Friday, November 18, 2011

My Purr-fect Cat--well, almost

I'm a self-proclaimed cat person. Seriously, if I weren't married, I'd have an apartment filled with them. I love cats. I always have since I was a kid. And then I had a string of them --Ayla, Meow Meow, Veronica, there were more. We lived close to the highway and our cats were always the adventurous type, which required a lot of replacing. Sad, really.

Anyway, Jillyboo has not disappointed. I made a discovery over the last couple of months that confirms what an awesome cat she is. So, as many of you know, I've struggled trying to get our dog Tigger to go to the bathroom outside. If I don't make him go outside, he won't. So I have to keep him jailed in his kennel, make sure he goes in order to give him any freedom at all. And even though, he usually sidles off when I'm least suspecting it and goes somewhere in the house. Amidst all this, my smart cat decided she prefers using the outdoor potty to her litter box. I went to change the litter box, which is the one thing I hate about having a cat, and there was nothing there. Seriously, for two months now. At first when she'd stand by the door wanting to go outside and I'd let her, only to see her wanting to come back in a couple minutes later, I thought she was just being indecisive. No, my cat's showing Tigger up. I seriously adore this cat.

Portia thinks Jillyboo gets her vibrant blue eyes from my side of the family. And although she is beautiful--even prettier than a full-blood Siamese--and I don't have to change a litter box anymore, I admit she's not completely perfect. She has a mean streak, as is obvious by the claw marks we all have on our arms from moments when we least suspect she's feeling vicious. Seriously, we can just be petting her, she's purring, and then she'll attack. We've learned to warn each other when she's a "porcupine." And I don't even want to think about her favorite place to scratch (my cool green couch in the front room that now needs to be re-upholstered). But still, none of us can walk by her without touching her. She is the softest cat I've ever seen. And I've known a lot of cats.

It's probably better that I have kids rather than an apartment full of cats. Just think of the full litter boxes. No, I'd rather not.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

College Reunion

Eric and I were the Monica and Chandler (Friends) of our BYU apartment complex. In fact, when I was in college at BYU, living in an apartment directly above a guy apartment filled with our best friends, "Friends" was one of our favorite TV shows. Eric and I weren't obsessed in love like Ross with Rachel, but Eric and I fell in love surprisingly (surprising ourselves really) and slowly as friends do, like Monica and Chandler. But before any of that, we were all one big group of friends first.

It surprises me now that Eric and his group of friends get together in a college-reunion weekend once or twice a year (although it usually involves only the guys and some white-water rafting), while my college roommates don't see much of each other. I see my roommate Tammy when I'm in California visiting my sister, and my roommate Celeste actually lives in Herriman nearby--we get together every couple months and do something fun with our kids. But that's it. The girls group has never had a reunion.

This weekend, two of Eric's college roommates drove down from Idaho with a couple medium-aged kids for one of their weekend reunions (the other roommate lives in Herriman too). I kind of stayed on the wayside (after all, this is the guy reunion) but I know them all and my kids had an absolute blast with their kids.

The kids started out the day playing Rock Band.

They went to see Puss in Boots at the movie theatre and then stopped by the Disney "Up" house in Herriman on their way back.

They headed down to BYU campus to walk around, go to the bookstore and BYU Creamery, and to see this awesome book sculpture at the Museum of Art. Yes, that sculpture is made out of over 80,000 pounds of books. Since I stayed home with Portia, I wasn't there for this. I've got to see this one first-hand soon. Good thing I live here.

They capped off their day at the BYU v. Idaho football game.

They had a really fun weekend. I swear, if I were more organized and had more energy, I would try to arrange a girls college reunion. Maybe someday. . .

Friday, November 11, 2011


I haven't done a whole lot of volunteering in Bianca's classroom. Part of me has been afraid of bringing Portia along (from the time she was born Bianca was in kindergarten) and then when Portia was in preschool, it was my only writing time. So I'm ashamed to say I've only been in Bianca's classroom for an occasional holiday party before now.

This year, Bianca's teacher was putting together book groups and needed parents to volunteer. It was on Friday mornings when Portia was at preschool. I was tempted. After all, it's no secret that I love books and reading and love talking about books. But still, there was a new rule at the school about getting fingerprinted and you had to drive all the way across the city to do it and I frankly didn't want to have to do that. Well, no moms volunteered for the book groups so Bianca volunteered me for her group. At first I was a little irritated, but after the first discussion (we read five chapters for each "meeting") I was hooked. I really came to enjoy the time I was spending in Bianca's classroom (actually in the cafeteria at a little red round table), overseeing her in the discussions and interacting with the other kids in her group. We read and discussed Fever 1793 by Laurie Halse Anderson. It was historical fiction based on the Yellow Fever outbreak that took place near the time of the signing of the Declaration of Independence.

My group from Mrs. Jensen's fifth grade class
Today was our last meeting. It was a little rowdy (as the kids will be if you let them as I kind of did) and we juggled and answered questions for candy. I'm sad. I'll miss going in on Fridays.

Maybe I'll volunteer on my own next time. I'd definitely be up for leading another book group discussion.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Trick-or-Treat, smell my feet!

Halloween fell on a Monday this year. Not exactly ideal. All the parties had been the week before, so that just left Halloween. After school, we did trick-or-treating at Eric's work. I swear, that's the easiest candy you can get. You don't even have to knock on doors. People are hanging out at their cubicles with their bowls of candy. I think we get more candy in that 20 minutes than we do traditional trick-or-treating for two hours. Bianca had quite a few requests to play (as she was Mozart) and they always gave her extra candy for playing. Her favorite was playing the tune for "trick-or-treat, smell my feet, give me something good to eat."

The traffic was horrible on the way home. Eric picked up a Pumpkin-shaped pizza from Papa Murphy's for dinner. Bianca went trick-or-treating with a friend from class Aleksa, who lives in Herriman. Our cute neighbor friend, Cassidy, came over and went trick-or-treating with Portia and me. I don't know how it happened by I ended up with more pictures of Cassidy than Bianca.

Portia has been wearing her koala costume for over a month now. It's all stained with food and it's matted from overuse because she wears it every day. She took her "character" very seriously and spent half the night going from door to door on all fours. The weather was gorgeous and Portia was able to stay out trick-or-treating until 8:30.

When Bianca returned, she categorized candy and traded with Portia, just as I did when I was a kid. Some things never change.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Witches Brew 2011

So I may have been even more excited about Portia's preschool (Kinderprep Academy) Witches Brew than she was this year. It's not your typical Halloween party. It's a no-costume, 5-course etiquette luncheon. Her teacher goes all out and when I dropped Portia off that morning (after giving her a bath and dressing her in a fancy dress), you could feel the magic in the room.

They did a craft--witches legs filled with candy corns, complete with little witch boots, wrap skirt and belt. Portia decided she wanted to keep it as a decoration for next year instead of eating the candy corns.

Portia was escorted to her seat at the table by a gentleman. This time, it was Hudson. Because there are fewer boys in the class, those poor little gentlemen stay busy.

Since they're the morning class, the meal included breakfast-type foods--lots of fruit, yogurts, eggs and bacon.

But don't worry, there was candy as well.

The program included the act of McBeth with the three witches. Yes, that's my theory too: Kids are never too young to learn to appreciate Shakespeare.

The photographer came to take pictures of the class (there were over 600 photos on the disc).

Here's Portia with Miss Melissa:

This is one of Portia's newest best friends, Naomi. Portia tells me they love to play kittens together.

After all the fun, here are the kids getting ready to head home, their arms full of their goodies.

Just looking at the pictures brings some Halloween magic back. I'll leave you with some. . .