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Archive for the ‘The Girls (and Boy)’ Category

It’s a highly sought after commodity in this house.

I wanted one for Christmas but nobody came through so I found one on sale and snapped it up. I guess the animal print wasn’t so popular since it was languishing on the clearance rack but I’m not picky (J ~ stop laughing) and I proudly brought it home, justifying my purchase by claiming it would keep me warm during my enforced period of bedrest.

Well, it would if I were ever allowed to use it.

But honestly, if it’s not her with it then this one has usually claimed it.

And my Macy’s quilted cuddle wrap?

I don’t even have a chance with these two (well, three – one was just out of camera range tucked below my feet).

Yep, I could get used to these lazy days…

Ava’s daycare has a Fall Festival for all the children and, of course, all the parents are not only invited but also asked to participate. They do these parent-kid interactive activities in some form or another at least once a month, however I’m convinced it’s mainly an excuse for the parents to take their kids home early. Because, really, who is going to go for half an hour at 3:30PM and then leave their kid there?

I typically don’t go to any of these. J usually represents for our family, in part because he is already off work about that time but also because if I’m around Ava wants to hang with me and refuses to venture more than 2 feet from my side. That makes it kind of hard for her to do certain toddler oriented activities.

But because no one else in her room volunteered to help with the Fall Festival, J and I both got roped in to this one. And honestly, I also went because I wanted to see Ava and all of her friends in their costumes. Come on, they’re two. The cuteness was overwhelming.

So J and I show up in costume. And yes, we were the only parents to do so. Score one for us. I was dressed as a 4-star general (inside joke at work) and J was a non-scary vampire-y count sort of creature.

Ava was a leopard-y sort of cat for costume #2 of 4. It was sort of a leotard thing with a tulle skirt and she was getting dressed when we got there. Of course as soon as she got said leotard on nature called and we had to do the whole thing in reverse, followed by hand washing, which makes her absolutely giddy (SOAP! WATER!).

Except this was about the happiest she was for the rest of our time there.

The concept of the festival is that the kids played a different game in every room and then got to trick or treat from the daycare workers. After all the games were done they did a parade down the little strip mall adjacent to her daycare, trick-or-treating from the merchants while showing off their costumes.

Remember I said Ava wouldn’t go more than 2 feet away from me? Yeah, make that about 6 inches. If I attempted to pry her from my arms then there was much screaming and a downright refusal to participate. Note that she is not visible in either of the following two photos:

That’s because she was glued to me. I tried to put her down. Really I did. I tried to encourage her to play with the others. I even tried to bribe her with candy.


Not only did we have crying every single time her feet touched the ground we also had an out and out meltdown. It was the worst we’ve ever had in public and all precipitated by me trying to coax her into actually having fun. Suffice it to say that it was a teeny bit embarrassing but thankfully all the other parents around us were also raising two year olds so I figured it wasn’t anything they hadn’t seen or experienced already themselves.

She did finally trick or treat one daycare worker who had stickers and hopped down out of my arms just in time for the costume parade by the shops…only to scare the hell out of me when she broke and ran for the parking lot. Seriously, I don’t think I’ve ever been that frightened because she took off in the blink of an eye and was gone before I could grab her. I’m still a little miffed that not one other parent reached out and blocked her on the way into traffic but I darted out and caught her (in boots with heels, no less) before she made it too far. I gotta tell you though, after a great big bear hug of relief that she hadn’t been squished by a car, that little girl got plunked right down on the curb and got a very stern talking to in front of everyone.

We (thankfully) wrapped it up shortly thereafter and headed home for dinner and her monthly birthday (just a little late this month) photo shoot.

Costume #3 was put into use at her request. This time she was a butterfly.

Accompanying her was her friend ~ Sam the Bumblebee.

Which she (and we) thought was hilarious.

Sam? Not so much. But he came around…eventually. Or at least he became resigned to the indignity of owners who dress their dogs and kid up as insects for fun.

Introducing the newest member of our household, formerly known as Xanadu Chairman of the Board (call name: Sinatra), but now known as Sam. Ava’s just not able to pronounce Sinatra yet. We’d thought about calling him Frankie but it just didn’t work for me.

J is very, very happy to have him here. The male bonding is intense, probably in part because he imprinted on J when he picked him up from the airport after his flight from Chicago. Apparently the testosterone acts a magnet or something since Sam will hardly leave J for even a second – well, except for food. He’s a chowhound.

Sam sort of fell into our laps. We weren’t looking for another papillon at this time but the opportunity and circumstances presented themselves and it felt okay. He’s certainly not a replacement for Katie (although they do share a few personality characteristics that my other 2 paps don’t have) but he’s settled in and is finding his own place in our household – unfortunately with 2 female dogs that place seems to be at the bottom of the pecking order.

He is WONDERFUL with Ava. For a pup with little to no experience with toddlers he has been a dream come true for us. My older pap, Emma, is all mountain-goaty and avoids interacting with kids by climbing to the highest spot in any room, whereas Sophie, the middle one, is perfectly fine with Ava but will snarl threateningly at any other kid if they get too close (she’s not overly friendly with unknown adults either). It helps that Sam is a big boy (for a papillon) standing at 11 inches tall and weighing in around 8 pounds so he’s a little sturdier than the girls.

He’s a sweet little boy. Headstrong and barrels through the house like a bull in a china shop, can leap tall baby fences in a single bound, but is all heart. He doesn’t wear his on his sleeve, though. He’s man enough to wear his right on his head for everyone to see.

NaBloPoMo Post Date: 11/7/2009

I was at Targ.et the other day and ran across a toy camera on clearance for $2. I’ve been picking up cheapo toys in preparation for the upcoming loooonnnnggg drive to Disney but I hesitated on this one because it was age recommended for a younger baby. I picked it up anyway ($2!) and, like most of the other things I’ve bought for the trip, I caved and gave it to her right away. (Just like the bouncy thing that I bought to put up for Christmas that’s now taking up 2/3 of my dining room because I couldn’t wait.)

Of course you know what’s coming, right?

She carries this camera EVERYWHERE. It’s so freakin’ cute becuase she wants to take our “peek-chur” a gazillion times a day and is always telling us (and the dogs and the cats) to say cheese. She adjusts the zoom, cleans the lens, and generally does everything that she sees me do with my camera – to include trying every different angle possible in order to get the perfect shot.

Of course the biggest difference is that my camera didn’t come with built in 70’s model shoot music and a disembodied voice shouting out things like “Faaabbb-u-lous” and “Lookin’ Gooooood.” I’m somewhat jealous that the $2 model comes with those features and my so NOT $2 camera didn’t come with anything like that. Hmmph. Design flaw, Nikon?

It’s absolutely hysterical watching her follow the animals around trying to get one to sit still for a picture and getting madder than a hornet when they won’t listen. (Heh – now you know how I feel sometimes, kid.)

This time it was LilyCat in the crosshairs.

Poor, long suffering LilyCat.

Ava decided a break was called for during the impromptu photo session so she could teach Lily how to operate the camera. So cute listening to Ava tell her to “poosh dis button.”

Lily is apparently quite a persnickety model, however. The shoot came to a rapid end when Ava requested that LilyCat model the very latest in hand-me-down Barney toddler underwear.

Can’t say that I blame LilyCat for walking out. Preserving her dignity, I’d say.

We didn’t mean to get a cat. We didn’t want a cat. I don’t even really like cats much. J likes them moderately better than I do but I would define us (me, definitely) as dog people.


We got a(nother) cat.

Back in May we were out late-ish so it was very dark when we were coming home. As I drove by the tree at the corner of our property I saw a flash of white frolicking about and a glimmer of glow-y eyes peering our way. We, of course, had to explore and discovered two very tiny (and hungry and thirsty) kittens in the hollow of the tree. No idea, at that time, of where they came from since we don’t have a lot of stray or loose animals about in our town. We ultimately discovered that their mama and siblings were killed in a construction accident at an adjacent site.

It was amusing watching J and my 2 neighbors try to catch the kittens. One was pretty easy – got her on the second day – but the other was somewhat elusive. It was quite comical to see J or Tom perched like vultures out there, sun or rain, trying to grab the kitty when she came out for a drink of milk or watching them try to corner and grab her. She was smart and fast, though, and managed to elude us all for nearly a week. In the meantime the other kitty was getting fat and happy in an ex-pen on our front porch while we used her as bait to coax the other one away from the tree and the road.

Finally, finally J managed to trap her in some cobbled together Wile E. Coyote contraption – seriously, the travel kennel with bait inside was on the front porch while the string to close the door looped all over the porch and into our house. J would peer out at intervals throughout the night and was thrilled, nay ecstatic, when he finally managed to catch her. The war whoop that emanated from him was loud enough to wake the neighborhood.

We brought the kittens in to terrorize our other cat socialize them so we could either rehome them or take them to the humane society when they were just a tad bit older. I think they were about 6 weeks or so at the time of capture. I was fortunate to quickly find a home for the first one and sent her on her way after a couple of weeks. She adapted easily to us and the dogs so I knew she’d be okay and, bonus, she went to an animal loving coworker who was looking for a kitten to fill an empty spot in their heart/house after the loss of an older cat a few months prior.

It took days for the second one, EC,  to let us even touch her so I knew she wasn’t going to be nearly as easy to rehome. This was one of the first times she let me hold her and only then if I had the other one (we called her Cleo, after Cleopatra – check out the eyeliner) in my arms at the same time.

Cleo, by the way, is now known as Chloe and is doing well in her new home. She has a dachshund/lab mix and a house bunny to pal around with so life is pretty good for her.

So y’all know where this is going, right?

For a long time Ellie was called BabyCat by Ava. I refused to name her because I was still determined that she WASN’T STAYING HERE. That is, until we saw how she slowly began to trust us. And how she would sit patiently while Ava read her book after book. And how she was slowly winning J over by attaching herself to him like glue (told you she was smart – she knew who the cat softie is in this house). Besides, she’s kinda odd looking (like someone smashed an orange cat with a gray cat and then added tiger stripes) so it’s not like she would win any beauty contests at the shelter.

I guess she’s staying. She has a name and a bed.

I will be very grateful when we’re through the teenage cat stage because the adolescent behavior is wearing on my dog-loving nerves and I do hope she stops terrorizing LilyCat soon. Otherwise I shall be looking for a cat therapist because Lily, as am I, is slowly being driven nuts by this little beast.