Sunday, May 30, 2010

Adventures with Justin

Meet Justin, our first family pet!

Justin is an orange-and-white, shorthair cat. He's 10 years old, is already declawed, and has a stubby "bob" tail. We're not sure what happened to his tail, but it looks like it's been short for a while now. We got him at the Nebraska Humane Society, where someone left him in the night drop box. Whoever left him didn't include any information about him, so we're not sure what his real name is supposed to be. He lived at the Humane Society for about 6 weeks, and since they called him Justin for so long, we decided it would be easier to keep that name. They have hundreds of cats at the Humane Society right now, and Justin was the one who had been there the longest. After looking at all the cats, we picked three to meet personally. Justin was the one who did the best with Ruth. She squealed at him and it didn't bother him at all. We are very pleased with our pick. :)

Having Justin has been an adventure so far. I'd liken the process of getting a new pet to having a baby who has just become mobile. We thought we had our house "cat-proofed," but Justin found a hole in our basement that he used as a hiding place for the first couple of days he lived here. It's kind of difficult to describe, but in our basement we have these big walls called knee walls. They slope away from the foundation, leaving a narrow space between the top of the knee wall and the basement ceiling. We also have a kitchen addition with a sub-floor underneath that connects to the basement at the top of one of the knee walls. Well, Justin climbed up the knee wall and found a hole into the sub floor under the kitchen addition. Tony managed to coax him out of the hole the first time and covered it with cardboard. Of course, where there's a will, there's a way, and Justin managed to get around the cardboard and hide in the hole again later in the day. When Justin came out again to get some food, Tony wiggled his way up the knee walls, covered the hole with chicken wire, and thought all was well. Once again, Justin found a way around the chicken wire and into the hole, where he spent Saturday night. We didn't see him all day yesterday until we came home in the evening. We shut him upstairs and Tony went down, climbed up the knee walls, and managed to completely board up the hole into the sub floor.

It was a difficult undertaking because there isn't much space between the top of the knee wall and the basement ceiling, so Tony didn't have a lot of room to work. But we finally got it all covered up, and Justin is now safe!

Ruthie LOVES her new cat. She is so sweet with him, and he doesn't mind her prodding or run away from her. On Saturday Justin was getting ready to take a nap, so Ruth went into her room and got her favorite blankie and gave it to Justin. Then, yesterday, she tried to give Justin one of her binkies when he acted like he was going to sleep.

I have never owned a cat before, so I don't have a lot of room for comparison, but I think Justin is the best cat I've ever met. He is so calm and easygoing, and I think he will be perfect for our family. My only complaint so far is that he came into our room meowing very loudly at 6 a.m. today. He also likes to lay on our bed pillows, which I'm not a fan of.

We love our new cat! And if you're in Omaha and are thinking about getting a cat, you should go get one! The Humane Society has 300 cats and kittens right now. Cats 6 months and older are "pick your price" and kittens are two for the price of one. Go adopt a cat!

Monday, May 17, 2010

Diapering developments

Tony and I have made the plunge into the world of cloth diapers. It was something I never thought I'd do, but so far it's going well.

I've thought about switching to cloth for quite a while but never did it because I thought it wouldn't be nearly as convenient or easy as disposables. I didn't think it would be worth my time. A couple of months ago, however, I was reading comments on an LDS message board about the pros and cons of cloth diapers, and after doing some more research I decided to pick a brand and order a bunch. Diapers are really different now than they were when my younger brother used them 20 years ago. They come in cute colors, nice fabrics and they have snaps and velcro. Of course, you can still go with the traditional kind.

I decided to go with pocket diapers, which are basically diapers that have a super absorbent washable insert you stick into a leak-proof cover. The cover isn't at all plastic-y - I actually really like the fabric on the brand we went with, BumGenius.

We also ordered ones that come in one size and can be used for newborns up to toddlers who weigh 30 lbs. They fit Ruth just fine and look like they will be small enough for baby number 2 when s/he comes around. I have to wash the diapers every 2-3 days, which has been the hardest part for me because in the past I haven't been the type to do laundry that frequently. I prefer to do all my laundry on one day. But this has been good for me. Tony put a clothesline in the basement for me so I (or he... he helps me with the laundry, too) can hang them up to dry. My only major complaint is that the cloth diapers aren't as trim as disposables, so they tend to look a little funny under some of her clothes. I still use disposables when she is being babysat and usually when we go out, but I may eventually use only cloth when I'm out running errands. You just stick dirty ones in a plastic bag until you get home. Obviously, for extended trips, I'd use disposables.

I think our investment in cloth diapers was about $300 for 18 diapers. We will probably buy a handful more before Numero Dos arrives to meet the potty demands of a newborn. We purchased a diaper sprayer that attaches to the pipe on our toilet, and that was about $40. It's good for runny poops. I've only had to use it once so far, but it was helpful in getting the diaper clean. I'm sure we will use it much more frequently with a newborn. I also bought two washable trash can liners for the diaper pail, and I think those were $10-$15 each but will last forever. I figured that the investment should pay for itself in about a year. I have only bought one pack of disposable diapers in the last 4 or 5 weeks!

Anyway, just wanted to share my cloth diapering adventures. We find out the gender of Numero Dos on Wednesday! Exciting!!!

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Late-night blog

It's almost 1 a.m., but I'm still unwinding from work, so I thought I'd post a quick blog with some family updates. I'm 18 weeks along now and have been able to feel the baby kicking for a couple of weeks. We will find out the gender of the baby on May 19th. I'm very excited. :)

Ruth has been really grouchy during the last few days. On Tuesday she came down with a fever. I think she just has a cold/allergies, but I'm really not sure. I think my work is taking its toll on her, and I feel bad about that. I very rarely get to put her to bed anymore, and I miss spending the evenings with her and Tony. I think the Census will probably have enough work for me to stay at this job until the end of June or well into July, but I might leave in the beginning of June. That will mark the end of the 4-6 weeks I originally committed to. It's nice to have some extra income coming in, and my job really hasn't been stressing me out as much as I thought it would, but I miss putting Ruth to bed, and I want to be able to spend summer evenings with her and Tony. Tony and I are going to be a "Ma and Pa" during the stake's youth conference pioneer trek this year, and that's the second weekend in June, so I think I might just be done working then. My parents have been very helpful with watching Ruth in the evenings until Tony gets off work, and I would just hate to ask them to keep doing that well into the summer.

Ruth has started swim lessons and she really enjoys them. She thinks it's funny when I blow bubbles, but she hasn't figured out how to do it herself just yet. Instead she just ends up drinking a bunch of pool water.

Also, Ruth's Grandma Christensen bought her a cute little playhouse for her birthday (June 20) and Ruth LOVES it. It was so cute to watch her and Jack play in the house together on Wednesday. My camera battery is still dead, but I will have to charge it so I can get some pictures. Ruth and Jack like to give each other kisses now when they say goodbye, by the way. It's SO cute! But Tony said, "Let's not start that yet!" when he saw them do it. Too cute. :)

Well, I should actually head to bed because we have swim lessons in the morning. I hope to post more soon!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Happy International Respect for Chickens Day

I'm all about respecting chickens, but really, who comes up with these observances?


The excitement about our new car vanished quickly on Friday when Tony went outside to check the oil and found the car wouldn't start. We had it towed to a mechanic who later called and told me that the car's problems were the type that no mechanic liked to deal with (too complicated). However, he said he was hopeful he could get it in working order by mid-week. Well, thankfully, this mechanic is awesome and is getting our car in working order. It should be done today or tomorrow. For those of you living in the Omaha area, I HIGHLY recommend Excellence in Auto on 84th and Blondo. The owner, Tom, is a great guy and will do good work at a fair price. A good auto mechanic is hard to find.

Also, my job is going well. I work every evening but Sunday and Wednesday from 6 to midnight. I'm doing payroll and administrative stuff, and the people I work with at the Census Bureau are great. Sometimes it gets a little tiring, but I'm glad to have a job so we can pay for our car troubles! It's hard to find the motivation to be productive some days (like today... I had to work until 1 a.m. this morning and didn't get to bed until 2 a.m....), but overall things are going well with the job situation.

We have a busy week coming up with Mother's Day, our anniversary and my birthday. We also have a goal to plant our garden and work on our yard all day tomorrow, since both Tony and I have the day off. I'll try to remember to take some pictures!