Packing surprise

2014-06-18 07.18.11

Found my lost earring!

I don’t usually wear a lot of jewelry. I have one watch that I received as a parting gift for my tenure as Chair of the Staff Council five years ago, and I wear it almost daily. I have a few of Lisa Leonard’s necklaces and her lovely silver bracelet with discs of each of the boy’s names that I wear often. My jewelry box also contains several pairs of earrings, though I tend to wear the same 3-5 more than any others.

One of my favorites is a pair of oblong silver hoops. The selfie photo doesn’t do them justice, because you can’t really see the etching/texture. Several months ago, I lost one of the hoops. I was disappointed, but I couldn’t bring myself to throw away the match. While I was cleaning out my closet to get the house ready to show, I found the lost hoop! It was a nice surprise during an otherwise arduous chore.

Speaking of cleaning and packing, whew! I haven’t gone to bed before midnight all this week, and I am zonked. The good news is that the house is tidier than it has been since we moved in five years ago, and although it may lack froufrou decor, at least it’s spacious and open for people to walk through without tripping over video game cables, laundry baskets or random things that kids leave out because they apparently lack the eyesight to see things right under their noses.

2014-06-18 12.39.10I’m not one to talk, honestly. Housekeeping has never been my strong suit, and I struggled to keep my small apartment tidy when I was young and single, much less nowadays. It’s a huge challenge for me. My bedroom looked like a unit from Storage Wars, with a bed in the middle and a chair in the corner. It wasn’t as bad as Hoarders, but six years of grad school materials, plus five kids’ pipe cleaner & bead bracelets, lost teeth that the Tooth Fairy stashed in zip baggies, old pictures and handmade keepsakes that I couldn’t throw away in front of them had really piled up over time. It felt so good to throw things away (discretely, in case someone noticed his knotted string bracelet that he made “just for me” in the garbage), box up things that were to keep, and give away bag after bag to Goodwill.

Between the Realtor, friends who came over to help sort & pack, handymen and a housekeeper, we’ve had a lot of people in and out of the house over the past couple of weeks. Bruiser and Sushi aren’t sure what to make of all the changes. They like discovering new boxes to sit in, and they’ve been sniffing around everything like a pair of puppies rather than cats, but mostly they just want to stay out of the way.

Case in point, I found Bruiser hiding in the bathroom when I went home for lunch today. See what I mean about no froufrou decor? I don’t even have a towel hanging on the towel bar. 🙂

Santa’s early delivery

I came clean about Santa earlier this year. I always said that I wouldn’t flat-out lie to the kids, so when they asked me if I was Santa, I said yes. (In previous years, the questions were always something like, “Is Santa real?” to which I averted the question and replied, “What do you think?”) Now that the cat is out of the bag (no pun intended), there’s some leeway on the element of surprise.

I swore off getting another pet after we had to give away our dogs a couple of years ago. Our yard is just too small, and they were eating the house (literally). I have decided that I’m a terrible dog owner. I enjoyed having a cat when I was young & single, but my ex-husband is allergic, so I gave her away before we got married. Now that he no longer lives here – and as far as I’m aware, none of the boys are allergic to cats – I thought perhaps that would be a safe bet for our next venture into pet ownership.

pet contract

The pet contract that each of the kids signed

A friend from work emailed me with news that a mama cat showed up on their doorstep and delivered six kittens. She is quite allergic, though her heart went out to the mama cat. They decided to keep her (allergies notwithstanding), but they had to find homes for the babies. The kittens are 8-1/2 weeks old now. There were two boys in the litter, and it seemed like the right thing to do to bring them home.

The boys were beside themselves when I told them the news. I had each of them sign a Pet Care Contract that I found online, and we talked bluntly about litter boxes and whatnot. Everyone agreed and signed the papers. One of them even had the idea to highlight key phrases and tape their contracts to the fridge as a reminder, and everyone followed suit.

Sushi & Bruiser

Sushi & Bruiser

I now introduce to you Bruiser and Sushi. Bruiser is gold with green eyes, so we named him after the Baylor mascot. Sushi is whitish-gray, and my 7th grader suggested his name because cats like fish and the boys like sushi. Makes sense to me! 🙂

They are a playful pair and seem to be acclimating to the house well. They are in the master bathroom right now, and we’ll introduce them to larger parts of the house a day at a time. My ulterior motive is that having cats might be an incentive for the boys to keep the floor clear of clothes and toys! We started litter box training today, but I’m sure accidents will happen. Maybe if someone’s jeans get peed on, then they’ll start picking them up off the floor. 😉

Snuggle time

Snuggle time