IMG_0146

20 THINGS I’D GO BACK AND TELL MY PREGNANT SELF

I was trying to create some sense of organization in Cooper’s room the other day and talking to my mom about how much stuff he has and all the crap I should have never bought or worried about even though they seemed monumental at the time. I couldn’t help but shake my head and laugh at myself. These days my biggest problem is trying to remember the last time I washed my hair. What’s today? And while I can’t actually bring myself to part with a single thing he has ever worn or touched or looked at with that cute smile on his face, it did make me think about all the things I would tell myself if I could hop in that time machine with Doc Brown and gun it to 88.

1. No, you do NOT need to buy that ridiculously expensive bedding set
2. Or all those cute, but impossible to put on, newborn outfits
3. Leaving the house is overrated
4. But if you must leave, know that 3 extra outfits and 10 diapers is indeed excessive
4. Drinking coffee all day absolutely justifies only brushing your teeth before bed
5. Forgetting to brush your teeth at night is totally normal
6. The whole sleep when they sleep thing is baloney
7. Don’t worry about fitting back into those jeans from high school because your hips will never be the same and that’s ok
8. Neither will your boobs and that’s ok too….right?
9. If he’s hungry, he’ll eat
10. And the same goes for the baby
11. No one else can see all the lint on the carpet
12. He’ll poop eventually
13. No one needs to bathe every single day
14. Dry shampoo
15. When he’s tired, he’ll sleep
16. And it doesn’t matter where
17. He’s going to eat food off the floor…a lot
18. If you have to ask “is that poop?” the answer is most likely yes
19. Mommy guilt is a real thing and it sucks
20. It’s worth it!

 

IMG_9250

MY CAT’S A JERK

The day we found him, it was raining outside and I was on my way home from work. Corey called me and told me they found a tiny kitten and he was pretty beat up. Corey and his brother were driving through the McDonald’s parking lot and someone tossed the kitten out of their car window. He had to swerve not to hit it. I stopped at Publix for kitten milk and tuna fish and came home to clean off his tiny face and smear Neosporin around his eye and we all shook our heads at how evil people can be.
4615_533232790614_7573851_n
I’ve never been much of a cat person, even though we always had at least one when I was growing up so I resolved that we could fix this little guy up and find him a real nice home. I didn’t give him a name and told myself right from the start that this was only temporary. We had someone set up to take him but it fell through and Corey talked me into keeping him (even though he’ll disagree and say I was crying about it), so we did. We rescued him after all!

So, he got a name and shots and we snipped off his manly bits and made him part of the family.

1936278_537599539614_952587_n

He was a total snuggler, got along with the dogs and would come right up and lick your face like he thought he wasn’t a cat at all. It was the craziest thing I ever saw. He had personality and fit right in. But one morning I woke up and seen that he peed on our couch. It was leather at the time, so I cleaned it up and attested it to him being a kitten. I went through the checklist and made sure the litter box was clean, easy to access, yadda yadda yadda.

Then we would go a straight 6, 7, 8 months with no accidents and then BAM! I’d find out he peed on the front door rug, or the bathroom rug or the couch AGAIN. It has been on and off for YEARS now. Abandonment is not an option (though it’s tempting at times! Kidding!…) so I searched for a solution. I tried to make a game out of it even. I will crack this case! I read every forum, article and crazy cat blog. I tried everything. Literally.

Different litter
Cleaner litter
Bigger litter box
Two litter boxes
More food
Different food
More attention
Nightlight
Leaving the TV on
Toys
Catnip
Pleading

I have never once found a turd in any other spot besides the litter box. And he’s only ever peed where he’s not supposed to when we were sleeping (I think).

During the day, he is the most loving cat and wants nothing more than to sit in your lap and purrs so loud you can hear it from the next room. If you aren’t paying attention to him when he wants you to, he’ll meow and meow and rub on your legs until you do. And we do.

In our current house he has peed on: both ends of the couch, the front door rug, the back door rug, the living room rug and Corey’s gym bag. That is a LOT of steam cleaning and a LOT of cursing. I just don’t understand it. At one point I was scooping the box 3+ times a day and keeping his food and water filled to the brim and I’d still wake up to him hiding, which meant I was literally on my hands and knees sniffing ever inch of the living room until I found it.

I took him to the vet right after Cooper was born, almost hoping something was wrong so I could just fix it already. It ended up costing me $105 to find my cat was indeed a big ‘ol jerk. “It’s behavioral,” they said and sent me home with a recommendation for lavender calming treats I never bought. After much debate, we started locking him in the bathroom (where his litter box is) every night and anytime we left the house. It solved a lot of my frustration for a while because I wasn’t annoyed with the mere sight of him.

But then, he started peeing in the shower while he’s locked up at night. It’s irritating, sure, but you pour a little cleaner and spray it all down and you’re done. No biggie. Until he also started sleeping in the shower. In the morning I’d let him out of the bathroom and his tail would be wet and smelled like…well, you know. That’s when I had my first experience trying to wash a cat and holy crap is it hard. Especially with one that weighs 20 pounds. It literally takes every ounce of strength I have to hold him down long enough to do a halfway decent job.

IMG_8150

Still, he upped he ante a few weeks ago and started peeing right outside the shower and I may have throw him in the backyard for an hour while I scrubbed the grout the first time it happened. It probably didn’t help the situation, but it made me feel better. Go back to peeing in the shower, please. That was so much easier to clean. Nope, he still had more to prove and has recently decided to start peeing right inside the door, so you almost step in it when you walk in. He’s like I’ll show you, lady. 

How could an animal that is supposed to be independent and maintenance be so much work? My god! I get that he might be peeing on the bathroom floor because I’m locking him up, but peeing on the floor is not going to get him out of being locked up. Cleaning up his mess is a terrible way to start the day. Every morning when we wake up, Cooper and I walk down the hall and he knocks on the door, calling out to his best friend, before I open it. “Sunnyyyy. Oh, Sunnyyyy.” I squeeze my eyes shut and say a little prayer before I open the door. And there it is.

He didn’t do it yesterday but this morning was a different story. I’m convinced he’s just out to get me. He knows what he’s doing is wrong and runs out of the bathroom to hide behind the ottoman when I’m about to find his late-night acts of rebellion.Then he’s trying to lay in my lap 5 minutes later and I’m like dude, I don’t even want to see your face right now. It’s like he’s two different animals. Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Kitty.

This morning after I finished cleaning up the bathroom I came out to the living room to see Sunny laying in the middle of the living room rug and Cooper was flopped over backwards on top of him. My boy had the biggest smile on his face as he nuzzled into Sunny’s whiskers. He meows and rolls over and they become one big pile of mush. I sit down next to Cooper with my morning coffee and Sunny’s purr is so loud I can’t even hear the TV.

I’ve never seen a cat put up with so much ear pulling, having toys thrown at him, being chased and generally letting Cooper do whatever he wants and still happily come back for more. It’s like he’s saying “it’s the least I could do for peeing on your floor everyday”.  I keep joking that I’m going to sign up for that My Cat From Hell show on Animal Planet. Come on and try to fix this one, Buddy. I dare ya. But no really, please make it stop.

I tell Sunny on a daily basis that he’s just lucky that Coop likes him…

and the dogs…

…………………..ok, and me too.

Just cut it out already, you jerk!
DSC_0036.JPG IMG_3417 IMG_0092 IMG_2915 IMG_3594 IMG_5807 IMG_6361 IMG_3490 IMG_7803 IMG_1615 IMG_0399 IMG_6760 IMG_0534 IMG_9250

IMG_0705

THE PAST TWO MONTHS

have been wild
and so much fun

I’ve been flexing my writing muscles and cranking out articles for Brit + Co in every waking minute of my free time. It hasn’t left a whole lot of room for much else (I need to just learn to function on less sleep already. Anyone know where I can catch insomnia?) but it’s important to me that I’m putting my degree to good use and earning a little extra spending money doesn’t hurt either. I’m still trying to find that balance though to do my own things too without forfeiting any play time and unfortunately, this is one of the first things that got neglected. That doesn’t mean I haven’t thought about it and have been mentally cataloging all the things I need to post before I forget them but the last thing I want to do after working on the computer all day, is work on the computer all night. I’m just always so tireddddddddd.

I think I may be transgenerational. Old lady brain, young lady body. It’s a problem.

Tired or not, life has been moving right along in the Tyler household. Cooper never stays still (does any 21 month old?) and is nothing short of a delightful little partner in crime even when he is throwing a tantrum over something completely silly like finishing all his strawberries. He’s been working on his singing voice and chimes in during the theme songs to his favorite shows (Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, Super Why and Bubble Guppies), the alphabet song (he especially like the LMNOP part, which is obviously the best part), wheels on the bus and old macdonald. Sometimes I sing all day just so I can hear him do it with me. I keep trying to get it on video but so far all I have is way too many clips of me singing by myself while Cooper totally ignores me that I should probably delete ASAP.

We went through our first mild ear infection last month combined with some fierce canine teething that I would prefer to never experience ever again. Waking up in the middle of the night to take your toddlers temperature and seeing 103.8 on the thermometer is never fun. But a trip to the doctor and a little bubblegum medicine did the trick and he was back to his normal self in a few days (sidenote- can you believe he’s still not 20lbs yet?! 19.12. He’s currently 50% for height and 2% for weight. My kid, the string bean.)

You know now that I think about it, teething is the ONE thing I feel like no one properly prepared me for. I mean, I knew it would suck but I didn’t realize just how much. As a mom-to-be you get so much advice about every little thing and it’s like they all decided to just not mention teething and instead chuckle behind our backs about it. Ha! She’s in for it. It will be a sweet sweet day in history when that 20th tooth breaks through. How are we only 12 teeth in?

What else…..Oh, we recently celebrated Corey’s 30th birthday and I took him to see some local professional MMA fights and am so proud of myself for keeping it a secret for 6 whole months. It couldn’t have worked out better because we had the absolute best seats in the house and one of his training partners was fighting that night (I bought the tickets before he even joined the gym). It was our first time going out at night since Cooper was born and was much needed (thanks, Mom!). Then we had family over for a cookout in the backyard last weekend. The morning after the party our living room was covered in air mattresses and lanky teenage bodies and it was great.

Other than that, it’s been business as usual and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Now for all the pictures I’ve been meaning to upload:

IMG_0354 IMG_0369 IMG_0373 Twins! IMG_0394 IMG_0413 IMG_0430 Parents night out! IMG_0459

I found this online. You can see us in the bottom right! 
IMG_0494 IMG_0480 IMG_0529

I was doing some work in the backyard and notice this pigeon in our side yard. I opened the gate just to see what he would do and he walked right in! He followed me around the yard for a good 30 minutes and hung out on the back porch for hours. He stopped by again the next day and I haven’t seen him since. Where are you Petey?
IMG_0700 IMG_0705

IMG_9984

MEMORIAL DAY WEEKEND

We hit the road Friday night  and headed to Punta Gorda to celebrate our niece graduating from high school. It was great to get away for the weekend and chase Cooper around someone else’s house! I almost freaked out when I saw that there was white carpet in the bedrooms but luckily we didn’t do too much damage and everyone was so good with Cooper and his tendency to make the biggest mess possible.

Saturday was the party and even though it was a million degrees outside it was just what we needed. It was like hitting the refresh button. The kids played in the pool and raced down the slip and slide while the rest of us tried to find a shady spot and not faint. It’s good to be home but we’re looking forward to seeing some of the family again in two weeks. Thanks for having us! IMG_9925 IMG_9919 IMG_9934 IMG_9928 IMG_9941 IMG_9950

IMG_9984 IMG_9988 IMG_0002