One Day…

The receptionist peers over her desk at us, Bella heading into her hourly care class so I can get some work done at home.

“Does she have an older brother or sister?”

I shake my head.

“Just her?”

“Yes,” I say tightly, wanting to conversation to stop here. It won’t. I just know it. I brace myself for whatever bit of ignorance is coming next.

[Read more…]

Three Cats, One House, and the Search for the Perfect Litter


Remember that book Everybody Poops? That includes cats. When you have three cats, you:

  1. Become the crazy cat people
  2. Really know more than you should about cat poo

For us, cat litter has always been one of the purchases that leaves us high-fiving or cringing. In our twelve years of owning cats, we’ve had some litter try-outs go terribly wrong. Cat's Pride-2 There was the litter box that scooped automatically – which our cats refused to use after it started scooping while they were inside. The box with a swing door that became stuck, and we didn’t realize it until our couch smelled awful. The litter that stuck to the cat’s paws, and they spent the rest of the day shaking it off all over the house. Then the litter that, in a few hours, stunk up the entire house because it was scented. Cat's Pride Our oldest cat, Jynx, is highly particular about his litter box. He’s like the little old man that takes a crossword puzzle and newspaper into the bathroom and spends all morning there. Jynx loves his litter – to the point where we have to shut him out of the room while we clean their boxes because he’ll try to get in as soon as it’s poured. He spends time scratching, pawing, going in and out of the box. Cat’s Pride® has a new litter – Fresh & Light® Ultimate Care™ – that fulfills all the things you’d look for in a cat litter. It’s light, no more strained backs hauling 40lbs of litter from the car. Instead of using fillers to change the weight (like paper or wood chips), Fresh & Light Ultimate Care uses a high absorbing clay. Ultimate Care is 99.9% dust free, which makes it easier to pour and scoop. It also is has a Unscented Hypoallergenic formulation (we tried this one). So with three cats, we decided to take a 3-day odor control challenge instead of a full 10-day challenge. Within 2-4 days of buying a litter, we know if it’s going to be a keeper. Fresh & Light Ultimate Care passed the test. If you’re looking for:

  • lightweight
  • long lasting odor control
  • no fillers
  • minimal dust

… then take the Cat’s Pride 10-day odor control challenge and see if it works for both you and your cats.

What’s the most important quality for you and your cat when it comes to choosing a litter?
Leave a comment below with your answer to enter for a chance to win a $100 Visa gift card!

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This giveaway is open to US Residents age 18 or older (or nineteen (19) years of age or older in Alabama and Nebraska). Winners will be selected via random draw, and will be notified by e-mail. The notification email will come directly from BlogHer via the sweeps@blogher email address. You will have 2 business days to respond; otherwise a new winner will be selected.

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Not Consumed

Today I’m at home, it’s raining out and I’m writing in our school room, Charlie at my side. Bella is at her hourly care class so I had time to work and finish up some papers for school.

I’m really trying not to let myself be consumed by this pregnancy. Looking back on Kaden’s (and the twins) I see how the fear and panic of it all just ate away at me. Months and months on end.

I can’t do that this time.

That might seem a little strange from someone who has experienced 3 losses and 3 high risk pregnancies (and is no longer on Zoloft), but it’s the truth.

Look at what happened. I spent all.that.time in fear, almost paralyzed by it at some points. Desperate for a different outcome. I did everything and then some.

And he still died.

[Read more…]

The Unexpected

I thought I was coming down with the flu all of last week.

I’d been so busy that it never occurred to me not actually getting the flu wasn’t normal. Until Thursday night when I thought, “Just to be sure this is the flu…”

Turns out it wasn’t. Oh Baby

We are very unexpectedly expecting a baby.

And I’m terrified.

We’re freaked out, scared, shocked, nervous, and even excited. Yeah, there’s no way not to be excited. This is a little life we created, and we plan on loving it just as much as Bella, Preston, Julian and Kaden – no matter what God has ordained for it from here.

But oh – my heart. I don’t know if I can take another loss again.

I’m not going to get in to how it happened, or why didn’t we do/not do – it doesn’t matter. We were certainly not trying and yet there is a baby – so we move forward from here.

I’m around 6 weeks, I saw my OB today who actually transferred me to the high risk OB at a larger hospital. There are a lot of risks with this, but not one of them is a definite risk. My last three pregnancies have been so different that there’s no pinpointing factor – not even ciHHV-6 is a certainty in Kaden’s death. We simply don’t know. I actually tapered off my Zoloft a few weeks ago, and am no longer able to take Zofran due to both the safety concerns of it and the fact that it could trigger an HHV-6 activation.

Which is slightly terrifying when you’ve had Hyperemesis Gravidarum all three past pregnancies.

I’ll meet with my new doctor in a week or so, and I’ve contacted the ones in Dallas that helped us with Kaden, as well as the HHV-6 foundation. We’re going to give this little one the best shot we can, and leave the rest in God’s hands. While I’d love to think of this as something unplanned and therefore bound to end happily – I’ve known from my own experience and others that isn’t always the case.

If you’d like to pray for something specifically (and I would love that), please pray:

  • For minimal sickness and hip pain
  • For wisdom and compassion for our medical team
  • For our anxiety as this pregnancy progresses
  • For Bella’s excited and nervous little heart
  • And for our ability to place this baby in God’s hands – knowing that He has already planned the days of its life

I don’t know what else to pray for, because the feelings of desperation are so heavy in me right now. I just really want a different ending this time. And there are no guarantees – except that God walks with us through whatever is planned.

Walk with us to a different ending this time Lord – please. Hear our prayers for this little one that you’ve given us.

All The Things & Then Some

I think that most days I waver between, “This is so incredible” and “How the heck am I going to do all of this?”

Yes, this is all very exciting. Yes, it feels a bit surreal to tell people – how do you explain to someone (like my hairstylist today) what really is new?

“Well, so I blog, and I went back to school to be a grief and loss counselor – after going to Zimbabwe with World Vision – and I just signed with a literary agent to write a book.”

The questions that come from this are hard to answer in a short amount of time without any background. Where do I begin? How do I field questions like, “Why did you go to Zimbabwe? How do you get paid to write? What’s the book going to be about?”

Or my favorite, “My cousin LOVES to write and he doesn’t have a job, I’ve been telling him ‘Start a blog!’ so I should give him your email…”

;)

[Read more…]