Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Paraphernalic Update

Cat Update
All blood tests came back clean...according to the lab, Bella is a healthy cat. Oh, praise the whiskered gods. Although the vet did suggest doing a $300-400 ultrasound to "potentially" rule out Irritable Bowel Disease and/or Lymphoma since she's lost so much weight over the past year and a half. I said no, we'll just feed her more, thanks. If she has cancer, she'll get more sick and die. If she has IBD, she'll throw up and won't gain weight. Call it a low-rent, do-it-yourself diagnostic test (she's a cat for Christ sake).
Weight: She's now filling out and doing just fine.
Fleas: Dead.
What I learned: Trust your gut. Don't freak out. This too shall pass. Don't always follow a "medical professional's" advice. An animal is an animal and people are people. Try to remember the difference. Sometimes vets forget that difference.

Remodel Update

Well, we'll be eating out for at least two more days although I have considered trying to create oatmeal in a coffee pot so maybe there are some merits down certain avenues I haven't yet contemplated. Ari loves our contractor. His name is Bob. Bob the Builder. Ari is nicer to Bob than he is to me. When Bob leaves for the day, Ari rushes in with his wooden hammer and says, "tools, work, fix" and bangs away on the sides of the cupboards. Ari likes to fix things. And while he doesn't like noise itself, he does like to create his own.
Kitchen: Dusty, gaping hole with promise of resurrection.
Appliances: Slight hope for a sink this weekend. Little hope for a stove before Monday.
Spirits: Really not bad. Would be better with wine.

Here are some pictures from our dust-covered adventure this week.

Before (Sunday). Hmm, this looks nice, actually. Hint: you can't see the cracked, moldy tile grout, the plastic coating peeling off the cabinets, the chipped sink or the appliances-on-their-last-leg.

It's Hammertime.

Hey, who put that there?


Wednesday. We're refacing the cabinets, not replacing.

Baby Update

Had our 4 month check-up today. I had to ask my midwife how far along I tend to leave those kinds of details up to the professionals when it's your second. Answer: 17 weeks. Ari enjoyed weighing himself over and over again while waiting for the adults to stop talking.

Midwife: "Ari, how much do you weigh?"
Ari: "Two."

Baby: Fine. Heart's a-beatin'.
Momma: Fine, albeit with varicose veins and killer heartburn.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

The Prodigal Cat Returns

Yep. She came home.

If you've been keeping up with the Freiwald Family Sagas, you'll know that our slightly dingy cat Bella disappeared three weeks ago last night. We had pretty much given her up for dead (and had gotten quite used to an enjoyable one cat household)...until she showed up Friday night. Un-friggin-believable. I was sitting on the couch thinking about dinner when I heard feline yelling through the patio door. My first thought, "No way. No. Freaking. Way." I walked onto the patio and found that the yelling was coming from our neighbor's patio. I looked through the crack between our walls and found a cross-eyed pair of blue eyes staring back at me. Yep, that's Bell. After three weeks. (No, our neighbor did not steal her...there's a large crack in her patio that a very skinny cat can wiggle through from the outside.)

After much ado, I managed to get a relieved/freaked-out Bella back into our garage and she scarfed down food and water like she hadn't eaten in, well, three weeks. Which she probably hadn't, given the way she looked. After a night spent in the garage, during which she threw up everything I tried to get into her, I took her to the vet. They were flabbergasted that she came home after that long. I guess that just doesn't happen here with all the predators. Everyone kept telling me how lucky she/I is/am. I'm not so sure "lucky" is the word...

The prognosis:
  • Bella's lost over 50% of her bodyweight in 18 months (since her last vet checkup), half of which was probably lost over the past 3 best guess.
  • Due to the severe weight loss over 18 months, her psychosis and vomiting, the vet's testing her for hyperthyroidism, diabetes, kidney disease and cancer. (Sometimes I think the vet can go a bit overboard...I mean, jeesh, maybe she's just a mentally disabled cat who hasn't eaten in three weeks.) We'll get the lab results today. I know Sascha's praying for cancer so I'll be okay with simply putting her down...but I don't want to drag our dirty laundry out on this sunny day.
  • And. She has fleas. Oh joy.

Ergo, Bella's been sequestered in the garage since Friday night, waiting for the flea medication to do it's lovely stuff. Mo's really not too clued in that she's back...or he just doesn't give a crap. Ari kept repeating "bawa, bawa, bawa" all Friday night and now every time I go into the garage to pull my feline Florence Nightingale he mantras "bawa cat, bawa cat". Add to that the fact that our kitchen remodel began today with much banging, sawdust, plaster, tools and boxes of kitchen paraphernalia taking refuge throughout our house...and you'll see that chaos continues to reign nicely in the Freiwald household. It's nice that some things remain constant, isn't it?

Serenity now.
Serenity now.
Serenity now.

Ari-Week in Review, an Update for Grandparents

I realized earlier this week that I never posted Halloween pictures...that's probably because Halloween was less than climactic in our household. Hm, scratch that. It was climactic, but not in a good way. During the day, Ari and I met up with some friends of ours at a pumpkin patch to do some ride-riding and popcorn eating. We had a blast.

Below: our friends (Syndney & Brandi) and Ari in the Bouncy House.

However, Ari awoke from his nap that day in such a snit that I feared dragging out the fuzzy puppy costume so we could go trick or treating at our local mall. As I feared, the world erupted when I even suggested he don such a garmet. He threw a fit for an hour, which is when Sascha stepped in and went all hard-core Halloween Nazi on him. "You will put on this puppy costume and we will have fun tonight, goddamit." I thought it was a little over the top for something that's a bit of an optional event...but it did work. Ari put that over-padded puppy costume on in almost 80 degree weather and sweated and scratched his way through trick-or-treating (I failed to check the inside for itchy parts...). All in all, it wasn't that much fun, but at least we experienced the holiday.

a) With friend Lexy...both of them looking dubious; b) Still doubtful.

The next day, Ari peed in the potty for the first time. I know, we'll post anything.

He also used his first name (aside from "mom, dad, pop pop" and his own name)..."Mo". Our cat. And I quote, "Here Mo, hey Mo, eat, eat!" And trying to feed Mo pieces of his train set.

Prentending has really become the new game over the past couple weeks. He pretends to be our dog by barking, sniffing, licking and bringing us blocks in his mouth. He pretends to cook a meal or a cake and then serves a round tupperware lid to me, placed neatly upon a rectangular lid. We pretend to sneak through a jungle looking for spiderweds while prowling through the bushes at the park. He pretends to see a bug and then "gets it" by slapping his hands together..."Got it!"

Modeling his sunglasses...loooves the groovy look.

Contemplating life while eating a snack.

Today we went to Balboa Park and played "tourist for a day"...or maybe it's "local for a day" since you could seriously pick out all the freezing tourists who only packed shorts for our 65-plus-a-very-cold-wind weather. (Everyone fails to realize that the posted temperature is sans consideration of the cold ocean breeze.) We love going to Balboa, it's a fantastic and unique place, full of history and things to do. Despite Ari having a moderate head cold, he didn't stop dashing from climbing tree roots to examing fountains to jumping off everything. We all had a great time. Not bad for a day free of charge.

Below: Ari jumping at the Hospitality House.

a) a massive tree in the Zoro Garden, Ari is the small speck in the lower left corner; b) climbing the roots to the top, he did it himself; c) on one of the walls in the Zoro Garden, where we watched a dozen teenage ninjas jump and flip over the railings; d) Ari wishing in the Botanical House.

At the Botanical House...