Saturday, September 24, 2016

Saturday at Home ~ 9/24/16


It's 10:15 a.m. already on Saturday morning and I was fretting that I hadn't really done anything yet but then I remembered that I'm not posting a To Do List on the weekends anymore, which really means that I'm not worrying about chores... too much!

The kittens slept for close to 10 hours!  I wish I could say that I slept through the night but I was up at least 4 times to use the bathroom (grr) and then Greg was up a lot too, it seems and I kept on hearing him.

I watched some Law & Order episodes on the TV last night, but it looked like Greg might fall asleep in his chair (he's congested) and I wanted to fall asleep with the DVD playing on my laptop so I could use the headphones, so I turned off the TV at about 11:00 a.m. and tried playing the DVD on the laptop. All the others had played without any problem, but this one gives me error messages, something to do with the copyright and encryption and having to update my video card (the DVD is from 2003 and I bought my laptop 2-3 years ago so I doubt that updating my video card is going to do anything!) so I gave up and just put "The Wonder Years" on via Netflix on my Kindle Fire, closed the cover so I wouldn't be woken up by the screen glare, and just fell asleep listening to the episode, lol.  So it was better than playing a DVD on the laptop. Meanwhile, Greg went to bed. He must have not slept well, possibly because of the jetlag combined with his cold and congestion, because I heard him toss and turn all night and he even came down the stairs a couple of times. We have an old house so the stairs scream and creak when you use them... enough said.  Now he's sleeping away when I need him to wake up to give me his laundry that I have to wash before his trip tomorrow.  I wish he had just brought it down last night.  But this man doesn't think ahead (from his own admission), and he took his suitcase up instead of taking it straight to the laundry room.  So I'm in a holding pattern.

My son just got up and mentioned that his earbuds broke last night so he and I will be headed to Walgreens later on today to get him another pair, and we'll sneak in a haircut while we're at it since Middle Son will be taking pictures of him and his sister next Saturday.

I just defrosted the salmon for dinner tonight.  We still have half a danish and most of the blueberry pie so I won't be baking again today (plus there are 3 half loaves of pumpkin chocolate bread in the freezer!).

I've replied to my mom's email and sent her pictures and videos of the kids and kittens. I've checked the news (another mass shooting.  Good grief!) and replied to blog comments.  The house is quiet because all the cats are sleeping, my son is on his computer and Greg and my daughter are both still sleeping.  I feel vaguely restless.  I doubt that Greg will want to go walk today. He's exhausted and sick and has been away for most of the week so he probably just wants to play videogames... especially since he won't be able to once he's at his parents'.

Is 10:26 a.m.too early for me to plop a DVD in?  lol.  I do have to peruse the 2nd Sri Lankan cookbook that I had borrowed, as well as the Florida's Fabulous Birds book that I finally received from the Amazon third party vendor. I guess I should get on with it...

My daughter colored her hair again!  This time she picked a brown color to cover the slight green sheen her blond hair still had. It looked very dark when wet but once she dried it, it's not to dark and we can still kind of see greenish. Plus her natural color roots are now dark brown when the rest of the hair isn't. Sigh. I just wish she would stop with the self-experimenting and go to a good salon!


FRUGAL SUCCESSES
  • I brewed a pot of half decaf with the free decaf won from Wawa.

  • I replied to my mom's email and attached pictures and videos from the kids and kittens, which was, of course, free, compared to mailing her actual pictures and a letter.

  • MyCokeRewards sent me an email announcing Triple Points for Diet Coke codes next Friday (9/30) which would be awesome-r if there was a way to differentiate Diet Coke caps from other caps. I suppose the silver ones usually are regular Diet Coke.  Maybe gold ones too? I need to go to RaceTrac to observe the bottles because I just don't know these things, LOL.

  • My son and I went to run a few errands:
    • South Lake Animal League thrift store:
      • We dropped off the box of donations that I had set aside.
      • We went inside to find some kitten supplies. I did find a comfy bed for $5 (a little pricey but the one that was only $1 wasn't anywhere near as nice and comfy), and 2 food/drink bowls for $0.75 each. I'm thinking that maybe the metal bowls that I was planning on using are reflecting them when they approach to drink water and they get scared so I got plastic ones to see if it'll make a difference. Plus I can use them for them they're bigger.
      • I looked for Law & Order DVDs but they didn't have any.
      • We looked for earbuds for my son but they didn't have any either.
      • I totally forgot to look for a trashcan that I wanted to use for the kittens' paper towels, etc. I've been using my own desk trash can but I need an extra one.
      • My OOP was $6.95 and I charged it to USAA Visa for 10% back in Rewards.

    • I checked my son in at Great Clips via their app so he wouldn't have to wait when we got there.
    • Before we drove over there, we stopped by Park Pals to take in the new playground that replaced the old wooden castle playground. What.a.disappointment. I'm glad my kids are grown and got lots of playtime on the old playground.
What the heck is THAT?!! Ugh.
    • Then I dropped my son off with our prepaid card and $2 in cash for the tip at Great Clips, and went to Publix to get some OJ for Greg.  The haircut ($9.99 with the prepaid card) cost us nothing OOP, save for the tip, since I bought the card last December.

    • At Publix, I got:
      • OJ for Greg. I splurged and got the Premium Not from Concentrate OJ for $3.00 as opposed to the "from Concentrate" for $2.59 because my honey is sick!
      • 4 packs of Dole Mixations, on sale @ $2.00 each and I had (4) $1.00/1 printable coupons (so 40 SB once they're redeemed!)
      • 2 packages of mini naan (because I'm addicted to those now but too lazy to make them myself!), on BOGO @ $2.99
      • My OOP was $9.99 and I paid with USAA Visa for 10% back in Rewards.

    • We went to Walgreens to buy a new pair of earbuds for my son. I was offering to buy him branded ones for about $20 but he balked at the price (so my son!) and elected to buy the cheapest pair at $5.99 even though they weren't really the style that he wanted.  I paid the $6.41 OOP with my USAA Visa for 10% back in Rewards and earned 50 Balance Rewards points.

    • We stopped by the library, where my son returned the Law & Order DVDs that are due on Monday.

  • My lunch was an egg salad sandwich on a mini naan and some chips and salsa.  Greg had a turkey sandwich, chips and grapes.

  • Today Greg remembered that college football was on TV, so I tried to use the laptop my MIL gave us recently to watch the Law & Order DVDs but that laptop has Windows 10 so no Windows Media Player (isn't that INSANE?!). I put last night's DVD in my laptop again to see if I got the same result as last night, and today I didn't get the weird error message at all, it started to play but it was  freezing.  So I played it in the BluRay player because Greg decided he wasn't interested in the game anyway.  Once it was over, I tried the next DVD (that didn't look scratched) in my laptop again and that one did work!  Go figure!  Greg is going to watch football again at 3:30 p.m. so this is perfect timing.

  • I took 2 RaceTrac surveys and earned reward codes for 2 more freebies.

  • I took 2 Driscoll's surveys and, hooray, they fixed their glitch and I was able to print all 4 of my $1.00/1 coupons.

  • I earned the Daily Bing Rewards and a few Swagbucks.

  • CVS sent me a 30% off coupon for cleaning supplies that I uploaded to my ExtraCare card, even though it is unlikely that I will use it.

  • MobiSave refunded me the $1.00 for the GoVeggie parmesan. I had completely forgotten that they didn't credit me right away.

  • When it was time to cook dinner, I really didn't feel like cooking and Greg suggested we get pizza but then immediately changed his mind and said he would have canned soup but the kids and I should get pizza. And then he settled down to watch football, which meant that I was going to have to go get my own pizza.  Grrr.  So I decided to cook the salmon that I had defrosted and make some Minute Mixed Grain rice in the microwave.  I made Coriander Crusted Salmon, which is very quick and delicious.  I served one of the large naans bought earlier in the month, cutting it in quarters.  The kids weren't excited about having salmon so I heated up some of the teriyaki chicken left over from last night.  But since I had cooked all the salmon and Greg is leaving in the morning,  I now have salmon leftovers and still more chicken teriyaki leftovers!  I guess this means that I won't be cooking for the next couple of nights... yay!



SPLURGES
  • Gas to run errands
  • Earbuds for my son
  • Kitten bedding and bowls
  • Better quality OJ for Greg :)
  • Hot water for the kitten laundry and dryer for the towels and new bedding

FAILURES
  • RaceTrac hasn't released new coupons to my app in almost 2 weeks!  They might have thought I was saving too much?!

  • I have to admit that I haven't enjoyed the latest candles that I bought from Bath & Body Works as much as the one that I had burned before (that was discontinued).  This one was a disappointment as well. They just smell sweet for a little while (and make me hungry) and then they just smell... like burnt sugar.


CHORES
  • Kitten duty
  • Changed the towel at the bottom of the pen
  • Relocated the pen and kittens to the Cat Room
  • Replied to blog comments
  • Composed and sent email to my mom
  • Made plans to run errands with my son
  • Kitten duty with Greg
  • Playtime with kittens and Greg and our son
  • Ran errands with my son
  • Texted with Middle Son's ex-girlfriend (sob!)
  • Fixed lunch for Greg and myself
  • Did a load of kitten laundry
  • Washed my and Greg's laundry
  • Input receipts into my spreadsheets
  • Took Customer Satisfaction surveys
  • Kitten duty 
  • Kitty playtime!
  • Watched Law & Order and caught up on blogs
  • Cooked dinner
  • Replied to blog comments

HEALTH
  • Today was still a day off from my diet and exercise.  I need to get back on the horse tomorrow. Seriously.

GRATITUDE
  • To have had a day to spend with my honey today. We played with the kittens, spent time together and generally hung out.
  • That he doesn't seem to be sicker than having a head cold.
  • That the kittens are so very cute and that the older cats left them alone today.
  • For Sandie to have thought of me when she saw this sign in PA today, lol!
So true!

KITTENS

We played with them for quite a while last night after their last feeding.  Dark Explorer was fearless and walked straight up to Male Cat and New Kitty, who had been observing them walking around and playing with the tunnel and other things in the Cat Room.  Male Cat, true to his nature, just walked away because he's kind of afraid of the kittens (!).  New Kitty also walked away!  Later on, she came to sniff Princess Poopy Bottom's butt, very carefully, and never hissed or spit and then walked away!  We gave her much praise.  Hopefully this placing the kittens in the Cat Room during the day and then letting the older cats relax at night by taking the kittens back into the living room is working...

The adorable munchkins are a lot more adventurous!  Last night, Dark Explorer even climbed up the couple of steps that leads from the Cat Room to the breezeway. He didn't proceed down the breezeway, but kept on going up and down the stairs, which is a huge effort because of his tiny size. No wonder they slept for 10 hours afterwards!  He's the only one to have attempted going up and especially down the stairs, though. He's also the only one whom I always find on top of the "bedroom" box!

For those interested in such matters (!), he did have a solid poop this morning, although I had to coax him. All three of them peed, although only two peed in the litterbox and the third decided to pee on the floor (towel) of the playpen.  But they haven't peed where they sleep for quite a few days so that's definitely progress.  I did hear one kitten get up last night to use the litterbox, probably Princess Poopy Bottom because she makes little cries when she pees, but then she marched herself right back into the "bedroom" and went back to sleep :)

I have to drive Greg to the airport quite early tomorrow, something like 5 a.m. or 5:30 a.m., so I'll need to coordinate their feeding time with that, probably wake up way earlier to feed them as it's a 2-hour roundtrip to the airport and they're quite famished when they first wake up in the morning.  So hopefully no late night for us tonight.  Correction: we have to leave at about 6:30 a.m., which is a little better!

I want to figure out some kind of a play area for the kittens.  The tunnel is still a big scary place for them, although Princess PB has been in it a couple of times. She gets freaked out by the dingling ball that hanging at one of the entrances, though, and another part of the tunnel crinkles when they walk, which is scary to them.  I'm thinking about fashioning a smaller tunnel for them out of posterboard. And also put some boxes for them to climb in and out of. I have kept several small Amazon boxes for Christmas shipping and I'm thinking this would work.  Plus the big cats, like all cats, looooove boxes so it might be a common ground for them to get closer to one another...

This morning, Tabby Kitty came out of the "bedroom" and sat in the playpen for a while, staring at Male Cat who was staring at him... 

Feeding time!

The kittens tried out the new bed after I washed it.  

My two little grey explorers weren't interested and had a lot of exploring to do under the furniture...

But Tabby Kitty?  Yeah, he liked it just fine!
What is the most comfortable piece of furniture in your house?

Friday, September 23, 2016

Yay, Yay, My Baby's Back! ~ Friday 9/23/16



Happy Friday.  Greg's coming home tonight! To tell the truth, it's been such a busy week that I hardly had the time to miss him!  But the fact that he's leaving again on Sunday morning still makes his return even sweeter.

After I posted my blog post last night, he and I texted and he complained about having a cold.  Ah, crap. Every time he travels, he gets sick. It wouldn't be so bad if he could just spend the weekend in bed and recuperate, but, as I just said, he's coming home tonight just to leave again on Sunday morning.  I warned him to stay away from the babies in Ohio, especially the premature niece, and then I guess his dad shouldn't be exposed to viruses either although at this point in the game, does it really matter?  Ugh. I wish he didn't have to go, for all involved, but of course he needs to.

The kittens and I had a good night. I had to get up a couple of times because my bladder remembered that I wasn't as exhausted as I had been recently. Yay? Not really. I want a good 8 hours of solid sleep without having to wake up at all!

My son needed to print an assignment for school and for some reason he said his PC wouldn't connect to the internet last night so he couldn't use the wifi printer and by then he had already shut everything off so he couldn't even give me his documents on a dongle for me to print it on the laser printer. But he did that this morning, phew. Good thing I was up, too!  So I need to figure out what the deal is with his PC, I'm thinking he's not waiting long enough for the printer to come online?  The new router sure seems to be connecting devices to the network slower than before.  All in all, for all the money that I paid for that OnHub router, it doesn't seem to have been worth it.  Personally, I think the old D-Link router was faster (and I hadn't had to purchase a special ethernet switch box either!).  Anyhoo, one more thing to do (hey, that rhymes!).

I had thought to make Alison's Amish Friendship Bread today but we still have baked goods from Save A Lot to consume (well, the kids have...) so scratch that plan. Dinner might be crockpot chicken something rather so it can stay warm for Greg's arrival.  I need to figure it out.

Otherwise, I don't have any errands planned today. Wow, first day this week! Whatever shall I do with myself?!  The living room is vacuumed, the laundry is folded.  I just need to put it away, move the kittens back to the Cat Room (I put them back in the living room for the night so I could keep an eye on them), do some dishes.  I'll be working on posting this week's grocery shopping results. I'm sure the day will go fast.

I just tried calling my mom since it's only 2 p.m. over there but she didn't pick up. Oh well.  She emailed me later with sad news that my former great aunt (ex-wife of my great uncle who died last December) had died and was cremated this morning.  I hadn't seen her since I was a teen and never new her very well, but she was family to me.

To Do List:
  • Crafty/Creative:
    • Finish painting squirrel sign and assemble it
    • Make a lightbox to take better pictures
    • Melt down old candles and make into new ones
    • Make "No Soliciting" sign for front door and another one for the other front door (we have two)
  • Cleaning/Decluttering:
    • Dust the bedrooms (including son's fan) - in progress
    • Declutter linen closet
    • Clean kitchen cabinets - Partly done
    • Declutter the top of the fridge
    • Mend items in mending basket (add Greg's hat)
    • Declutter shelves over printer stand 
    • Declutter storage bench 
    • Clean the fridge
    • Declutter gardening supplies chest
    • Defrost the freezer - scrapped off the top of the ice layer. Will need to defrost the whole thing.
    • Sweep/vacuum downstairs bathroom
    • Vacuum master bedroom
    • Vacuum upstairs hallway
    • Vacuum main stairs
    • Do the dishes (Thurday and Friday) 
    • Put the laundry away - Done
    • Clean window over the kitchen sink
    • Clean sliding door windows
    • Clean entry room front windows
    • Put up pictures on Art Room's walls
    • Wash the older cats' litterboxes - Done
  • Cooking/Baking/Preserving:
    • Redo the menu 
  • Entertainment
    • Plan an outing to Leu Botanical gardens or Bok Tower Gardens
    • Sign up for ranger hikes in local parks
  • Errands:
    • Take items to the dump
  • Gardening/outdoors:
    • Transplant ferns into bare patch in front lawn to make shady planter
    • Scrub patio pavers with bleach to remove mildew (this might have to wait until the months when it's not quite so hot!)
    • Pull the raspberries and add roses in pots in their place
    • Add mulch to the vegetable garden once I have replaced the broken self-watering bins
    • Pull unwanted plants from center "planter" in the backyard, add soil, plant flowers, add edging around it (watch out for large roots that would be in the way). Make planter with other materials if edging doesn't work. (this will have to wait until Fall when it's not so hot and when I can plant wildflower seeds).
    • Divide and repot the aloe plant
    • Pull the rest of the dead tomato plants 
    • Pull weeds off stone path
    • Plant passion flower vine seeds
    • Refill green bird feeder
    • Refill the hummingbird feeders
    • Grease poles with Vaseline
    • Pull weeds from pots - Partly Done
    • Turn the composting bin
  • Health:
    • Call gyneco to make annual appointment - I'll do that once I'm more comfortable with my weight because I know they'll be nagging me about it anyway.
    • Use recumbent bike 
    • Do 5 min of strength exercises  
    • Log food into My Fitness Pal 
    • Record exercise in Walgreens Balance Rewards
    • Weigh myself (Wednesdays)
  • Kittens
    • Feed them every 4-6 hours- Done
    • Weigh them (5 p.m.) - Done
  • Maintenance:
    • See if I still have mildew-resistant white paint for bathroom ceiling
    • Get Greg to replace the ceiling tile in the entry room
    • Test the batteries in all 3 smoke detectors and replace as needed
    • Greg to call plumber
    • Wash the bathroom ceiling with bleached water
    • Remind Greg to re-secure chicken wire to AC unit and also to block off opening under front of the house
    • Scrub mildew off front of the house (porch, behind bushes, front stairs)
    • Install white beadboard in laundry room (will need to measure and purchase)
    • Install new stick-on tiles in laundry room (will need to remove ancient ones first)
    • Paint laundry room cabinets
    • Get Greg to fix/remove rotten wood on front porch
    • Make a list of which outlets need to be replaced and call Duke Energy Homewire Protection to schedule appointment
    • Ask electrician for estimate on installing outlet on front porch
    • Ask Greg to make me new tiled table for electric roaster on front porch
    • Get on flat roof, sweep it, and clean out the front gutter
    • Ask Greg to install gutter screens on the front gutter
    • Have Greg block the opening in the back fence
    • Mend my fanny pack!
  • Technology/Paperwork:
    • Caption old pictures that have already been scanned
    • Scan more old pictures
    • Create spreadsheet to track IRA contributions using ALL our old tax returns - Started but need to do more research.
    • Figure out if we should contribute to regular  or Roth IRAs for 2016 and fund them - I guess I need to wait until tax time next year, actually. I'll have until April 15, 2017 to fund 2016 IRAs so I need to work on taxes way sooner than I did this year so I'd have time to fund the IRAs and THEN file my taxes.
    • Download all blog photos from June through August to my external drive
    • Back up my external drive to my other external drive
    • File the remaining loose recipes that I organized already in appropriate recipe binders
    • Purge filing cabinet upstairs
    • File paperwork - in progress!
    • Write new letter to great grand aunt (include kitten photos)
    • Go through the genealogical material crate
    • Scan what needs to be scanned (if anything)
    • Work on photo album for daughter's graduation
    • Fill out FAFSA for daughter (October 1st)
    • Reply to my French BFF's email
    • Write and mail get well card
    • Install Firefox on son's PC and print avocado coupon via Swagbucks - Done
    • Figure out the wifi problem (if any) on my son's PC - Done
    • Finish inputting new receipts into spreadsheet - Done
    • Call my mom this week - Left a message this morning as she didn't pick up. She emailed me back.
    • Write Grocery Shopping Post - Done
    • Start proceedings for deleting Yahoo Mail account

FRUGAL SUCCESSES
  • My son packed a lunch to take to school and rode the school bus. He hasn't bought lunch from school even once this year so far!

  • I brewed my usual pot of half decaf with the free decaf won from Wawa. It's coming to an end though!

  • I earned the Bing Rewards daily credits for today.

  • I reused water collected in the shower to flush the toilet.

  • I looked at next week's ad previews for CVS and Walgreens and made notes of what to purchase. Almost nothing (well, milk from CVS).

  • I realized that I was almost out of infant gas drops again so I texted my daughter to ask her to stop by Publix on the way home and get me some.

  • I was able to troubleshoot my son's printer (his PC has stopped connecting to the Wifi and then stopped recognizing any networks and then defaulted to printing to a fax, I think all due to the latest Windows 10 update, piece of crap!), reconnect it and reconnect to the printer. I installed Firefox and a couple of Acrobat programs so I could print coupons from it too :) I made sure the default printing options were draft and black ink only. HP printer still uses color ink at the same time as the black ink, which is such bullshit. Someone should sue HP for this, it's pure greed. If you have black ink in your printer, NO color ink should be used. Also, if you haven't heard, back in March they rolled a software update to all wi-fi connected HP printers that now prevents you from using 3-rd party ink cartridges. Mine never did allow them to start with.

  • I boiled 6 eggs for future lunchtime sandwiches.

  • My lunch was a naan (free from Publix after coupon) with some cajun turkey (50% off at Walmart) and homemade zesty refrigerator pickles, leftover salad from last night, and half a papaya.

  • Subway texted me an offer for a free 6-inch sub with the purchase of a 30 oz drink.

  • McDonald's was having their free fries with any purchase Friday today.  I completely forgot about it and it's a good thing because I was starving today and I already ate too much.

  • Today is Double Points Day for Powerade cap code on MyCokeRewards. I only had 1 Powerade cap so I earned 6 MCR points.


  • I spent the afternoon mostly working on the computer while watching episodes of Law & Order on the DVDs borrowed from the library. 

  • I wanted to put Season 3 of Law & Order on hold at the library, but I was disappointed to see that they don't have season 3, 4 or 5. So I put Season 6 on hold.  Then I'll have to skip to Season 10 and then Season 12 and then it's over, I think.  I guess I need to put the series on my thrift store wishlist.  I checked Netflix and Amazon Prime and they don't have them either.  And boy, even the used DVDs on Amazon are expensive.  Arrgh.

  • Michelle, another of my wonderful readers, emailed me a bunch of Coke product codes for me to enter on MyCokeRewards!  Thanks so much Michelle, your sweetness is very much appreciated!  I'm going to keep them until they have one of those double points entry days around the holidays (today is only for Powerade and I don't know which codes might be Powerade or not).

  • Dinner was chicken teriyaki, cooked in the crockpot. I also cooked some white rice in the microwave.

SPLURGES
  • More infant gas drops for the kittens. I had my daughter pick up 2 bottles this time.

  • Gas and tolls for Greg's trip back from the airport (he won't expense those, grrr.)

FAILURES
  • I forgot to set a timer when I was boiling the eggs so they boiled for several times 10 minutes. They'll be hard-rock boiled now!

  • Some people, like yours truly, should only cook recipes that come in bullet points because paragraphs are hard to read and then they don't read them and then they mess up the recipe...

CHORES
  • Did a load of kitten laundry
  • Printed my son's school assignment
  • Kitten duty
  • Called my mom and left a message
  • Texted with Greg
  • Put dinner in the crockpot
  • Put away laundry
  • Filed some paperwork
  • Washed the 2 main litterboxes
  • Swept part of the entryroom
  • Kitten duty
  • Cleaned kitten litter box
  • Moved the playpen to the Cat Room
  • Relocated the kittens
  • Mopped the downstairs bathroom
  • Boiled eggs
  • Troubleshot my son's PC
  • Reconfigured his Wifi connection
  • Reconnected the printer
  • Installed Firefox, Acrobat Flash and Acrobat Reader
  • Printed coupons
  • Updated Malwarebytes and ran it
  • Finished inputting receipts into my spreadsheets
  • Wrote and published my weekly grocery shopping post
  • Kitten duty with daughter and son
  • Extra long cuddle time with 2 sleepy kittens on me while my daughter played with the 3rd
  • Texted with Greg

HEALTH
  • I really need to get back on the wagon. Last night I was craving chips and salsa so I indulged while watching Law & Order.  I need to go back to logging my food to make sure that I have the calories allotment for that!

  • And, ahem, today I had some danish, more chips and salsa, and some turkey on crackers.  Those were my snacks!

GRATITUDE
  • For a good night's sleep
  • For spying a cardinal at the feeder this morning. Watching birds brings me joy.
  • For Greg coming home to me, even for just a short while
  • For 2 sleepy kittens cuddling on my for a long time this afternoon. So precious!

KITTENS

The kittens slept for 8.5 hours last night, I even had to wake them up!  Eating all that cereal (they really go to town and I let them eat their fill) sure seems to make them sleepy.  However, now I'm second guessing my decision to switch them to rice cereal... it should did produce a stool for Tabby Kitty who had been backed up (again!) but the back end of it was liquid, and Princess Poopy Bottom was gassy last night and this morning and had a little bit of the squirts as well.  I gave them all infant gas drops but stuck with the rice cereal this morning, we'll see how they do today.

They are so playful!  The boys, especially, like to attack one another and roughhouse.  Tabby Kitty loves to chew on my hand and my fingers and boy, does that hurt when he chooses the sensitive pads of my middle finger or my ring finger!

They're also more adventurous.

The boys have been trying to decide whether they want to jump from the futon or not... not today!
Dark Explorer was trying to bat at his sister's tail this morning but he's still a little uncoordinated so it was comical to watch him try and miss all the time, but quite a lot. But he's acquired that reflex that cats have to lick their paw and rub it on the side of their muzzle and over one ear to clean themselves. He's the first that I observed doing that.

Also, he's the first to have figured out how to use the sides of the playpen to propel himself onto the towel that covers the "bedroom", which is the cardboard box where they sleep most of the time. He did that several times last night and I was wondering if I was going to find him in the middle of the living room at 3 a.m.!  Good thing he slept like a log.



I still have them in the living room at 8:30 a.m. as they are asleep, again. Once they're up for the next feeding, I'll move the playpen back into the Cat Room.  It shakes things up over there, although the older female cats are irritated and then hiss and spit at each other and at poor Male Cat every time they pass one another.

Later on... I feed the kittens at 10:15 a.m. and then moved them back to the Cat Room. They were asleep and remained asleep until I fed them at 3 p.m.  This time I put the cereal into a larger saucer (for 2) and one of the smaller ones and I fed them all at once.  I'm worried that neither boys peed (although one unknown kitten had peed in the litterbox) and Princess PB only had a few drops. So I gave them all some formula with the eyedropper.  One of the boys, not sure which one, had a big belly grumble so I expect someone might get diarrhea again.



After feeding time, Tabby Kitty went back into the "bedroom" and started to fall asleep while my daughter and I played with the other two. I felt bad for Tabby Kitty so I picked him up again and settled on the couch and he made himself very comfy on my right shoulder and went back to sleep.   Dark Explorer was playing with my daughter.



Then Dark Explorer came and settled himself in the crook of my left arm and started falling asleep too. Meanwhile, Princess PB was on my son, playing.  New Kitty was circling around, without hissing this time, and she finally jumped up on my son and got herself comfortable on his legs, just like Male Cat had done yesterday.



And then Princess PB started playing with her tail so I asked my daughter to take a video.  New Kitty was being very good and didn't protest.  Eventually, though, she jumped off his lap and went to lie down in the sun.


video

Then I returned the kittens to the playpen, reluctantly, as both of them were very very comfy and dead to the world, lol. I wonder if they'll still do that when they're older :)

Look at Dark Explorer, LOL!  He was completely conked out.
Did you get any cuddle time with anybody today?

Grocery Shopping This Week


I'm still splitting my grocery shopping day into 2 days since I can't be gone more than 2-3 hours at a time, so it makes it a little tougher to stay on budget because I have twice the opportunity to get items on clearance!

My official 2016 weekly grocery budget is $100/wk for 4 people (2 adults, 2 teens) but I really aim to spend $50 or less.

This week I was able to keep my OOP down because I used Swagbucks gift cards at Walmart and my CVS gift card (from our Amex Rewards program) at CVS. I still went a bit over my goal of $50 but I feel that I got a great deal of good food for that amount, and I'm really satisfied with the balance of healthy foods and snacks :)

Let's see how I did!

Budget for the week: $100.00
Total OOP: $56.75
Rebates expected: $0.00
Total spent after rebates: $56.75
Money left in budget: $43.25


Baking Supplies: $1.00 OOP

  1. I saw one last can of cherry filling at Dollar Tree to I grabbed it since it'd been months since I'd last seen any.
  2. I stocked up on whole wheat flour to make Grape Nuts for Greg and probably some bread too.
  • 1 can cherry pie filling (Dollar Tree) @ $1.00
  • (4) 5-lb bags King Arthur Flour whole wheat flour (Walmart) @ $4.12 each, minus (4) $1.50/1 printable manufacturer coupons = $10.48 but FREE thanks to my Swagbucks gift cards.

Beverages: $3.18 OOP

  1. I didn't need the tea because I still have several boxes at home, but I really liked the peach tea in the sampler boxes that I just finished and the price was right.
  • 1 jar instant decaf coffee (Aldi) @ $1.99
  • 2 boxes Celestial Seasonings tea (Publix), on BOGO @ $3.19, minus (2) $1.00/1 printable manufacturer coupons = $1.19

Breads/Baked Goods: $1.60 OOP
  • 1 loaf French Bread (Walmart) on 50% clearance @ $0.50 but FREE thanks to my Swagbucks gift cards and received $0.10 back from MobiSave so MONEYMAKER.
  • 2 loaves white bread (Aldi) @ $0.85 each = $1.70


 Cereals: $0.00 OOP
  • None needed

Dairy: $0.34 OOP
  • 1 canister GoVeggie lactose free Parmesan (Publix) @ $5.49 minus $5.49 printable manufacturer coupon so FREE and received $1.00 back from MobiSave and $1.00 back from Ibotta so MONEYMAKER.
  • 6 cups Fit & Active yogurt (Aldi) @ $0.39 each = $2.34

Dry/Pantry/Freezer Goods: $5.32 OOP 
  1. I stocked up on a few spices that I needed or through I needed: I actually already had a container of cayenne pepper at home!
  2. I should have just bought the seasoned salt at Dollar Tree because I "spent" $2.48 of my gift card money for it at Walmart :(
  3. I wanted to try the hazelnut syrup so I bought a bottle. So far, I've tried it once and I couldn't taste it, but perhaps I didn't put enough in my cup?!
  4. I didn't need the pasta but I can wrap some boxes for Middle Son at Christmas time and buying them at a good (but not great) price, allowed me to get a butternut squash almost for free since I got $2.00 off produce with the purchase of 4 boxes of Ronzoni pasta.
  • 1 container cayenne pepper (Dollar Tree) @ $1.00
  • 1 bottle hazelnut-flavored syrup (Dollar Tree) @ $1.00
  • 1 container smoked paprika (Walmart) @ $3.94 but FREE thanks to my Swagbucks gift cards.
  • 1 container seasoned salt (Walmart) @ $2.48 but FREE thanks to my Swagbucks gift cards.
  • 4 boxes Ronzoni pasta (Publix), on BOGO @ $1.59 = $3.18
  • 2 cans Bush's Beans Cocina Latina (Publix), on BOGO @ $1.69, minus $0.55/2 store coupon, minus $1.00/2 insert manufacturer coupon = $0.14
Produce/Juice: $14.17
  1. Buying the half pecans from the produce section at Walmart was cheaper per ounce than buying the pecan chips from the baking section. I will process them in my food processor.  Aldi carries the pecan chips too but I would have had to actually pay for them there!
  2. I had hoped to get $0.37 back from SavingStar on the avocado purchase at Walmart, but the Healthy Offer of the Week is only good off ONE purchase, apparently, so it got denied :(
  3. The pineapples were marked down for a quick sale. I'm going to dehydrate them. I will use them on my cereal this winter when berries are too expensive. I will also root both heads to grow more pineapples in my garden :)
  • (4) 6-oz containers Driscoll's raspberries (Target), on sale @ $2.50 each, minus 20% Cartwheel, minus (4) $1.00/1 manufacturer coupons from Driscoll's Consumer Advisory Panel, minus $0.05 reusable bag credit = $3.95
  • 2 avocados (Publix) @ $1.50 each = $3.00 minus $0.75/2 store coupon, minus $1.49 manufacturer coupon = $0.76 and received $0.60 back from SavingStar = $0.16
  • 2 avocados (Walmart), on sale @ $0.99 each = $1.98, minus $1.49 coupon = $0.49,  but FREE thanks to my Swagbucks gift cards.
  • 1.88 lbs bananas (Walmart) @ $0.56/lb = $1.05 but FREE thanks to my Swagbucks gift cards and received $0.10 back from MobiSave so MONEYMAKER.
  • 8 oz pecan halves (Walmart) @ $4.98 but FREE thanks to my Swagbucks gift cards.
  • 4.05 lbs grapes (Save A Lot), on sale @ $0.99/lb = $4.01
  • 2 mangoes (Save A Lot), on sale @ $0.50 each = $1.00
  • 2 pineapples (Save A Lot), on clearance @ $0.99 each = $1.98
  • 2.11 lbs bananas (Save A Lot), on clearance @ $0.29/lb = $0.61
  • 2.76 lbs papaya (Save A Lot) @ $0.69/lb = $1.90
  • 1.84 lbs butternut squash (Publix) @ $1.29/lb = $2.37, minus $2.00 store coupon = $0.37
  • 1 cucumber (Aldi), on sale @ $0.29
.
Proteins: $15.99 OOP
  1. I hadn't bought salmon in a long time so I jumped at the chance to get it for free (and it was on sale too so bonus!)
  2. The herring fillets looked yummy to me so I decided to buy a couple of different cans to try them for lunch one day.
  3. I couldn't resist buying more chicken breasts on sale $ $0.99/lb!
  4. The 50% off pizzas made for easy, cheap and delicious dinners this week.
  • 2 dozens large eggs (CVS), on sale @ $0.99 but FREE after redemption of ExtraCare Bucks from previous trip and received $0.10 back from MobiSave and $0.25 back from Ibotta so MONEYMAKER.
  • 0.63 lbs deli cajun turkey (Walmart), on 50% clearance @ $2.20 but FREE thanks to my Swagbucks gift cards.
  • 1 box Banquet turkey maple breakfast sausages (Walmart) @ $1.25 but FREE thanks to my Swagbucks gift cards.
  • 1.66 lbs Atlantic salmon (Walmart), on clearance @ $9.26 but FREE thanks to my Swagbucks gift cards.
  • 2 pepperoni pizzas (Save A Lot), on 50% clearance @ $5.99 total
  • 3.52 lbs chicken breasts (Save A Lot), on sale $0.99/lb = $3.48
  • 2 can herrings in fruity sauce (Aldi), on seasonal sale @ $1.69 each = $3.38
  • 1 lb Black Forest turkey (Aldi) @ $3.49

Snacks: $15.15 OOP and received $1.50 back in ExtraCare Bucks
  1. I splurged by buying ice cream for Greg and our son, which was pricey even though it was on BOGO.
  2. Buying baked goods on 50% clearance allows me to save on electricity since I don't have to bake, and also water to clean the dishes and, more importantly, my own time and effort!
  3. Aldi still had a few bags of the Cantina tortilla chips (this is a special buy item so we might not see those for a while now). They were really delicious so I grabbed 6 bags this week.
  • 1 bag Black Forest organic gummy worms (CVS), on sale @ $1.50 but FREE after applying ExtraCare Bucks from a previous trip and paying with CVS gift card earned via our American Express Rewards program, and earned $1.50 back in ECBs.
  • 2 pints Häagen Dazs ice cream (Publix), on BOGO @ $4.97
  • 1 container mini red velvet cupcakes (Walmart), on 50% clearance @ $1.49 but FREE thanks to my Swagbucks gift cards.
  • 1 box sour cream donut holes (Walmart), on 50% clearance @ $1.49 but FREE thanks to my Swagbucks gift cards.
  • 1 blueberry pie (Save A Lot), on 50% clearance @ $1.64
  • 1 caramel nut danish (Save A Lot), on 50% clearance @ $1.50
  • 6 bags tortilla chips (Save A Lot) @ $1.19 each = 7.14 and received $0.10 back from MobiSave = $7.04

Did you get any great deals at the grocery store this week?  Please link up or share your finds in the comments :)


Thursday, September 22, 2016

Happy Fall Y'all! ~ Thursday 9/22/16

Source: Google Doodle
I love, love, love today's Google Doodle. So cute :) That would totally be one of my kids!

When Greg went to Canada last, I had been so productive: cleaning, decluttering... he came back to a nice home. This time around, I don't know if it's the combination of it being that time of the month and the kittens (who really aren't all that demanding anymore) but I'm frazzled and exhausted and nothing has been accomplished. I haven't really cooked either this whole week. I feel that all I have done is run errands...  aargh.  He is flying back tomorrow and leaving again on Sunday morning so I might not rush to do much more between now and tomorrow night, although I do have to fold the laundry, do the dishes, start socializing the kittens with the big cats, and vacuum my living room. At the very least.

And I just remembered that I have a lunch scheduled with my friend today at 1 p.m., which means that I need to try and adjust the kittens feeding time too.  

I slept from about 11:30 p.m. to 4:30 a.m. this morning when the kittens woke me up. After I had fed them, I felt really tired so I turned on the light on the front porch for when my son leaves for school because I felt that I wouldn't wake up when he got up.  And I didn't, but first I actually couldn't go back to sleep so I checked the news and Feedly on my phone and saw that Alison had posted a recipe for making Amish Friendship Bread without the starter. Oh yum. I love that stuff but that starter is a PITA and since I don't have any friends to give it too, it quickly becomes a nightmare.

So I eventually went back to sleep at 5:30 a.m. and didn't wake up when my son got up. I woke up again at 7:09 a.m. in a panic because I had heard his alarm at 6:00 a.m. but he had been so stealth-like and I was so out of it, that I didn't hear him leave and I thought he had slept in! After I made sure that he hadn't, I went back to sleep again until 9 a.m.!  This is crazy.

My daughter is skipping her college class today because there is an NHS meeting at the high school that she has to attend and also some other kind of meeting. She assures me that it's OK, that attendance doesn't count in her grade for that particular class, and that all they're doing is review for next week's test and she feels that she can do that on her own. 

My son has his Dungeons and Dragons Club meeting this afternoon. He got confused yesterday and thought it was Thursday so he brought his D&D stuff with him when he went to the Teen Programming!  But no one else showed up anyway. I was asking him the other day how his club is doing and he said he was a little frustrated because only middle schoolers are showing up and they're "immature and tend to be distracted easily so we constantly have to restart the game."  Ha, now he knows what being a dad will be like :)  I'm not sure, however, how much longer he'll want to lead the club if things don't improve.  I don't get the impression that it's much fun for him anymore.

OK, To Do List Time!

To Do List:
  • Crafty/Creative:
    • Finish painting squirrel sign and assemble it
    • Make a lightbox to take better pictures
    • Melt down old candles and make into new ones
    • Make "No Soliciting" sign for front door and another one for the other front door (we have two)
  • Cleaning/Decluttering:
    • Dust the bedrooms (including son's fan) - in progress
    • Declutter linen closet
    • Clean kitchen cabinets - Partly done
    • Declutter the top of the fridge
    • Mend items in mending basket (add Greg's hat)
    • Declutter shelves over printer stand 
    • Declutter storage bench 
    • Clean the fridge
    • Declutter gardening supplies chest
    • Defrost the freezer - scrapped off the top of the ice layer. Will need to defrost the whole thing.
    • Vacuum living room carpet - Done
    • Vacuum exercise room - Done
    • Sweep/vacuum downstairs bathroom
    • Vacuum master bedroom
    • Vacuum upstairs hallway
    • Vacuum main stairs
    • Do the dishes (Tuesday and Wednesday)  - Done
    • Fold the laundry - Done
    • Put the laundry away
    • Clean window over the kitchen sink
    • Clean sliding door windows
    • Clean entry room front windows
    • Put up pictures on Art Room's walls
  • Cooking/Baking/Preserving:
    • Redo the menu 
  • Entertainment
    • Plan an outing to Leu Botanical gardens or Bok Tower Gardens
    • Sign up for ranger hikes in local parks
  • Errands:
    • Take items to the dump
    • Lunch with a friend - Done
    • Get rice cereal for kittens from Publix - Done
  • Gardening/outdoors:
    • Transplant ferns into bare patch in front lawn to make shady planter
    • Scrub patio pavers with bleach to remove mildew (this might have to wait until the months when it's not quite so hot!)
    • Pull the raspberries and add roses in pots in their place
    • Add mulch to the vegetable garden once I have replaced the broken self-watering bins
    • Pull unwanted plants from center "planter" in the backyard, add soil, plant flowers, add edging around it (watch out for large roots that would be in the way). Make planter with other materials if edging doesn't work. (this will have to wait until Fall when it's not so hot and when I can plant wildflower seeds).
    • Divide and repot the aloe plant
    • Pull the rest of the dead tomato plants 
    • Pull weeds off stone path
    • Plant passion flower vine seeds
    • Refill green bird feeder
    • Refill the hummingbird feeders
    • Grease poles with Vaseline
    • Pull weeds from pots - Partly Done
    • Turn the composting bin
  • Health:
    • Call gyneco to make annual appointment - I'll do that once I'm more comfortable with my weight because I know they'll be nagging me about it anyway.
    • Use recumbent bike 
    • Do 5 min of strength exercises  
    • Log food into My Fitness Pal 
    • Record exercise in Walgreens Balance Rewards
    • Weigh myself (Wednesdays)
  • Kittens
    • Feed them every 4-6 hours- Done
    • Weigh them (5 p.m.) - Done
  • Maintenance:
    • See if I still have mildew-resistant white paint for bathroom ceiling
    • Get Greg to replace the ceiling tile in the entry room
    • Test the batteries in all 3 smoke detectors and replace as needed
    • Greg to call plumber
    • Wash the bathroom ceiling with bleached water
    • Remind Greg to re-secure chicken wire to AC unit and also to block off opening under front of the house
    • Scrub mildew off front of the house (porch, behind bushes, front stairs)
    • Install white beadboard in laundry room (will need to measure and purchase)
    • Install new stick-on tiles in laundry room (will need to remove ancient ones first)
    • Paint laundry room cabinets
    • Get Greg to fix/remove rotten wood on front porch
    • Make a list of which outlets need to be replaced and call Duke Energy Homewire Protection to schedule appointment
    • Ask electrician for estimate on installing outlet on front porch
    • Ask Greg to make me new tiled table for electric roaster on front porch
    • Get on flat roof, sweep it, and clean out the front gutter
    • Ask Greg to install gutter screens on the front gutter
    • Have Greg block the opening in the back fence
    • Mend my fanny pack!
  • Technology/Paperwork:
    • Caption old pictures that have already been scanned
    • Scan more old pictures
    • Create spreadsheet to track IRA contributions using ALL our old tax returns - Started but need to do more research.
    • Figure out if we should contribute to regular  or Roth IRAs for 2016 and fund them - I guess I need to wait until tax time next year, actually. I'll have until April 15, 2017 to fund 2016 IRAs so I need to work on taxes way sooner than I did this year so I'd have time to fund the IRAs and THEN file my taxes.
    • Download all blog photos from June through August to my external drive
    • Back up my external drive to my other external drive
    • File the remaining loose recipes that I organized already in appropriate recipe binders
    • Purge filing cabinet upstairs
    • File paperwork
    • Write new letter to great grand aunt (include kitten photos)
    • Go through the genealogical material crate
    • Scan what needs to be scanned (if anything)
    • Work on photo album for daughter's graduation
    • Fill out FAFSA for daughter (October 1st)
    • Reply to my French BFF's email
    • Write and mail get well card
    • Install Firefox on son's PC and print avocado coupon via Swagbucks
    • Finish inputting new receipts into spreadsheet 
    • Call my mom this week
    • Write Grocery Shopping Post
    • Follow up with Middle Son again about appointment time for photo session - He texted me first
    • Start proceedings for deleting Yahoo Mail account

FRUGAL SUCCESSES
  • Late last night, Swagbucks awarded me 99 SB for a search!! This is the 2nd time this year that I win such a search award! And no one was awake to share my excitement, lol!
  • My son packed a lunch to take to school and rode the school bus.

  • I brewed myself a pot of half decaf coffee using the free decaf won from Wawa.

  • SavingStar credited my account with the 30 cents that I claimed for the avocados at Publix and the $3.38 spent on the Bush's beans (before coupons) towards the $12 needed to earn the $3 back. I really don't think I'll make it to $12.
  • CVS sent me a coupon for 30% off, it'd been a while since I had gotten one of those.  I don't plan on using it since it's only off regular priced merchandise and expires this weekend, but I uploaded it to my ExtraCare card just in case.


  • The kittens are using the litterbox more so I'm not doing as much kitten laundry as I did a few days ago. Yay!

  • Today is Double Point Search Day on Bing Rewards. I earned all the credits that I was allowed.

  • I forgot to mention that I stretched the milk yesterday by adding 1/2 gallon of water to 1/2 gallon of whole milk.

  • I stopped by Publix after my lunch to pick up rice baby cereal for the kittens. At the register I noticed that my favorite gum was on BOGO so I bought 4 containers of it (only 3 pictured because I left one in my vehicle).

  • The library has already received season 2 of Law & Order for me from another library in our county's library system so I picked it up this afternoon on my way home from lunch.

  • I received the CVS gift card that I ordered from our American Express Rewards program.

  • Dinner tonight is going to be Breakfast for Dinner: French toast made with the rest of the 50% off French bread bought at Walmart, turkey maple sausages, raspberries.

  • My daughter has an interview for a part-time job at Walt Disney World in a couple of weeks. Woohoo!  It's a long commute (45 minutes) but no tolls from our house.

SPLURGES
  • Monthly lunch with my friend at a local sushi place.

FAILURES
  • My appeal to SavingStar about the avocado purchase at Walmart was denied again, but this time they explained it's because you can only use the offer once that week and I had already used it at Publix. It's irritating and confusing that the offer doesn't show as "completed" or disappears once you've used it!

  • Apparently ALL Yahoo Mail users are affected by a massive hack that occurred earlier this summer.  I moved to Gmail several years ago but still keep my old Yahoo Mail address for signing up for promotions and such accounts that I know will generate spam or unsolicited emails.  Back when I moved to Gmail, I had set up my Yahoo Mail account to automatically forward all inbox messages to my Gmail address, so I don't have to keep on checking 2 inboxes.  Since then, Yahoo has changed their settings and I don't think you can do this anymore, but there's also no setting that I can find to stop it!  So I'm going to have to go through all the accounts that I have set up with Yahoo Mail, switch them to another email address, and then eventually delete my Yahoo Mail account. It's going to be a lot of work but I hate Yahoo nowadays anyway. I used to be such a Yahoo fan, their calendar used to be awesome. Now it just stinks.  Greg still uses Yahoo Mail so I don't know what he's going to do.

CHORES
  • Kitten duty
  • Turned the porch light on for my son
  • Texted with my BFF
  • Texted with Greg
  • Worked on Customer Loyalty programs
  • Unloaded dishwasher
  • Kitten duty
  • Moved seed nursery
  • Put away roaster oven
  • Moved gardening "shelf" outdoors
  • Moved kittens to Cat Room
  • Went to lunch
  • Ran errands (Publix, library)
  • Kitten duty
  • Vacuumed living room
  • Vacuumed exercise room
  • Dusted the mantelpiece
  • Loaded the dishwasher and started it
  • Cleaned the kitchen counter
  • Swept and spot mopped the kitchen
  • Decluttered arm of the futon!
  • Cuddled with Princess Poopy Bottom
  • Caught up on email
  • Dealt with Yahoo fiasco
  • Cooked dinner
  • Folded the laundry

HEALTH
  • Confession: I was eyeing the last 3 donut holes this morning while my coffee was brewing and I finally ate them.  I reached my 2nd mini goal yesterday so I treated myself.  Sigh, I have got to get back on the horse, though.
GRATITUDE
  • That Greg finally got a good night's sleep last night
  • That the kittens are doing well, using the litterbox and eating from the saucer
  • That the larger cats are leaving them alone, for the most part
  • For a good chatting session with my friend at lunch

KITTENS

Last night is another blurr... I fed them at 10 p.m. and then they woke up at 4:30 a.m.  Princess Poopy Bottom went straight to the litterbox and peed there. Woopie!

Last night I found one of those absorbent mats that one keeps near the sink to drain the dishes so I decided to use that under the saucers of cereal and formula to protect my carpet and it worked pretty well at 4:30 a.m.

I was so excited that they were eating on their own, that it's pretty much all
the pictures I took today!

Princess Poopy Bottom is a natural and a quick learner and she ate the cereal out of the saucer without any problem.  As a matter of fact, she ate almost the whole thing (a whole tablespoon of cereal mixed with formula) by herself!  While she was eating, her brothers had woken up and were crying and trying to climb the playpen, just a foot or so away.  After a while, Tabby Kitty decided he couldn't wait any longer and went into the litterbox and did his business in there too.  Yay!

Princess Poopy Bottom doesn't like and doesn't know how to lap the formula from the bowl (I'm pretty sure she did it a little yesterday but she and Tabby Kitten kept on putting too much of their muzzles into the formula and coughing!) so I fed her some formula with the eye dropper, just so I knew she had had enough liquids to produce a poop.

I had to go mix more cereal for Tabby Kitty and he also launched himself at the saucer of cereal and was a "Clean Plate Ranger", as Greg says!  But again, I had to feed him the formula with the eye dropper. He wasn't pooped since he had that really liquid explosion on Monday night.  I looked for cereal for cats online last night and nothing came up so I think that vet was full of shit (so to speak!). However all the sources that I found mentioned feeding rice cereal to kittens, not multigrain (the other vet had told me "not the rice cereal when I asked if that's what I should buy, but the Gerber multigrain one")  so after my lunch I need to remember to duck into Publix and buy rice cereal and see if that helps the constipation.  Ugh.


Clean Plate Ranger material!



When it was time to feed Dark Explorer, it was a totally other story.  I think Dark Explorer is... shall we say "differently abled"?  He just doesn't get it.  He will not eat from the saucer, preferring instead to chew on the saucer's rim, and even if I try to direct his muzzle to the cereal in the center, he turns up his nose at it.  So I hand feed him with the spoon and he eats well that way but doesn't lick it from the spoon either. Rather he bites on the spoon while I shove the cereal down his mouth, like a baby. I think maybe he wants to skip the cereal stage and go straight for things he can crunch!  Their teeth have definitely come in and are sharp. A couple of them were nibbling my fingers yesterday and ouch, it hurt!  I also fed him formula with the eye dropper and he tries to chew it too, doesn't even try to suck anymore.  So it's a little challenging. He did, however, have a huge poop and this time it was well formed. He's had soft stools for almost 2 weeks and hadn't pooped since Sunday morning so I was hugely relieved.

Then they went back to sleep until.., well, it's close to 10a.m. and they're still sleeping!  I guess the cereal really settles their tummies :)

I think I'm going to try to move the playpen to the Cat Room today to get them all used to being together.  The kittens sleep most of the time anyway so it probably won't make a difference.  The older cats won't like the change, though, but they'll get used to it.

At the mid morning feeding, both Princess PB and Tabby Kitty went into the litterbox and started scratching around. They didn't do anything but the instinct to bury/scratch has kicked in.  Dark Explorer joined them by climbing over the side (there is an opening that I cut and that the other two are using!) and so it became quite crowded in there and no one peed, I don't think.



The feeding was much the same as the last one: Dark Explorer refused to eat or drink from the saucers and had to be spoon fed like a baby. I love him so much but boy, he is challenging!  We ended the session with him covered in cereal because he won't sit still and my arm covered in it too.  No one pooped.

As I finished feeding them, I put them in the large cardboard box that contained one of my orders yesterday.  When it was all done, I moved the playpen to the Cat Room and then moved the kittens, who had fallen asleep in there. I decided to place the playpen against the sliding door both because I wanted them to be warm (and it's not directly under an AC vent) and also because there isn't any furniture nearby for the other cats to get on and possibly get into the playpen.  I know that they could easily jump in if they wanted to but I don't expect them to put the effort into it, lol.  I was concerned, however, that Mean Kitty would play gargoyle over the playpen and scare the poop out of them.  Male Cat is always very curious and he came to investigate right away... Tabby Kitty had woken up and came out of the "bedroom" and stared at Male Cat as he was walking away but the decided to go back to sleep. I left them to go have breakfast with a little bit of trepidation as it is the first time they're so far away from me since we've gotten them, but it's a necessary step.

Male Cat, pretending that he's not snooping on the kittens...

Walking away to regain his spot at the entrance to the kitchen...

But wait!  Tabby Kitty is awake and came out to play.

Male cat hears him meow and decides to keep on walking away.

The females are watching from a safe distance... and from some height, the better to see, you know!

My daughter got up a few minutes later and reported that they were all awake but just looking around and not making a peep.  I just hope that all goes well if they wake up while I'm away at lunch since those tend to last a couple of hours.

I was about to leave when Male Cat, feeling left out, bumped into me repeatedly to signify that he wanted to cuddle. So I sat down on the armchair in the Cat Room and he jumped on me and presented me his belly.  Awwww. But we could only cuddle for 5 minutes as I had to leave.  New Kitty came back the chair as well but just stared at me, and Mean Kitty let me pet her for a second but soon turned her back on me.

Look at that face!  It's begging me... pet me, pet me!

So I pet him, and then went to pet the females and sat down for a bit. Male Cat jumped on my lap and made himself pretty
comfortable. Oh, he was purring up a storm!

New Kitty wouldn't come up but sat next to us.
Later on...I came back from lunch at about 3 p.m. and they were asleep. But they soon woke up so I fed them and the kids helped cuddle them before and after.  Dark Explorer must have realized the errors of his way because he actually did eat from the saucer and even tried to drink from the formula saucer (without much success). Hooray!  Tabby Kitty was almost a pro at lapping the formula from the saucer, and my daughter and I were cheering him on.

He's so fuzzy!
New Kitty came to lie down in the sunshine next to the playpen and tried to steal the show by acting all cute and fuzzy, but when a kitten approached her, she was quick to spit quite emphatically.

A couple of hours later, the kittens were mostly still awake, enjoying themselves in the sunshine shining into the playpen through the sliding door, but Princess Poopy Bottom definitely didn't want to be in there and cried quite loudly so I went to pick her up and we cuddled and played for a while. My son had gone to his Dungeons and Dragons Club meeting so I sat in his chair, with the kitten on my chest. My legs were extended in front of me and resting on the arm of the nearby couch because it was comfy and I had completely forgotten that it pretty much was an invitation for Male Cat to jump up on me. So I was very surprised when in fact he did jump up!  You have a tiny kitten bitting your fingers and suddenly 13 pounds of big male tabby cat land on your lap out of nowhere...

So he made himself comfortable, and so did Princess Poopy Bottom...

video


Once he jumped off me, I put her on the ground. New Kitty was waiting near the tunnel and Princess PB, a fearless explorer, headed straight for it and explored in it for a bit. When she came back out, though, New Kitty went to her, sniffed her head, started hissing pretty meanly and suddenly bopped her on the head. I screamed so loudly, I'm surprised Princess PB didn't have a heart attack.  New Kitty is in BIG trouble.  So now we know... all this time I was telling the kids not to worry because I didn't think that she would do anything worse than just hiss and spit!  Maybe she's the Mean Cat after all...

As I was cooking dinner, Tabby Kitty came out of his slumber and went to poop in the litterbox, hooray!  Only problem was... it was still liquid.  Argh.

How is your poop these days?  Errr, I mean, how was your day, today?