Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Shopping Day Part 1 - Tuesday 9/12/16

Let's get something out of the way right now: I broke down and bought some meat.  I know, I had said I wasn't going to buy any until October. But I did have the room in the freezer for it and the deals were pretty good.  You see, after I bemoaned not having any Gold'n Plump coupons in my organizer to go with the 25% off any brand of fresh chicken Cartwheel offer at Target, I found a $1.50/1 coupon and a $1.00/1 coupon! 

I usually start typing this post by 8 a.m. and add to it as the day goes by but today I'm starting this at 1:24 p.m.!

It's been a busy day so far and I don't know if I'll even remember everything that I have done but I'll try.

The kittens had another quiet night although one of them did peep at 4:00 a.m.  But after I was done tending to them, I was able to sleep for another 90 minutes.  It did start raining at 4:15 a.m. and I checked the weather report: we have tons of rain predicted for today and the next few days!  It remains to be seen if it'll actually fall on my house, but I was worried that it would be raining when my son had to wait for the bus.  And sure enough it was raining while he was getting ready but not very hard so I told him to put on his rain jacket.

Then he and the other kid who waits for the bus at our corner stood at the bus stop for a good 5 minutes after the pick up time. I thought that either the bus had come earlier or was running late so I got dressed very quickly in case I had to drive them.  As soon as I was dressed, the bus came. Well, you know what? I'm not getting undressed again to take a shower (is what I thought to myself) so I didn't.  It was time to cook Greg's breakfast and pack his lunch and while I was waiting for him to finish showering and getting dressed, I started drinking my coffee and picked up the "Hand-Raising the Orphaned Kitten" book that I started last night.  It was a quick book (because I could skip a lot of it) and I continued reading it after Greg had gone.

Then it was time to eat breakfast, fill out some customer surveys so I could print coupons and obtain reward codes. clip the coupons that I had printed and from this weekend's inserts and sort the ones that I was going to use today and get ready for Shopping Trip part 1.  

And then, of course, it was time to feed the little rascals again. My daughter didn't have class until this afternoon so I called her at noon to make sure that the kittens were still OK since I still had a couple of stops to make. She said they were asleep. They're still asleep, so that's good because I need to eat my lunch!

I'll spend the afternoon writing this post, submitting rebates (I think I qualify for a couple) and relaxing because I'm pooped. I was gone on my shopping trip for almost 3 hours. But I got some good deals.

Tonight, I need to take my son to get a haircut since it's Picture Day tomorrow. I'm not buying the pictures but he should still look decent. He doesn't look bad, just kind of shaggy. I'm saying that to prepare you in the event that I'm too tired to go and we decide to skip the high school Open House as well.  His progress report came in yesterday and he has straight A's apart from Geometry Honors where his printed progress report shows an 89 but the report I get online every night tells me he has a 100% in the class so I'll have to look into that.  Anyhoo, in light of all that, I probably don't need to go spend time waiting in line at the very noisy cafeteria to meet the teachers for 2 minutes each for them to tell me that he's doing very well in their class, that he's respectful and attentive, because I already know that.  I haven't been to those since my middle son was still in high school, because his was a different story, lol!

So all that to say it's OK if we skip both the haircut and the high school function tonight. I think I just talked myself out of doing either, lol.

My mom emailed me to tell me she came home from vacation last night and that she had a great time but was very tired. So I think photos will have to wait, she didn't send me any.

On to the 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 one or two new candles - No, I've decided to just pitch them. I know it's not the frugal thing to do but I have a ton of candles to use up, still, and I really need to declutter the house. Update: I had second thoughts last night so for now they're sitting on top of my washing machine until I decide what to do with them!
    • 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 breezeway
    • Vacuum living room
    • Vacuum exercise room
    • Sweep/vacuum downstairs bathroom
    • Vacuum master bedroom
    • Vacuum upstairs hallway
    • Vacuum main stairs
    • Do the dishes (Tuesday) - Done
    • Fold the laundry
    • Put the laundry away
  • Cooking/Baking/Preserving:
    • Need to preserve the eggplants
    • Make Grape Nuts (Monday) - crap, I forgot again!
  • 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
    • Exchange cat toy at Petco  - Done
    • Take son to get haircut (Tuesday) - Decided to go at a later date
    • Buy new knobs for bathroom sink
  • 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
    • Trim grass behind the hedge
    • Trim weeds alongside the berm
    • Pull the rest of the dead tomato plants 
    • Plant passion flower vine seeds
    • Refill green bird feeder
    • Pour weed killer on weeds on patio
    • Harvest the peanuts
    • Refill the hummingbird feeders
    • Pull weeds from pots
    • 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 Went shopping
    • Do 5 min of strength exercises  
    • Log food into My Fitness Pal -Done
    • Record exercise in Walgreens Balance Rewards -Done
    • 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
    • Pour bleach into furnace drain pipe
    • Check the AC furnace filters
    • 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
    • Shred what needs to be shredded ongoing
    • Scan what needs to be scanned (if anything)
    • Work on photo album for daughter's graduation
    • Return solar batteries to Amazon (printed label)
    • Reply to my French BFF's email
    • Input receipts in spreadsheets
    • Pay credit cards
    • Mail baby card
    • Mail get well card
    • Clip coupons from inserts and the ones that I printed  - Done
    • Sort coupons and file them (Wednesday)
    • Take Driscoll's surveys - Done
    • Print Smartsource coupons from son's PC  - Done
    • Work on shopping list - In progress

  • It rained last night!  I took a picture of the sunrise through the trees, just because.
yeah, that's not the sun, that's the street light from across the street :)
  • My son packed a lunch to take to school and rode the school bus.

  • I packed the leftover salad from last night for Greg's lunch and made him a sandwich.

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

  • I finished reading my orphaned kitten care library book over breakfast. There is some good information in there that I will need.

  • I set out a half loaf of chocolate chip pumpkin bread to defrost.

  • I printed coupons from Smartsource from my son's PC.

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

  • I took 2 Driscoll's surveys and earned four $1.00/1 coupons off their berries.

  • I clipped all the coupons from this weekend and sorted the ones I was going to use today. 

  • I remembered to have breakfast at home before leaving, and also packed a small pack of peanut butter crackers as a snack.  I had water in the car.

  • I went to run half of my errands. It looked like it was going to pour but it never did.

    • RaceTrac:  
      • I decided to gas up at the station near my house, thinking that it would save me an additional stop at the station in Clermont. That one is cheaper but the difference has only been 1 cent per gallon recently.  So I earned loyalty points on my app, and earned a new receipt which will give me a freebie after I take the survey on it.
      • Walking through the station to go get some freebies, I found THREE crushed Coke product caps with the MCR codes in them. Yay!
      • Inside, I redeemed a freebie coupon on my app for a free small coffee. I wanted hazelnut but they didn't have any so I picked 100% Colombian and it was the bottom of the pot so I mixed it with regular coffee. It went into the fridge when I got home, I'll have it for breakfast tomorrow.
      • I picked up 2 small hazelnut creamer cups and 2 packets of Equal.
      • I also redeemed a survey reward code for a Cinnabun Long John doughnut for my son's after school snack.
      • At the register, the manager was my cashier and scanned my customer loyalty bar code on my app so I would get points for "buying" my freebie. Awesome!
      • Plus he handed me a receipt for it and then 2 additional receipts (I guess from people who didn't want theirs) so I could take even more surveys and earn more freebies. Was I on Candid Camera?! LOL. I thanked him profusely.  I'm glad I stopped there this morning!

    • Save A Lot:
      • I stopped mainly to see if there were any items on clearance and also to check the regular price of the papaya because I love it.  It was priced at $1.29/lb so I decided to leave it in case it comes on sale tomorrow.
      • No bakery clearance again :(  
      • I did get another York peppermint patty for Greg and a Snickers Crisper bar for my son, both on 50% clearance at $0.45 each.
      • In the dairy case, there was 1/2 a gallon of chocolate milk on clearance ($1.32) so I  decided to spoil my son and daughter who love chocolate milk. 
      • No pizzas on clearance today but I still bought a huge jalapeño just in case :)
      • I also bought 4 ears of corn at $0.44 each.  I thought it was an OK price and we like corn on the cob.
      • They did have some Dole Caesar Salad kits on 50% clearance for $1.25. I guess I was hungry because it made me crave Caesar salad so I picked the best looking one.
      • I got a package of bologna for my son at 99 cents. He loves bologna and I haven't bought any in about a year.
      • Lastly, I bought a cantaloupe on sale for 99 cents.
      • My OOP was $7.41 and I paid with USAA Visa for 10% back in Rewards.

    • I called the vet's from the car to schedule the kitten's deworming and check-up next week (4 weeks old!)

    • RaceTrac (again):
      • Well my next stop was Staples, which is right next to RaceTrac so I went to RaceTrac anyway!  I should have waited to gas up there since it was 3 cents per gallon cheaper today. Oh well. I should have checked the app, I guess.
      • I redeemed a 2nd survey reward code for a another free Cinnabon Long John doughnut (it went into the fridge).
      • I also bought 2 packages of Cornitos (mexican croissants) since I had a BOGO coupon in the app. One package was $1.67 plus tax for 1 cornito so I got 4 cornitos for that price.  The kids will like them with Nutella on top.
      • So I earned more loyalty points on my app and got another receipt which will earn me a freebie :)

    • Staples:
      • In looking through my purse to find the 3 ink cartridges that I was turning in, I found... one of my camera batteries that I thought I had lost this weekend. Yay!
      • I turned in 3 ink cartridges so I will get $6 back in Rewards next month.
      • I bought combo pack of 3 color ink cartridges and had the cashier price match the Amazon site (it was almost $2 cheaper) and used my $9.00 in Rewards ($4 for ink cartridges and the $5 bonus that I told you about this weekend).  My OOP was down to $24.80 and I paid with USAA Visa for 10% back in Rewards. 
      • My receipt printed with a coupon for  $10 off a regular purchase of $40 or more. It might come in handy for Christmas presents.

    • Petco:
      • An attendant came to ask if I needed help so I told her that the squealing electronic toy that I had bought last week didn't squeal at all and asked if I could exchange it, but it would mean removing the little tab that activates the battery in the store because I didn't want to drive all the way home and again have a toy that didn't squeal. She was so nice and said "of course!" and even tested the toy for me and it squealed alright. Well, it chirps. You don't have to squeeze it, just bump it so it chirped all the way through the end of my shopping trip. I was ready to throw it out the window by the time I got home, lol. And then the cats totally ignored it. Sigh.
      • I also bought a toy for the kittens. It's one of those pillowy things stuffed with clay or beans that you can microwave and it's shaped like a cat. It's called a "comfort toy". I thought they might like the heat and if they pee on that, I don't care. It was $7.99 plus tax
      • I paid with USAA Visa for 10% back in Rewards
      • They have a tag engraving machine. The tags are cute but pricey ($12+ each), which matters when you have 6 cats! I might just get them for the cats' Christmas and get them engraved with their name and my phone number.

    • SuperTarget:
      • I got some great deals!
      • They did have Driscoll's berries on sale for $2.50.  I had loaded the 25% off Cartwheel and had $1.00/1 coupons so I got 4 pounds of strawberries for $0.87 each 1-lb package.  Of course, I'll take the surveys on the containers to earn more coupons!
      • They also had the ears of corn for just 25 cents each. Nooooo!  So I bought 4 more ears. It would have been smart to stop by SAL again and return theirs but I was tired. We'll just have corn on the cob twice this week.
      • I bought 2 dozens of eggs since they were on sale for $0.79 a dozen and I wasn't going to Aldi today.
      • In the meat department, I decided not to buy the pricier packages of meat that had red store coupon stickers on them.  Instead, I bought 2 whole Gold'n Plump chickens at $5.79 each and redeemed the 25% Cartwheel offer and a $1.50/1 and a $1.00/1 coupons. So I got 1 chicken for $2.84 and another for $3.34.
      • I also bought the only package of St Louis Style Pork Ribs on the shelf. It was $8.12 but I redeemed a 40% off Cartwheel offer so scored them for just $4.87.  I've never cooked ribs but a long time ago a friend had sent me a recipe for them so I'll have to try it.
      • There were signs everywhere advertising a Buy 2, Get 1 Free Archer Farms products with 100% money back guarantee if you don't like what you buy.  I decided to buy 3 packages of Archer Farms flavored coffee, priced at $6.99 each. Greg will put those in my stocking for Christmas :)  I had said I would never buy AF coffee again because the last 2 bags had been horrible, but I can't seem to resist those kinds of offers and I was craving flavored coffee!  I can't wait til Christmas  now :)

      • On the clearance shelf, I found packages of S'mores M&Ms on 50% off so I bought 4.  I haven't decided if they'll be for the kids' stockings or if I'll use them to top sugar cookies.
      • I also got 3 bags of Hershey's chocolate kisses on clearance for a little less than $2 a bag.  I might do better near the holidays with coupons but I'm hoping to avoid the stores around the holidays this year.
      • Lastly, I found a huge bag of salt water taffy on 50% clearance. I love salt water taffy, come to find out.  I think I'll give it to Greg to give it to me for either Christmas or as a reward for losing even more weight... like when I'm under 200 lbs. And maybe instruct him to give me only 10 pieces per week for a while.
      • My OOP was $47.20 but that includes Christmas stuff :)  I'll get $0.20 back on MobiSave too.

    • I called my daughter to ask her to check in on the kittens and told her I was about to go buy her some Special K.  She requested the kind with red berries.

    • CVS:
      • I got only what I had come in for but I did 2 transactions because I only use my CVS gift card for groceries.
      • Groceries: I bought 1 gallon of milk on sale at $2.79 and 4 boxes of Special K Red  Berries, on sale at $2.50 each. I redeemed (4) $1.00/1 coupons that I had ordered through Kellogg's Family Rewards, and also store coupons loaded on my app for  $1.00/3 boxes of cereal and $1.00/2 Special K and then the $2.00 ECB received as a consolation prize for not having been picked for a $15 survey. My OOP for this transaction was $4.79 but it was all FREE to me thanks to the CVS gift card earned with our Amex Rewards program. I will also automatically earn KFR points via my ExtraCare card. As a matter of fact, I will qualify for the 1,000 point punch card bonus. Oh and also I will get $1.50 back from MobiSave and Ibotta.

      • Non-Groceries: I bought 2 items that will be used as Christmas stockings.  A stick of Brut deodorant for men, on sale for $2.00. I redeemed a $1.00/1 coupon so it cost me $1.00 but I received a $1.00 ECB that I will use for groceries next week.  I also bought a package of Bic Hybrid 3 razors for men. It was on sale for $6.99 and I redeemed a $2.00 coupon from an insert this weekend so I paid $4.99 and received a $2.00 ECB that I will use for groceries next week. I also picked up the 10 free 4x6 reprints that I had ordered with an app coupon last week.  Those will be mailed with a letter to my great aunt.  My OOP was $6.62 and I paid with USAA Visa for 10% back in Rewards.

    • Walgreens:
      • I picked up my free 8 x 10 reprint. This will be framed with a $1.00 black frame from Dollar Tree and placed in the house, somewhere.

    • I was supposed to also go to Ace Hardware and the library to check the donation pile but I was hungry and tired so I just went home!

  • I put the chicken breasts that I had defrosted overnight in the crockpot with no salt added corn and low sodium black beans, topped it all up with 1/2 a jar of Aldi salsa and set it to cook on high for 6 hours.  We'll have this Southwestern Chicken Stew with free naan bread from Publix for dinner tonight. Gotta love the crockpot!

  • I defrosted some more homemade pumpkin purée to bake more pumpkin bread later on this week.

  • I finally sat down to eat lunch at 1:30 p.m. I made the Caesar salad but remembered to only put dressing on the portion that was in my bowl so the rest wouldn't become soggy before dinner. I also made myself an egg salad sandwich with a free mini Naan from Publix, and I had 1/4 of the cantaloupe that I bought last week. It smelled very good and tasted delicious!

  • I printed a Publix store coupon that they mailed me.

  • I uploaded the 20% off avocados offer from SavingStar.

  • I submitted some rebates to MobiSave and they credited me pronto :)

  • I unlocked new offers on Ibotta and submitted a couple of rebates. I haven't received the money yet, though.  They're telling me that it's going to take 2 days to process. WTH?

  • I submitted a rebate to Checkout 51 and guess what? Yep, got the credit in minutes.

  • I earned the daily Bing Rewards credits.

  • It's almost 5:30 p.m. and the sky has been rumbling for over an hour and getting progressively darker.  I hope we get some rain but I don't want  Greg to have to drive through a big storm. Also, that might kind of seal the acceptance that we're not going to the high school event because I'm not getting soaked for that. 6:00 p.m. update: so it never did rain.  Arrgh.

  • I took a Swagbucks survey that allowed me to reach my 1st Daily Goal for the day.
  • I entered my walks from this past weekend into Walgreens' Balance Rewards for Healthy Choices and earned 300 BR points. I'm up to 2870 BR points (5,000 points will get me a $5 discount on my next purchase.)
  • I have some money on my Dunkin' Donut app and a new Dunkin' Donut opened near me this summer.  So when they emailed me this offer, I thought: hmmm.... I might need to go buy myself something so I can get something else for free...

  • Hot water for the kitten laundry... don't want my towels smelling like cat pee forever! And then electricity for the dryer since I want those towels nice and fluffy for my nice and fluffy kittens :)

  • Anticipated splurge tomorrow: I'm going to buy more 3-wick scented candles from Bath & Body Works.  They don't carry the Apple Pumpkin Pancakes scent anymore, which is a shame because it's delicious, but I'm going to buy more fall-themed candles. With the kittens stinking up the living room, it's not to much an indulgence as it is a necessity, lol.

  • Gas for my daughter to go to her college classes today and for me to run my errands.

  • A new toy for the kittens :)

  • USAA (grrr with them these days!) emailed me an invitation to review my life insurance policy's beneficiary so it reminded me that since my daughter turned 18, I could remove my ex as a beneficiary and make sure that Greg is the sole beneficiary... only their site wasn't working so I wasn't able to save changes to my policy. Argh. I hate wasting my time like this. I'll have to try again tonight.

  • Oh come on, Target!  

  • Not my failure but I found 2 blank checks in the parking lot of Target!  Probably some kid who had just opened an account because he had just gotten a job at Target. Anyhoo, I took them and shredded them at home. That guy is lucky I'm honest.

  • I had to throw away about 1/8 of a jar of Aldi salsa that had become moldy. I think this is a first for our household! Well, I threw away the salsa, but I washed the jar because I'll be reusing it, of course.

  • My daughter received her new refurbished phone from Amazon.  However, it is a Verizon phone that is supposed to be unlocked and yet her T-Mobile SIM card won't work in it. I think it's because Verizon is on the CDMA system but T-Mobile is on the GSM system. So she needs to return the phone and get a refund. She charged it to her debit card, I'm not sure how Amazon will refund her... but the money (about $250!) is tied up until they receive the phone back.  She did print a free prepaid return label from Amazon.  Good thing the cable I lent her charges her iPhone 4.  She gave me back the Otterbox because she didn't like it after all, only she ripped up all the covers for the different plugs so it defeats the purpose of the Otterbox, pretty much. My son doesn't want it either. At least it was only 50 cents.

  • Kitten duty
  • Changed their bedding
  • Did a load of kitty laundry
  • Got dressed in case I needed to drive my son to school
  • Cooked Greg's breakfast
  • Packed his lunch
  • Collected the trash throughout the house and took the large bin down to the curb for collection.
  • Read a non-fiction library book
  • Tweeted the photo of the kitten in the Driscoll's container on the scale to Driscoll's (they liked it!)
  • Took customer satisfaction surveys
  • Printed coupons
  • Clipped coupons
  • Picked coupons needed for today's errands
  • Kitten duty
  • Ran errands
  • Made vet's appointment for kitten next week (deworming)
  • Documented my trip and put everything away
  • Submitted rebates
  • Kitten duty with the kids
  • Changed their bedding
  • Clipped their nails
  • Earned Bing Rewards
  • Set dinner table and had dinner with the family
  • Kitten duty with Greg
  • Did the dishes
  • Put away leftovers
  • Entered last weekend's exercise into Walgreens Balance Rewards

  • No recumbent bike again today but I went shopping for 3 hours and I think that wrestling with very spirited and strong kittens to clip their nails counts for my strength exercises!
  • For a good night of sleep for me and Greg.
  • For my kids' help with the kittens this morning
  • For a very friendly RaceTrac manager
  • For more rain!


The kittens slept very well again last night :)  We fed them at about 7:20 p.m. and cuddled with them and loved them and then they didn't wake up until about 4 a.m. this morning.

This is the view that greeted me at 4:10ish when I came back from warming up their food...
LOL. Doesn't it look like he stepped on his brother's back to start climbing?  "Hey, Billy, lend me
a paw, here!"  hahahaha. He's my little escape artist. In reality, he was much higher, and then the other kitten walked under
him at the same time as he slid down. So it looks like he's crushing him but he wasn't. I grabbed him before he reached the bottom :)
They keep getting stronger.  They're definitely teething now, I can feel them wanting to bite the eyedropper instead of sucking on it. They love the baby cereal and try to slurp it from the spoon but usually make a mess so I wait until they open their mouths to wail and I shove the spoon in there, scraping the cereal to their palate so then they can swallow it. It's cute to see their little muzzles dripping with baby cereal. Part of me is thinking "They're cats, they shouldn't eat grains!" but I don't think that a few more days of this will hurt them.  They'll be 4 weeks old next week and before long I'll wean them.  The library book I read this morning suggested giving them cooked ground beef to start with and then little by little mixing it with moistened dry kitten food until at some point you're only giving them the kitten food. After 6 weeks, they should be able to eat dry food on their own as their teeth will have come in but they'll still take a little bit of formula, I think. I need to re-read that chapter.  It had good guidance on how to train them to use the litterbox too.

They've started playing with each other a little bit and Tabby Cat has started licking himself a little. My babies are growing!  They're adorable.  We take so many pictures and then text them to each other, lol.

Starting to groom himself
They're also starting to play a little. "Mom, mom! He's licking me!"

Another rite of passage took place today: I clipped their little nails. It's easier said than done!  They're wriggly!  The book suggested actually clipping them only once in a while but pretending to clip them every time I brush them to get them used to it.  Brush them? Oh yes, the book says I should start now to get them used to it and I meant to get a special brush at Petco (the one we have for the older cats is designed to remove their undercoat) but when I was there, I completely forgot about it.

No picture of the nail clipping but my son took this one of the bath.

I did get them a new toy. It's a kitty cuddle buddy. You microwave it for 30 seconds and it's supposed to comfort a cat and keep it warm too.  I did that and they were... puzzled and didn't take to it right away. Oh well, I'll keep trying.

Another thing that the book mentioned and that alarmed me is that hand raised kittens should be kept separately!  Arrgh, it would have been useful to have that information at the beginning!  I'm looking at you, my vet, who has greatly disappointed me with their lack of advice about anything that wasn't directly related to the concerns that I brought up when I called or brought them. If it were up to them, they wouldn't have seen the kittens at all until they were 4 weeks old! Anyhoo.  The book says that their sucking instinct is so strong that they'll latch onto each other's genitals or ears and sometimes cause serious damage.  It's true that our kittens... well, let's just say that it's hard to find a picture of them to post that doesn't show some borderline pornographic situation going on.  But I never thought it would cause some damage. Greg's view is that if there is damage, then we won't have to pay to get them fixed. Ha. I wish.  But I don't want to separate them now, they love being with one another and they sleep all huddled up together. Plus I don't have the room for 3 different kitten bedrooms!  So together they stay and let's hope they're OK.

They are sure putting on weight, though.  Here is a comparison chart from when we got them 2 weeks ago (already?!).  They've all doubled their weight!

I made their first official check-up appointment for next week. They should be 4-weeks old at that time, according to my calculations. They will be dewormed at that time.  

My new tactique for having the older cats get acquainted with the kittens is putting pictures of them in the Cat Room ;)

Here is New Kitty loving her human.  He'd better get a dorm that allows pets when he goes to college because that cat will be forlorn.

Does your pet have a favorite human?  Do you have a favorite human?


  1. Does your book talk about the things that kittens learn from their mother that they don't get when they are hand raised? I wonder how much of what cats do is instinctive and how much is learned?

    1. Yes it does address this in several places. For instance, it mentions that the kittens do NOT learn to use the litterbox because they observe their mother doing it. They just go pee where she peed. Them scratching the ground and covering their waste is all instinct and comes at about 6 to 7 weeks. It addresses other things too but I'm tired and I can't think straight right now. I do remember, however, that it repeats over and over again that the kittens who are nursed by the mother have a better chance of fighting infections because of the antibodies in the breast milk, which is true but since it's a book about hand-raising orphaned kittens, it's kind of a moot point, I thought. Anyhoo, I thought it was a good book. If I were to keep fostering kittens (but I won't!), I would definitely buy it.

  2. Oh, I love the cat stories. Most of the cats are indifferent to us or love Michael the best, but Princess Fluffy Bottom (his mom's cat that we inherited) is my cat through and through. She follows me around like a puppy, actually, and tries to herd me to the couch for cuddles.

    You got some excellent deals while grocery shopping! Way to go!!

    1. That's funny! What does she do to herd you? Pushes you towards the couch while brushing against your legs?! New Kitty waits on the other side of the bathroom door when my son gets up in the mornings. She used to cry out for him too but a few "New Kitty! SHUT UP!" from me put a stop to it, lol. I love the name Princess Fluffy Bottom, btw. hahaha :)

  3. Glad you bought some meat! Now I don't feel so bad about buying meat, myself!

    Love all the pictures of the kittens (and New Kitty, too).

    Daughter is definitely Dancer's favorite human. He's supposed to be her pet; I'm just taking care of him because she went away and we didn't want to pay extra rent to enable her to have a pet.

    1. I didn't realize that Dancer was actually your daughter's pet! Does she miss him a lot? Does he miss her? My cats love my son but when he's gone for a couple of weeks in the summers, it doesn't seem to bother them much. I guess that's the way cats are!

      My kids all talked about taking a cat (they usually all want to take Male Cat because he's such a cool cat) when they got their first place but I keep on reminding them about the cost increase in the rent ad deposit, and then extra expenses of the food, cat litter, any toys, medications, vet visits, shots... even when healthy, having a pet is quite expensive and a big responsibility.

    2. Yes, they both miss each other. But, even when she's home, I'm his favorite person in the mornings, because he knows I give him his breakfast!

  4. So why didn't you report your stocking stuffers to Tara this week? You have bought so many already. I have nothing to report this week....no buying, no baking Christmas goodies, no special crafting projects, nothing. According to my "organized Christmas - Grand Plan", I am supposed to have already cleaned and purged the front porch, the living room and this week, the entry room. And I can tell you right now that that won't get done either. Where do you keep all those gifts that you are picking up and ordering on-line? Do you have a gift closet? I have an old steamer trunk in my bedroom where I throw in bits and bobs that I pick up for the stockings and Advent Calendars.

    Three hours and eight stops for only HALF your shopping trip?? That's insane. No wonder you are tuckered out when you get home. That explains why you get such wonderful deals....lots and lots of practice. Love the 8x10 photo of the kitten, but it is hiding the masterpiece behind it. Better get that up on the wall.

    Snapshot of the setting sun. *snort*

    1. Well plans are just wishlists, no? I don't like the idea of getting organized for Christmas so early because first off I don't particularly want to be thinking about and stressing about Christmas several months out and also because we're messy people so anything that I would do now would have to be redone many times over before the end of December. So Christmas stuff will be dealt with in December. The exception to that is Christmas shopping. I'm just happy that this year most of my shopping will be for stockings only since everyone is pretty much going to get cash. I expect that, to compensate for the absence of presents under the tree (although now that I think of it, maybe we won't even have a tree with 3 kittens at Christmas!), I will buy a lot of things for people's stockings, lol.

      Ah shoot, are we supposed to report to Tara? I must have missed that and I shall remedy it next time she posts about Christmas, lol. I need to report what I bought in my spreadsheet too, it helps me to see if I bought too much for one but not enough for another. I'm definitely NOT baking for Christmas until it's Christmas. We still have a couple of birthdays, Halloween, Thanksgiving and St. Nicolas before Christmas so I'm in no rush. Plus I don't have room to freeze all of that.

      I don't have a "gift closet" per se. Our bedrooms (well, mine and Greg's and it still feels weird that we're keeping separate bedrooms!) are under the pitched roof so we have a couple of odd-shaped low "closets" that I use for storage. That's where I stash everything, along with my wrapping paper and supplies. It makes it easy to find it come wrapping time since everything is together, as you know yourself!

      I still haven't put anything on the walls of the entry room Aka the Art Room aka the Cat Room. You're right I should put up the pictures and my painting up there. I have some paintings of my daughter's too that I should put up there. Sigh, one more thing to add to my To Do List, geez THANKS Susan!

  5. You are very welcome. Next time you go to the Dollar Store doing errands, pick up a few picture hangers for all those Dollar Store Frames you've bought.

    1. Picture hangers? No, I just use nails. But thanks for mentioning it anyway because you reminded me I meant to add "picture frames" to my shopping list. I'm running low on those.

  6. LOL at your "street light "sun" rise and especially LOL at those Target clearance prices! SMH.

    1. You are obviously way cooler than me because I had to text my 18 year old to ask her what SMH meant, lol. (In case someone else doesn't know, it means "shake my head"). I learned something today!

      But yeah, Target stickers are ridiculous. The items would have rang at a discounted price because I checked them at the price checker thingie but how someone doesn't even notice that all the clearance stickers are like that, I don't know... there were A LOT of those same items on the clearance shelf and they were all like that!


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