Saturday, July 31, 2010

Another Sweet Kitty Comes Our Way

Because we needed another animal in this family....NOT!

I was out running on Tuesday and this sweet little kitty was hanging around the trail. Another runner said it had been there at least a week. He's very skinny yet very very friendly and I felt sad for him (oh, that's always when I get in trouble, isn't it??). When I came back around after several more laps though, he had disappeared. I thought I would try calling him and lo and behold he came running after just one "here kitty kitty kitty...". I called Wayne and asked him to bring a cat carrier down to the trail, and as I sat down to wait for him, Mr. Kitty climbed right onto my lap and proceeded to purr like crazy.

A trip to the vet confirmed he's about a year old, not neutered and not micro-chipped. After putting up some "Found Cat" posters, we heard from the manager of an apartment across the street from the trail. He's been hanging around the apartment building for six months. A few of the people there feed him, but they can't have animals in their building so he has no home. Awwwww, I guess he's ours.

Just last year at about this time, Asa lost her beloved kitty Bandit to poisoning so there was no doubt that Mr. Cuddles here was going to be hers. Sure enough, he settled onto her bed like a pro and even proved he knows what the litterbox is for. She has dubbed him Miguel, and he's a real sweetheart. So far there's been only a few minor hissing matches with the other two cats, and he hasn't quite figured out what to make of the dogs yet, but I'm trying to keep them separated as much as possible until he gets settled in. As soon as he puts on a pound or two he'll be off to get neutered, but right now he's painfully thin. He looks more like a cheetah than a house cat with his long skinny legs. I think he'll be our biggest cat once he fills out though, so the others better be nice to him now while he's relatively small and weak!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

The Fledglings Have Flown

It all started last week with Mackenzie going off to an overnight karate retreat, where among other things they climbed a local mountain in their karate gis and trained on top for hours. He came home tired, sore, and extremely happy to have gotten some time to train intensely with a big group of black belts. He will be testing for his brown belt in the fall, which will put him about 9 months to a year away from being able to test for black, so he has gotten very serious and excited about karate lately. As always, I'm grateful when my kids find an activity that makes their body/mind/soul healthier and more fulfilled. For Mackenzie, I think karate is a real gift, and he puts a lot of effort into doing well.

Now it's Asa who has fledged, leaving for her first sleep-away camp ever on Sunday afternoon. It's a church camp much like the ones I attended at her age. They'll be doing horseback riding, swimming, hiking, and all of the things that a summer camp should be. Even better, she's in a cabin with a gaggle of girls that are already friends from homeschool activities. I'm not sure they'll be getting much sleep (since when she called me last night at 11:30 pm, it sounded like the giggling had not wound down quite yet) but I know they'll be having a lot of fun, and the house just seems so quiet without her.

I'm not quite sure how our kids got so grown up and independent. I know that the conventional wisdom says that this won't happen if you don't push for it at a very early age, but that's not how it has worked out for us. Now that the kids are older, I feel compelled to share that all of the parenting books that say you have to wean your kids early, make them sleep in their own rooms while still babies, let them "cry it out" when they need attention, and other "independence-pushing" parenting strategies are simply not true. Kids find independence when they are ready for it. Asa just started sleeping in her own room not all that long ago, but here she is going away for a week with no trouble at all. The truth is, when you allow kids to come to independence on their own terms, what they earn is a true independence that they really own. It's for-real and for-keeps. It's not based on insecurities or worries about how they will be perceived or judged by their parents or peers. My fledglings have flown, just when their wings were ready. And it's fun to watch them fly!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Fun With Food

Who says you shouldn't play with your food?

Saturday, July 10, 2010

And the Reason I Had to Buy All That Food?

Mackenzie grew an inch just in the last 3 weeks. No wonder he ate my cooler full of food on the camping trip! Now he is officially exactly as tall as I am, and two inches shorter than his dad. Of course, he's still a good eight to nine inches shorter than his half-brothers, so he may yet have a lot more growing to do!

I'll have to take a back-to-back photo this week!