Sunday, November 27, 2016

The Big and Small of It

These two are so alike. Plus, they are stinking adorable! They love to play together, but Kaida our little one and Khaleesi our big one always end up in trouble. They get each other so worked up. They are the youngest in our brood, so both have the most energy, in spades! But they are good for each other.

The other 2 pups are older and don't like to play like they used to. They are now old fuddy duddies. But these two keep the house on its toes!

And what's funny is Khaleesi adores Ashton and they play together all the time. It's not always pretty, because I'm always piping at them to quiet down. They both get so loud, Ashton with her giggling and Khaleesi with her play barking. It's exhausting watching those too.

But when it comes to Kaida and Ashton. Kaida just wants Ashton's stuff. Just like with Khaleesi's toys, Kaida like to hoard all of Ashton's things that fall to the floor. She'll even go in the bottom open drawers to pull out things. I find her shoes, socks, toys, everywhere, because Kaida has taken them. But she doesn't really want to play with Ashton and Ashon just swoons over Kaida begging her to play with her. But Kaida isn't interested. I don't know if Kaida will ever change her tune, but as now, it's probably for best.
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Thursday, November 24, 2016

So Thankful

This year we have so much to be thankful for. We do every year, but this year we have our Peyton girl back home. And that is what we wanted most of all! We are so thankful to God for having her come back home to us.

Ashton had a tune stuck in head and was singing it all day yesterday and today. I've never heard of it before in my life; I think it's called the 'Turkey Song'. But I'm definitely a fan now.

We headed to my sister-in-law's house for Thanksgiving. Ashton got to play with her cousin Mr. K and they chased each other with cars most of the time.

During dinner, Ashton kept asking for turkey. She was on a turkey binge! But later she decided she was going to come her hair with her fork. She hasn't seen "The Little Mermaid" and this wasn't as cute as there were still mashed potatoes in her fork. I don't even know WHY she did it. She just did to be silly I guess. Who knows. But I made her stop right away, much to her disappointment.

Later my mom and brother came back to play "The Christmas Game", a tradition in our household. We've played this game since I was a kid almost every year. Now Ashton loves it too. She was so cute when we first introduced it to her. She squealed every time we rolled the dice.

And of course what isn't a little bit of head-banging and voguing during 'Carol of the Bells'? If you can't quite hear it at the end of her dance interpretation, she says, "I gotta get back to work" meaning playing the game. What a character!

I'm so glad she's part of these holiday traditions.
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Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Hinting at Leaving?

Ashton draws and colors ALL the time. Everyday. Mostly its coloring a coloring book or she's just scribbling and it's a bunch of colors. Now and then its a spaceship, which again looks like a blob.

Now and then she draws something impressive - like a rabbit, a dragon, something recognizable.

Yesterday, my daughter drew me this. It's our family in the car. I guess we do a lot of driving about and any vacation, we drive there, never fly. So makes sense. Trust me, I'd love to go on another family trip. Sign me up.

You can see the steering wheel up front and my hubby driving. You can see my red hair and Ashton's pigtails. I love how there are windows framing us perfectly. And she even drew our arms, legs, but you can see that car covers them up. She signed it Ashoon. But that was her writing her name with out any prompting. This is actually an improvement ans she used to write the letters of her name randomly all over the paper, not in a straight line.

So very good job. I took it to work with me today to display next to her photos.

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Monday, November 21, 2016



If you can believe it, today was one of the first days Peyton wasn't on the couch snuggling up. I keep trying to take a photo, but she hasn't cooperated thus far. and I want her happy, so haven't been pushing it.

Today my hubby had the two chis and I had the big moaner! She didn't quite fit as nicely as the other two.

Ashton has been hounding poor Kaida lately. Ashton has always had an affinity for Kaida, but she's been all in her face and relentless. So much so that every morning, Kaida is now grabbing Ashton's pant legs and trying to show her who's boss. These two!

Ashton is also now back in her bad sleeping mode. She's been crashing with us every night, thus we're not getting much sleep. It's been awful. WE're trying different things again to break the habit. We'll see how it goes.
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Saturday, November 19, 2016


It's hard to believe Thanksgiving is less than a week away. With everything that been going on I'm just behind on everything. So I had to do some errands today and took little tyke with me. She looked adorable.

Of course, while getting daddy some new work pants, Ashton is up to her usual shenanigans and came to me like this!

Yep, that about sums it up.
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Thursday, November 17, 2016

Violin Practice

Ashton has a recital coming up and has been practicing for it. I got to sneak in her practice tonight between her and daddy!

And yes, Kaida sneaked in too.

She always seems to have performance jitters and doesn't perform as well as she does during practice. Lets hope she breaks that this time.

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Unseasonably Warm

We have some unseasonably warm weather today and for part of the day tomorrow before the rains hit and it drops 40 degrees. So we're taking advantage of it. Ashton is showing me her artwork, the latest and greatest!

Of course she has to go roller skate before it gets dark. I wish I had a fraction of this girl's energy. I may have had it until I was 12. Then it went downhill from there :)

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Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Puppy Love

Promised more photos of our furbabies.

Yes, Kiara again. But today Kiara wanted snugglings and was in my lap for a short bit. I tried to take a photo of the historic occasion and Ashton wanted in on it too. So I got this!

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Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Still Eating it Up

We are still elated that our baby girl, Peyton is home. And so is she. She's coming around for lots of attention. And we're providing.

We're happy to be back in our normal, but it still feels too good to be true. But Peyton didn't miss a beat. She immediately went back to snuggling with Ashton at night and ready to wake her with me in the morning.

And then just a couple of cute photos of Ashton just because!

Life is good.
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Sunday, November 13, 2016

Cat Found! Peyton Returns Home!

The weekend has been busy. Lots of dirt to move and my husband is having a blast on the bobcat moving it all up and down the hill!

Of course Ashton wants in on the action and was told until he was done, she wouldn't get a turn. So she's been asking me excessively when she can ride the bobcat. And finally, before it got dark today, she got to ride the bobcat.

Then my husband began spraying down the driveway. I was inside in the kitchen getting ready to make dinner, when my husband screams my name.

I rush to the front door and see my husband across the cul-de-sac. The hose is left running on the ground in a big mud puddle in our driveway. He's with our neighbors from a different intersecting street to ours. The ones who don't speak English very well. We've met time to time, but I never remember their names. I'm so bad with names. But it's the mother with her young daughters, about Ashton's age, and in Mark's arms is Peyton!


I run across the cul-de-sac and see Peyton alive in my husband's arms!

I lift her head and nussle her. I ask how? We tell them that is our cat! I ask if she's seen the posters? I hug her and her daughters.

So here are the events as I understand them from that blur of minutes.

She and the girls were in their own backyard and they see her. They call her over and she comes straight to them. They wonder who she belongs to. So they put her on a leash and start walking her door to door to find out her owner. They were walking her down our way when my husband saw Peyton and ran straight over. They have seen the posters, but didn't make the connection as the cat in the posters seemed darker than this cat.

Peyton was dirty, but fine. We did a quick look over and no gashes or cuts. She lost lots of weight, but was fine. And she was purring. She was nussled back and forth in his then my arms, purring away.

I brought her home to eat and drink while my husband kept chatting away with them. Ashton was in the doorway, trying to figure out all the commotion. She saw me bring in Peyton and was so excited. I quickly got most of the dogs out of the kitchen so Peyton could eat in peace. At least for now. I got her cat food and water and we sat down together watching her. 

Peyton went to the water bowl first, and just kept lapping up water. She must have drank for 5 minutes straight. Then she went to her food and ate for a good while. Then she came to me and leaned her body in wanting to be petted. Then she went back to the water to start the routine all over again. All the while she was doing all these things, you could hear her purring.

I can't remember how long she went back and forth from water, to food to us to be loved. It just circled over and over and over. While petting I took a closer examination over her. She really lost a lot of weight, was dingy, and had maybe a few scabs on her, but nothing major.

I have no idea where she was if she stayed in our neighborhood the whole time or was wondering in and out, I don't care. She's home!

We decided to share on Facebook our good news. So I tried to get photos of her with me. But she was too happy to be still for a selfie. This was the best I got.

So I tried with Ashton. Much better, but Ashton still doesn't know how to hold her right.

Then Ashton said she'd take my photo with her. I thought it'd come out crooked and out of focus. But actually it came out great! Ashton took a great photo of us.

I quickly shared on Facebook then my phone was buzzing with calls from family and friends.

Finally we had to eat dinner and bring the rest of our furbabies back to reality. Khaleesi was ecstatic to see Peyton home and kept bathing her face with kisses.

But shortly after Peyton just passed out from all the excitement. She needed her sleep. It has been 11 days missing. She's had an adventure of a lifetime and now she's home, time to recoup.

But Peyton didn't sleep the rest of the day away. She wanted to be petted and snuggled all day long. And we were happy to oblige. We so incredibly thankful and happy. God brought her back to us. We are eternally grateful. I think we will all sleep much better tonight.
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Friday, November 11, 2016

The Martini is Missing an Olive

Kaida has been looking goofy these days. Our girl got fixed, chipped, dewclaws removed, dental cleaning,the works!

While at the vet, she had pulled several stitches out of her belly and foot. So they put a cone on her. When my husband heard over the phone he replied, "They put a dixie cup over her head?"

We've had many pets during our lives and this is the first one that has needed a cone on their head. I find it odd we've never had one until now, but that's how it is.

It's funny because she's quick and loves to tease. We have dog gates up, and she can fit through the bars. One of her favorite games is to take Khaleesi's toys and run through the gate with them and then lie down just out of reach and tease Khaleesi with her prize. Well, with her cone, she can't fit. And she's been bound and determined to fit through, but can't. It's been very amusing.

Ashton just adores Kaida and has been giving her extra scratches around the neck where the cone is tied. Our little Martini needs help with face and neck scratches. But we are more than happy to oblige.

Day 9 of Peyton Missing - we have a weekend ahead. I'm hoping for more calls or leads to help us find her. We have decided that we'll stop looking after 2 weeks from the last call we get. So if we get any leads, we will keep it up for at least 2 weeks, because we can't keep searching forever. Ashton asks if sh'e s gone forever, where is she. She still doesn't get the full grasp of it all. However, she did say she'd give her piggy bank money away as a reward in helps to find her. My sweet girl!

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Thursday, November 10, 2016

Just a Little Dirt Never Hurt Anybody

Look what got unloaded at our house today! About 5 tri axles of dirt, I think. We have a sideyard that needs leveling, so here comes the dirt. Ashton is beyond thrilled, but I won't let her touch it.

She'd love to climb, roll around in it all day long. That's my girl. And a little dirt never hurt anyone, but I've got no time for a mess on that scale. So she's been instructed not to touch. Let's hope she abides.

Peyton update - Day 8  missing. We've got a weekend project coming up now. That means less time searching. We've had a few calls, but nothing as strong as the call we got on Sunday. It's hard to weave through legit calls and not. Many are vague. But we hit hard the neighborhoods that may have had a sighting. More posters, more drivebys. We search at least 3 times a day. But it's feeling hopeless. When do we stop? It's been over a week. What are our odds?

Drusilla seems to like the extra attention being an only cat. I give it to her and ask her about Peyton, like she'll perk up and lead me the way she went. But she just wants ear scratches. Life keeps on moving on but I hate it. We've even had rain one day, and I worried about our baby. But maybe she's inside with a stranger, maybe she's learned to hunt. I'm sure she's found shelter, but there's also frost in the mornings now. It's getting cooler. But we haven't given up
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Tuesday, November 8, 2016

New Gymnastics Class

Day 6: Still no sight of Peyton. It's even rained once. How terrible. I just am trying to find a balance between working, living live, and making finding our baby a priority. It very surreal to juggle. A very odd sense of being.

But I don't want this blog to focus on my pain, my guilt. This may never end. So I''ll do my best to document our search, but try not to go on length about it. But believe me, every moment, every day I feel it.

So in all of this, Ashton is back in gymnastics starting today. It just all really happened in the background.

Just a few short weeks ago, I was notified her gymnastics was over. I had to go on vacation, then Peyton was gone. That has been my life as of late.

Well, during our vacation, Ashton's daycare provider has been on the search for a new teacher that will come to class like her old teacher and provide the same kind routines and pricing. I heard of possibilities but hadn't really paid attention too much as my mind has been elsewhere.

Now there is a new teacher. And giving a free class to all to try out and then starts weekly classes after that. She costs a bit more than the last teacher, but Ashton seems unphased by it all. So if she's happy and can get her gymnastics in. then, yes were in. One small victory!

Ashton's daycare sent me these photos to show me what her first day was like. She seems really focused which is great. Guess it all worked out, nothing for me to worry about. And really, that's awesome, because I have plenty to keep me worried, and no time to think about what to do for her as a replacement. This came in just in time and hassle free! Love it!

I'm glad she has this back.

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Sunday, November 6, 2016

Fleeting Moments

Wish I could say we found Peyton. Wish I could say we have news. But we don't. She's been gone 4 days. I really thought we'd find her this weekend. But we haven't. It's going to be hard to start the week without her.

We've put up posters everywhere stores, neighborhoods, peoples' mailboxes. We've checked shelters. We've checked our online sources. And we've had a few leads. But it's hard to know if it was definitely our cat they spotted. And when and what direction. We've been bouncing around from neighborhood to neighborhood.

I've even had one caller say there was a dead cat in the road and I may want to check it out in case it was her. I drove. It was a possum. Not even a cat. Make some wonder if we're having people think they are seeing her when they aren't.

This hasn't been easy. Most of our free time (which really, when you boil don to it isn't free time - it's laundry time, housework time, working out time) we try hanging more posters, talking to neighbors, checking possible sighting locations... it's very tiring. We're going around in circles, it feels like. But we pray upon the hope that we haven't found her dead. So she's out there, she has to be. But every day it gets harder, unless there's a call, then there is a new wave of hope.

Today we had our first sighting, and we had a friend even help walk about and check every which way.

But I don't want to just post about Peyton being lost. I want to also talk about the life of my daughter and what's she's been up to. But it's hard when you are searching for your cat. She misses Peyton, but as young as she is, it's hard to juggle as she gets bored with searching and doesn't understand all the ramifications. So I have to be a mom first and sometimes I just let my husband check and search most times, as it's hard to tag Ashton along. There has been a time where I was able to have her be watched by the neighbors when we got a call of a possible sighting, however, typically that's not an option.

I'm also trying to photograph more of our pets more often with us.

This may sound silly, but after searching for photos of Peyton and when was the last time I took a photo of Peyton, I realized that I do take photos of my pets. I do. But more so when they were puppies or kitties or new to the family.

It used to be often enough, then we got Ashton, and now it's not quite as often. And I feel bad. I mean they are around constantly and in our lives constantly, but not documented quite as much. And they're family too. I need to notice all these moments, because they are fleeting.

Here is Ashton with Kiara! Kiara isn't the snuggler. She likes to lay at your feet or behind the couches out of the way. But when she wants something, dang it she'll get your attention. When she wants to be noticed, she gets it. So a couple days ago she was laying on a blanket by our feet, and Ashton laid down beside her. I decided I should document it with a photo. Of course, Kiara decides to get up and walk away when I wanted to take a photo, but I'm trying. It's not picture perfect, but it's our family. I've got to quit worrying about the perfect photo and know that the everyday photo is good enough.

This is the best therapy I can do to kind of appease for what I've done to Peyton. If we can't find her or if she's lost forever, I can say that I'm being more cognizant of my furbabies and documenting their lives with us too. I'm going to honor her with more love and affection to all our furbabies.

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Thursday, November 3, 2016

Lost Cat! Peyton is Missing!

This is so hard to write. It's hard to even know where to begin, because it was like no beginning. It just was and was too late...

All our pets are family. They are all beloved. They are all indoor pets. If you click on Our Family above in the menu, I talk about our family and there is a bio on each of our furbabies, even the ones that have past.

And BOY, it has been a tough 12 months! There's been a lot of loss.

First, Fancy past in October 2015. She had a very long life, but it didn't make it any easier.

Then in March of this year, our sweet, delicate Arwen shocked us when she suddenly passed after dinner, moments before we were going to bed.

Just shortly after his 15th birthday, in June, Dawson passed. His was a very painful death to witness.

Then in September, Skylar passed. We made sure she didn't get to the same point as Dawson.

All of these deaths were different. All of these pets were unique. And each of us grieved differently for each of them. But the common thread in all of them is they were passionately loved and sorely missed.

So when this happened, I didn't think my heart could take it. There had just been too much. I didn't know how I'd cope. But I had to.

So yesterday, after being home for a short time, I finally managed to get groceries we desperately needed. Ashton came with me. When I came home, instead of Ashton running into the house, I decided it was time for her to help carry in the small stuff.

I opened the garage door and we took trips back and forth emptying out the car. Ashton was a great help.

I then started to put away the groceries.And my husband, of course with his impeccable timing, came home when we just put the last item away.

I then told him I was going to walk Khaleesi, as it was a beautiful night and we wouldn't have many nice days left. I don't like walking at night, but that day I felt accomplished getting groceries bought, paid for, Ashton on good behavior-even helping out, and everything put away, I was going to finish out the day walking the dog and feel like I conquered the world. Most days I feel like I'm always catching up, not ahead. So I reveled in the feeling.

While walking out I noticed that the garage door didn't close. Don't know if I forgot, if a sensor went wrong, or if the hubby had it up for a reason when he came in. He's always tinkering out in the garage. Regardless, I wasn't going to stop my day's stride. I was going to walk the dog. I'd put it down when I came home.

While walking the dog I like many women I'm sure was going through my mental checklist. I knew the moment I got home, I'd better call my father to wish him a happy birthday He's an hour behind us, so he should be settled in by the time I'd be done walking the dog.

Khaleesi was walking very well, I was getting my steps in, I was thinking about now that I'm back I can focus on my health and fitness and make it a priority again as I lapsed during our vacation.

On my way back to the house Khaleesi was pulling me to the house. I made it to the neighbor's house next door. Right there in the middle of the sidewalk was Drusilla! What was she doing out? The garage? Did someone leave the front door open or garage door? Did she slip out? Is anyone looking for her?

I picked her up, it was very dark by now. I didn't see or hear anyone.

I walked inside. "Look who I found outside! What's going on?" I am sure I scanned for Peyton. I did a quick dog check and cat check I'm sure. But I remember this part vaguely. It was all scattered in my brain.

Noticed garage door open to garage.
Closed that.
Closed garage.
Got Khaleesi water.
Scanned for pets. Thought my hubby did the same.
Ashton wanted my attention.
Rushed to call Dad on phone.

It's sketchy but I really swear I thought I saw Peyton in her usual spot on the couch. And I wasn't being to deliberate, because I thought my husband was checking on all the pets too.

I called my dad to wish him a happy birthday. Then I called it a night, got Ashton to bed, got us to bed.

Next day, get to work.

Get home from work.

After a couple hours home, we notice we haven't seen Peyton. That's odd. I try to recall seeing her this morning in Ashton's room. 9 times out of ten she likes to wake Ashton with me. She made a big fuss over her yesterday morning, or was that this morning?

And I don't recall her snuggling with her last night...

Petyon? We searched the house casually. Both my husband and I talk about swearing seeing her last night after the Drusilla incident.

She couldn't have? It's been 24 hours since... We would have surely noticed...

We start frantically looking through the house. Ashton helps. Quickly after, my husband decides to check outside.

Damn! It's pitch black outside already. It gets dark so soon. Was it cold out last night? No, no. The weather has been mild. How will we see her?

I turn on all the lights outside the house and inside. We check the oddest places from closets, to under beds and couches and inside the dryer to inside the kitchen cabinets. She's no where to be seen.

I get Ashton to bed. Beg her to stay while I check the perimeter of the house. She couldn't have strayed far.

My husband's already checking the woods our house is backed up to. Acres and acres of woods. I'm listening intently for her little meow or her bell. Nothing... nothing!

I begin to panic. Did we actually lose our own cat and NOT notice? Did we actually loose another furbaby, and this time it is actually all my fault? Is she gone? Is she safe?

I go back inside. It's been 24 hours. It's not like she's hanging around out house. Not now. I have to go forward a few steps. I go online and fill out a lost pet in the area form. I'm trying to think the last time I took a picture of her. I'm scanning through photos that best show her face, her collar, her body. I feel nothing but shame and panic.

I get together a quick lost cat sign. The one here, pictured. I know what I have to do tomorrow. I pray that it doesn't come to this, but it is.

After a while, my husband comes back defeated. He went through the neighborhood, the woods, no sign of Peyton.

We talk about Drusilla and Peyton. Of the two, we'd both bet on Drusilla to survive. She has a mean streak, she can bully if she needs to. They're both declawed but Drusilla is the tougher of the two.  But Peyton. But Peyton. That's like releasing a toddler out into the world. She is innocent. She is pure. She is always happy and curious. She loves shiny objects, and doesn't have one mean bone in her body. She trusts everyone. She loves dogs, cats, kids, people... no common sense! I worry so much about my girl.

Now here we are... no cat. No Peyton. Who knows where she is. If she's scared. If she's dead. If she's safe in another's arms. No idea what direction she's headed. Can she climb a tree declawed? Will she come if called out there, somewhere? Too many questions. Too many possibilities.

Tomorrow we'll put up posters, check online for any leads, check local shelters. But first I have to go to work. We both do. We have to not think about it and focus on work, then rush the daylight hours to find her.

It's easy to think of what did we do, what we didn't do yesterday. But it does no good. It happened. And we didn't really think about it. We had to recall and step backwards about not seeing her today. We didn't notice. It's heartbreaking.

We LOVE Peyton. Fiercely, love her! We'd never intentionally do anything like this, yet it still happened. To our baby. And I think of all the loss, it's just too much. I can only focus on what I'm in control of now and what I can do to search, get the word out, all of it.

I just feel wretched and tired and helpless. This is a terrible feeling. I just want our baby home.
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