Friday, September 17, 2010

Pretty Girl

This is a very hard post for me to write.
17 years ago I found this cute little 5 weeks old kitten at the pound when I lived in Minneapolis.

She was the one who was sitting still in the back of a full cage of kittens, shaking a bit from fright. I felt an instant knowing that she was mine and I was hers.
She fit in my hand.
She lived with me in Minneapolis, Ashland, Portland, Corbet in cabin in the woods, San Diego and Los Angeles and for part of her life she shared me with this fine fellow of a cat Salvador ( aka cute boy )And at the end shared me with my love Jerry whom she didn't warm up to for about 4 years. She would lay on my pregnant belly and purr, sending the "little tomato" some love and warmth...and then came Max who just adored her and chased her around the house. She never got aggressive with him, she let him "pet" her even though he was rough and not able to be careful.
She loved to hop up onto my shoulder and sleep on me at night with her little wet nose touching my ear and I could hear her purring through the night.
She was my first child, my companion, and the one being who knew more about me than any other. She's been there through so much and loved me unconditionally.
I loved how she wrapped her paw over my arm when she slept in my arms.
I loved that face.
I loved that she wore an invisible tiara and at times she was literally pushed around the house on a chair that had wheels, because of course - she was royalty.
This was the last photo I took of her. September 15th 2010 on the front porch where she loved to soak up the sun. We had a vet that makes house calls some over at 8am because it was time to "put her down" as they say. She was suffering and her quality of life was diminishing. We just let her go where she wanted to and that ended up being under the tree in the front yard. I held her in my arms there as the vet gave her the drugs. Jerry and Max sat on the steps near by. It was a calm and peaceful event. She didn't struggle or have any reaction. She just went to sleep and then she passed away. She died in my arms.

The first day without her I think I was pretty numb. The second day - yesterday - was much harder and today - again I am feeling more feelings and grief and loss and remembering all the years we had together. I loved that Pretty Girl. Her absence and the silence without her is very loud.

I love you Pretty Girl.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Max - you are 19 months old today!

Family Bed 19 months old today! from Catherine Just on Vimeo.

Decided to do another family bed video this morning.
I do love this morning time together.
The latest things Max is loving are:
1. playing pat a cake - he will do that over and over and over and over and over with us and he signs for it all the time. "more pat a cake" " more pat a cake"!! He will grab my hands and start to do it if I don't act quick enough!
2. Peek-a boo or "where's Max" you see it at the very end of the video when Max puts the blanket over his head and hides. he doesn't need any prompting for it - he just does it - and then I say " where's Max?" and hten he pulls the blanket down and claps while I scream " there's Max - yay!!! " He does that over and over and over too. So cute! I hide too and he comes over and pulls the blanket off. The speech therapist encouraged this so that we are doing back and forth activities together - and he picked up on it right away.

In other news:
Did I tell you that we had a door put into our bedroom that goes out to our backyard?
It was Jerry's birthday present this year as that is all he has been asking for - for about 5 years.
Now that we have that installed - we just LOVE the light it lets in and that - when we lay in bed - we can see the eucalyptus tree, pomegranate tree and plum tree waving their leaves at us as if to say "hello!" Now we have an easy way to get Max outside to enjoy our yard. It's been a long time coming and I'm so glad we finally did it! We plan to build a deck where the temporary step is - but for now - the step works nicely...

Now we need to figure out how to get the backyard baby proofed as we are finding more and more ways that Max can hurt himself as we explore out the process of creating a safe environment continues!

We are going to celebrate Max's 19th month on the planet by staying in and enjoying our central air! ( It's currently 100 degrees outside - not kidding! )
And then tonight we are heading to Cru restaurant ( yes I'm still vegan if you didn't already know - it's been about 5 weeks now and loving it ) and then to the photobooth across the street from there. Looking forward to that.

In other news - we've signed up for another season of Music Together which will be on Friday's at 8:45 - which means that right after class we will head to Club 21 for his playgroup. ( if you click on that you will see Max and myself at playgroup on their website - so cute in those red shoes of his )

And...I've started taking Guitar lessons! my friend Krista bought me a guitar for my birthday many years ago and I've never learned to play it. Max loves music so much I cannot wait to learn a few songs to play for him. I'm practicing 3 times per day for 5 minutes each ( as the guitar instructor told me to ) so that I can get over the pain and suffering that my finger tips are going through....I cannot describe how painful it is right now...and I am looking forward to the callouses forming - I hear in 3 more months or so....not sure I can wait that long but I am going to try it out.

what else?
Another playgroup is forming for some friends of mine that have kids. I'm SO SO SO excited about that. And I'm looking forward to Max having a even larger tribe around him and with him.

Max is learning more and more sign language and understands even more of what we are saying to and with him. It's amazing to watch him grow and I am so looking forward to seeing how all of the therapies, music classes and playgroups contribute to Max having a rich, joyful and amazing life...although I must tell you - he seems to be having a pretty good time right now!

oh - and on a side note - last week was my 42nd birthday and we explored Sunset Boulevard over in Silverlake. We found a real old fashion black and white photobooth and of course it made my day! I've decided that my 40's can't be anything other than the best years - because I've got two of the best fella's by my side! So much fun!