Monday, January 28, 2013

Goodbye Old Friend

When I was 12 my best friend was hit by a pickup truck while she was out riding her bike. She was my only friend at the time. My grief and loneliness was so consuming that my parents agreed to let me have a kitten that I fell in love with at a local farm and feed store. The kittens in the litter were the grandchildren of the farm cat that I loved to play with when we went there. The kitten that picked me was the first to walk in his litter. He had the cutest little nose that was half black and half pink. I named him Jake. How little I knew then how deeply this cat would touch my life.

 Shortly after getting Jake I joined a youth choir and made many lasting lifelong friendships but Jake always held a special place in my life. Over the next 20 years he became my confidant, my emotional support, my mischief making conspiracist, my playmate, my personal comedian, and my dearest friend.
There never was a more gentle, loyal, loving, and caring cat. He loved everyone but especially babies and young children. For the past year he has been slowly going down hill and this past Thursday it was discovered that he had an aggressive type of cancer. He stopped eating and his hair started to fall out in clumps. Things moved so quickly and we knew it was time to say goodbye.
 Yesterday he was put down using an in home euthanization service. We did not want to traumatize him with one last car trip. We wanted him in familiar surroundings. He died in my arms surrounded by love. When he was given the first shot (a sedative) he wrapped his paw around my leg and gave a hug like squeeze and for the first time in a long time he completely relaxed. It was then that I knew how much pain he had been hiding from us all along.
 This is the last photo of my dear friend. It was taken Christmas morning while he waited for his Christmas treat. He was the most beautiful cat ever. I miss his bright eyes, clear, sparkling, golden, and filled with love and trust to the end.
I miss you Jake. After sharing over half my life with you the house seems so empty without you here.I know you are at peace and no longer hurt and that brings some comfort. You were the best of friends the dearest of companions and there will forever be a cat shaped hole in my heart now that you are gone. One day we will meet again. I will find a small grey cat waiting outside the gates of Heaven with a sparkly angel sock as a gift and together we will go over the rainbow bridge and into whatever adventure comes next. Till we meet again my beautiful friend, goodbye, and know that I will never stop loving you.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Reading to Baby

 One of my delights during this pregnancy has been reading to my growing baby. When I first found out I was pregnant I picked out two books to read every day to my baby. The Tomten and the Fox by Astrid Lindgren is one of them.
These are two little table puppets I made for when my son is older.
I love this book. It has a beautiful and rhythmic flow to it, and I have a feeling this story will be with us for a long time. I've read that babies start to recognize voices and word patterns starting at 20 to 25 weeks in utero. By reading to your children while they are still in the womb your baby can connect with you, recognize your voice, and (if you use the same books over and over again) the rhythm will help sooth them even after they are born. Even Bear has read to RP a few times and RP does recognize the sound of his Poppie's voice now. This is such a lovely way to bond with your baby before he or she is born and I highly recommend this to mums everywhere. I love these moments and will miss them once RP is born, but then we get the joy of reading to him while holding him in our arms.
Take care and have fun!

Monday, January 7, 2013

Epiphany Contemplation

This is a little late but I wanted to post about Epiphany anyway. We only began celebrating Epiphany three years ago. The day is a day of quietness and contemplation for us. We have incorporated other annual traditions into this day and love our new family tradition. For the past 6 years we have brought in the new year by taking down the Christmas tree and decorations, this we still do, but we leave the nativity up till the 6th of January now. I bake banana bread (we didn't like the King's loaf recipe) and the house fills with the wonderful sent of baking and newness. This year we were unable due to pregnancy, but for the past 6 years we have gone to the river to feed the ducks in the winter. We've incorporated that tradition also into our Epiphany celebrations. It's quiet and simple, but we like it this way. At the end of the day, just before bed, the nativity gets wrapped up and put away till next Christmas. It's so beautiful that I have a hard time wrapping it up and putting it away, but it makes it that much more special to set out the next Christmas season.
How does your family bring in the New Year and/or celebrate Epiphany?

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Baby Gender Reveal!

  Hello and Happy New Year. It is with great pleasure that I announce that Bear and I will be having a baby BOY! I've known that this child was going to be a boy since the moment I found out I was pregnant so I can't say that I was all to surprised when the ultrasound tech said, "Boy". He is healthy and growing stronger day by day and Bear and I could not be happier.
 My little Red Panda, my heart brims over thinking of you and the day we can finally hold you in our arms. There will be so many adventures for us all in the coming years and beyond. I look forward to the privilege of being your Mum and teacher and hope that I can be the mother you need. I pray that I will never fail you. I will never deny love to you or turn you away. There will be times when you may do things we don't like, but during those times we will always be there for you with open arms, patience, and understanding. Together we three will grow and learn from each other as a family. With Bear and I, you are home and these doors will never be closed to you. This is my solemn vow to you little one. We await you our son and the joy you bring with open arms and open hearts.