him. She is kind of a trendsetter, what can we say. Haha!

Thus given her siblings past records I figured it was only a matter of time before our 3 year old ventured down the same path. So I decide to sit her down and have THE talk. THE HAIR TALK!  And what better way to address a difficult and uncomfortable issue than with a visual aid. Thank goodness for Play-doh!

I explained it all to her.  The good, bad, and ugly affiliated with cutting ones own hair.

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Just seeing those clumps of play dough sitting on the table brought it all back to me…that day, in the family room, when my baby had her first locks cut by her big brother, and I wasn’t even present.

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Got to love this kid’s sense of humor…”Look mom, I cut my hair”. No idea where she gets her silly sense of humor from. Haha!

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All in all it was a great talk and fun experience!

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Has your little one ever cut their own hair? Have an epic story? Have you had THE talk with your toddler? Please share

This Moment…

Inspired by Daftly Domestic. A single photo to capture a moment from the week. A photo showing a simple, special moment that I want to remember.

 

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Why this photo?

After 20 days of winter break (the first week back consisted of 4 snow days and one 2 hour delay…AHH) including 3 days of cabin fever due to below zero  temperatures we finally got out! Level 3 was lifted and it was legal for this Mom on the go to be on the roads again! First stop Starbucks. Second my mom & dads who finally made it back from Costa Rica thanks to a few travel delays…I missed them so much over the break. It was a LONG, demanding, emotional extended winter break and this moment captures the pure joy I was experiencing at its culmination….sipping on a Latte and then off to go sledding with the kiddos, we could finally enjoy the snow when temperatures rose above 0.

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