Friday, March 7, 2014

Gabby is 2!

Official 2 year old stats:
Height:  35.5"
Weight:  26.6 lbs

To translate that, she's tall (87th percentile) and skinny (47th percentile).  The pediatrician said again that she's on her way to my height or maybe even Brian's! 

I will rule you all!
Happy face.

And not-so-happy face!
Mocking is fun.

She knows what a phone is!

We celebrated Gabby's birthday by once again combining her party and Super Bowl.  I was completely uninterested in the game this year (Seattle and Denver--yawn already, and the game was just terrible!), so I had no trouble hanging out in the front room where we put all the toys for the kids to play with.  We had quite a few people come to the party, and learned that putting "no gifts" on an invitation means absolutely nothing!

Some of our guests

Gabby's friend Samantha made her a cool banner!  This and a single balloon were the only birthday decorations.
The kids eating dinner.  Babies Ellie and Charlie not shown.

Raspberry cream torte.  Yum.

Robbie and Ellie

Holding the birthday girl while she supervises Kristen.

Pretty much her face when we sang to her.  She did applaud for us at the end!
 Gabby actually blew out her own candles this year!  Unfortunately, I don't have a video, but she definitely knew what to do!
Enjoying some cake with her BFF Phoebe

Much cleaner than last year!

Grandma Romo joined us for the festivities
Not even Mommy can distract her from cake.

Gabby continues to develop her verbal skills like crazy.  She can string together 6-7 words, and said in the bathtub one night "Take bath, then naked baby a while."  She also knows all of her colors, can count to 10 in Spanish (with some prompting) and can get to 20 in English (11-20 sometime get a bit out of order, though).  She can correctly identify numbers 1-4 when they are written, and has started pointing out some letters (not always accurately).  When you write her name for her, she'll tell you "a-b-b-y" as you're spelling it out.  She also sings tons of different songs, from her old stand by "Twinkle Twinkle" to "Happy Birthday" and some songs that she's picked up from daycare but I don't know off-hand (one has something about a sticky-sticky in it, and another one lists off a bunch of fruit--I think I need to look these up online, because they sound super cute). She has those cute little 2 year old mispronunciations too, like cough-cough for washcloth and doe for Zoe.

She's getting better at doing physical things too.  She's still not a climber, although I did get her to climb up the slide at the bounce place using the rope and not my hands the last time we were there.  I still followed her up, but it was a lot better than carrying her at the same time! Since I need both hands to climb up myself, I don't have a video going up, but she just started sliding down on her belly, so here's one of that!


And here she is playing in the balls.

Her utensil use is really good too--she eats apple sauce every night (we can make her eat more veggies if we promise her apple sauce), and she uses the spoon like a pro.  She is most definitely a righty--Brian said she was trying to eat with her left hand and got really upset, until she switched the spoon to her right.  Then she was fine.  She also colors and writes exclusively with her right hand. 

She has decided that Yo Gabba Gabba is the best show ever, and particularly loves the Circus episode.  She will watch it on repeat for hours (although Brian and I get sick of it way before then).  It does let me get a shower in on Wednesdays when we're home alone!  She also loves the Care Bears songs, and "Let It Go" from Frozen.  She digs the Miss Tracey songs on YouTube as well, especially the snowman ones.  Not to say that we only let her watch TV!  She also loves the Little Critter books that we got from one of my aunts, and will ask to read them by title (Yittle Too Yittle, Dine-saurs, Best Teacher Ever, Show and Share).  She'll read other books too, but will always ask for those.  She loves to play with our treadmill, having us turn it on and then throwing her stuffed animals on it and laughing when they roll off the end.

She is a typical 2 year old, in that she'll be sweet and giggly one minute, and then a tantrum-throwing mess the next.  Overall, I can't complain, but it does try my patience!  She's also become very possessive and refuses to share with anyone, even Zoe.  Here's a video of Gabby and Zoe playing with a laser pointer.

I held our friends Christina and Floyd's baby Charlie at Gabby's birthday party, and she freaked out!  You'd have thought I had ripped her heart right out.  She does love seeing babies (Charlie, Ellie and Finn), but she definitely doesn't want me holding them!  She has a group of friends at daycare (Kylie, Xavier and Ivory), and of course loves Kate, Phoebe and Charlotte. 

Lastly for this entry, we happened to meet up with the Berrys one Sunday at Fairy Tale Town, and had a great time.  Gabby really surprised Brian by going down the big slides by herself.


Charlotte on the slide

Phoebe on the slide

Hanging out with the turtle.  You can see their personalities here!
Gabby loves that turtle.

She does climb some!

Gabby and Phoebe drive the coach.

Gabby rides the horse alone,

And with Mommy!

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Good-bye to Snowball

Snowball, peeking out of the curtains
Snowball liked to "help" me grade papers
 Last Wednesday we said good-bye to our oldest cat, Snowball.  Snowball was originally Brian's former neighbor's cat who they let be an outdoor kitty.  The neighbor's moved away in 2003, but Snowball stayed behind.  Brian took to leaving food out for her, and she rewarded him by letting him pet her and love on her when he came home at night.  She never showed any interest in coming inside, spending her days roaming the neighborhood and snatching food where she could.  Then one day near Christmas when I was visiting from the East Coast, we opened the door and saw Snowball on the porch with her face ripped open.  Brian got a carrier that he had bought, we put her in, and drove her to a Bansfield that happened to be open.  From that day on, Snowball was an indoor cat.

I can't say it was an easy transition--she would meow at night, and attack legs when you walked around--but things got better when I moved out here with my 2 cats Addy and Beau.  When we moved all of them in together, Snowball finally had friends to play with and stopped whining.  She accepted them surprisingly easily, considering how long she was an outdoor cat, and she and Addy had a great time chasing and playing. 

We called this our kitty strip club.

Snowball had the greatest tail!  The best part was its white tip (not shown)

That's not to say that she never wanted to go outdoors.  She escaped for overnight jaunts twice--once when Brian's father forgot to close our door, and another time when we forgot to close the door--but she always knew where home was, and never had a problem finding us again. 

After Addy died, Snowball became a little depressed (and a lot fatter!) because Beau was already really old and not fun to play with.  So we went to the SPCA and got her a friend--Zoe.  After getting Zoe, Snowball really perked up and they loved to wrestle and play.  They would really get into it after dinner, and spend a lot of time wrestling and chasing for hours.  She didn't even seem all that affected when Beau died not long after Zoe came home.

A rare moment with all 3 of them.
And then just the girls.

This lasted until the Sunday 2 weeks ago.  We noticed that we hadn't seen Snowball all day, and became concerned after she didn't appear when we put Gabby to bed.  We went looking for her, and found her in the closet.  This wasn't unusual--she would often nap in the closet to escape Zoe's attention.  But when she moved to under the bed, we realized something was wrong.  When she wouldn't eat cat treats on Monday, I knew something was very wrong and called the vet.  They told me to bring her in immediately.

Once we got there, the vet did a number of tests and dropped the first bombshell--Snowball was a male!  Brian had been calling him a "her" since before we met, and none of the vets we'd taken him to in all the time we had him had ever corrected us.  It was a bit like your kid having a sex change! 

Unfortunately, that's where the levity ended.  X-rays showed that Snowball's heart was enlarged.  We transferred him to the main VCA hospital in Sacramento, and they did an echocardiogram to determine what was actually going on.  It turns out he had hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (an enlarged heart with a ton of fluid), but even worse, a huge blood clot in his left atrium.  The blood clot was so large that if it broke loose, it would block the aorta and cause immediate death.  We started him on Lasix to remove the fluid from his heart, and several types of thrombosin to keep the clot from getting larger.

He responded to the Lasix--he started to walk around more and come visit us downstairs instead of staying upstairs all the time, and he was peeing like crazy--but he never started eating again.  I took him in for more tests, and they determined his potassium was low, which makes you feel terrible and causes the not-eating.  We got some gel to give him as a supplement, and tried to give it to him twice.  Far from making him eat, it caused him to go back to hiding and avoid us.  Brian and I knew then that it was over.  So we both took him in on Wednesday morning and said good-bye.

It's been a rough go.  Snowball was only 10, so we thought we had a few more years before this happened.  It's also been hard on Zoe.  She now waits for us outside the door in the mornings and insists on being petted and held more.  She's also less playful, and likely a little depressed.  We're planning on getting another cat, but want to wait until we mourn a bit first.  Gabby is a 2 year old, so knows nothing.  We did tell her that Dubby went bye-bye and said that he lives "way up there" (while pointing to the sky).  All she did was ask if Dubby still ate tuna and drank water.  I'm actually really happy she's so little now and doesn't really understand.  It's hard enough to deal with mine and Brian's (and Zoe's) grief without having to comfort her too.

So good-bye, Snowball, Dubby, P-Dubs, Dubernator, White Kitty.  We will miss you, but are so thankful you are no longer in pain.  And enjoy your tuna.