Married to the Empire

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Life with Ninja

I'm so glad that Doogie likes to live his life free of drama.  He's always been our easy kitty.  Ninja, on the other hand, is making up for the high-maintenance void that Calvin left behind. 

Ninja likes to dig.  He's very dexterous and loves to scoop things with his paws and pull things out or apart.  Last week I heard a strange sound from the kitchen.  When I went to investigate, I found Ninja with the new bag of cat litter I'd brought in from the garage.  He'd torn a hole in the bag and was happily scooping litter out onto the floor.  He was quite irritated with me when I took him away from that. 

This is a common pasttime of his when I'm foolish enough to forget to close the doors to my armoire:

There's just something about my drawer full of slips and tights that he just can't resist.  He loves to reach in and pull things out onto the floor.  I have a feeling that next winter when I need to wear tights, I'll have a hard time finding any that aren't riddled with claw marks.

The worst was probably last week.  It sounded like he was in the bathtub, but when I looked, he wasn't there.  I found him in the closet behind the bathtub.  He'd managed to pull the panel off the wall that leads to the plumbing for the tub.  I got to him just as he was about to climb in. 

This little cat just may be the death of me. 

He likes to get in the way play in whatever I'm trying to do at the moment.  I snapped these pictures yesterday as I was trying to change the sheets on the bed:

Probably took me 15 minutes to change the sheets with him impeding every step, but he was having such a good time, and it was harmless fun for him.

Oh, but when he sleeps, he's just so sweet.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Pain and Pregnancy

We spent a fun night in the ER on Sunday.  (And yes, that's sarcasm.)

I woke up around 5am Sunday with pain in my abdomen.  It wasn't too bad, but it was bothersome.  However, the pain became progressively worse as the day went on.  Being pregnant adds a whole new level of fear whenever there is pain, and by that evening, I was crying because I hurt and was running a low-grade fever.  I was trying to decide what to do, as I didn't want to run to the ER if it was nothing, but I didn't want things to get worse if it was something. 

I did what any normal person would do in this situation: I called my mommy. 

My mom said I should get it checked out.  Better safe than sorry.  If it's nothing, no big deal.  If it's something, they can take care of it.  So off we went to the ER at 10pm.  (We were actually going to simply do Urgent Care, but all the places our insurance approves were closed.) 

After a long wait, a room opened up and they sent me back.  They determined pretty quickly that it wasn't my appendix, nor was it baby-related.  (Thank you, God!)  They were thinking it may be my gallbladder, so they took a jillion vials of blood, then hooked me up with an IV.  (That gave me a whole new appreciation for what the cat used to go through, as that IV was cold.)  Then we waited.  And waited.  And waited

The doctor finally came in and told me that nothing showed up as being wrong.  My platelets are low, which I was expecting, as it's a long-standing problem of mine and all the physical signs were there that they were low again.  But they're not dangerously low.  He's still not ruling out the gallbladder, so I'm choosing to eat a bit more blandly for the time being.  I believe I was a bit dehydrated, as I felt better after an entire bag of IV fluids, and I was sent home with a note that had "Drink Plenty of Fluids" circled. 

So, it was $50 worth of nothing, which is good, of course.  I just felt terrible about dragging Steven out for nothing because he had an 8am CPR/First Aid class in Dallas in the morning.  And we didn't get to bed until 3:30am.  He survived, of course, but I still felt bad about it. 

The one cool thing to come of this is that Steven got to hear the baby's heartbeat for the first time.  Seeing his face during that was priceless.  He sort of killed the moment, though, when he said it sounds like I'm giving birth to an alien. 

Sunday, April 10, 2011

DeNami Designs Monochromatic Blog Hop

DeNami April Blog Hop

I've joined my first blog hop through the awesome DeNami Designs (love their stamps!).  If you're following the hop, you've arrived here from Ruza's blog

I adore DeNami's cat-themed petit fours, and seeing as I needed to make a thank-you card for our friends who catsit for us, I decided to use my cat stamps for my monochromatic card.  I chose my colors based on my cats.  Doogie is gray-and-white, and Ninja is black.  Perfect! 

I even chose to stamp on the ribbon.  Works for me!

Be sure to visit Dana's blog next to see what she has created!  If you follow the hop and leave a comment on every blog, you'll be eligible to win a $20 gift card from DeNami Designs!

Friday, April 8, 2011

Decisions, Decisions

My OB-GYN sent me to a high-risk OB because of my age (I'm 37), migraines, and thyroid disease.  I saw this new doctor today and also met with a genetic counselor.  I found the genetic counseling horribly stressful, and I wished I'd known what I was in for because I would have asked Steven to take off work and come with me if I'd known.  Partly, I didn't know the answers to questions about his family.  His family is very complicated with lots of divorces and remarriages and half-siblings and people I've never met (like his bio-dad), yet I was supposed to know stuff about them. 

But that wasn't the stressful part. 

I was offered (pushed?) all sorts of genetic testing today, and I had to make a decision while there about what I would and would not let them do.  I knew I would allow the testing for things like Cystic Fibrosis and Fragile X.  Those simply establish genetic markers, which I think are important to know about regardless.  But it was the sequential screening I was unsure about.  For anyone who doesn't know, that test basically lets a woman know the odds of her baby being born with Down's Syndrome. 

Thing is, if I did the testing and the odds were bad, I wouldn't allow them to do an amnio on me.  There is a risk of miscarriage, and I don't care if it's merely slight.  (Also, I'm terrified of needles, so a needle going into my uterus unnecessarily?  No, thank you!)  So what's the point of knowing the odds and potentially having to worry for the next 6 months? 

Thankfully, they did an ultrasound first (everything looks good--baby has arms, legs, good cranial structure, obvious nasal bone), which gave me a decent amount of time to pray and decide what to do.  Ultimately, I opted out of sequential screening.  Thankfully, when I was able to talk to Steven after my appointment (because naturally, I forgot to put my cell phone in my purse and therefore couldn't discuss it with him during the appointment), he was in agreement with my choices. 

Sometimes, I think certain advancements in science and technology aren't really all that helpful.  More stress and worry with all the testing options today than women had in years past. 

The one very positive thing that came out of this appointment, though, is that the doctor and the genetic counselor assured me that the baby should be fine with my taking Imitrex for my migraines.  That alone was worth the stress I had to endure throughout my 2 hours there. 

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Cats Are Costly

We'd hoped that no longer having a chronically-ill pet would mean that vet bills would be a thing of the past. 

Silly us. 

Our sweet, new Ninja Cat has had problems since he arrived home.  Potty problems.  Really nasty, smelly problems that my husband has stoically handled on his own all this time because the mere sight of it has me gagging (it's a pregnancy thing). 

I took 2 separate fecal samples in to the vet's office, and they each came back negative, so we hoped that things would just resolve once his little system was used to the food here.  Five weeks in, and things weren't any better.  Ninja jumped into my lap on Friday after a trip to the box, and he left some, um, residue on my pajamas.  I nearly threw up.  I was done.  This will get fixed!

Fecal sample #3 went in for testing, but this time it was a more comprehensive test (which meant it cost 3 times as much).  Steven didn't seem very happy with me over that since the other 2 samples were negative.

My diligence paid off.  Ninja has a bacterial infection causing something called Clostridial Entertoxicosis.  Treatment is inexpensive amoxicillin.  And fiber.  I'm feeding him pumpkin now as a treat, which surprisingly, he loves!  Hopefully, his potty problems will be resolved in the very near future!

And speaking of the costliness of cats, I was paying bills last week, and I was perplexed by our water bill having gone down by nearly $20.  Then I realized that with Calvin gone, I'm no longer doing laundry every day.  Guess he was costing us more than just vet bills.  But he was 100% worth it.