self-absorption

August 9, 2018 | View Comments

So Oliver’s session with the groomer didn’t go quite as planned. He was supposed to get a lion’s cut, but he’s running around 1/4 of the way shaved. I should have realized he’d have this kind of reaction to the sound of the clippers because he doesn’t like the pet massager or my foot shaver thing (for dead skin). The groomer gave it tons of tries and was very patient. She mentioned that he was the worst cat she’s ever attempted, so yay us. He basically couldn’t get away from her fast enough and was bucking like a bronco. So then we attempted it ourselves. I bought a shaver that was considered a “quiet shaver” and cotton balls for his ears. The vet gave us some gabapentin to make him drowsy. Though he may have been yawning, he was still too alert for us to make one swipe down his fur with it. The next step is to have him go to the vet where he would be put under and shaved by them. We are still trying all the other hairball remedies, and we are definitely brushing him more often. I wasn’t great about keeping up with that (there’s a reason which will be in an upcoming post), but he hasn’t had any mats and such since his fur didn’t grow while he was on the prednisolone for the past six or so months. In fact, the spot where he had been shaved for his blood transfusion (anemia issues) in December didn’t even start to grow in until like June. And he is a huge groomer, so I don’t know if being better with this will even matter; seriously, he is always wet! This is our last attempt before having the vet shave him down. I’d like them to do it anyway just to even it out, but Mark doesn’t agree. So yeah.

Speaking of my cats, the last time I was writing regularly I think I mentioned that we were looking at cat retirement homes in case something were to happen to both Mark and me. We visited two places that were close to each other and settled on one, though I preferred the other. One was $10,000 per cat, and the better one was $50,000 for each. We could now do the one I like, but we ended up changing our minds altogether and went from a place to a person. We agreed that she is just so ridiculously the right woman for the job, and she said she’d be honored! Thus, we had to modify the established pet trust with the lawyer and change everything over to her. I scheduled this lawyer visit out months in advance to coincide with my appointment with my pain management doctor. Two trips back to New Jersey would have been hard on me. When it was about a month out, I contacted the paralegal to remind her that our appointment was coming up and that I hadn’t heard anything back regarding the questions I had sent over awhile back. She made some comment about how they use a calendar system so she would know what was coming up when. It was worded condescendingly. I mean, of course they do. No shit. That annoyed me because I felt like she was talking down to me when I was just being my usual nagging self and sending a little reminder. Her other emails were curt and dismissive too, but she’s very personable one-on-one. It’s weird. Anyway, they did totally wait until the last minute to update our will and trust – she sent more questions and told me to answer them that very night. This was Thursday. She was off on Friday and our appointment was Tuesday. She wanted to “finish” things on Monday. She was now rushing us. So, so much for her calendar. I even got a call Monday afternoon saying they thought the pet trust should be rescinded and turned into a guardianship, which was not what we wanted at all. And when we got there Tuesday, the main paragraph on the pet trust was still all wrong. Mark was mystified. I just laughed. At least everything is now in order and notarized.

Also speaking of cats, the grey and white cat, the one who has been showing up mainly at 10:20pm to eat, hasn’t shown up in three nights now. I am a total jinx. And I am sad and worried, of course.

I’m still trying to find the right kind of medical marijuana that’ll help me with my chronic pain and/or anxiety. The only thing it’s doing right now is making me feel calmer and more relaxed inside. It’s easier to let things go when Mark and I fight. He gets bent out of shape over everything, so it totally makes him much more tolerable. My first battery was defective, so that was super annoying. And the second time I went to the dispensary, the guy said they were all out of the types specific for anxiety, but I heard another employee tell her customer that a hybrid works for it. One of them was just making shit up. So I got two different ones this time, and I think they both may be making my anxiety worse. I don’t know. I feel like this whole thing is a guessing game. They don’t even carry the same kind from day-to-day, so would it even matter if I found something that worked well? So far I’m not all that impressed.

We are having an issue with our renter at our old house. When the first couple moved on after a year, we had two renters to choose from. I wanted to go with one single renter, and Mark wanted to go with the grandmother and her adopted granddaughters. Mine was a year lease, and his was a three-year lease. He didn’t listen to me or my gut, and now we are having trouble getting the granny to pay up. There was a partial payment that was sent electronically that Mark didn’t mean to accept – it’s all or nothing! Anyway, he sent one letter saying that she needed to pay the rest in full. She hasn’t. The next payment is due soon, and we are wondering if she’s gonna get her act together or not. Our lawyer also does real estate stuff, and he said he’d do an official letter whenever Mark was ready to start the eviction process. I never liked the idea of renting to begin with. There are way too many fucking horror stories out there. In New Jersey, where the house is, the law is geared more favorably towards the tenant than the renter. I wonder if we will have a hell of a time getting her out if need be. He should have listened to my instincts, eh?

So I was on Facebook and saw someone who commented on another person’s post. This chick is a white trash menace. Believe it or not, she disliked me ever since we were in fucking kindergarten! See, her mom used to date my dad, and she never got over him. My dad decided to date someone better for him when he went out with my mom. Anyway, her mom truly poisoned her against me. She told her daughter, who then told me, that she scratched my dad’s face with her nails when they fought or broke up or something. Did either of us little girls need to know something like that at that age? I mean, Jesus Christ. And kindergarten was just total chaos for me. She got the teacher to dislike me, truly. She’d go up to her and tell her that I did things I didn’t do, and I was constantly being put in the corner while crying from frustration. This happened day after day until my mom went in to talk to the teacher. It’s a wonder I loved school so much when I started out with such a bad experience. And she always talked shit about me throughout school, though we never had any classes together after kindergarten. She was on a different track in life. So I clicked on her profile to see if I could see anything about what she was now up to, and she had several Trump 2020 photos on her page. Figures.

Lastly, I won’t be doing the color teal next year for my outdoor umbrella, pillows, gazing ball, and lanterns. I ordered teal lanterns from pier 1 because they were giving me more than enough of the blue I wanted out there. Well, unfortunately for me, though they may have been the same height, they were way wider; they took up half the patio table! So that’s a no. Maybe I’ll fall in love with something else when we go to take them back. I’m just so, so absolutely sick of the red that we currently have out there.

Another cool thing about living here is how close the deer get to our house. I can wave at them and talk to them – and they just look at me and keep chewing!

Deer invasion, photo 3
Deer eating food we left out for the raccoons

One of the first animals we noticed around our new house was a pretty tortoiseshell cat. According to our security cameras, she was in our yard a lot. Unfortunately, she’d run from us all the time, so it took awhile of being persistent and putting out kibble for her to come around to liking us. She’s usually here in the early mornings for some dry food that Mark puts out on his way to work, and she tends to return close to dinner time for some wet food. The previous owner said that she was sure she belonged to the family next door. The cat had a collar, so we hoped she belonged to someone. She also said her name is Nabi, which is butterfly in Korean. One day I briefly spoke to the woman next door, but there was a definite language barrier. I just tried to convey that we always see her, that she’s pretty, and that we feed her. She’s now pretty good at coming to our house if I yell, “Nabi! Pretty girl!” There’s a part of the fence that she can easily scoot under, so that’s how she gets between our two houses. She doesn’t like to be pet a lot, but she is very vocal. Also, she’s the bitch of the neighborhood; she’s bossy, sassy, and demanding. One time I saw a bigger black cat (the one we call Sam’s Twin) approach her, and it backed away from her. I just didn’t expect to see that! She may be a small package, but she is fierce! Nabi lost her first collar at some point; her owners replaced it, but it was like they didn’t smooth it out very well. That collar was gone after a couple of weeks, and we kept waiting for them to put on a new one. I told Mark we should get one for her, and he finally agreed with me like two weeks later. So we got another pink one – reflective, breakaway, and with a bell. We each separately couldn’t get it on her, but we amazingly were able to do it together (I joked that we should have an ambulance ready on standby). I hope the neighbors don’t think we overstepped. We have nicknamed her Mark’s girlfriend (“she’s the only girl nice to me!”), side piece, mistress, etc. Sometimes we even refer to her as our outside daughter. It will break our goddamned hearts if something ever happens to her. When I don’t see her during what should be one of her regularly scheduled visits, I get nervous until I finally do see her again. And whew! She has absolutely no interest in coming inside the house, and she hisses at my cats if she sees them. Hahah.

Here are some photos of her. The last two are so funny to us because she decided to jump up on the ledge outside our kitchen window to let us know she was all out of cat food!

She’s always moving around, so we can never get a decent picture of the neighbor kitty...
Mark adoring the neighbor’s cat
Nabi, the neighbor kitty, jumped up on the ledge outside our kitchen window to let us know she was all out of the cat food that we leave out for her!
Nabi, the neighbor kitty, jumped up on the ledge outside our kitchen window to let us know she was all out of the cat food that we leave out for her!

And here are a few videos:











We have had a bunch of other cats pass by too – and we try to have dry food out at all times for them. Some used to be regulars or semi-regulars, and it hurts my heart when I don’t see them anymore; I can only hope and wish that they’re all okay. There was a bigger grey cat with longer hair and a white mustache that I really miss seeing. Moo Kitty (has the markings of a cow, real original nickname) used to come every day, but now we only see her twice a month. We had these two young tuxies (Tuxie 1 and Tuxie 2) who would stop by, and they weren’t very skittish. They came at different times (never together) for a few weeks. One had a white front leg and one had a white back leg. I really hope they’re safe too. Sigh. Another regular is Sam’s Twin, and he isn’t very social. And then there’s this grey cat with a white chest, white leg, and white mustache who has been coming for about four-five weeks now. He always stops by between 9:50pm and 10:30pm, usually right at 10:20pm. He was eating right next to the raccoons (story coming), but I’ve started putting a dish of dry and wet food closer to the end of the carport so that he can eat in peace. He’s gotten a little less afraid of me, but I don’t know if it’ll ever get to the point where I could bring him inside (wait, what).

my #metoo story

July 28, 2018 | Comments Off

I wrote about this on my Facebook page last November, but I wanted to write about it here, too. So this is my #metoo story.

This happened in high school. I was at a friend’s house. She lived with her grandparents and invited a couple of us there one day. She had me, another girl, and a guy over. Anyway, somehow he and I ended up by ourselves in a room off of the kitchen. We were sort of friends, and I had always thought he was so incredibly funny. We were just talking about regular stuff when he suddenly swiped the entire length of my vagina, from back to front. I was in shock, embarrassed, and stunned. I don’t remember how I left the room, but I know that I told my friend what happened and asked her to tell him to leave – but she said she wasn’t going to do that; she always was a self-absorbed bitch. I will admit that it has affected me my whole life. Over the years, whenever a guy has tried to “go there” without me getting any advance notice first, I instinctively smack his hand away. It has definitely impacted me sexually. I’ve never forgotten this or how awful it made me feel and still makes me feel. Last year he tried to “friend” me on Facebook, but that is obviously never happening. I eventually did message him to remind him about what he did and to tell him about how it affected me. His reply? “Sorry to hear that but was not me Rosalie” – AS IF I DIDN‘T KNOW WHO DID something like that to me and when, right? An apology wouldn’t have really changed anything for me, but an outright denial is definitely infuriating. #metoo

introducing Oliver

July 27, 2018 | Comments Off

Now it’s time to introduce Oliver, our first new pet in ten years!

Oliver plays in the Catty Stacks tunnel
Oliver, 7.5 months, 13 pounds, loves crossing his paws
Oliver chases a bug
Oliver cuteness overload

I had always wanted a Maine Coon, and now I have one! We got him when he was 13 weeks-old, and now he’s 2 years and 4 months-old.

And, I know, I know. I always say to Adopt, Don’t Shop. But I’ve done my fair share of adopting and rescuing (even one abused) over the years. And I’ll never shop/buy again because I know there are way too many in shelters and on the streets who need a good home. But there’s something about a giant Maine Coon with huge paws and furry ears that I’ve always really just loved. I’m sure I’ll get judgment from the cat community, but that’s okay. I’ve done my fair share there and will continue to, too. We take things to shelters all the time. And a few years back, I used many of my pr connections and literally loaded up the entire back of Mark’s then-Xterra to take a donation trip to Kitty City and Animal Haven Farm in Forked River, NJ. You can search for that with those keywords, if you’d like. It was very rewarding. I hope to do something similar one day again after I start writing more and build my pet reputation back up.

For basically still being just a kitten, this little fluffy butt has had a huuuuge number of health issues. First, our vet said he had a heart murmur, and Maine Coons are known for having heart issues. The first time we saw the cardiologist, he said that he saw early signs of hcm and told us to get him retested in a year, at which point we might talk about medications. Then, at the second visit, the cardiologist said that Oliver had the same type (harmless) as Lulu, a functional flow murmur. When I asked about the hcm, he said it wasn’t in his previous records. Um, what? I made sure he wasn’t accidentally looking at Lulu’s chart, and he wasn’t. So I think I’ll have him checked for a third time next year. Second, Oliver had some serious anemia issues that were officially diagnosed in December, and he’s thankfully been okay for like two months now. Looking back, he did become lethargic and he did become less chatty, but I didn’t notice the slow loss of those things until after the fact. In August, he had stopped eating, so we took him in to the emergency vet. When they drew blood there, his numbers were off, but no one said anything to us then. So fast forward to December. This is when he started licking/eating litter and when I called the vet. He had blood drawn, and it showed a low value. They set up an appointment to come back in a week to draw more to see if there was a change. That’s when he started getting fussy with food. He didn’t eat any breakfast at all one day, and that was the day we got the results back that said the values plummeted and he needed an emergency blood transfusion immediately. It was all so very scary. He ended up having two blood transfusions at his hospital stay. When he came home, he was on a few different types of medications, and then it was a hell of a time getting him off of prednisolone entirely. His numbers would go up and down, and it was always being tweaked. He’s had his blood drawn basically every 2-3 weeks since then. My poor, furry pincushion! Now his blood still shows that he has high lymphocytes, and nobody can figure out why. Third, I already wrote about the emergency surgery he had to have after he caught his armpit on a door latch; he used to like jumping up the walls by the door frame, but he has only done that just once more since the whole ordeal. Lastly, he has hairball issues. He is always wet because he is always grooming himself. He doesn’t throw up often. When he does, though, it’s as if he’s throwing up mini logs, in length and width. One of the last times he puked, it was the size of 1.5 bananas, only thicker. We have brushed him often, tried the treats, tried the paste, recently tried the coconut oil, and recently tried the pineapple juice. Then last night, he still threw up another masterpiece. When he doesn’t feel well (right before a puking incident), he skips a meal. So, we’ve never had a long-haired cat before, and we love his fur – it literally feels like it’s made of cotton balls! But it looks like he will need to be shaved. I have an appointment for him to get a lion’s cut on Wednesday. Mark is sort of against this because his fur is amazing and it’ll be missed, but he knows that it’s dangerous for him to have that kind of a solid hair thing in his tummy. A shave is better than surgery – for all involved. So, all in all, I’m hoping the lymphocyte thing doesn’t cause anything new and nasty to appear, and I really hope Oliver likes his little haircut!

He isn’t your typical friendly, affectionate, follow-you-around-like-a-dog Maine Coon. Oh, no. He isn’t overly cuddly, he’s stingy with affection, and he runs from us if we try to pick him up. He will come to us on his own every now and again. When he decides to grace us with his presence, he will drape himself all over us, purr loudly, and make biscuits. He also does this ridiculously cute thing where he will lay on us and then look at us upside down while staring sweetly into our eyes. Everyone who has met him has commented on how handsome he is, and he knows how handsome he is too. Oliver likes sitting in front of air vents and space heaters, laying in his cat hammock and cat towers, and playing with looney loops. When he first was adopted, he played in the water all the time, would tear up plastic products, and loved to chew on straws. He has a nose like a beagle and is always sniffing things; if there is a crumb, he will find it! He’s also very, very particular about the state of the litter boxes. He crosses his paws when he’s just hanging out. He crinkles up his nose when he eats. He sleeps on the memory boxes of our passed pets. Oliver defers to Sam on everything (toys, treats, food) but views Lulu as prey. He’s been quite an expensive handful so far, but he’s definitely worth every single penny!

For more photos of my tiny kitten, click here!

all things Sam

July 24, 2018 | Comments Off

Now it’s time for an update on our Samuel!

Sam checks out the new cat grass!
Handsome Sam in the sunroom
Sam chirps at the squirrel he sees
Sam resting in his new living room chair for the first time!

Sam is now 11.5 years-old. After we moved here, we found some blood in his poo. Kip was 12 when we found some in his, and it ended up being cancer. So, obviously I was scared to death. The vet said it was colitis and would improve on its own, and it did. When we stopped seeing the blood, I thought I was going to lose my mind over the happiness I felt. In other news, he has high blood pressure like Lulu, and he’s on medication twice a day for that too. The biggest issue with him is the ongoing gingivitis (and such) with his teeth and gums. He’s had so many cleanings and a couple of extractions. In the spring, he had to have his gums cut back due to overgrowth. He had to have that done again about a month ago. The vet recommended doing cleanings every few months to get a better handle on the situation. I’ve been giving him duralactin and also using wipes and coconut oil. I hope it totally resolves soon. This time around his gums aren’t bleeding when I use the wipes, so I’m hopeful that progress has been made.

Sam used to be a terror 24/7. He was very, very vigilant about every single thing going on inside the house. Now he’s less vigilant in that regards, but he does get worked up (sniffing, snorting) when he sees any of our neighborhood’s cats out of the windows. He has gotten a touch crankier in his old age, though. We can simply just walk past him, and he will hiss at us. Overall, though, Sam has settled down and is calmer, sweeter, and cuddlier. He has inherited Pacey’s cuddling/spooning spots at nap time and bedtime. He even cuddles with Mark so much more now too! He loves the sunroom and the window bird feeders. He gets along nicely with his new brother. I prepped Sam for awhile before Oliver came home, and he did so well with it. He was patient with this new, tiny kitten, and now they are good brothers. He continues to chase Lulu, so she’s not that fond of him. He is still obsessed with playing with looney loops, so much so that seven of them can disappear over the course of a few days!

For more photos of my little man, click here!

all things Lulu

July 23, 2018 | Comments Off

I’ve decided to write a little bit about each pet to update what’s been going on with them during my hiatus. First up is Lulu, my tiny tortie!

Lulu
Lulu sprouted one white eye whisker above her right eye two weeks ago - so adorbs!
We bought another window bird feeder and put this one outside the master bedroom. A squirrel decided to eat from it and wasn’t scared of Lulu!
Lulu was sleeping right next to her favorite ball!

As for her health, my little Lulu has high blood pressure, thyroid concerns, and early signs of kidney disease. Her latest blood test results showed that her thyroid is now borderline, so that’s decent, and they showed her kidney disease got a teeny bit better, though it’s still kidney disease, you know? At least it didn’t get worse! Towards the end of us living in New Jersey, Lulu started eating less and less. It didn’t get any better after we moved here; in fact, it got worse. She had a bunch of tests, and nobody could figure out the issue. Then one day we had a different vet (from the same practice) see her and suggest that it could be pancreatitis. Based on that diagnosis, I was told to force-feed her a set amount twice a day. Though it wasn’t immediate, she did get 100% better, thankfully! And right now I’m very happy with how her health is doing. On that note, Lulu just celebrated her Sweet 16!

She’s even more vocal than before – she’s louder, chattier, mouthier, and sassier! She gets right in my ear with this shrill meow, and it hurts like hell for half a second. She moves around this house more, so I’d say she prefers this one-story over our three-story. Her favorite place is still the master bedroom, just like it was in the last two houses. But what is absolutely adorable is that she has recently rediscovered her love for these rainbow-colored balls (she is pictured with one above), the same ones she played with as a kitten. Every single day she plays with them and announces to us when she is. I love, love, love how our cats make vocalizations when they have a favorite toy in their mouths. Sigh. Overall, Lulu is still a total mama’s girl. She spends a huge chunk of her day touching me in some capacity – sleeping on my legs, laying on my chest, licking my arm or cheek, etc. She is very, very sweet!

For more photos of my little lovebug, click here!

charming personality traits

July 21, 2018 | Comments Off

I am a homebody through and through. I like my routine. I don’t do a lot because my back can’t handle a lot. So when I have to leave the house or have company, I honestly can’t stand it. In fact, we have our 20th wedding anniversary trip coming up that I’m dreading. I mean, I know it’ll be lovely (we are staying in an adorable treehouse with a hot tub), and I have someone I trust staying with the pets 24/7. Even with all that, I just don’t want to leave my babies or change things up.

So imagine my horror when Mark said his parents and eleven year-old niece were going to visit. With something like that, I am never able to wrap my head around it positively. Oh, and they also brought their dog which means my cats aren’t happy. So, yeah, I had to look presentable and be super pleasant, two things that aren’t commonplace. They were coming into the area (an hour away in Lancaster) for a vacation, so they didn’t stay here. His niece did sleep over one night because Mark was taking her into Philly to sightsee the next morning. She was a decent houseguest. I hadn’t seen her since she was basically a toddler, I think. I gave her a basically brand new pair of espadrilles (I wore once for three hours) and two of my older coach bags. Bad auntie guilt?

Here are some photos of Mark and her out and about:

Mark shows Erika, his pretty niece, around Philadelphia
Mark shows Erika, his pretty niece, around Philadelphia
Mark shows Erika, his pretty niece, around Philadelphia
Mark shows Erika, his pretty niece, around Philadelphia
Mark shows Erika, his pretty niece, around Philadelphia
Mark shows Erika, his pretty niece, around Philadelphia

His parents came to pick her up, and they all went out to dinner. Anyway, before they left, his mom put everything they had brought inside with them in a tiny pile, and I was beyond thankful for that. Normally, even in every day instances like just living with Mark, I need to take a step back and mentally prepare myself for the clutter so i don’t freak. And even before they left the driveway, I had already cleaned out and straightened up the guest bedroom his niece slept in. I’m a joy to be around, obviously. His parents now have two dogs, and next year they better not even think about bringing both of those stressed-out, hyper, co-dependent dogs into my house. At first Mark agreed with me, but now he’s saying it’s no big deal. Uh, bullshit.

truth

July 21, 2018 | Comments Off

Mark is planning on taking a trip to Germany next year to ride some of their bike trails. He’s been studying German online with the help of some apps. Yesterday this popped up for him to translate:

From Mark’s online German lessons...

yet another huge heartbreak

July 19, 2018 | Comments Off

Pacey journeyed to Furbaby Heaven on September 7th, 2016, just about five months after Basia passed away. He was a little over sixteen years-old when he was diagnosed with lymphoma in the Mesenteric lymph nodes and spleen.

It began with him being lethargic and not eating much. This led to an ultrasound and the lymphoma diagnosis. The oncologist, the same one we used with Kip, said he should respond well to chemotherapy given the type and location of the cancer. He had one treatment, but he unfortunately got worse. He started eating less and less but would eat off of a spoon if I offered it to him that way. His next oncologist appointment was the day (maybe next day?) he started hiding and not eating at all. He then had another ultrasound which showed the cancer had spread. I felt it was time to send him to Furbaby Heaven then and there since he looked so miserable. Mark suggested bringing him home and having him put to sleep there. I didn’t want him to be hurting and uncomfortable any longer, so we did it at that office visit with him on my lap. It all happened so incredibly quickly – too quickly; it was about four to six weeks from the diagnosis to his passing.

I found Pacey on petfinder. He had these huge ears – and a sad story about how depressed he was because all his siblings (all sisters) had been adopted and he was the only one left. I was telling Mark about him, and he told me that I better not fill out the application. I replied with, “oops!” This was back when I was still teaching high school English. Mark had to pick him up from his foster mom. They were spending time together, and Mark got annoyed with me after I came home from work. See, he said Pacey forgot all about him and “fell in love” with me. And that’s the way it remained – he was a mama’s boy. He even slept on my neck as a kitten! Pacey was actually originally named Mark because his long, thin tail curled up at the top like a question mark. After Kip passed away, Pacey ruled the house. He had a sweet tooth. He’d become stiff as a board whenever I’d pick him up. He had such a distinct walk that I really miss; we could always tell when he was the one headed in our direction. He liked sleeping in any and all cat beds, especially his catball. He liked to burrow under covers and would drool in his sleep. Pacey was ridiculously photogenic; he never ever took a bad picture, and it was like he was always posing! I miss seeing his white leg whiskers and watching him stare at himself in the bathroom mirror. He’d always extend one paw out while lounging. His favorite toy in the whole wide world was this thick tan hair band of mine. After a zillion years, it ended up with holes in it and was unraveling. We’d freak out if we couldn’t find it easily, and we’d put it back on the living room area rug which was the home base for it. Pacey was always ridiculously smart; for example, he could open doors and would watch very closely how most things were done. But the thing I miss the absolute most is our bedtime routine. He’d stare at me when he wanted me to go to sleep. He hated when Mark & I would talk to each other from separate bedrooms, so much so that he even nipped at my face once so I’d shut up. He was an expert spooner and his little grey body would curl perfectly into mine. I have a nighttime ritual speech that I say (I now use most of it for Sam), and Pacey would listen to it and to me talking about the day or upcoming events. As soon as I’d say the words “goodnight,” he knew I was done, and he’d put his head down to go to sleep. I also never minded how he’d walk right on me to get back into his spooning position after drinking some water in the middle of the night. And there’s still a giant hole in my heart, of course. Loss never goes away. I can’t help but think how much he’d like the sunroom here in our new house. But he’s with his other passed siblings now, and there is comfort in knowing that he’s surrounded by all of those sweet babies. And now he can play with all the snakes and mice he wants to without wondering if his mean mama will stop his fun!

Pacey Man, we can’t wait to see you again!

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