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Wednesday, April 28, 2010

From the Ross Family Archives

In February, the media announced that never before seen video showing President John F. Kennedy's arrival in Dallas the day he was assassinated had been released. We too recently found our own never before seen videos.

Newborn Lauren making questionable noises

Six month Lauren getting a kick out of Daisy.

Lauren will be turning five this weekend, so this is the first of several Laurencentric posts to come. Today, she came a long way from her baby days, as daddy took her to visit for the first time the school where she will be attending kindergarten. I wished I could have gone as well, but I needed to be at work.

Anyway, she was scheduled to receive both a health and an academic assessment, but in typical Lauren fashion, she refused to share any details with Mark as to what had occurred. On the way home, she did tell him that she met her teacher and said that her new school was nice. She also asked when she would be going there. When Mark told her not for a few months, she exclaimed, "But that's so long!"

In the evening, I bribed her with the promise of computer games if she told me what happened at school. She confirmed that the teacher showed her some shapes and asked her to point at things. I then asked her if she thought she got the questions right, and she said, "Yes. The teacher said I was smart and gave me a high five!"

Hopefully, this is a sign of good things to come. We shall see!

Monday, April 26, 2010

All we are saying... give peas a chance.

(Just a little appreciation for the pets that are still with the living.)

Saturday, April 24, 2010

The last cat nap.

The last cat nap.

 I'm sorry to have to come out of hiding with bad news. I'm sad to announce that our sweet kitty Beavis was put to sleep yesterday.

In January, I had discovered a small lump in her abdomen. We decided that due to her likely age of 20, we were not going to subject her to the stress of a vet visit, biopsy and possible surgery (That she probably wouldn't have survived anyway) and instead chose to let nature take its course.

She was doing well up until the beginning of April, when she lost her appetite. After the ordeal of all of us being sick during the month of March, I was looking forward to a much happier April, but instead, I was faced each day with the knowledge that I was saying goodbye to my little friend. I tried my best to make her comfortable by gently encouraging her to eat a few bites and carrying her upstairs to her favorite napping spot in the spare bedroom.

There is still a dent in the blanket where she used to lie.

Although it had to be uncomfortable for her, she still happily greeted me each morning, crying for food that she would barely touch. That made it especially hard. If she would have hid away from us, the decision would have been clear as to when to end her suffering, but she seemed to very much want to be with us, even though her body wasn't up to it.

When she didn't come out of her bed yesterday morning, I knew that enough was enough. Later, I heard her crying for me. She had gotten out of her bed to look for me after all. I told her that she shouldn't worry about mommy anymore and that it was time for her to rest.

Beavis was so tenacious - a fighter until the end. I thought for certain her sheer will was enough to sustain her to be the last one standing of our four original pets (Samantha, the border collie; Daisy, the sweet little lady; Spud, the male one-eared cat; and Beavis, herself.). In fact, just a few months ago, she stood her ground with Marcus and gave him a triple smack in the nose. However, it was not meant to be. I've been taking this a lot harder than I thought I would, but because she had been with me since what I consider the beginning of my adult life (when I moved away from home), I guess I shouldn't be surprised.

You may be wondering how we broke the news to Lauren. Lauren doesn't have a strong attachment to any of our pets, yet she would still call for Beavis on weekend mornings when she would beat me downstairs. I couldn't bear for her to call a kitty that would never come.

Although she was still quite small when Sammie and Spud left us, believe it or not, she still remembers them. So I simply told her that Beavis went to be with Sammie and Spud. She almost accepted that. Then she asked, "Is she coming back?"

Luckily, I was prepared for further questioning. I responded, "No, doggies and kitties can only stay with us for a certain amount of time. This is so there's room for all the other doggies and kitties who are waiting for a good home of their own."

At that point, she tells me matter-of-factly, "I know all about that. I've seen the commercials!"

So thank you, Pedigree. Your commercials may be sad, but they helped me to explain the circle of life.

Monday, April 12, 2010

1st Annual Ross Family Easter Egg Hunt.

The hunt is on!

Since she received an I Spy game in her Easter basket, Lauren has been hogging the computer a lot lately. Fortunately, she's playing in her room tonight because if I wait any longer to post these, it will be the Fourth of July!

I promise to post something more relevant later in the week, but for now, let's celebrate Easter again!

Usually, our neighborhood has an Easter egg hunt. Since by Easter week, we hadn't heard anything, we decided to throw our own. However, one of our neighbors ended up planning one at the very last minute, so lucky Lauren got to participate in two Easter egg hunts. Here are the highlights from the 1st Annual Ross Family Easter Egg Hunt!

Noah enjoying the action.

Noah wisely observed the action from his swing because before we knew it, things got intensely competitive.



Grannys on the hunt.

I made everyone participate. Even the grandmas.

Mark gives vertically challenged grandma a hand.

Mark giving my poor vertically challenged mother a hand so she could have the one and only egg that she found.

Mike finds an egg and a soccer ball.

Lucky Uncle Mike found a soccer ball and an egg.

Requisite Craig and Mel C photo.

Requisite Crazy Uncle Craig and Mel C photo.

Pappy cheats.

The point of all this was to give my party guests the opportunity to take some Easter treats of their own home. That didn't quite work out thanks to a certain Pappy finding most of the eggs and giving them all to Lauren.

Guess who found all the eggs?

Oh yeah - this is what we do when we get all the eggs, suckas!

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Cause we need a little Easter.

Frosted Easter cookies.

I'm busy going through all the photos from our Easter celebration, but in the meantime, I thought I'd post about the preparations leading up to Easter.

Easter Feather Tree.

While I have my Christmas decorating routine, I'm still working on one for Easter. I wasn't satisfied with my Easter tree ornaments, so I decided to make my own, which were inspired by the talented Etsy seller, maryimp.

Assembling felt eggs with fabric glue.

Lauren's felt eggs.

Sometimes, I get asked how I have time to do all this stuff. The secret is that very rarely do I make things alone. I usually have a little helper who actually helps me or just does her own thing that keeps her busy while I work. Since Lauren doesn't know how to sew yet, I just gave her some fabric glue to use so that she could make her own eggs.

Easter feather tree ornaments.

Mine didn't come out nearly as good as maryimp's, but I think I'm finally satisfied with my Easter tree. Next year, I think I'll try to make penny rug to go underneath it.

Years of Playdoh training have come in handy.

I took the day off on Thursday so that Lauren and I could have some mommy & me time. I decided to use that bag of Betty Crocker Sugar Cookie mix that I got free with a purchase of a dozen eggs.

Rolling the dough.

The cookies aren't good unless you get a little flour on your face.

Rainbow frosting.

Since this was a special occasion, I went crazy this time and made five different colors for frosting. Usually, I'm all about no frills baking, and the recipe really has to be worth the effort if I have to dirty more than one bowl.

That one is Lauren's.

Lauren pointing out her favorite cookie. It's the one we ate first.

Jello & Coolwhip treats.

On Friday, Lauren and I made these little treats from Jello and Cool Whip. This time, we had three bowls going at once: strawberry, lemon and lime. I truly don't know what's come over me. I guess I'm trying to make up for all the laziness from when we were sick during the entire month of March.

Easter Donald Duck from Hallmark.

Lastly, although he doesn't count as a homemade, I couldn't resist sharing a photo of this year's newest addition of store bought decor. Normally I'm not into either Disney or the animatronic toys that Hallmark sells each holiday, but Donald is just so cute and fun that I had to get him. If you pick him up by the ears he has a complete melt down and yells "PUT ME DOWN!" until you comply. If you press his foot, he sings and dances to "Polly Wally Doodle." Good stuff.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Lucky seven.

Lucky 7.

I'm super busy with Easter preparations, but I wanted to share a quick post about Lauren's first soccer practice. Our local league seems huge - there are six teams made up of 10 - 12 kids in Lauren's division (Under 5) alone, and I think the teams go all the way up to high school ages.

Since this was our first activity, we weren't sure what to expect, but Lauren took to it very quickly. So much, in fact, that we had a tough time getting her off the field for the water breaks! It was amazing to see that by the end of the first hour, the kids understood enough that they were able to play a mini practice game against each other.

Go orange!

Since she's big into blue these days, I was a little worried that Lauren would be put off by her team's color, but she wore the orange proudly. Go orange!