judecorp: (work poison)
I am drowning. In a sea of First World Problems, but I am still drowning.

We applied for financial aid for Punk's fancypants Montessori preschool and they offered us a $2000 scholarship for next year. Unfortunately, that's not enough for us to feasibly send her to that school, the school she loves that has been very good for her this year in terms of keeping her stimulated and also encouraging her out of her comfort zone (Punk does not like to do anything that she thinks is "hard"). It was such a good fit for her and even though she is the youngest in her class this year, you would never know it and she is very comfortable there. But it is so expensive and with a second now in day care, there's just no way we can pay the price tag. We really needed $5000 off to make it work. I have her parent-teacher conference on Monday and I will probably bawl my way through it.

On top of that, going back to work totally sucks. I mean, the people at my job are happy to see me, and the kids I returned to are happy to see me, but my heart is not in it, my head is not in it, and I don't get nearly enough sleep to be able to effectively use my brain in that way. I am sort of floating through the job which isn't really working when I am taking countless referrals and doing tons of intakes, which generate tons of paperwork and involve tons of thinking/diagnosing/making treatment plans. I would really just rather be home with my kids, especially since I won't even be able to send Punk to the place I love next year.

Part of me would like to find another job, or go back to the Early Intervention stuff I loved and felt super competent at, but then I remember that this job gives me summers off to be with my kids and I feel like I have to stay there forever. It just all seems so heavy right now.

My most beloved cat, Daedalus, has recently started losing fur in little clumps on both sides of his body. It doesn't look like an allergy or a reaction or a fungus or anything, it is just falling out. And I am terrified that something is dreadfully wrong with him, so soon after Ralphie died. I don't think I can handle it.

I'm just in way over my head and I don't really know what to do. One foot in front of the other, I guess, but it's just so hard on so little sleep. I feel like I start the day already almost entirely out of coping skills just by having to haul myself up out of an exhausted stupor, and then to be totally swamped at work and not thrilled about where my kids are going to be, etc. It is too much.
judecorp: (meow)
My awesome cat, Ralph, is in end-stage kidney failure. I haven't been giving her the attention I should and probably should have done something months ago. Now it is too late. :(

I am taking her in to be put down on Monday morning and it sucks.

ralph's nest

I love you, Ralphie Doodle.
judecorp: (meow)
Holy crap, I almost had a heart attack just now.

The phone rang and it was one of the vets from the emergency vet place where Daedalus was treated, and she was very chipper and said she was calling to check on how he was doing. So I said he seemed to be doing great, thanks. Blah blah, she asks me if he is eating and I didn't realize his eating was a concern so I said, "Uhh, yeah I assume so, he eats in the basement so I don't know for sure but he seems to be." And then she said, "Great great... are you thinking about shaving him?"

??

So I stammer, "Uhh, I don't think so, no," and she says, "Well, just make sure to brush him really well then, because of those hairballs." And D makes the hacking sound but has NEVER coughed up a hairball so I think to myself, well, they bathed him so they must have noticed the couple of mats (from shedding) on his back that I need to take care of and I say, "Yeah, he has those mats, I need to be better about brushing him," and she says something like, "Yeah well, I guess you'll have to just keep on with the hairball medicine then and be really diligent about brushing because with an obstruction like that, it could happen again..."

????

"Umm... I think you have the wrong cat." Please let her have the wrong cat.

Apparently there was another cat named Daedalus who was treated surgically yesterday because he had a hairball obstructing his stomach or intestine or something. Can you imagine? Another Daedalus in the Valley?

Gah.
judecorp: (meow)
Daedalus is home! They called this morning and said he had responded well to the IV fluids and the muscle relaxers, and they actually had to give him less than they thought because he didn't have any tremors or issues after midnight. Thank goodness! We picked him up this morning and he hid under the bed for a little while but within a couple of hours he was back to roaming around the house. He's a little weak but got up on the kitchen table to beg for food while I was feeding Punk so it's nice to know his personality is still in tact. ;)

The vet who wrote out his discharge papers wrote in the papers that it was pyrethrine (or whatever) toxicity and that it was caused by the Hartz product. We didn't even have to ask her to do this, it was all printed out for us when we got there. I will definitely be calling them tomorrow and finding out where to send it so I can give them an earful. Also, because he didn't require as much medication as they thought, it actually cost less than their "low quote" (which I paid up front) and we ended up getting a $70 refund to my credit card.

I am really pleased with this emergency vet hospital. They were really awesome.

In his discharge paperwork, it mentioned that he had a very sweet personality. Oh yeah, that's my big loverboy.

baby vs cat 4

dbox3
judecorp: (getting harder)
So yesterday I got Fin back inside the house. Score! Jen was worried about him bringing in fleas so she went to the store to get some sort of flea treatment for him. She ended up getting this Hartz stuff that was a three month supply so she decided to do all three cats, so all of them would be protected from fleas. Fine.

Daedalus started wigging out as soon as we put it on him. He was running all over the place and trying to lick it off. No big deal, right? So we went to bed. This morning there were wet clumps of fur all over the house and on further inspection, Daedalus had a huge chunk of fur missing from his body and was continuing to scratch that red area. Jen called a 24-hour vet who said to wash him off and be on the lookout for neurological symptoms.

I went to give him a treat to make up for the washing off, and he was salivating like a dog. The drool was just pouring out of his mouth and he was panting. His pupils were totally blown. So I drove him up to Deerfield to the emergency vet. Apparently the Hartz flea and tick stuff contains pyrethins which are toxic to cats and cause neurological and sympathetic nervous system issues. It could be fatal.

Daedalus is spending at least one night at the emergency vet receiving muscle relaxers and IV fluids to try to flush this poison out of his system. His liver and kidney functions are being tested and cats actually die from this. Estimates for his treatment, if it is successful, are around $800. The vet seemed very positive that he would be okay but of course couldn't make any guarantees.

This is apparently a common problem with Hartz products. I will be filing complaints with them when they reopen on Tuesday and I have been told they may reimburse some vet expenses if it is proven that it came from their product. I will give this a try, but mostly I am worried that Daedalus won't survive.

And where the hell do I get an extra $800? Sigh. At least (so far) the other cats seem okay. Please pray.

~//~

Also, Punk has a cold. A new one. And didn't sleep last night. And hasn't wanted to nap. And is cranky. And full of snot.
judecorp: (top of the world)
Fin is back!!!

He was sitting on the railing of the deck and I waved to him. He looked like he might run away but he didn't, so I left and got the bag of treats. I went back to the back door and waved the bag of treats and he started to meow. I unlocked the door and he didn't run. (Last time, he ran off when I clicked the lock.) I opened the door and he didn't run! I beckoned him over through the screen and he came over, so I opened the screen door a crack and held my hand out with a treat. He didn't want the treat, but kept rubbing my hand and meowing. I let him do that for a while and then grabbed him by the scruff of the neck and pulled him in.

Daedalus and Ralph are totally freaked out, it's like they don't recognize him. I hope it all straightens itself out soon.

Poor Fin was lonely!
judecorp: (i'm special)
Fin Update:
Yesterday I put some Delicious Canned Food on our deck table and this morning, Fin was totally chowing down on it. I thought maybe I would open the door and see if he would come in, but he ran away as soon as he heard me turn the lock. DRAT! I guess we'll just be leaving food outside.

Job Update:
There aren't many staff members, which means there aren't a lot of people to get into trouble with. That is very very sad. However, they need to start billing pronto and I can pretty much take cases right now, so they like me a lot. Heh. And I confirmed that I will get the big money I wanted ($6k more than my last job) for a four-day work week. Nice.

Punk Update:
She has this AWFUL diaper rash that seems to get worse when she is at child care. This evening it was red and puffy and just so bad. I'm wondering if she is sensitive to the disposable wipes (we use cloth wipes at home). I'm going to send cloth wipes to child care and see what happens, and Jen is taking her to walk-in hour at the pediatrician. Also, she has had horrible poop for the last couple of days... I think maybe from the increase in solid finger foods? Or because we started yogurt and cheese? Either way, we have some experimenting to do.

Fin update

May. 17th, 2008 08:47 pm
judecorp: (meow)
He came to the bottom of the back deck and was meowing, meowing, meowing. (He never meows.) Jen crouched down and tried to beckon him but he went around the corner. I went down the steps with treats and he ran away, first to the other side of the deck and then out the gate into the neighbor's yard. I went into their yard and they were outside, and very friendly about my barging through the bushes. They pointed and said Fin went under this other neighbor's shed. I couldn't see him anymore.

They said they saw him cavorting with an orange cat yesterday and today, but they would continue to keep an eye out for him.

I'm thinking he got a taste of the outside and never wants to come in again. :( *cry* At least we know he's alive and well right now. I put some treats on the deck.
judecorp: (never used to cry)
My cat is missing. :( Fin got out sometime, probably when I opened the basement window to let out a wasp/hornet. He is not very smart, so I don't have high hopes of him coming home. I feel like such a crappy cat mom. :( :( :(

beautiful kitty fin
judecorp: (crucified baby)
Punk is working on tooth #4. It's not her top left front tooth, though. (She got her top right front tooth a week or two ago.) It's the top right incisor. She is going to be totally lopsided! It's funny.

She has been finding clumps of cat fur and I tend to catch her right as she is about to put one in her mouth. Today Jen said, "What's in her mouth?" and I looked inside and saw fur! I stuck my finger in to snatch it out and there was this BIG wad of cat fur in her mouth! She had it pocketed in her cheek like she was chewing tobacco or something. SO FREAKING GROSS.

I should make new icons of my kid.
judecorp: (i am stupid)
We bought an area rug for the living room so that perhaps Punk wouldn't conk her head on the hardwood floor quite so much.

The cats think it is the Biggest Scratching Post Ever.

I wonder how long before it is trashed. It's a good thing we got one of the "as is" former floor model from the store.

We should never really be allowed in stores. We went in for a rug, and walked out with a whole new set of stainless steel pots and pans. I have wanted to rid our house of non-stick cookware for a while but I don't know how we always end up with this stuff when we have no money. It's like having a baby has put all of my environmental paranoia into high gear. What will be next?

Why am I still awake? I am up so many times with Punk, yet I still go to bed after 11:00.

STUPID.
judecorp: (meow)
Pictures Here. )

x-posted to The Frankenbaby Chronicles.

FTW

Jan. 29th, 2008 09:08 am
judecorp: (top of the world)
1. Jennie FTW!

Punk takes Prevacid which, on our craptacular insurance, is a Tier 3 medication - $45/month. [livejournal.com profile] sassywoman said that she had some Prevacid packets that she received by mistake (her daughter used the solutabs) and she would send them to me. But HOLY MOLY, there is nearly 3 entire months worth! Jennie just basically handed us $135. WOAH! <3 <3 <3 Thank you so much, Jennie!

2. Cosleeping FTW!

So the biggest issues with Punk's sleep are a) she gets restless and rolls over, which wakes her up and makes her upset, and b) once she's awake and upset, she realizes she is lonely. We had tried cosleeping in our bed several times but there were a lot of issues, including that there wasn't a good way to put it up against the wall, and the squishy fake memory foam made me nervous. So Jen and I moved the futon from the living room into Punk's room, and we keep her swaddled in the crib until around 11pm when we feed her, and then I get into the futon with her for the night. It's against the wall so I don't have to hold her, and if she starts to get restless I can lay a hand on her to chill her out instead of having her roll over, wake up, cry, and then having to get up and go into her room and settle her back down. I'm still waking up a couple of times a night but it's for a few seconds to stick my hand out and lay it on her, and that's a lot less dramatic.

Also, I folded our queen duvet from the guest room in half, so it covers half the futon. So Punk is in her sleep sack on a just-sheeted mattress and I get to snuggle up with a down comforter up to my chin. It's pretty win-win.

And, I should say, that after her 11pm feeding she slept until 5:40 straight the first morning, 6:36 the second morning, and 7:05 this morning. Aaaaah.

3. Townie Vet FTW!

I love our townie vet here. He is quick and easy, in and out. When I brought Daedalus and Ralph for their 3-year rabies shots (I don't really do annual checkups, sue me), he agreed that indoor cats don't need a lot of maintenance, stuck them with the rabies, didn't bat an eyelash when I said I didn't want the other shots or any annual checkups, and told me to come back in three years. The whole process with two cats took 15 minutes.

Well, Ralph has been, umm, ralphing a lot and I took her in yesterday. It took five minutes (he appreciates how high-strung Ralph is and doesn't bother with anything unnecessary), he said she probably had an upset stomach, gave her a couple of shots, stuffed her back in the carrier and sent us on our way. No waiting. In and out in 7 minutes with a little bottle of tummy pills for her.

And it's sooooo much cheaper than any other vet I've ever gone to. The office visit fee is $47! (And then you pay for shots, etc.) Very reasonable, and he's super nice, too.
judecorp: (turd ferguson)
1. Many many big huge thanks to [livejournal.com profile] yarnaddict and [livejournal.com profile] saldemonium for sending Punk some presents! The bib and the tshirt are really incredibly cute and we were totally surprised! Punk was surprised too but she probably won't get around to telling you. But thank you so much! You didn't have to do that!!

2. We met with a lawyer on Tuesday to get the ball rolling on the second parent adoption and our wills and things like that. While I am infuriated that we even HAVE to do the second parent adoption, that we have to pay money and go to court for Jen to be considered a parent to her own child, I am thankful that we live here in the Happy Valley where same-sex second parent adoptions happen all the time and the process is really streamlined. Which, in the world of lawyer's fees, means cheaper. And cheaper is always better. When we were in Boston, I had spoken to a couple of people who estimated that the adoption would cost $2-$3K. Our lawyer anticipates that it will not exceed $750 here. That is good to know, especially when we have no money.

3. I would like to get my W-2 so we can start to talk taxes. It's time to deduct my kid so she can earn her keep. ;)

4. Does anyone know how to train cats to do dishes? Or laundry? It is the one thing that is seriously lacking in my life - dutiful cats.

(icon especially for [livejournal.com profile] prunesnprisms)
judecorp: (invisible sandwich)
First he left us a present in the bathroom.

This afternoon while I was rocking the baby to sleep, he was extra extra lovey. Put the baby down, went into the bedroom, and there was a nice "sleeping" field mouse. Ew.

He's all kinds of proud of himself. Poor Fin, I called the exterminators from last year so they can come refill their "bait stations." They are very serious about the term. I called and said, "Hey, I had someone come last year and put down a bunch of poison traps..." He cuts me off to say, "Bait stations!" I say, "Okay, whatever. Anyway, how much will it cost for you to come and refill them for me?"

Seriously? Bait stations? Let's just call them what they are, shall we?
judecorp: (invisible bike)
Someone on Freecycle has a couple of orange tabby double-pawed kittens. They are five weeks old. One of them is a boy.

I'm insane for thinking of taking him, right? With a disaster house and a new baby and three cats - two of whom do not get along - this is a bad idea, right?

ORANGE TABBY DOUBLE-PAWS!!!!!!!

Sneaky cat

Aug. 1st, 2007 08:46 pm
judecorp: (meow)

silly cat
Originally uploaded by judecorp
Ralph is simply incorrigible. She is trying to claim all of the baby things. At least once a week I toss her out of the crib, and yesterday I caught her climbing into the bouncy seat. She didn't even budge when I turned on the vibration. She probably liked it! Freaking Ralph!

She doesn't mess with anything the baby spends a lot of time in, like the co-sleeper or the Pack 'n Play. So I guess that means I need to put the baby in the crib more.

Still, it was cute to see her curl herself up. Ralph says, "Thanks for my comfy chair, [livejournal.com profile] lelumama!"
judecorp: (meow)
I wish there was a way I could train my cats to do the laundry or the dishes or something. They are so flippin' lazy. All they do is lay around and sleep. Daedalus even has the nerve to SNORE at me all the time.

Every time I ask one of them to do some sort of chore, or get me something, or help out, they just stare at me with their big, lazy eyes. It's a freakin' conspiracy, I tell you.

Suggestions?
judecorp: (invisible sandwich)
Yesterday I was driving in a residential neighborhood in Northampton so I could deliver a paycheck to one of my coworkers whose car was in the shop. And, right there on her street, I saw a bear! A real bear, just walking across the street, right past my car and into a driveway. Now, I had seen news stories about "Bears in Northampton! OHNOZ!" but I never expected to actually SEE one.

It was really weird to see a bear walking down the street. I saw a number of bears from different distances when I worked at Philmont, and that was much more natural. This poor guy just looked lost. Either way, I got Beth, said, "There's a bear on your street!" and we went bear hunting. I'm sure I looked nuts, cavorting around the neighborhood with my big ole belly looking for a bear.

~//~

This morning we heard the sound of glass breaking and then Fin running up the basement steps, where he shot out of the cat door at lightning speed. When I got downstairs, I saw that he had knocked down the special ceramic cat food bowl I had made for Daedalus at one of those paint-your-own-pottery places. :( There were pieces of handpainted ceramic everywhere, and Daedalus was looking up at the dryer like, "Where is my bowl?" SO SAD.

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