Thursday, December 30, 2010

A Merry Christmas Was Had By All

Without a doubt everyone in the Silva house had a Merry Christmas. Colin awoke at 11:00pm, 1:30am, 3:30am and was up for the day at 5:30am. All of our gifts were unwrapped by 6:30am and we were done with breakfast too. It was a very early morning and things were in such a state of chaos and hurry (from the kids) that I didn't even get the traditional photo of both kids sitting in front of the Christmas tree surrounded by presents. I had to settle for individual pictures of the kids.

Both kids got a DSi XL from Santa. They have been played a lot in the last few days but I am sure the newness will wear off at some point in the next few weeks. Colin informed me that he was the only kid in his class that had a DS on their Christmas list because EVERYONE else in the class already had one. My poor deprived child. Somehow I doubt that every kid in the class already has one and he has so many other toys it is ridiculous. Next year I need to remember some sage advice from a friend; "SIMPLICITY".

Needless to say, we all had fun but I am glad the holiday is over. I came down with a bad cold and Christmas day and the day after seemed to be the worst of the cold. That is, until I woke up and could not open my eye.

Yes folks, eye infections are not just for kids anymore. Yes, this is me in all my eye infection glory. I know I look hideous. The kids would not look at me. I told them that the next time they had pink eye that they needed to let me put eye drops in without complaining or they would turn out to look like this. To be honest though, when I went to bed that night I was fine. I woke up in the morning and my eye was swollen shut. Very nice.

Both kids have had pink eye in the last month. Colin got pink eye back after two weeks and Cam ended up with a sinus infection which produced an eye infection. We were a sad looking family for a few days. And by sad I mean that no one would have wanted to come near us.

I missed Christmas Mass and did not do much of the cooking Christmas Day. Steve took over with the kids and mom muddled her way through the kitchen. Dad even pitched when he was needed. For some reason that meal tasted fantastic! It must have something to do with letting everyone else cook for me.

Roxanna, Ron, Jenni, Larissa and Nathanael came to CO on Monday from KS. Although I was still not feeling well, it was nice to have them around. Of course the boys are quite smitten with Nathanael. Any "big kid" that will play video games, nerf guns and run around in the backyard is a big hit in their book. Colin looked longingly at the picture of the two of them that was taken at Chuckee Cheese and stated that he missed him already. They had to leave early due to a snow storm coming our way. Said snow storm dumped and entire 1/2 inch of snow in our yard. I hope there is more to come or I am going to have some really disappointed boys.

The boys went out to play in the snow and managed to stay outside for almost an hour. Now you might think that would mean that I could get some things done or have time to relax. If you think that, then you don't have kids. Or boys. Or live in Colorado. About every two minutes the boys were at the door because they needed something. A Tupperware container, a spoon, a snow shovel, mitten adjusted, hat adjusted, spray bottles..... I pretty much ran up and down the stairs between folding laundry and sat by the back door as they played.

And so things are nearly back to normal. I'm just a little bit sick. Steve is feeling rotten now. The Christmas decorations are still up and will probably stay up until the kids go back to school some time in the next month. Seriously. They are out of school until Jan. 4th or 5th. But you know what, I'll take it. I really am enjoying my time with them. Just us hanging out. Camden keeps crawling up in my lap and saying, "Mommy, you are so soft." I am hoping he is referring to the constant state of fleece that I have worn the past few days and not the constant state of chocolate that I have eaten over the last few days.

Oh, and one more thing. Our garage door broke. We get to spend a grand getting that replaced today. So to recap. We spent a boatload on the cat. We spent a boatload on Christmas gifts. We get to spent a boatload on a new garage door. I am sick. Steve is sick. Camden is sick. Colin was so cranky yesterday that he took a two hour nap. We were supposed to get 8-10 inches of snow so my family left a day early. We have half an inch.

I feel like I am in a very bad version of a Christmas movie gone wrong. Maybe I need to to make a New Year's Resolution to lower my expectations for next Christmas. Bah Hum Bug. Bet you never thought you'd hear me say that.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Sharing the Christmas Spirit (and more)!

At the Silva house we love to share our Christmas spirit! We share our cookies, breads, gifts and carols with those we love. Yes, we have shared with our neighbors, friends and family. We have been holding back a bit though. We did not share everything with them. So, if anyone out there would like pink eye, a nasty head cold, or a sinus infection, our door is open. Come on in. Bring your cough drops. And Kleenax. And Tylenol. And eye drops. was spent at home. We made more goodies. Don't worry friends, these goodies will not be shared with anyone but Santa and his reindeer. Sorry dude. We have to share with someone. I'm pretty sure Santa has some sort of magical shield that allows him to bounce colds and flu right off his belly.

Our plan was to make gingerbread cookies for Santa. Little did I know that spreading flour would turn out to be the best part of the day. I just let the boys go. Throwing flour was off limits but they managed to be covered in it within five minutes anyway. Here's a simple progression in pictures. And before you go all, "You are the best mom in the world because you let your kids do so many fun things as home and you don't even yell at them for making a mess" on me...let me assure you, if I would have had a voice to yell at them with, I would have yelled. At this point, I just gave up because they were occupied without me and they were getting along with each other. Choose your battles moms. Choose your battles.

I made the kids change out of their floured clothes. It got a little crazy. I'm not sure why boys find it so fascinating to run around the house with no clothes on, or clothes on backwards, or clothes on silly. But it seems like the best thing since sliced bread when I tell them to go upstairs to change clothes.

But the above finally turned into the below. We had a great time decorating the cookies. Something about kids, candy and frosting. You just can't go wrong there.

After the gingerbread cookies, we moved on to graham cracker houses. Or maybe it was the other way around. I can't remember. My head was in a fog and I have basically lost my voice.

We also made crafts. Before the night is over we will be making reindeer food. That's just how we roll around here. I am soaking up every spare minute that I can with my boys. They are smiling and happy. We played legos and board games today in between the baking. Who says you can't spend a day inside with two boys. Oh, I guess that was between a trip to the doctor and a trip to Walgreens.

My blog would not be complete without an update on Little Miss Kitty. Looks like she's doing pretty good, huh? Yes, she is back to being her hissy prissy self. This is Scooby the Wonder dog's kennel. Scooby was not allowed back in her kennel on this night. Snicks took over. Hissing and all. Glad she's feeling better.

Wonder what tomorrow has in store for us?

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Ten on Tuesday

So I have had a lot of people reminding me that I don't update my blog enough. I am going to try a new strategy and at least update as a "Ten on Tuesday" post. I think today is Tuesday, so here's my update.

1. It seems that Snicks has made a pretty good recovery. We had a bit of a scare when she was dehydrated a few days after surgery. Turns out she was a bit dehydrated and overdosed. Her body did not agree with the pain meds that she was on for four days after her surgery. They finally built up in her body and just knocked her out. After going through withdrawal (shaking and all) she is fine. In fact, at this very moment my sweet sassy cat is sleeping in the dogs crate. Scooby is not too happy about that. Snicks has claimed the crate as hers and so it shall be.

2. I have really been enjoying my time at home with the kids. We have had a nice mix of doing nothing and being very busy.

3. Camden continues to astound me with his vocabulary. He told me that I was "radical" the other day. I don't know that I have ever used this term in front on him. He keeps telling me I'm "old school". Then he uses terms that are so grown up like "actually" and "as a matter of fact". It just sounds so silly coming out of him. He still seems so little to me.

4. Crested Butte is supposed to get 8 feet of snow by the end of the week. I would love love love to be there and just sit and watch the snow fall. I know there is no way we could even drive there at this point as roads are closed and they are issuing warnings to residents in CB to stock up on food and water. But oh wouldn't it be fun to be there.

5. I can not believe that Christmas is 4 days away. The boys are counting down the days on their advent calendars.

6. Steve and I are trying to watch all of the Harry Potter movies to date so that we can see the new one out in the theatre. Man these movies are llloooonnnngggg and actually scarier than I remember.

7. My house was clean. And now it is a wreck. How did that happen?

8. I think I have already eaten my weight in Christmas candy. I am certain that a few pounds have been added to my svelte (ha ha) frame. Add to that the fact that I have another cold and don't have any desire to get up at 6am to exercise, and you have one very jolly round mommy. I might be able to sub for Santa in the event of a crisis.

9. I do think that the spirit of Christmas (and Santa watching) has my kids entranced. They have been so sweet the last few days. I get extra hugs, please and thank you, they are willing to help with anything that I have asked of them. I have been praising them right and left hoping that they can remember that when they have good behavior, mommy is really really happy and we get to do a lot of fun things.

10. I would really like a white Christmas. But I do not think that is going to happen. Anyone that wants to come and spray my lawn with fake snow, go right ahead.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Merry Catmis

Many of you have asked what happened with Snickers over the last few days. I have posted a few of our woes on Facebook but thought I would give a full update here. Snicker's unknowingly became a very expensive Christmas present this year. We estimate that she only has about 2 lives left as this incident took at least 7 of them away.

A few weeks ago we noticed that Snicks had chewed chunks off of some rubber/foam play mats that were in the storage room in the basement. What possessed her to do this, I do not know. They were stacked up in the storage room. We used them in the playroom for the kids because they would need them to run their hot wheels or other toys on the carpet. Now they just bring their toys into the kitchen for our viewing enjoyment. As of Tuesday the mats have found the trash can.

So Snicks had a good time tearing some of the edges of the mats to shreds. We found pieces all over the floor but did not really think she ate any of them. Until she threw up. (Caution, this gets a little more visual from here....) She would be fine a day and then get sick. Fine a day and then get sick. I did not really know what was wrong with her. I mean, other than the vomit, she acted fine. She jumped on the top shelf of the cabinets. Do you think a sick cat would be able to do this?

She used one of Colin's Lego boxes as a treadmill. Would a sick cat do this? She gave us a few hours of entertainment this day. She kept going back to the box and "running" on it.

You can tell from all of these pictures that we really really love this kitty. Yes, these were all taken in the last week. We photograph her often. She is one of the family. She is perfect for us. She is not an overly "lovey" kitty. She will not bother us by sleeping on our bed, curling up on our lap or being annoying. If we want to pet her, we have to go to her. If she is in the mood, she will let us pet her. If not, too bad. Come back later because she will growl at you like a baby jaguar. The kids know when to leave her alone. She is riot when she chases the laser light or tries to hide her mice behind the tv. Steve even likes her so that says a lot.

So, when she kept getting sick and then getting better, I was concerned but not sure what to do. I could not guarantee that she swallowed foam because first of all, why would she? It had to taste horrible. And, at times she acted fine.

On Tues. morning I decided to take her to our vet. She just was not acting right. She was not moving much. She let me pet her all morning and meowed. Snicks never meows. She growls, but never meows. I made an appointment for 4pm that day. Two hours later that morning I could not find her. Camden and I searched all over. We finally found her under the couch. I called Steve to come home because I was really afraid she had curled up there to die. I could not get the couch off of her to get her our without pulling her out by her foot or tail. Steve needed to come home to lift the couch up so I could get her out.

Once we got her out, we decided she needed to go to the Emergency vet (cha ching!). We took her to Aspen Meadows. Diagnosis: She probably swallowed something. Really. No kidding. Her x-rays showed something in three different parts of her digestive system. Her blood work showed that she was severely dehydrated. She needed fluids that minute and emergency surgery that afternoon.

Estimate: $3,500. No way. No way. I could not spend that type of money on surgery for her. I stayed at that vets office for about 3 hours crying.
The vet came in and talked to me. The receptionist came in and talked to me. Steve and I cried on the phone and decided that we needed to put her down. I asked the vet to come back in and between sobs told him that we could not do the surgery. The kids would be crushed. I was already crushed. The vet walked out and asked me to stay a little while longer.

He came back in 45 minutes later (yes, I had been crying the whole time) and said that the Boulder Humane Society had some solutions for us. 1. - I could take her there, relinquish her to be adopted out and they would do the surgery on their dime. I would not have to put her down. 2. They would do the surgery for $1,500 and I could take her home in a few days.

It's funny how after being faced with a $3,500 surgery, $1,500 does not sound so bad. You cat haters out there won't understand, but we did the surgery. She's our cat. We love her. We had to. I took her to Boulder Humane (IV tubes still hooked to her). They continued to ask what she ate. I gave them my best guess but they seriously doubted it. "Do you have any toxic plants? Do you have any Christmas decorations? Is there anything else you can think of that she might have eaten?" No and yes (right, like I could search my thousands of decorations and find out what she ate) and no.

Sooo.... the surgery happened around 3:30pm that day. The Dr. so kindly came out a gave me a stinking baggy full of the stuff that she ate.

She said the rubber acted like a cork on her belly. She would drink water and the rubber mat would float up (thus she acted fine). Then she would throw up and the rubber would sink back down and block her stomach. Hooray. She ate just the perfect item so that I could not tell what was wrong with her. Nice sweet kitty. (She did not eat the dime. I just added that in the picture to show how big the pieces were that she did eat. Yuck.)

A few hours after surgery I had to transport her (again, IV's and all) to an after surgery facility as Boulder Humane does not have the means for those over night services. You should have heard her growling all the way there. She was angry. But she was getting back to her normal self. "She ate what?" Is what I got when I filled out the paper work. Nope, I don't understand it myself. So many people questioned me that I finally started telling people that I sprayed the play mats with chicken flavoring. I don't know why she ate those things! She's not the brightest light bulb in the package I guess. But it's not like I opened her mouth and forced them down her throat. I don't know why she ate them. I warned every person I saw that would be in charge of her care that she was feisty. Guess they did not believe me.

When I went back to get her the next morning at 6:30am to take her back to Boulder Humane for the day (the after care facility closes at 8am each day) they were literally drawing straws on who was going to have to take her temperature for her 6am check up. The vet tech at the front desk hollered back to the room when I got there that I was there to pick up Snickers. I heard laughing from the back room and then the decision that they would let Boulder Humane do her 6am temperature check. I could hear Snicks growling through the door. Don't say I didn't warn you.

So, I took her back to Boulder Humane. They questioned me about the 6am temp check. I told them it had not been completed yet to which Snicks added her own perfect growl. Love that cat!

I left her at Boulder Humane for the day. They called around 12 to say that she would not eat and she had to eat and use the litter box before they would release her to my care. After convincing them that she did not like can food, they gave her regular dry food. She gobbled it up. Strange cat.

I went back that night get to her. Pawned off my wedding ring and youngest child before arriving at Boulder Humane so I could get my kitty out of hawk. (Just kidding, kind of.)

She came home, spent the night and the next day under heavy sedation in the plush confines of our bathroom floor. Last night she was moved to the less restrictive recovery wing of the house (our bedroom). This morning I let her out of the room so she could walk around a bit more.

She seems to be doing fine. The kids know that she was sick. They know that she had surgery. They know we prayed for her recovery. I did tell them the night of the surgery that there was a chance she would die. They sure are happy to have their kitty. I am too. All 2 grouchy lives left. Merry Catmis.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Be Careful What You Wish For

I have been feeling a little melancholy lately about my kids being gone so much. Thanksgiving break was so much for all of us. I'm really looking forward to Christmas break when all of us will have some time to just "be" as a family. I hate feeling rushed and intentional in everything we do lately. It seems that our lives run by the scheduled calendar and we have to "plan" our fun.
This past week we tried to slow down a bit. I let the house work go. I let the laundry go. I let the yard work go. I did not plan any big dinners or after school play dates. Here's a look at what we did with our time. It looks like we were busy, but really it was just a "go with the flow" kind of week. We don't do that very often around here.

We have been working on some Christmas crafts. My boys love to sit down with a lot of supplies and just create. It amazes me what they come up with.

Skiing was one of our "planned" activities for the week. We took both kids out of school (shh, don't tell anyone) and headed up the mountain for ski lessons. The boys had a great time and they both improved a lot. And yes, I sat for four hours and just watched. I just sat and watched in amazement as my kids fell and got back up. I sat in amazement as I looked at the howling wind, frigid wind chill temperatures, and two kids that did not complain a bit. I sat in amazement that God has blessed my family with two healthy kids, a husband that relished in taking the day off to be with us, and the opportunity to just sit and watch as my kids got to do an activity that brought me so much joy as a kid.

Their instructor gave them gold medals after their lesson. My kids were the first kids (ever) to go up the new lift that just opened that day. I always knew they'd get their 15 minutes of fame.

Colin had a Boy scouts banquet last week. He was awarded his marshmallow shooter for his outstanding popcorn sales. To top off the night, he lost his front tooth at the banquet. The Tooth Fairy left quite a gift that night.

Along the same theme as Boy scouts, Colin marched in the Erie Town Lighting Parade on Saturday. Camden came out to support him despite the cold temperature. Hot chocolate was the reward for making it all the way through.

Colin is somewhere in there. Can you spot him?

A Christmas parade would not be complete without a visit from Santa.

We spent Sunday making various Christmas goodies. I love that my boys enjoy baking with me. We turned on the Christmas music, heated up the almond bark and made lots of sweet treats.

I have really been wishing that the kids were home more. Wish granted. Colin stayed home from school today with pink eye. I'm sad that his eye hurts but not so sad that he gets to stay home. He's not sick in bed so we get to play legos, watch movies and hand out together. I really really miss my kids. So much so that I am toying with the idea of home schooling. Crazy, I know. I have not researched anything. I have no idea if this is the right move for us. It probably won't happen but I love my time at home with the kids. However, I also know that I need time to myself. How do I get this balance? Be careful what you wish for.