Monthly Archives: December 2012

World’s Most Patient Cat

Rocky has been with us a week and Robert is more than just a bit smitten with him.  He is so in love with this cat.  And Rocky is soooo patient.  He is very content to sit on Robert’s lap and be petted and sang to and cuddled and poked and prodded.  He sleeps with Robert in his bed.  Occasionally he will go under the bed for a bit when he’s had enough and Robert is realizing that sometimes a cat just needs to be alone for a bit.

Last night I heard noise coming from Robert’s room. Luckily the camera was nearby so I grabbed it to go see what was happening and captured this. He is singing Rocky his version of a lullaby I used to sing to him. And I believe he is singing in the key of R.  (Poor Robert, so far it looks like he got all of him mommy’s musical abilities).

Robert singing to Rocky

Just before Christmas we purchased a new camera.  We chose the Canon Rebel T3i.  The two features I love the most are the large, swivel, review screen that let you see what you are shooting from either side of the camera and the fact that it has built in video capability.  I’m really hoping to learn more about how to use the camera this year and am even thinking about taking a class so that I can do more with it.

I’m hoping to do a Project Life this year as well as a Photo A Day using the prompts from fatmumslim.  The Photo A Day I’m going to try to do with the iPhone because it should be easier to keep up with that way.  I’m also going to start a Five Year Journal.   Those are my photo/documentation goals for 2013.  Other resolutions… I’m still working on.


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Merry Christmas!

It was a Merry Christmas.  A day spent at home, just the three of us.  When I was little my Mom instituted a rule finally that we didn’t leave the house on Christmas Day.  We would go anywhere the weekends/days leading up or afterwards but she always thought it was silly for my brother and I to get a lot of new toys and then have to run off somewhere and not have a chance to play with them.  We instituted the same rule when Robert came along.  Anyone is welcome to come over but we don’t leave.  Since Mom came into the city to go to church with us on Sunday and we were out there Monday, she opted not to come into town on Christmas Day.  And that was OK.  We needed some time just the three of us.

Robert isn’t to the stage yet where he gets up early on Christmas Day so I actually got to sleep in until 9am.  Merry Christmas to me.  Finally a little before 10am Robert started to stir.  I told him Santa had come.

Robert – Is it Christmas Day?
Me – Yes
Robert – Whew… I made it! (I didn’t realize he was sweating it)

We exchanged gifts.  I got a beautiful “Chicago Band Ring” from my favorite store from Robert.  He was so sweet when he gave it to me.  I love the series of pictures Jim got.


Robert was thrilled with his gifts.  His wish list has remained steady since October:
1.  Lego City Police Station
2.  Rescue Bots Fire Station
3.  Ninjago

Each present he opened he would exclaim, “It’s just what I wanted!”  He also got a new tent building kit, some action figures, a new Wii game from a family friend.  Santa also brought us a new Wii since ours decided to shoot craps last month. 


Daddy got a new Mickey Mouse pen for his pen collection from Robert.  Robert loves giving as much as receiving.  He was so proud of his gifts.


Robert insisted on passing out gifts even though some were bigger than him.  Luckily anything breakable was well packaged Smile

After all the upstairs gifts were opened we told Robert that Santa had left him a special gift downstairs.
He was thrilled with his new train table and I’m sure it’s going to get hours of enjoyment.  Hopefully next weekend he and Daddy can take the train from his room downstairs and build one great big track.

Jim was thrilled with his new Kindle and happily spent the rest of the morning tranferring stuff from his old Kindle that will be passed down to Robert so hopefully I can have my iPad back!

Jim also got an Art of Shaving kit, new lunchbox and thermos, cologne and some wireless headphones.

I was so blessed this year.  I got a purse I’ve been wanting for a few years, a new cake pedestal and dome, new spatulas and a bread machine… can’t wait to break that in this weekend.  Home made egg bread here we come!

I spent the rest of the morning building the Lego kits for Robert.  He was so excited.  In the meantime he played with his new Rescue Bots fire station.




He took a short break from playing to cuddle with Rocky.  Rocky is hanging in there and getting the lay of the land.  Harley would really like to play with him.  Mel would really like him to just disappear.  I’m amazed at how good Rocky is with Robert.  He will sit on his lap for the longest time and just let Robert hold and pet him.  He also sleeps with him at night… which is making it a bit easier to get Robert to bed.


Later on in the evening we got the new Wii hooked up and Robert worked on learning his new game.


I even had a chance to read a whole book.  It was a good day complete with hugs and cuddles and cookies.  We are blessed beyond belief.  Today was back to work for me (I’m not used to that!) and back to school for Robert.  Jim has taken the week off as usual and is taking care of some projects around the house and resting up from his travel earlier this month.

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Christmas Eve

Our Christmas Eve was our usual trek out to Mom’s house.  I went to the office this morning to see the children’s Christmas performance and then it was home to start loading the car to go to Mom’s house.

We had a few hours to visit with Mom and play with Attila before it was time to go to church.  Jim decided to stay home and rest his foot.  There are a lot of steps and a lot of up and down so I really didn’t want him to get bumped and make his ankle worse than it already is.IMG_0262


When we got back to Mom’s my niece and her kids were just arriving.  We decided to open gifts first.  Mom got Robert the Heat Wave Rescue Bot.  He loved it. 


When we got home the first thing Robert wanted was to see how Rocky was doing.  Rocky was more than happy to sit and be petted for a while.


Then it was time to tuck the two of them into bed  and read Twas the Night Before Christmas so that Santa can come.


Best cat ever.

Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night.

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Almost Christmas

Two days until Christmas.  I think we’re going to make it.  Of course, it’s not going to be without a few hitches.  Jim came home from his latest trip with what we think is a sprained ankle.  Except it’s getting worse instead of better.  We’ve had him in an air brace for two days now and added crutches today.  I’m hoping he can get in to the doctor’s office tomorrow morning.  We will see.  Of course, I had planned on running to my office for a few hours in the morning to see the kids Christmas program and take some pictures.  The good thing is we can drop Robert off at the preschool for a few hours and needed to go there anyway since he wasn’t there all last week and we have the teacher gifts to deliver.  Luckily we’re not expected at Mom’s until late afternoon so we aren’t working under a huge time constraint.  But that time could be used here putting together train tables and straightening up the living room… again… so that it’s not a mess for pictures Christmas morning.  It will all get done though, or it won’t… we’ll be together and that’s what’s important.

We took Mom’s gift to her a few weeks ago.  She needed a new TV so we decided at Thanksgiving we would get her that this year.  I can’t believe how much TV’s have dropped in price!  Of course, there was some assembly required and it was incredibly entertaining watching Robert “supervise” Jim.


Last week was one for the books.  Jim was out of town all week.  Federal grants were due and I had a Christmas party Wednesday night.  Mom volunteered to help.  The plan was that Jim would take Harley to the kennel Monday morning so that I didn’t have to worry about her all week.  Tuesday night Robert and I would go to Mom’s and I’d spend the night there Tuesday and Wednesday after my party.  Jim would pick Robert up on his way home Thursday.  Well, Monday night Robert found out Harley wasn’t going to be home so he decided he wanted to go to Grandma’s a night early.  I called her and she said it was fine.  So, out to Mom’s we moved for the week.  The only downfall is it’s a 45 minute commute for me one way, as opposed to my usual 15 minute commute.  But it worked out and Mom had a great time with Robert and vice versa.  They’ve never had that much time together.  Unfortunately the weather did not cooperate.  Wednesday night we got snow and ice.  Work was cancelled.  If I had been home I probably could have made it to the office.  As it was, Robert and I left Mom’s at 2 and didn’t get home until 3:30… twice as long as it should have taken.

Robert sang in the Christmas cantata at church today.  I was so happy my Mom was able to come see it.  This is the first thing that Robert has done that she’s been well enough to come see.  He did a good job.  He also managed to keep his hands to his side instead of doing ninja moves.


Last night Robert told me he wanted to get a cat.  I told him we have a cat.  He told me Mel Kitty was my cat and he doesn’t like Robert (which is true).  I told him it’s because he is a ninja and most cats are scared of ninjas.  Today I surprised him by taking him to an animal adoption to see if we could find a cat that was not afraid of ninjas.  Met Rocky (formerly known as Hemmingway).  He was perfectly happy to let Robert pet him and sit in his lap.

Rocky is slowly getting acclimated to the rest of the crew.  He and Harley were fine at first and now are trying to figure out how to act around each other.  Mel Kitty has absolutely no interest in being nice to Rocky at all.  Rocky would really like to curl up with Mel.  We’re keeping everyone pretty separated for now and slowly introducing them.  Rocky has gotten Robert to sleep in his own bed, in hopes that Rocky will come out from under the bed and sleep with him.

We were assigned to bring cookies to Mom’s tomorrow night.  Robert helped me make cookies tonight.  He really got into adding flour to the roll out cookies… the kitchen looks like we had a huge cocaine party.  I’ll clean it up in the morning, I’m too tired tonight.  Trust me when I say flour was everywhere… just look closely at Robert’s face.


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Do You Hear What I Hear?

Robert is singing with the children in the Christmas Cantata at church this year.  They are only doing one song, “Do You Hear What I Hear”.  He has the first verse memorized and the second one pretty much under his belt.  They have only had two practices so far and we work on it nightly.  Unfortunately, he got my musical abilities but he makes up for it in spirit.

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Right now there is a whole lot of holiday-ing going on here.  And work… a lot of work too.  I’m trying to find the balance, it’s not easy some days.  Holidays are always busy at a homeless shelter with getting everyone “adopted” for Christmas but add on it’s year end, there are a lot of changes coming to the tax codes, year end appeals have to go out, we’ve had several pop-up events and now we’re in an online contest for $50K… it makes it even busier.  Last week was six days in the office for a total of 54 hours.  Not to mention all the answering emails after I got home and finishing up writing projects, proofing things, etc.  I love my job and that makes it easier but I also have Robert to think of.  Jim and I do a pretty good job of divide and conquer to make sure he doesn’t miss out on anything.  He actually gets to do a heck of a lot more than most kids his age.  I am lucky that Jim has been in town all month.  He’s in town again next week and then gone for a week which is taking some juggling and planning to make sure everything goes smoothly.  I try to keep Saturday for family time so that we can be guaranteed a full day.  If I need to go to the office over the weekend I try to go after church on Sunday.

One thing about having a job you know is crazy in December, you get a lot of things done earlier at home in anticipation of not having time later.

The tree is up, 95% of the presents are bought, everything that we have so far is wrapped and ready to go.

TreeTree Gifts

To get all this done has taken a ton of teamwork with Jim and a good amount of help from the internet.  What did my parents do without Amazon???  So nice to be able to log on for a few minutes, click a few buttons and poof.. a package magically appears two days later.

We did take a Friday night a few weeks ago to head to Oak Park Mall for three hours of power shopping.  We had our game plan and took turns entertaining Robert while the other shopped.  While Robert and I were waiting for Jim in Macy’s I spotted a red Ninjago hoodie.  I knew immediately Robert would love it.  It was on sale and I had an extra 25% off so I decided to go ahead and let him get it.  The rest of the night this cute little Ninjago was spotted all over the mall.


We’ve managed to visit the Fairy Princess, a Kansas City tradition.
Fairy Princess Crop

And were at Crown Center in time to see Santa’s arrival.


We’ve made our first batch of Christmas cookies and candy.

Cookie Mixing

Cookie Making
cookie rolling
Cookie Sprinkles

We’ve taken a few Saturday nights and piled into the back of the car with a blanket and hot chocolate and headed out to see Christmas lights.
Lights 1
Plaza Lights 1
Plaza Lights

We’ve adopted three children through the church and one family through my job and are trying to teach Robert it is better to give than to receive.  He seems to be getting it.  One night he played Santa for his stuffed animals.  He is also very proud of the gifts he purchased for Jim and I and loves to point them out under the tree.  Surprisingly, he’s left all the presents for him alone.
Bear Santa

We took a Saturday afternoon to go see Grandma because she wanted to take Robert to her favorite bakery for some ice cream.  It’s so great to see her doing so well after she was so sick at this time last year.  I honestly thought last Christmas was going to be the last one we had together.  Her original tumors have all shrunk and show no signs of cancer activity.  We did have a new, smaller tumor come up earlier this year but they really think the intense radiation took care of them.  It will be April before she will be non-radioactive so we can check but her doctor’s were happy at her last check up.  She has even volunteered to keep Robert for a few days next week while Jim is out of town so if I get stuck at work I’m not worried about being able to get to the preschool to pick him up.

Mom and Robert

We’ve managed to get in a few naps here and there….
… the dog is not allowed on the couch but I just couldn’t make her move.  She and Robert are quite the dynamic duo.
But in the midst of all the craziness comes a day like last Friday.  I had already put in 40 hours… include 12.5 on Thursday when I peeled myself out of bed Friday morning.  Jim was headed to Wichita three hours away to give a lecture at a trade show.  I was going to have another 12+ hour day so we were having to make sure we had someone to watch Robert (Miss Judy to the rescue!)  It was just hectic and the whole morning had felt rushed.

I had to go to the office and set up the audio/visual stuff for the board meeting and then get to the TV studio.  The local live am show has a Friday segment called “Art Attack” where an artist has approximately 52 minutes to take a blank canvas and turn it into a masterpiece.  The art is then donated to a local non-profit.  My organization was chosen because we had an event that night and would be able to silent auction the piece at the event.  I hate being on TV.  I always think I look and sound dorky.  I’m great behind the scenes.  I’m good at sending out press releases and booking appearances.  Unfortunately, I was the only one available Friday.  So off to the TV station I went.  When I came in I noticed a lot of people talking to one of the guys in the lobby.  After listening for a few minutes I figured out it was local rapper Tech N9ne.  My nephew LOVES Tech N9ne.  I quickly asked for a picture before I had to be taken back into the studio.


I texted my nephew to let him know about my encounter.  He was excited and asked if I could get an autograph.  I told him I hadn’t had a chance and he understood.  Turns out, the artist with Tech N9ne knew the painter I was there to watch and when they came back to say hello I took a chance and asked for an autograph.  Of course, the only thing I had was a business card and a ball point pen.  I found Tech N9ne to be incredibly gracious and a really nice person.  Texted my nephew back about the autograph and he was thrilled.Tech Autograph

So, I had an hour in a pretty much deserted studio to sit and watch John Bukaty take a large red canvas and create  masterpiece.  It was exactly what I needed Friday morning.  It was so peaceful and such an honor to watch someone with so much talent just create.  I am always in awe of creative people since creative talent completely passed me over.

Bukaty painting

At the end of the show.. this is what he had painted.

Bukaty with painting

I took it to the event that night and couldn’t bear to let it go.  So I was the highest bidder.  Usually I would discuss a big purchase like this before hand with Jim but there wasn’t time.  Luckily when I got home he loved it as much as I did.  It’s large but I think we found the perfect wall for it.

Bukaty on wall

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