Tuesday, March 31, 2009

In Memory of Pixie

Tonight, we took part in a local humane society's fundraiser called "Dining Out for Animals." Several restaurants will donate a portion of their proceeds from today's diners to the humane society. Jack and I toasted Pixie with his cup of milk and my glass of water. And on the receipt, I wrote, "In Memory of Pixie." It felt good to take a momentary break from the grief and celebrate her life while helping other shelter animals. And the food wasn't bad either.

Monday, March 30, 2009

The Rainbow Bridge

Just this side of heaven is a place called Rainbow Bridge.
When an animal dies that has been especially close to someone here, that pet goes to Rainbow Bridge.
There are meadows and hills for all of our special friends so they can run and play together.
There is plenty of food, water and sunshine, and our friends are warm and comfortable.

All the animals who had been ill and old are restored to health and vigor; those who were hurt or maimed are made whole and strong again, just as we remember them in our dreams of days and times gone by.
The animals are happy and content, except for one small thing; they each miss someone very special to them, who had to be left behind.

They all run and play together, but the day comes when one suddenly stops and looks into the distance. His bright eyes are intent; His eager body quivers.
Suddenly he begins to run from the group, flying over the green grass, his legs
carrying him faster and faster.

You have been spotted, and when you and your special friend finally meet, you
cling together in joyous reunion, never to be parted again. The happy kisses
rain upon your face; your hands again caress the beloved head, and you look once
more into the trusting eyes of your pet, so long gone from your life but never
absent from your heart.

Then you cross Rainbow Bridge together....

(Author unknown)

Goodbye to a Dear Friend

I wasn't looking for an addition to the household, but a friend who wanted to adopt a cat asked me to go with her to the local humane society in 1997. I probably knew I was doomed before I set foot in the shelter. I have a tendency to get caught up in emotions even when they don't belong to me. I'm like a sponge and whether the emotion belongs to a human or animal, it hits me to the core.

There was so much sadness and longing in that shelter. A Tortie Point Himalayan caught my attention. She looked matted. She had the bluest, most beautiful, human-like eyes I had ever seen in a cat. It didn't take me long to decide to adopt her. The ladies at the front desk admired my choice. Not many people adopt the older cats. Many look for kittens. They didn't know how old my cat was because she had been homeless.

Pixie died this morning. After watching her not eat or drink for the past couple of days, I made the most humane decision I could. I couldn't bear to see my precious girl in pain. She was no longer the frisky cat she had always been. She had been struggling with an illness over the past several months. She had been on and off medicine based on the vet's recommendations. And I think she was ready to go. Pixie tried to seclude herself all weekend, although I kept finding her and telling her all the things I should have told her over the past ten years. I even tried to give her extra lap time, something she always craved and would have been happy just doing most of her days.

In the vet's office this morning, before she was given the first sedation shot, Pixie nestled up to my chest as if to say, "I'm ready to go mom." She didn't cry when the vet administered the first shot and after several minutes, she fell into a deep sleep.

I didn't want Pixie to die, but I know she's in a better place now. She's in heaven with all the energy of her youth. She's getting as much lap time and outside air time as she wants. Before we stepped inside the vet's office today, I pointed her towards the sunrise and told her that she would see even more vibrant and glorious sunrises in heaven. After all, according to Isaiah,

The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid; and the calf and the young lion and the fatted calf together; and a little child shall lead them. (Isaiah, 11:6)

I believe animals go to heaven. Some will argue that animals don't have souls, but I've known animals that are more compassionate than humans. Pixie offered her heart and I wish I would have offered more of mine.

When I came home with Pixie, I saw a sight on the living room floor that I had never seen before, probably because I'm not usually home at that time or I'm running after Jack on the weekends. I saw a rainbow spectrum on the floor. To me, a rainbow means new life and a promise of hope. We saw a rainbow on the morning Jack was born. At the time, I remembered thinking, maybe Jack will be born today and we saw him for the first time that evening.

This passage from Genesis gives me hope:

I do set my bow in the cloud, and it shall be for a token of a covenant between me and the earth. And it shall come to pass, when I bring a cloud over the earth, that the bow shall be seen in the cloud: And I will remember my covenant, which is between me and you and every living creature of all flesh; and the waters shall no more become a flood to destroy all flesh. (Genesis, 9: 13-15).I have many regrets of not spending enough quality time with Pixie and for taking for granted that I would always have time to do more with her. So, please give your precious ones some extra love. My remaining kitties and puppy have been smothered with love this evening.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Busy Week/Weekend

Spring Break has never meant much to me. During my college years, I was often working a part-time job. Once, I had all four wisdom teeth taken out without being put out. That's a "holiday" I'll never forget. Mom thought I could get it all done with our regular dentist, so off we went. Towards the end of my appointment and visualization technique that I was on a Hawaiian beach and had lost twenty pounds, a tip of the guy's instrument broke off in my gums. Ironically, he had to send me to the oral surgeon I wanted to see in the first place. By the time the surgeon could see me, my mouth was too swollen. Gulp. I got a double dose of iron that day. Oh, and some rough pain killers. But I digress.

Anyway, it was Spring Break for all the young and old kiddos around here which meant that our daycare provider was off. Luckily, Aunt EE and my mom were able to watch Jack. Also, Mike and I were able to take a day off. On Wednesday evening, I received a call from Jack's birth mother. She had a day pass from a military training facility. Could we come down?

Jack and I were able to go see her on Thursday and we had a wonderful time. Jack wore the t-shirt his birth mother made him with her military picture. I hope she passes her training and PT test soon. We're anxious for her to get out of there and back to college.On Friday, mom, Jack and I went rummage saling. We had fun, actually finding Jack a little kitchen set. He loves it. It's still in my trunk though. I guess now's the time to tell my husband about another toy for a house with little room left. Surprise! This is a tricky way for me to know when he reads my blog.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Weekend in Review

We had a fun, busy weekend. On Saturday, we visited the local Train Show. Jack enjoyed watching the "trus" or "trucks" as he calls all vehicles. It was pretty incredible. There were several train tracks and some contained elaborate towns and cities with big buildings, little oil drillers and even working railroad crossings. Grandpa and Grandma treated us to a chicken/roast beef dinner at a parish fundraiser today. Afterwards, we had lots of fun back home, letting loose outside, hanging with Meaghan and Garrett.
"Hey buddy! Can you give me a lift?" I think Jack was out of gas at this point.Funny things said by Meaghan:
As we drove to the parish fundraiser, I jokingly told mom that she looked like a
"H-O-A-R" because Meaghan had painted her nails red. Mom never paints her nails so it's totally out of character for her. Meaghan then proceeded to call herself a "day mistress" and mom a "dark mistress." Imagine that. Mom, a woman of the night.
As we played outside, we pretended that Meaghan's bike was broke and that I was the fix-it lady at the repair shop. She explained that her boys, "Gosh and Dang" had messed with it. The second time she explained her story it sounded more like "Josh and "Dane" but I thought the first names were more appropriate.Grandma and Jack looked like twins in their black sweat shirts and blue jeans. By the look on Jack's face, it must be time to go!

Friday, March 20, 2009

Jack's books (and mine) find a home

Grandpa recently made a shelf for Jack's books. It is a very nice book shelf that ended up just a little big because Grandpa didn't want to waste any wood. He and Grandma delivered the shelf this afternoon so we organized our books tonight. Jack even got in on the fun.

Ketchup is not a food group

Please tell my little man that. Apparently, ketchup goes well with fries, fish, vegetables. You name it, he dips it. It's also very tasty by itself.

We're Like This!

Okay, so I look bug eyed but this is me and my buddy, Gary, Gary Pinkel that is. Head coach of the Missouri Tigers. Yes, my arm is around his back but nothing happened. It was all innocent.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

My Little Flirt

So, I'm driving Jack to daycare this morning when he starts getting all excited in the back seat. He starts banging the back of his head on his car seat. (Why do babies love hitting their heads on things?) Then, he starts kicking his legs in the air. His grin was a mile wide. I look to my left and see an SUV parallel to me, both of us stuck at the light. Sitting in the front of that vehicle, is a cute elementary school girl who is smiling at Jack. The little cougar made Jack's day. Boy, does he love flirting with the ladies.

Life Is Ironic and Sometimes Painful

I recently learned that the young woman who had picked another couple for her adoption placement has decided to raise her little girl.

Her family is asking friends and relatives for baby items they can borrow. We have been asked to lend our baby tub and will do so.

Life is ironic and sometimes painful. Perhaps God was protecting us from the deep pain of a failed domestic adoption. I feel for the couple who is going through those painful emotions right now. I hope God will provide an answer to their prayers soon.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

This Week's Jack Quiz

Jack is either...

A) Giving baby doll a kiss on the head
B) Chewing on baby's head
C) Performing a very unorthodox examination of the baby's soft spot.

Baby seems happy with the examination.Going for baby's belly button, eyes or mouth.

Weekend in Review

I took my budding anthropologist to a birthday party on Saturday. I went to high school with the party girl's mom. And I also saw another high school friend whom I hadn't seen in several years. I wish the picture was zoomed in but that's the three of us. Notice that I'm the short, I mean, petite one of the group.We had so much fun, digging for dinosaurs and hunting dinosaur eggs. We lasted about five minutes in a bounce house, Jack's first! Just sitting in it was enough for Jack. Someday I'll complain that I can't get him out of those.We spent Sunday at Grandma and Grandpa's house and enjoyed the parish fundraiser, a Spring Breakfast! Yum. I love breakfast food and so does Jack. Of course, we also love food in general.Grandpa and Garrett
When Jack and I arrived, Meaghan repeatedly said to my brother, "Your sister's here!" And he said, "That's also your aunt. "Later, we had fun outside, enjoying the decent weather.Going for a lay-up.We also checked on the cows. If you look closely in the background, you'll see a little lady in blue. That's grandma! I didn't go too far with Jack. I didn't want to spook the cows.Chao or chow now!

Monday, March 9, 2009

On a Happy Note

A couple from our local China adoption group received their little girl today! You can see pictures of this happy couple and their beautiful daughter, Mia Lin, on their Web site,

Sunday, March 8, 2009

On Being an Infertile Myrtle

This is a bit on the long side. Sorry, no Cliff Notes.

I’ve been in a bit of a funk lately. Several months ago, I heard that the daughter of a good friend of our family was pregnant and was considering adoption. My mom informed her that we were interested. She was having a girl. I was overjoyed.

I started seeing little “signs” around me. Items with the daughter’s name on it, finding Jack’s hospital shirt, just little things.

I recently discovered that the young lady picked a different couple for her child and I was devastated. Not that we had ever been contacted but there’s always that faint glimmer of hope until you hear the absolute.

A couple of well-intentioned people in my family have told me to be grateful for what I have. I think we all need that gentle reminder at times, but it’s a little hard to take since I am very grateful for our son and thank God daily for him. I love Jack with all my heart and soul and I don’t take him for granted.

The “Be grateful” message also makes me feel guilty for wanting more children. I think people around me must think I’m selfish for wanting more children when we have been blessed with one. Please don’t think me selfish. I don't believe this incomplete feeling I feel deep inside is born out of selfishness. I also want the blessings of children for my friends who wait to build their families.

I have mourned for the dreams I had for this little girl. I’ve also mourned over my inability to have children. As I’ve told mom, it’s hard enough to trust God to provide me with children, much less people.

Recently, I convinced myself that if I had to bear one major illness in my life, I was grateful that mine (at least for now) is infertility, not cancer or any other disease, but it’s still emotionally devastating at times.

My husband has the ability to take life one day at a time. I have never been the patient kind. I wonder how God will provide even though I know He will in His own time. I wonder how long our wait for China will take. The wait has officially reached 3 years for the traditional China adoption program, although we won’t officially reach our 3 year LID wait until July.

Life is short and as I watch Jack change and grow so fast, I am reminded how precious our time is here. So, I try to push these negative thoughts to the background and focus on the wonderful in my life, my family, my Jack. I just had to get this off my chest tonight as sort of a cleansing. I hope you understand.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Torture Device

Examine torture device: 101, the fingernail clipper. Used to torture toddlers for more than a century. Capable of turning minutes of clipping into excruciating scream fests. Infamous battles of the wills have been attributed to the clipper.

I told Jack I didn't want him to be a drag princess so we had some fun tonight. You would think clipping his nails was equivalent to destroying his soul.

He'd better not let Miss Meaghan get a hold of him.
Today's useless trivia
According to a couple of Web sites, nail clippers were invented by Chapel Carter in 1896. What did people use before then? Ew...

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Job Perk

I am working on a story about our local police department's history and in the past few weeks we've interviewed the first female police officer in our town and a male police officer/detective who turned out to be quite a character. This afternoon, we had the privledge of interviewing the man who was police chief for 21 years during the 50's, 60's and 70's. He was a bit nervous about the interview because he had suffered a stroke but he did a wonderful job. He remembered more than I thought he would. The biggest challenge was talking slow enough so he could understand me with his two hearing aids.

One of the chief's funniest stories involved teaching a police officer a lesson. This officer always pretended to pull his gun when he visited the chief. One day, the chief pulled out his gun filled with wax cartridges and shot at the officer's feet. Needless to say, that guy never pulled his gun on the chief again.

On to the perk...the chief's wife baked cookies. So, my co-worker and I enjoyed ginger and chocolate chip cookies after the shoot. How's that for a job perk? They were delicious!

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Road Trip!

Guess where we headed this weekend? Springfield. Yep, beautiful, rain never goes anywhere Springfield. It had been more than ten years since I'd been to SMSU for college. And this was the weekend, the skies opened and the snow fell and fell.

Of course, the weathercasters said it would snow. But as we left my parents' house, it was just spitting. And it had been a mild winter so I really didn't suspect to run into anything, or, not much anyway.

It wasn't until we got somewhere between Rolla and Springfield that the interstate became extremely patchy and traffic came to a crawl. We hung in there until we found the next exit, filled up with gas and found a hotel without sliding off the road. (We saw a SUV's back-end slide. We also saw a car slide after trying to make a left.) God, our guardian angels and I suspect my grandmothers were with us as we found our way to the hotel, especially since my wipers turned out to be crappy.

We were fortunate we pulled off when we did. We later learned the interstate was closed after two big rigs wrecked.

We ended up staying at this hotel.Even though it's only a "One Star," it wasn't so bad. There was an attached restaurant and we enjoyed our time in a nice sized room.The car was pretty easy to clean off. Thank goodness Jack knew how to use the ice scraper.Perks of being "snowed-in" in the middle of nowhere:

Spending extra time this weekend with my best female friend (mom)
Spending quality time with my son
Watching the Hallmark Channel love marathan featuring films based on Janette Oke's books.
Seeing how confident my mom was in my ability to get us somewhere safely
Picking up video needed for a project due tomorrow.
Eating at Cracker Barrel

Barely seeing my husband this weekend.
Learning that mom muttered "Jesus, Mary, Joseph" while I drove
The extra wrinkles above my brows

Praise God we're all home safe and sound!