Friday, July 25, 2008

No More Tube Feedings, No More Bottles, No More Pediasure

Hello All. I can't believe the time has finally come that we can say good bye to tube feedings, bottles, and pediasure. For Jelly Bean it has been a long hard road. He has been tube fed since one month when he couldn't take in enough calories to keep up with his heart condition. Then during open heart surgery he forgot how to suck and swallow. His reflux was so bad we hard a very hard time getting anything in his mouth without gagging to the point of throwing up. However, with the awesome help of our feeding therapist Ms Megan Jelly Bean is now able to finally eat anything in site, drink all he wants, and maintain his caloric need. We are so excited. The feeding button is being left in for now till we make sure he can take in enough fluids. But wow what a step for Jelly Bean. Next we have Cookie and Spud who had failure to thrive because of horrible acid reflux. So these two needed all the extra calories they could get and couldn't make big changes like taking their bottle away for fear they might stop taking the pediasure. So these past two weeks we dove in head first and took away all the pediasure and bottles. I am happy to report they are both doing great. Eating pretty good and only need to put in a calorie supplement in their milk, from a cup. It is so nice to sit down to a normal family meal, well as normal as the Catz family can be. Time to head off to Mama Land. May the Lord bless you richly till we meet again. Mama Cat
Above was some bubble fun in the big tub I thought I would share. Spud doesn't like bubbles or the big tub so he chose not to be in this one.

Friday, July 11, 2008

No Peanuts In The Catz House

Oh my goodness yesterday we had the scare of our life. All the kittens have a peanut allergy and Thumper had finally tested negative so wanted to try it out. I wanted to do this at home before school starts because so many treats at school seem to have peanuts that she has to pass up. Well . . . one of the boys gave Spud some peanut butter. They were all on the deck and I was fixing drinks in the house. Spud started crying and his cry did not sound normal at all. After a few minutes and calling a friend who has more experience in this emergency than I, I had to administer one of the other kittens epi-pens. After speaking to my friend he continued to get worse. His throat was starting to swell shut, harder to breath and gums were swelling. He also had hives the size of my pinky nail on his chest and tummy. Needless to say we had to call 911 and he was taken via an ambulance to the hospital. Everything turned out ok, the Doctor gave him a high dose of benedryl and steroids. He will continue with the steroids for another week. They said he could continue to present symptoms for another week as the peanuts pass through his system.

Once again a testimony that the Lord always cares for my children when I can't. Thank goodness.

Other than that Thumper celebrated her tenth birthday last week on July 3. I decided to give her a special treat and head out for the day by ourselves. I think she gets overwhelmed with all these boys all the time and needed some private Mama time. We made our way to some craft stores for crafting supplies and had lunch at Panara Bread. She loves their broccoli and cheddar soup and has since she was one. Finished the afternoon with ice cream from Culver's and coffee at Barnes and Noble where we browsed through some horse and cat books. It was really nice to have some time to ourselves. Later that evening she decided to eat out at Houlihans for their macaroni and cheese. We laughed and said we could have made that at home. But I guess its the ambiance. I can't believe my baby is ten. She is growing up so fast and looking more grown up ever day.

Well I must go referee the boys and will catch ya all later.

May the Lord bless you richly till we meet again.

Mama Cat

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Haircuts For All

Well, I think March might have been the last time we made it for haircuts. My hairdresser and I joked that soon we would be going in for our bi annual haircuts. I said well we are almost at quarterly. Just seems like there is never enough time in the day to go for haircuts and since our hairdresser does it from her home on the side we have to also work around her schedule. But I have to admit its more the craziness in our house than hers.

Peanut decided he wanted a new hair style and got his spiked. I figured summer was the best time to try it out and would have time to grow back in before school started. Actually it turned out pretty good. It doesn't stay spiked long though because his brothers think its pretty cool to touch. And of course he keeps touching it too and the gel just softens each time.

Everyone else now at least looks normal and like little boys again. And I have to admit mine was driving me crazy. I know mine is getting pretty out of control when I can brush it out of my eyes from the wind. Thats really long for me. Papa Cat almost went for a buzz, he says just in case this bi annual thing takes place.

Ok gotta run kittens need me as usual.

Mama Cat

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Missing My Mother

This is Grandma Cat with my Kittens. This was taken in April 2007 just after Spud was born and just before her health issues came about.

Well its been a few days. I have been having a rough time for several days. Saturday was my Mother's Birthday, she would have been 82. You see on November 20, 2007 the Lord called my Mother Home. In May of last year she had been diagnosed as having had a stroke. And again in July she was diagnosed with another stroke and doctors wouldn't let her go back to work. Yes, at the young age of 81 my Mother still worked. She loved to be around others, such a people person. And she had a lot of time on her hands with my Dad being gone. Since she couldn't go back to work for three weeks I thought I would bring her up to stay with my family. Sadly after about a week her condition was deteriorating and I took her Rush University Hospital in Chicago. Immediately they had diagnosed her with two brain tumors, she never had a stroke at all, the hospital where she lives had misdiagnosed her. Within four days her thinking skills went dramatically down hill as well as her ability to get around. A few days later the doctors removed a tumor the size of a golf ball, how do you miss a tumor that large is what I would like to know. I feel someone should be held accountable but no one will help. When she came home she made the decision to stay with my family, I feel so blessed that she chose us. It was the love we have for our Lord and the happiness in our home because of it. I know many of my siblings still are very unhappy with me because she made this choice. But I know in my heart that I did what the Lord asked of me and what my Mother asked of me. I feel Mom was a very strong willed person and if she really wanted to go back to her house she would have said so. So after the surgery she actually did really well and was making a big turn around with her thinking skills and mobility. Then she decided to begin chemotherapy and radiation and there was a new drug on the market that was holding some promising results. The down side was doctors needed to remove the second tumor to determine what it was before they could treat. My Mother never re cooperated from this surgery. She was doing better and then on one of our weekly visits to the radiologist he spoke of regret for doing the second surgery due to how it turned out and how well she was doing prior. Because my Mother was not thinking as clearly she had it in her mind he meant she needed a third surgery. She didn't want another surgery and immediately gave up. I just couldn't convince her the doctor was talking about the surgery before and there would be no more surgeries. I think she gave it a good fight. I wouldn't have traded having her with me no matter how much work it was. It provides me with great comfort knowing I got to help her make the journey Home. I wish you could have known my Mother, she was such a giving, loving, faithful person. In those last few months together her walk with the Lord became my walk with the Lord. I never thought my faith could get stronger but it did and still is. My prayer life has increased so much. But I still miss her terribly. We did so much together such as crocheting, crafting, sewing, jewelry, and quilting. My children adored her and she was teaching Thumper and Peanut a little of everything too. We really appreciated everything she did in our lives. I want her back so badly even though I know that is not possible. Losing your Mother is a very difficult thing to explain. It leaves such an empty space in life, that makes life not quite so important anymore. And I know many say oh focus on the happy things you did together. Remember how much she loved me. I do those things but it doesn't make the pain or emptiness go away. I feel robbed, I am only 41. But I feel my children have been robbed of knowing and loving their Grandmother. I guess that's the hard part of being the youngest of nine, ya have babies when Grandma's are getting older. She loved them all and she had such a special place in her heart for Jelly Bean. Thumper has had the hardest time with my Mother's death. But that was something we knew back when my Dad passed. Papa Cat and I would always say we hoped my Mother passed away when Thumper was much older because we knew how hard it would be. They had a very special relationship. So I try move forward, yearning for her hugs and love and taking comfort she is in the hands or our Savior.

So no matter what kind of relationship you have with your parents take the time to tell them just how much you love them. Learn everything you can from them, even learn something new with them. Share your joys and your sorrows. Make them some of the most important people in your life. Spend as much time as you can with them and if children are in your life allow them to be awesome grandparents. Life is too short.


Mama Cat

This is Grandpa and Grandma Cat on their 50th wedding anniversary. Papa Cat and I sent them on an all paid trip to the Grand Ole Opry in Tennessee. Something they had always wanted to do.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Playful Kittens

Well today the kittens thought they would create their own way of playing. Papa Cat got a large package in the mail therefore large box. Peanut broke the box down flat and they all took turns sledding down the stairs on the box. There were lots of laughs, sore bums, and a few tears when they fell off. But I guess well worth it because they continue to play the sledding game.

Peanut lost his first tooth, he has been waiting forever to lose one. Eating an apple and thought it was a seed so spit it out. Oh that was a lot of fun trying to find the tooth to leave for the tooth fairy, mmmm wonder what she'll bring to him.

Our little business on etsy has been doing us pretty good at least two sales every week. Papa Cat wants more I'm happy with slow and steady. I'm hoping the holidays will boost things a bit. We are brainstorming some new ideas to add, should have some new things listed within a couple of weeks. Currently I am working on new hang tags for our products and some new packaging to help things look more professional and dress things up a bit.

Jelly Bean decided to go out on his own the other day. He made it three blocks down and was on his way back to the house when someone found him. Of course he can't talk yet so she had no idea who he belonged to, and we are new to the community. The Lord directed her in the right direction, a friend from church lives in the direction he was coming from so she assumed she would know, well she knew where he belonged only because we know each other from church. I am so lucky the Lord watches after my children when I cannot. He crossed a pretty busy main street in the subdivision not once but twice and it has a bit of a hill so people dont' always see whats up ahead. I had no idea he had gotten out and had just asked all the other kittens where he was and they said in the basement playing and they were just down there so I thought they knew what they were talking about. I was fixing supper so didn't check. Then someone came knocking at the door and to my surprise carrying my JellyBean. Needless to say my heart stopped as the story unfolded.

Ok off to a kitten run as usual. God's Blessings to all. Mama Cat

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Etsy Friend Needs Your Help

Please visit this ebay listing. One of my Etsy chat friends, Deconstructress, is trying to raise funds for one of her friends. Someone lost her 15 year old daughter to a tragic accident. Deconstructress is doing her part to help her friend won't you have a heart and help this family. I'm sure if the auction is over you can contact Deconstructress either through Ebay or Etsy to learn of other ways to help this family. Every little bit can help.

Mama Cat

Rough Nights

Well it has been some rough nights in our house. Thumper has insomnia, no real reason and she is sooooo crabby when she doesn't get enough sleep. We decided to split Jelly Bean and Cookie they play way too much and keep each other up or wake each other up, makes for more crabby little ones. Unfortunately Jelly Bean doesn't handle change too well so takes some time to get to sleep. Jelly Bean and Cookie however still are getting up at 4:45 AM, oh how I need some sleep with no interruptions.

Father's Day went well for Papa Cat. He got a few new tools and hope to list some new creations on our Etsy site soon. I'm sure soap dishes will be on his list he can't seem to make enough of them, lol. Kids and I made crab legs and seven layer salad for his dinner, it's his favorite. Also watched the trilogy of Indiana Jones in preparation of the going to the new movie. It was really a lot of fun. Truly what a blessing God gave us to be parents. We feel honored that he chose us to have so many children. I know there are many out there that are unable to have children and I feel your pain, I was there once myself. Adoption sometimes I think is a joke, can touch base on that at a later time. I know some have been able to do adoption but for many the expense is ridiculous. I don't understand why it has to cost so much when the first priority should be to get these children out of the system and into a stable loving home. Again thats another topic for another day.

Another year without my Dad has made Father's Day still difficult. My Father passed away on November 20, 2003. He had spleen and liver cancer which was found too late and made its way through the body. It has been six long years without him and I miss him a lot. I miss that my children have missed out on having Grandpa around, he really would have enjoyed all these boys and he loved Thumper so much. I don't think we ever get over the loss of a parent.

So I have a funny to tell on Cookie. Over the weekend he found a permanent blue marker and decided to color his testicles, yes his testicles. He thought he was so funny. I'm really surprised Jelly Bean wasn't a part of the fun and they didn't color Spud's as well. A picture would be worth a thousand words but you all will have to imagine this one on your own. Oh the leverage I have on him some day, lol. Cookie is something else, just can't find the words to describe him. He thinks he is the boss of all, because he does no wrong, not, always finds trouble to get into, makes his own trouble when he can't find any, daredevil (he will have the first broken bone of the family), and very sneaky. Not even sure if that scratches the surface of his character, lol. But ya gotta love him, he looks so innocent out in public, yes he knows how to work the public too.

I have made some great friends on Etsy these days, they are my sounding board for good and bad. I really enjoy chatting with them each day and many times multiple times a day. I have begun to list some of their blogs sites take the time to check them out, or go to Etsy and check them out most of them blog with the same user name as Etsy. I hope to list some of my favorite items from Etsy friends as well very soon. There are just so many great artists out there that make such unique things. Visit the site you will fall in love with so much.

Gotta run kittens are only giving me a small minute.

Blessings to all.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Introducing The Real Cats Of The Family

I just thought I would share our beautiful siberian cats. The cat on top is Chloe. She turned two in May of this year. Chloe is Thumpers cat and only allows her to hold her, touch her, sit by her. She is a fussy little thing, doesn't like Papa Cat, doesn't like anyone else in the family to hold her or barely sit by her. She is kind of a look but don't touch sort of cat. The bottom cat is Sasha, she turned two years old in April of this year. Sasha does not like Papa Cat either but Mama Cat is her favorite. She is actually Peanuts cat. She likes a lot of attention, likes to be held, loves to play, and likes to lick my face each morning for a wake up call. They are great cats to have around and help to make our family complete.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Catz Family

Just thought I would share a photo of the Catz family. Taken in March 2008.

Life in the Fast Lane

Good Morning All,

This is my first time at blogging so bear with me. I'm going to make an attempt at posting everyday, but being realistic that may not happen. There are five kittens in the family that take a lot of my time; Thumper, my oldest and only girl will be 10 in July, Peanut just turned 6 in April, Jelly Bean just turned 4 in April, Cookie will be 3 in August, and Spud just turned 1 in March. So needless to say it is a busy household.

At the moment everyone is playing nicely and somewhat quietly freeing me up for just a few moments.

Currently in our life we are looking for another home, we have only been in this one for a year but it has a lot of leaks and mold growing that has caused some severe allergy issues with all the kittens especially our little Jelly Bean. Jelly Bean has heart and lung disease. The mold is really causing havoc on his lungs. We have been in to the emergency room with serveral bouts of pneumonia so far this year. This is the worst he has been since he was little. Jelly Bean has had a host of health issues since birth and had two open heart surgeries by the time he was three months old. Overall he has been doing wonderful just have need for oxygen now and then. Thumper itches her nose and constantly sneezing which in turn has her with frequent headaches, Peanut has asthma so he has been using his inhaler way too much. The sad part is the home is brand new, we are currently renting and wanted to buy the home but can't do that when the owner refuses to fix the leaks or clean out the mold.

I hate moving, we have done it way too much in the past four years. It seems life has thrown us a lot of curve balls with loss of work for Papa Cat. But we will survive always do, with the Lord's help. This year Papa Cat is doing pretty good with his business, he began his own landscaping business the year Jelly Bean was born. It has had its ups and downs as it can be hard to please some people even when mowing their grass. But four years later we still have several of our original clients and have added two churches to the list. He has been asked to place a quote on a subdivision and a town home community for next year. We pray the Lord will provide these accounts as it will aslo give us some constant winter income from snow.

Our faith is above all the most important aspect of our life. We feel truly blessed to have five wonderful children, food to eat, a roof over our head, reliable vehicles, and work for Papa Cat. Without the Lord we wouldn't get through any of the trials life has to offer us. We pray that in everything we do we serve the Lord. That we leave footprints behind that lead others to His amazing love. Many wonder where God is during so many rough trials in their life, He is there carrying each one of us every step of the way providing only what we need not necessarily what we want. If it weren't for Him we wouldn't make it through the trials. And as the saying goes if it weren't for the rain we wouldn't see the rainbow. Sometimes in our busy lives we forget to stop and notice our Heavenly Father, but when life gets rough He is the first that we turn to, did He leave during our times of selfishness, no He just stood by waiting patiently as any Father would for us to realize we can't go through life without Him.

Ok that is it for me now the kittens have played quietly by themselve all they can so it's time for Mama Cat to step in.

May the Lord bless You richly,
Mama Cat