Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Oh Yeah, the Cat

So, I don't think I ever made the introductions. Or maybe even mentioned it, because it happened in the long blog hiatus I unintentionally took. But we got a cat.

That's right. A cat.

As a kid, I always had cats, and when R and I were kinda-sorta dating I told him that I would have a cat (or more than one cat) in response to him telling me he was allergic to cats. I'm glad I made that declaration way back then. If I hadn't said it back then, it would be a lot harder to justify now. You know, now that we're married and whatnot.

All the long years in-between that declaration and last August were a no-cat possibility because we were in transition with school/moving/life. I had a ferret, then we got a puppy. And about the time a cat would have been a possibility, we adopted our other dog, Karma, eater of all things small. So, R and I were officially together for 14+ years before I announced we were getting a cat.

We didn't just run out and get a cat. We deliberated. Well, I deliberated. R just made semi-snide comments and followed along with what I said because he had never had a cat.* We made a list of what we wanted: a cat that is friendly, playful, and tolerant of toddlers. Basically, we were looking for a cat-shaped dog.

*His mom had "garage cats" when he was growing up. Apparently those are cats one keeps in the garage/outside, and goes to the garage to hang out with. I'm told that's not weird at all.

Also, out of deference to the allergy thing, I researched that too. It turns out that certain cat characteristics influence how much allergy-causing protein a particular cat produces. Males have more than females. Cats that have been "fixed" have less than intact cats. Light colored cats produce less of the protein than dark colored cats - officially putting the kibosh on my plan to adopt a pure black cat.

So we set out to find a cat at our local humane shelter. After 3 trips there, we widened our search and we found her. A super tiny, gray tabby we named Pixie.

Yes, this is a full grown cat. Furr-ocious, no?

She is remarkable with our toddler. In fact, she's almost too tolerant. We went through a period of him basically body slamming this tiny 6 lb. cat, picking her up by the neck, etc. and she was all, "that's cool." It made disciplining him really hard because as he's sitting in time out listening to why he can't pull the cat around by her tail, she would come curl up next to him.

She's the type of cat that people who hate cats all love. Seriously. Everyone loves this cat.

She is 100% startle proof (balloons have popped in her face and she's like whatevs). She loves people. We had football parties filled with people and kids and she just went from person to person eating up all the attention. She lets us walk her on a leash. And our son taught her to play fetch. Yep, mostly a cat-shaped dog.

Early on in my pregnancy, when I was super sick, she was my nap buddy.

Now, she still is a cat. She does annoying things to get attention if she's being ignored.* She spends at least 15 minutes a day freaking out and running spastically around the house; cat owners, you know what I'm talking about. R was hilariously shocked by this behavior. And she gets up on the kitchen counter...just writing that last bit causes my jaw to clench involuntarily. Pretty sure her previous owner fed her on the counter, which thanks a lot buddy! Do you care nothing for hygiene??!? 

*For examples, please see raggedy holes in the majority of my house plants. She only does remodels my plans when I am actually looking at her because cat.

So, that's Pixie. Our weird little cat-dog hybrid. The only thing to add is this little ironic twist: though she certainly loves everyone in the house, she is basically R's cat. Oh, and his body adapted (probably because of their special, super awesome relationship where he pets her in the evenings while she grooms herself on his lap); after a couple months his allergies seem to have disappeared.

Now, if my pregnant self could just stop looking at rescue dogs online...

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Virtual nesting?

For those of you who have been here before, you'll notice things look a bit different. Apparently nesting has spilled out onto the internet.

It was time for a change.

I've got little else to report.

Pregnancy update: Am huge. Also being kicked internally ALL. THE. TIME. Less than 6 weeks to go.*

Nesting update: Bathroom is nearly complete. Back splash is painted. Baby clothes and diapers have been pulled out and coo'd at but still need washed.

*The Plan (version 1): If I go into labor naturally before the due date, and it progresses, I'll try for a VBAC. If not, we're going in after her on her due date (aka a c-section). I am not waiting nearly 3 extra weeks a second time. If you're interested, there is a TON of blog material on Mr. Man's refusal to enter the world, the birth plan that went completely off the rails, and how I ended up with a c-section after a zillion hours of labor.

**The Plan (version 2): The hospital and my OB might not be ready to do VBACs by the time this baby chooses to's a long story and we'll leave it at that. So, we'll just hope she doesn't come early. I admit, this is not the best plan ever. I plan on planning more.

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Tweet Chirp Squawk

What do the birds outside my window and I have in common? We are both nesting like crazy! Seriously, this nesting has taken on epic proportions.

I have been painting my kitchen back splash in my spare time. Though I've never liked the back splash, I've put up with it for 4 years. Most of the time, I don't even notice it. It's cream-colored tumbled limestone, set with cream-colored grout, and is just kind of there.

But getting our appliances replaced has triggered something in my pregnant brain and now the tiles are intolerable! The atrocity that is our back splash can not be allowed to remain in our kitchen.

So, I'm painting it. And not like you'd see if you were to Google, oh, I don't know, "paint porous stone tile." Those people had the good sense to use a roller and latex paint and do it all in one go. But, I, I hate taking the easy way out.

Instead, I am using a mini foam brush, some indoor/outdoor craft paint, and a watercolor brush, and I am painting each tile separately. Each tile is its own special unique snowflake of color (which, in all instances, will be some variation of the same brown paint with different amounts of water added to it). I am carefully avoiding the grout to allow for maximum contrast.

This means that I am having to stretch, squish and contort my pregnant self over the kitchen counters to get this done. I am doing it for short stretches at a time and it is taking me more than a week to finish, but so far I am happy with the results. The paint really allows you to see the pocks, cracks, and imperfections in the tile, which I think are beautiful. Also, it helps blend in the ornamental metal flower tile thingies that the previous owner put into the back splash. They now seem complimentary, rather than a stark juxtaposition with their cream surroundings.

This pic shows the painted tile on the bottom, the unpainted tile on the top (that's the paper towel holder hovering in front of it), and the ornamental metal flower tile thingy. 

Here's a pic of a section that I've completely finished. Most of our kitchen stuff, like containers etc., are white and completely disappeared into the back splash before. I'm really pleased with how they now stand out. Also, look at how the outlet cover now blends in!

I achieved the different colors by watering down the craft paint to varying degrees. Also, some tile just soak up the paint better than others. Check out this one.

Pretty cool, right? And it cost me about $8 for mini foam brushes and craft paint.

The new paint job mostly compliments the counters. Not perfectly, but I don't expect this to be a permanent fix. In the not-too-distant future we'll be painting the kitchen cabinets. The honey oak cabinets are another feature that I've never been fond of but am living with. When we paint those, we'll most likely replace the back splash. 

Anyway, operation update all the things is moving right along. We are buying a new toilet this week, the last bit we need to renovate our main bathroom, which is happening next week. Yay! Plumbing! Demo! Something sure to go horribly wrong! So exciting.