Thursday, August 14, 2014

Good Bye Buford, We Will Miss You

Today, we had to say good-bye to our fabulous cat, Buford.  We will miss him dearly, because he was one cool cat!

While we hate to see him go, we are enjoying remembering a few of the things that made him more fun and feisty than the average feline.  Buford joined our family way back in 1998 as a pound rescue.  A quick bath surprisingly revealed a rather good-looking, long-haired, red, tabby instead of the matted, grey cat we adopted.  That was just the first of many surprises with Buford.

Always an indoor-outdoor cat, and always super friendly, he was known for visiting the neighbors and "inviting" himself into their homes.  While most folks were kind enough to indulge Buford in his friendly visits, it got him into trouble occasionally, too.  One time he ended up locked in a new home for sale after he followed prospective buyers inside at a showing.  Another time he spent a day and a half in our crawl space when unbeknownst to me he followed me under the house.

Unlike some cats, Buford wasn't much of a hunter, always more of a lover than a fighter.  After he had scratched his way through the back of several couches, we decided his front claws had to go.  On the morning we were taking him to the vet, he showed up with his first (and last) mouse.  I guess he knew it was his final chance at hunting and he seized the opportunity.  The next day he was declawed and continued to be an indoor-outdoor cat until this very day.  Despite the dire warnings of one vet, he never had a problem defending himself without his claws.  Feral cats and neighborhood dogs simply didn't bother him; I guess they knew it was Buford's house and left him alone.  Of course, the lack of claws didn't take away all his spunk.  He managed to feast on a quite a few beta fish fresh from the fish bowl - sorry Mimi and Auntie Em.

And then there were all the moves.  Cats are notoriously bad at moving and travel, but Buford always took it in stride.  He was shipped as cargo, not once, but twice.  And then, there was the infamous move flight last year.  He was trekked in a car on not one, but two three-week odysseys when Scott and I were in grad school and too broke to pay to board him.  He briefly lived with my in-laws three different times and ruled the roost despite the fact they already had two cats and one Golden Retriever (Thanks again, Mimi and Poppa).  All told Buford had 10 different address during his 17+ years, and amazingly never once got lost (something we can't say that about Epy).

Best of all about Buford was his personality.  He never scratched a kid, despite having his ears and tail pulled many, many times.  He was fiesty when he was young and matured into an old cat who just wanted to be held, pet, and loved.  He would sit next to me purring for hours as I studied endlessly in nursing school.  Even when he was sick these last few months, he was still a kitten at heart.  The kids even had him chasing a bit of string last week.  And today, he was purring in my arms right before I took him to the vet.  Like I said, he was one cool cat.  Bye Buford, we will miss you dearly.

That is life in MomZania.

Monday, August 4, 2014

Hitting 8 at High Velocity - Happy Birthday, Jaley

Last week, my Baby Girl turned 8!  It was high velocity and high fun.  The only thing slow about Jaley's birthday was my speed in writing this post.  Her high speed birthday started a few days early with a visit to California's Great America with two friends.  A day of giant coasters and spinning adventures left the girls exhilarated and the grown-ups dizzy, but we were all smiling on the drive home.

On Jaley's actual birthday, the high octane fun continued.  We started at K1 Speed Karting.  The girls swung around the track like naturals, beating out the boys.  We may just have the next Danica Patrick in our midst.  Next, we defied gravity at the Sky High Trampoline Park.  In the evening, we finished off a great day at home dinner, dessert, and even a few gifts.  
This week, the girls are away at their very first spend the night camp.  It is an amazing YMCA camp that definitely doesn't herald from my days at camp.  The girls didn't miss a beat when we dropped them off, but honestly, I hated to say good-bye.  It is tough to let your chicks fly from the nest, if only for the week.  

It isn't just birthdays that are high speed these days, regular life is in overdrive as well.  We have been in our house a year this week, so, of course, it is time to move.  Yup, we are packing up and moving once again!!!! No joke, we are headed into temporary housing again!!! This time isn't so we can find a house, it is so we can fix up the one we've got.  We are delivering our 1959 Ranch into the 21st century.  The permits are ready to be issued and we are picking our contractor this week.  Say good-bye to the fuse box and the old pipes; soon say hello to a home that meets code. Now, the house will be my new "baby."  Like a pregnancy the process is sure to lead to a queasy stomach, sleepless nights, and probably a little high blood pressure.  And just like real babies, our home is due to arrive in about 9 months.  Unlike my real babies, I will be totally happy if this "baby" arrives way before her due date.  

 That is life in MomZania.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

The Eagle Has Landed - The Girls Are Home - The Rhythm is Back

The Eagle Has Landed.  Last night, the girls arrived safely back home in California.  It was their first solo cross-country flight.  Yup, unaccompanied minors from coast to coast.  There were no calls from TSA and no air marshal met us at the gate, so I am assuming the girls behaved themselves on the 6-hour flight.  Thank God for the iPad, because US Airways has removed all in-flight TV and movies from their planes.  Take away the food; take away the free luggage, but don't take away the in-flight entertainment.  Kids need it for flights almost as much as they need the pressurized cabin.

During their extra week of vacation, the girls had a ball doing a whole lot of everything.  They had one on one time with Mimi, Poppa, Auntie Em, and their cousins.  They played at the pool, learned a little about golf, went shopping, enjoyed marathon Monopoly games, and even had a home-spa night.  It was a great week full of fun and memories.

While the girls were in NC, Scott, Mick, and I enjoyed a great week, too, but the rhythm was different. Like an orchestra playing, a family's rhythm takes all the members of the house. With only three of us at home, it was a completely different beat.  The washing machine and dish washer weren't humming at all times.  There was no squabbling over who got the bigger serving of dessert.  And not even once was there an argument over the TV channel, Mick watched whatever he wanted, simple as that.  For one glorious week, Mick learned what it was like to be an only child.  And guess what, he missed Sarah and Jaley.  So did Scott and I.  It was quieter, calmer, and there was definitely less to pick up.  As nice as it was, it wasn't our regular, crazy rhythm.

Last night, all three of us went to pick up the girls at the airport, even though the task only really needed one of us.  The girls walked off the plane and we welcomed them home with giant smiles and hugs.  As we drove home down the highway, all three kids started fighting over a junky Happy Meal toy.  Then, Scott and I snapped in, "Can't you kids even go five minutes without a fight."  Then, I knew the family rhythm was back to normal.  It may be zany; it may be mania, but it is our family rhythm.  It takes all five of us to play our symphony, even it it's slightly off key.

That is life in MomZania.