Thursday, August 28, 2014

Goldfinches! Hummingbirds!

I’ve been continuing my feeding of the birds by putting out safflower seed daily.  This has caused the grackles and starlings to leave our yard, since they don’t like the safflower.  Doves are also not supposed to like it, but our homegrown flock of the fighting pinheads have learned how to snarf it down; oh well.  We mainly have house finches, cardinals, chickadees and titmice, and sparrows of course.  We also have some Carolina wrens, and our two catbirds are back, although I don’t ever see them eating seed. 

In our front yard we have finches in one birdhouse and a tiny bird in the other, which I have finally identified as a house wren.  The two alleged house wrens are really teeny-tiny—much smaller than the finches and very slender, not rounded like a chickadee.  They also are not very shy and will fly in and out of the house and alight on nearby branches when we are out gardening in the front yard.

We put up our hummingbird feeder a month ago but hadn’t seen any there until recently.  I’ve seen a female a few times now—a small brown hummingbird getting nectar from the feeder.

Owen likes to come out with me in the morning and add birdseed to the feeder.  He will look up in the sky and say, “Birds! Time to eat!” (which is really more like, Bur! Ime Eat!).  And he will help me put seed in the feeder, although it is sometimes hard to get him to go back inside when the mosquitoes find us.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Cats In Weird Places

We have an Ikea circus tent that is usually in our attic, but that was brought downstairs for a play session not too long ago, and of course, Plum had to try it out:

Posy eats her meals in the sunporch, so that Plum – who is always convinced that we are feeding Posy lobster and filet mignon, while he gets a half can of cold catfood – won’t push her out of the way and start eating what she was served.  I often will forget to let Posy out of the sunporch immediately afterwards, and the other day when I went to do so after thirty minutes or so had passed, I spotted this:

Yes, Posy had decided she would try out Owen’s little cart.  Go figure.  If it is there, then a cat will sit in or on it.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

A Redhead On Film

I just thought I would document this phenomenon on my blog.  Owen at this point basically has brown hair (like me, and like Sean when he had hair), with red and blond glints.  This picture depicts Owen’s hair as we generally see it:

But if he is at all in the sunlight, his hair looks like this:

Red, no?!  Maybe this means he will become a redhead?  Or perhaps he carries the gene and we eventually will have redheaded grandchildren.  I can hope.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

It's Posy Again, Bitches!

I’m sure you are all wondering what Posy is up to these days.  And if Posy could talk, she would say something about how that is for her to know and for you not to find out.  And add to that a bitches.  Here she is being an ice cream nudge.  Seriously, it is impossible to enjoy ice cream in our house without Posy climbing the eater like a tree to get to the treat:

And here is Posy enjoying looking out the window from a temporarily well-positioned shelf:

I noticed the other day that Posy had a lot of scabs on her neck.  At first I thought it might be from Plum, who will occasionally bully poor Posy.  But he generally leaves her alone, and new scabs were appearing daily.  I googled “indoor cat has scabs on neck” and got pages and pages of hits.  Apparently this is a thing?  But not something to worry much about, as long as the scabs don’t get infected.  They can be a passing allergy or an allergic reaction from over-grooming, which Posy definitely does.  I’m keeping a calm eye on the situation, and giving her lots of neck scritches, which she loves.

(Updated to add:  I remembered after I wrote the above entry that we had gotten a bag of kitten kibble by mistake and had decided to mix it in with their regular kibble.  It occurred to me that she was probably having a reaction to the kitten food, so she is back to eating just the normal food -- for now, at least.  Their normal dry kibble, Nutro Max, is no longer being carried at the pet stores nearby, so I'm going to have to find another kind that they both like.  Nutro has another line, which is perhaps replacing the old, but it seems rather overly healthy for my two finicky cats, since all the flavors are brown rice and something...).

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Happy Birthday, Owen!

We decided to celebrate Owen’s birthday a day late on Saturday the 9th this year, so that we wouldn’t be holding the festivities at 6 pm during what can be a toddler’s witching hour.  The plan was that I would bake a cake Friday after work, and ice it during Owen’s nap on Saturday, while Sean went out to get balloons.  And all went as planned.

The napping birthday boy:

Here is the cake, looking a little dumpy since I halved the recipe and only made one black midnight layer.  But while I was willing to halve the cake recipe so that I wouldn’t be the only one eating most of a two-layer layer cake, was I willing to similarly halve the icing recipe?  No, I was not.  In fact I made one and a half times the recipe!  So as you can see, the cake is rather small and the icing rather large.  It was delicious, if I do say so myself:

So Owen came downstairs after we had rid him of his immediate post-nap grumpies, and was greeted by a dining room filled with balloons and gifts and cards and a new bike from the Lawrence family.  Here are some pictures of Owen with the new bike, and still excited by the balloons:

And of course Dorothy had to join in the fun.  She gets very excited about a gift and wants to at the very least partake in the unwrapping.

And then that was all the pictures I took.  Owen was nonchalant about opening the gifts (I don’t suppose that will last much longer), but very excited to play with them once they were opened.  I brought the cake out with lit candles, and Owen knew exactly what to do once we stopped singing (thanks to Peppa pig!) and didn’t need any help blowing out the candles.  He enjoyed his own slice of cake, and then spent many hours playing with his toys.

We are still working on getting him to say that he is two, complete with accompanying fingers, but he mostly does not humor us when we ask him.

Yesterday I brought him for his 2 years’ doctor’s visit, and he was generally quite brave.  He did keep saying, “Bye, doctor!” which was his way of asking the doctor to leave, but he did manage to save most of his crying for during his shots.  He is now in the 21st percentile for height and 73rd for weight--a reverse supermodel. 

I think that was some kind of a remark.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Headbutting At the Mall

We took Owen to the mall the other weekend and it wasn’t the best of trips.  On the one hand, he did get to lope up and down the corridors and tire himself out.  On the other hand, he got to tire us out with many tantrums.  The first problem was that he didn’t want to leave the photo booth.  So while Sean went off to get some sneakers, I stayed and let Owen hang out in the booth and press buttons.  But after about twenty minutes of this, I began to get very bored and tried to get him to leave the booth.  Ultimately, I had to pick him up and carry him away, while trying not to get head-butted in the face.  Yes, fun times.

And then Owen wanted to go up in the elevator, and I made what was probably a mistake in saying no, since I thought Sean was about to come out of the store with his sneakers.  And then once I had said no, I didn’t want to go back on my word, so I had to suffer through another prolonged tantrum.  But then Sean emerged and up we went and Owen got to ride on the merry-go-round that is in the mall.  (And as I write this, I hear people say maybe we shouldn’t have rewarded him with a ride after his two tantrums?  And maybe we shouldn’t have, except that I don’t think he is quite at the age where he can make/understand the connections.  Soon.)  He sat on the horse with me standing next to him, and alternately said Weeeeeeeee!” and “good girl!” to the horse.  He’s polite that way.

Here are some pictures of Owen in the mall with Susan later in the week.  Apparently he threw many pennies into the fountain and Susan’s keys, which were retrieved.

Dorothy Gets Better: Fingers Crossed

Dorothy has been having some more laser treatments and her knee seems to be improving.  We also have put up chicken wire so that she temporarily can only use a tiny few feet of the yard.  This depresses her, but it does seem to be allowing her knee to heal, so we will keep up the wire for a bit longer.

The other day a neighbor stopped by when Sean was outside and asked if Dorothy would enlist in a neighborhood watch program run by the police.  I don’t know all the details yet, but it will involve Sean and Dorothy going to a class, and Dorothy getting a bandanna, and Sean a t-shirt, and patrolling the block on occasion!  Tee hee.  Dorothy is going to love that!  She can simultaneous look spiffy and keep an eye out for danger—it’s the perfect task for Miss D.  I shall of course take pictures when the excursions begin.

Dorothy, not watching much of anything 
except for the backs of her own eyelids.

Monday, August 4, 2014

Owen Almost Two

Owen is very fond of the Peppa Pig cartoon.  He also likes to make the oinking/grunting sound that Peppa and her family make, and he is quite good at it.  The boy oinks like a pro.  Unfortunately, when he was at Whole Foods with Sean not too long ago, he oinked at a fellow shopper, who, Sean informs me, was rather pinkish in color.  Thankfully, Sean is pretty sure that the woman did not hear Owen’s oinking.

And while I am on the subject of Owen out and about with Sean, can I hear a boo hiss for all the credit Sean gets from strangers for taking his son on errands?  People see a man with a baby and act like it’s the cutest thing ever, whereas when they see a toddler with a mother, it is just ordinary.  I’m glad Sean takes Owen out and about, don’t get me wrong, and he does so more than I do, but sometimes I have to roll my eyes at the kudos he receives in the check-out line.

Owen is talking so much more these days.  He says “thank you” now, and instead of just taking my hand and trying to pull me someplace, he will take my hand and with great effort enunciate a “Help” (which is more like a hhhhalllp.)  If he sees a mess on the ground, he will also say, “paper towel!” and run and get one to clean it up.  He can still be a little unclear as to when he should say thank you though.  For example, he was supposed to be sharing a toy rake with his friend, Guiliana, and when it was just a few seconds into Guiliana's turn, Owen grabbed the rake back and said, "thank you."  Oh dear.

One of Owen’s favorite things to do is walk up to the nearby bus stop and sit and watch the traffic go by.  Of course, he gets excited when what passes is a bus or a truck

He watches a show called “Wheels on the Bus” (or something like that), during which they sing the song often.  It is all a group of people and puppets on a bus and they go different places.  There’s also singing and the occasional dance.  During one song, I’m told, Owen will join in and sing the whole thing, with a very heartfelt expression on his face.  I have yet to witness it myself, although the thought of it makes me giggle.  He also does a lot of singing with Sean in the “cooldown” period before bed.

Owen’s birthday is coming up and we’ve been trying to hype up the concept, since he doesn’t really know what a birthday is.  I tell him he is going to be two, and that we will sing Happy Birthday to him and he will have to blow out the candles.  I usually start singing him the song, only to be interrupted by Owen asking, “Cake?”  Yes, son, there will be cake.