Do I have stitches?

It took about 4.5 years, but River finally discovered her scars. I had a feeling it would happen once someone else noticed and asked about it. Being involved in Annie has resulted in a lot of older girls around her paying attention to her Sure enough, someone pointed out her scars and she wanted to know about it.

River: Do I have stitches?
Me: You have a scar, yes.
River: Why?
Me: You had an accident when you were about a year old.
River: What happened?
Me: A dog bit you. He didn’t mean to. He thought you were another dog he was trying to tell to leave him alone, but instead he got you.
River: So I have stitches?
Me: Yes, you had to have stitches so now you have a scar.
River: Oh. Okay!

I always dreaded telling her about it. I never want her to see it as a bad thing or something to be worried about. Contrary to my expectations, River is treating it as a matter of fact. Of course she has scars. No biggie. It could also help that one of the more popular girls in the show has a large, dark birthmark on her neck. I think seeing that other people have distinguishing marks that don’t define them is important.

I stand by my opinion that she will always have the option to address her scar when she’s older, but I’m hoping she’ll continue to embrace it as just a part of who she is and nothing to really care about.

Goodbye, Ookla?

Early in 2012 I stated that I did not expect Ookla to survive to see 2013. He’s a very old cat for his breed and probably should’ve keeled over long ago. Still, he’s really never been sick, and he has that disposition that says, “F*** YOU!” Throughout this year, though, we’ve seen quite a change in behavior. He’s become almost friendly with people who come over to our house. He no longer hides under the table waiting to kneecap visitors. He’s obviously mellowed in his advanced age.

Now that we are in 2013, it seems his time has come. This past week has seen a rapid decline in his ability to get around. He pretty much sleeps all the time and hobbles his way around the house. Granted, he’s partially hobbling because of an unfortunate grooming accident earlier this week, but I don’t think that’s the only reason we’re seeing him decline. He started peeing in less-than-ideal places a few days prior to that.

From what we can tell, he stopped eating either Thursday or Friday although he’s still drinking water. He just ignores the food. Up until now, he’s had some pretty predictable sleep spots, but he’s started wandering off and hiding in corners. Tonight, he decided to try to go down the stairs. I didn’t see him, but I heard him fall down part of them because he’s so unsteady on his feet. I sat with him to make sure he wasn’t seriously injured. He eventually got up and wandered unsteadily off.

Doug went searching for him a bit later and found him hiding in a dark room. We’ve left him there in case he’s just been trying to find a quite place to die. We shall see if he’s still with us in the morning.

Ookla, you’re a bastard, but we love you! I hope your life has been as full and happy and full of surprises with us as ours has been with you. If you’re still with us in the morning, I promise to scratch your stinky little chin.

PHEW! We survived!

Not only did we survive the Mayan Apocalypse, we also survived the 2012 holiday season! Our trip to Florida was moderately uneventful. The biggest adventure was a delayed flight which caused us to have to reschedule the return trip home for the following morning which meant waking up at 3:00 am to be at the airport in time to catch our 5:30 am flight.

Since arriving home, our next big adventure was our annual NYE party. The food was incredibly good thanks to Dustin & Derek of Art of the Table. Plus, we had a bartender this year – Luke from AotT. It was a blast, although it was also one of our tamer NYE parties. Not sure if it’s the kids getting older or if it’s the adults getting wiser. Hmmm.

Tonight, River goes back to gymnastics where she’s trying out a pre-team class. She will get to learn routines and participate in gym-only competitions. I think it’s going to be a great test of whether she wants to take her gymnastics to the next level in the next year or two.

We also start our REAL Annie rehearsals tonight. I think the orphans kick us off, but there will be a lot to rehearse tonight. I’m starting to get a handle on my lines, but I know I have a ways to go before I’m off book. Gotta work on that much more.

Welcome to 2013. I have high hopes for this year. I am already planning a couple of family vacations. Hazel will be starting preschool in the Fall. OMG, really? That’s just… what? How’d my girls grow up so quickly?! Stay tuned for more information. I’m doing my best to stick with the updating even if it sometimes takes me a week or two to get around to it. :)

Florida for the Holidays

Tomorrow, we are flying out to Fort Walton Beach, FL to visit with Doug’s folks for the holidays. If memory serves me, this is the first time we’ve been to Florida for Christmas since River and Hazel came along. We’ve been out for visits, but we usually time them pre/post holidays or during completely random times of the year. I’m actually pretty excited that Nana and Papaw get to be a part of the fun in their own home. Hopefully, everything and everyone survives the experience.

I think I’m most concerned with the cats. The girls LOVE cats as they have three of their own. They actually do an exceptional job of identifying the quirks of each cat and acting accordingly. With Ariel, they both know how to call her over so she can get pets. With Camille, they know they can do just about anything and she’ll purr like crazy. With Ookla, they actually know when to pick on him (there truly are moments where he can take it) and when to be sweet and gentle with him. The main problem is they are normal kids and sometimes do things to the cats that do not make their daddy happy. Hey, I figure the cats can fend for themselves, but Doug hates when River disrupts Camille’s nap to drag her off to play somewhere else. And he doesn’t like when Hazel pokes Ookla in the nose a few too many times even if a resulting swat of the paw is the natural consequence. I’m just hoping they don’t terrorize Nana’s cats in a way that causes problems. I *think* they will be fine, and we’re pretty good at keeping them in line. Still, poor cats don’t know what’s coming.

So we leave tomorrow and only two suitcases are packed – the ones belonging to the girls. I think the best part of that, though, is they packed them. I made a list of things and River read through each one and put together the things she would need. She made complete outfits, adjusted a few things, found shoes she liked, selected her coat and everything. Tonight, we will be putting together our carry-ons. I figured they did so well with the clothes, they can be a part of the planning for what to carry with them including snacks and such.

It’s so fun how traveling changes as the kids get older. I have a feeling this will be our best trip yet!

What Comes Next… Annie?!

On my list of things to do, I’ve come quite a way in the past couple of months.

  1. Acting class – CHECK!
  2. Tap dancing lessons – CHECK!
  3. Audition for a show – CHECK!
  4. Actually land a lead role – CHECK!

Late last month, River and I auditioned for a community theater production of Annie. River tried out for the part of Molly, the youngest of the speaking-part-orphans. I tried out for Miss Hannigan. I couldn’t have asked for a better opportunity to introduce River to the basics of auditioning and theater. The people running the show are very friendly and most are good with kids. They were very inviting for River who had to go in and audition alone. We were both called back. I actually had to audition for 3 parts, although I was holding out hope for Miss Hannigan. There were 7 other ladies (at least) trying out with me.

The end result was River being cast as an orphan with no speaking part – no surprise for her first time on stage. I landed the role of Miss Hannigan! I’m so thrilled to get to try this whole acting on stage thing out. Here’s hoping I can pull it off.

River is having a blast so far. We’ve had two rehearsals to run through things, and she is embracing her part with gusto. She has already learned all of the words to “It’s The Hard-Knock Life” and knows most of the words to “Never Fully Dressed.” She’s picking it up very fast, and I can’t wait for her to get to work on choreography.

Starting January 2nd, our rehearsal schedule kicks into high gear. We have 8 weeks and then it’s time to put on a show. If you happen to want to come see us, we’ll be performing the first two weekends of March. More details will come when I have links I can point you to.