Monday, December 31, 2012

Mari, the Foam Eating Kittie

As I've mentioned, we had a very sick kitten on Christmas day. Mari was throwing up and acting very lethargic. She was not eating. By Wednesday we knew that something was really wrong and we took her to the vet.

I need to say here that we knew that Mari had eaten foam in the past. The boys' foam blocks kept turning up with bite marks. We thought we had put them all away out of her reach, but somehow, every once in a while, we'd find another chewed-up foam block. Occasionally she would even throw up some undigested foam. I know, gross. Sorry.

We have a very strange cat!

We told the vet about Mari's strange foam addiction and he ran tests that showed a blockage at the beginning of her small intestine.

Surgery. Great. On a cat. BIG vet bill. Right after Christmas.
(I still can't even speak in complete sentences about this.)

Well, she came through the surgery just fine.... and sure enough.... look what they extracted from the base of her stomach where it meets the intestines.....

I know, super gross. But I had to keep this. It's some VERY expensive undigested foam!!!! If only it was shaped like the Blessed Mother, we could probably get something for it on ebay, right? We're not entirely sure where this foam came from, but we did find more foam stuff in our school room and we've tried hard to rid our entire house of the stuff. (But not before she found ANOTHER foam puzzle yesterday and managed to chew it a bit before we caught her!)

So, the good news is our Mari is going to be ok. She has a big incision on her belly. The BAD news is that Jon and I have to give her pain medicine and an antibiotic twice a day. This is not easy. This is serious penance for some past sins.

Here she is.... our million dollar foam eating cat... pretending to be asleep even though she just got finished knocking 5 ornaments off our Jesse Tree!

Saint Francis, patron of animal lovers, pray for us!

12 Great Memories from 2012

It's always fun to look back at the end of the year and remember all of the ups and downs it held. 2012 was a good year for our family in many ways. It  has had its trials too.

We just got word that Jon's mom is in the hospital... feeling weak and disoriented and needing a blood transfusion. Please join us in praying for her. When we told the boys, Ray replied... "What is it with the Grandmas? First our Mamaw broke her leg and now our other Grandma is in the hospital!" As you know, my mom had a crummy year including two trips in an ambulance: one for gall bladder surgery in August and then a broken ankle just a month later. Fortunately, she is healing. This week she got to give her boot the boot and she's walking on her own two feet again.

But instead of dwelling on the difficult stuff, I want to focus on the joys and blessings of this year. So, here's a look back at 12 good memories from 2012 ---

1. We started the year with a January trip to Great*Wolf*Lodge in Mason, Ohio.... courtesy of Jon's boss. It was a really fun family time to just play and be together.

We also wove in a visit to the awesome Children's Museum in Cincinnati with my Dad, Mary, and some friends.

2. We had the privilege of joining my nephew Carter in the celebrations of the Sacraments of Baptism and First Eucharist.

3. We made several trips to visit Jon's family in Michigan! The boys just love playing with their cousins and we're so blessed to have such a big, loving family up there.


4. In March -- while Jon was working away on taxes --- my mom and I took the boys for a fun getaway in Indianapolis. We toured the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and had a great time at the Children's Museum!
5. When Adam turned six in May, he got a bedroom makeover! He got a new bunkbed. Pappy and Mary worked hard to paint and decorate the room with a Mario theme!
6. In May we added two new additions to our family. We adopted Gloria and Mari when they were tiny little kittens! They have grown so fast. We all love having them as part of our family.


7. This year's vacation was a blast! We went to Lakeside Chatauqua on Lake Erie with some very dear friends. We had such a nice week of playing and relaxing together.


8. Camp Tee Tee! We had an awesome fun week with Carter and Ava. We can't wait to do it again next summer.

9. In October Jon and I celebrated 10 great years of marriage with a trip to Niagara Falls!

10. We have had a great year of  homeschool learning. We are so thankful for the privilege of being home together,  the plethora of fun learning adventures we go on, and our awesome Catholic Homeschooling group with whom we share this journey! We also love all of our "extracurricular" activities that add to our educational experience: soccer, pottery, karate, Bosco Boys Club, Catechesis of the Good Shepherd, Boy Scouts. Best of all is the opportunity for us to live deeply the liturgical year in our home. Many thanks to our parents and friends who help us with this homeschool adventure in so many ways.

11. Friends! We are so very blessed to be sharing our lives with wonderful, wonderful friends. When Jon and I first started our family we longed to find other families with similar values with whom we could raise our children. And God has answered those prayers. We love sharing outings, holidays, get-togethers, birthdays, and even just phone calls with so many wonderful families. We couldn't do this parenthood thing without them!

12. We ended 2012 with some really great news from Jon's boss. For now I'll just say that he got a very big promotion. The news hasn't been formally announced to all of his co-workers and clients yet... so I'll wait on that details. But I need to give a great big thank you to Mike B. for all of the ways he's been so generous to Jon and our family. Jon and Mike have worked together for 10 years. Our family is so blessed by Jon's job and by the fact that he loves it so much. (Remind me of that in a few months when he's working 29 hours a day.)
Of course there are so many more.... The boys are mad that I didn't include Ray's Game Truck Birthday party. That was awesome fun. The Halloween campout, summer at the pool, holiday celebrations, Mario mania.... I could probably do 100+ happy memories.
Tonight --- New Year's Eve --- we attended Mass as a family and then came home for a nice (simple) family dinner with some yummy treats for dessert. Right now the boys and Jon are playing Just*Dance 4 and we'll soon all be asleep. No staying up until midnight around here!

Since Mari knocked most of our Jesse ornaments off of our small Jesse Tree, we've transformed it into our New Year's tree.... It's ready for tomorrow's celebration of the new year and my dad's birthday.
Thank you God for all of the blessings and graces of this year.... those listed here and the thousands of others left unnamed. We count on your love, grace, and faithfulness as we strive to walk in your ways each day. We place our trust in you. May 2013 be a year filled with peace, love, and growth for all. Amen.