Jan 30, 2008

Oh, How I Miss Her...

I took this picture of Nellie on Sunday night. I think we knew that she wouldn't be with us much longer. I love how she looks so small and cute wrapped in a towel.

I miss her tons...

Jan 29, 2008

My Nellie...

Little Nellie passed away yesterday around 3 PM. I can't believe we lost both cats in less than a week. It is much harder than I thought. We picked her up from the vet where she was being treated with IV fluids and in a warming incubator. They handed her to us wrapped up in a pink fluffy towel and let us sit alone in a room with her. She looked so little.

We brought her to the animal shelter where we brought Jordan just a few days before. We are having both of them cremated and we will keep their ashes. Apparently, the weather affects when they are able to cremate the animals (as it is done outside), so they placed Nellie right next to Jordan until they are able to begin the process. It is somewhat comforting to know that they are together again.

The house was very quiet and empty last night. Our usual routines were replaced by a sense of strangeness and confusion. Nellie would be sleeping on my lap and Jordan would be resting on Patrick's chest. All would be right in the world. Instead, Patrick and I ate dinner and watched TV in silence, both preferring to ignore the huge void that was in the room with us.

On a cerebral level, I know that pets don't live forever. I understand that their life spans are much shorter than ours, and that dealing with illness and death is an inevitable part of owning and loving a pet. Despite knowing all of that, my heart still breaks.

Last night I slept curled up with the pink towel that we wrapped Nellie in when we took her to the animal shelter. It was just a tiny bit of comfort...

Jan 27, 2008


My Nellie (Boo Boo Kitty) is not doing well. In fact, we don't think she will make it through the night. She is fading fast for some reason. We know she has been dealing with her diabetes for a couple of years, but I honestly think (as crazy as this might sound) that she is missing Jordan. For the past two days, she has been following us around the house wherever we go, but this morning, she has been lethargic and weak. She has stopped eating and is just very limp. I don't know if I can do this - losing both kitties in less than a week. I don't want to lose Boo Boo Kitty, but I don't think I have a choice.

Jan 23, 2008

We Miss Him

We took Jordan (aka Mr. Jordan, Jordan Kitty, Baby Jordan, JJ, Puddin' Pie) to the Rock Island Animal Shelter. We kept him wrapped in the same quilt he was wrapped in when he died. We have a close relationship with the people at the shelter (my in-laws live right next door to the shelter), so we felt that Jordan was in safe hands. The hardest part was watching them place him (and his quilt) in a special cardboard box that they use for deceased animals. As soon as I saw them close up the box, I wanted to open it and let him out. "What if he's not really dead?," I kept thinking. What if he can't breathe in there? But I knew better. I knew that he was dead. I knew that we would never see him again...aside from in pictures. So here are some of my favorites taken over the past few months:

I wish that we could get him back...

Not Exactly How We Planned It

Last week, Jordan (one of our cats) seemed to be acting differently - less energy, not eating as much, etc. We brought him to the vet on Monday and found out that he was in kidney failure. We brought him to the animal ER for some fluids and to try bringing up his temperature. Nothing was working and the prognosis was not good. After some difficult discussions we decided that the most humane thing to do would be to put him to sleep. We brought him home to spend one more night with us and we planned on taking him in this afternoon.

While we waited for Duncan to come home from school, Jordan passed away while wrapped in a blanket and sleeping on Patrick's chest. This was his favorite place to be, so it seemed like things worked out perfectly.

In a way, this is almost easier as we didn't have to go in and make that awful decision - we both were dreading it. It will be weird for him not to be around any longer. The house definitely will be quiet. Patrick has had him for almost 16 years and he's going to have a difficult transition ahead of him.

Even though he's a cat, he still was a part of this family. I miss him.

Jan 21, 2008

Happy Birthday To Me!

I turned 35 on Saturday. I intended to post something then, but didn't have much to say. It was a decent day, but the weather was bad and it just didn't feel like my birthday. Patrick took me to dinner the night before because he had to coach Duncan's basketball game on Saturday night, so we would have had to eat dinner either at 5:3o PM or 9:30 PM. Friday night seemed like a better option and I was totally OK with it. That dinner was really good, but I was so tired. I went home and fell asleep on the couch...I even missed out on watching "Superbad," a movie I've been wanting to see for so long, but Patrick had no interest in it. He rented it for me, but I've yet to see it (I wonder when it's due back?).

Saturday was nice - watched some TV and then Patrick and I went for a b-day lunch at the Waterfront Deli. He thought this was an odd choice, but it's what I really wanted. He ran some errands and I slept on the couch...again. I got up and we went to the basketball game. We met Patrick's parents after the game for a quick bite to eat and then we went home. I quickly opened my gifts and...you guessed, I fell asleep on the couch.

I won't get to see my family until February 3rd. It was weird not seeing them over my b-day weekend, but it'll just have to wait.

So...I'm 35 now. I'm not sure what that means, aside from the fact that I'm now halfway to 70.

Jan 16, 2008

Dreams - Literal and Figurative

Last night I had an awful dream. I was at my parents' house and I had a miscarriage. It was so real and so awful. I sobbed in my dream...and then I couldn't remember my doctor's phone number. I woke up at 5:15 AM and wasn't sure if it was real or not. Sometimes I have dreams that incorporate actual physical pain. For example, I've been known to dream that I was having a migraine, only to wake up and feel the actual pain. When I woke up I thought I felt cramps, which I know can be relatively normal in pregnancy. I wasn't really feeling any pain, but I ran to the bathroom just in case something awful was happening. Everything was fine. I am nearing the end of my 12th week, which means that this weekend I will enter my second trimester. I know that the risk of miscarriage drops significantly at this point, but I think I will worry until I actually give birth.

Enough of the literal dreams and on to the figurative ones. I've been wondering recently what will become of my dream to be a writer...a real writer, once I have a baby. My ambition has been rather non-existent over the last 2 months with all the nausea and migraines and fatigue. During the rare bursts of energy I feel, I tend to cook dinner, walk on the treadmill, or clean up around the house. What I long to do is write. I want to take the laptop with me and write down the ideas I have swirling around in my head. I want to develop the characters and the plot that has been living in me for almost a year. I have a great idea and what I think is a unique way to tell this story...but I don't write. I fall asleep on the couch at 8:30 PM. I watch reruns on TV and feel the energy get sucked out of my body. I believe that my energy will be restored shortly, but then what? We have so much to do around here in preparation for this summer. The spare room is filled with Patrick's and Duncan's clothing, which desperately needs to be bagged and brought to Goodwill. There is old furniture that needs to be donated and new things that need to be purchased. I wonder if I ever will write that novel. Will I ever achieve that dream? I try imagining myself at age 70, not having written it. I truly believe I will feel some sort of emptiness...a sadness and disappointment in something I let slip by me. I don't think it's a big deal if it never gets published, but the fact that this story will continue to only exist in my head, and not on paper, will bother me.

There are very few things in this world that I truly want to accomplish. I am living one right now. The other is just within my reach.

Jan 10, 2008

I Hate Being So Negative, But...

I feel like I've done nothing but complain the last few weeks. Maybe my life is just in that cycle at this time. You know how at times everything is looking up? You have success at work, you get to spend time with your family, your favorite baseball team actually wins their division. Then you go through those times when family members have health problems, work is a pain in the ass, life feels cluttered and disorganized.

I think I'm going through the down cycle. My grandfather isn't doing very well. Yes, he's almost 92 years old, but his mobility is diminishing, he has an infection on his leg that isn't healing, and I think he's beginning to realize how much his life has slowed down. My mother-in-law survived the first of six chemo treatments yesterday. She is tired from the anxiety and the whole experience itself, but she is still upbeat about things. I worry about her, though. My sister's mother-in-law has been admitted to the hospital because her recently diagnosed Alzheimer's has moved into the "very advanced" category. She has become violent at home and is a danger to herself and others. She will be moving into a permanent assisted living facility very soon. She is only 64 years old. And to top it all off, our Boo is sick again. She is at the vet's office right now getting some blood tests. She has lost more weight and there is some concern about thyroid and kidney problems. I'm just waiting for the doctor to call.

I hate downer posts, but it's just how things are right now. It's just one of those cycles. Things have to improve, right?

Jan 8, 2008


Three straight weeks of migraines? Seriously? Is there any chance that these will end...or even taper off?

Here's the saddest thing about this whole stupid situation - right now, I'm not even happy that I'm pregnant. As horrible as this might sound, I've had thoughts flash through my mind about how much easier things would be if I had never gotten pregnant. Seriously, whose genius idea was it to get pregnant? Deep down I'm not serious about those bad thoughts, but I can't deny that I've had them.

According to my neurologist and my OB/GYN, there is a very good chance that they will significantly improve as I enter my second trimester (another 2 weeks!), but I wonder if I will be that small percentage of women who suffer with them for my entire pregnancy.

Right now I'm floating in a haze of painkillers. This is the only thing I can do to help the headaches. I hate it when people question whether or not I should be taking such medication. It has been deemed safe. And seriously...what is my other option? Doing a swan-dive out my second story window onto the concrete? Because after three straight weeks, that feels like my only alternative.

Jan 3, 2008

Making a Difference

Tonight, Patrick and I attended our first caucus. It was quite surreal to sit there and realize that we were making a difference...we were a part of history.

There were a total of 319 people who attended the caucus at our local precinct. After the first vote, 164 of those people were supporting Sen. Barack Obama! After a very long (and at times, quite heated) realignment, Sen. Obama ended up with 186 supporters and 3 delegates (out of a total of 5).

It was an amazing, and incredibly long, night, but one that I will never forget. I am filled with pride and excitement...