Tuesday, April 23, 2013

A Different Point of View

Over the past two years Troy and I have lost three Grandfathers. I never really experienced a close family death till last summer with my Grandpa Hafen passing. Troy, on the other hand is some what experienced in this category.

It's been interesting to see how we've reacted and how over the years the reactions have changed. With Troy's Grandpa Hovland (2011) he was sad, but other than that really didn't know how to else to react it seemed. He wasn't terribly close to him, I think what hurt more was seeing the man that raised him; who is tough and not very emotional, break down. Something he'd never witnessed first hand. He went to the funeral in Minnesota and spent some quality time with his family. Accepting what happened and moving on.

Ray Hovland

With my Grandpa Hafen, Troy was a rock for me. I kept it together till we were at the funeral home and I saw him, which is pretty darn good for being 3 months pregnant at the time. I kept trying to do things, I didn't want to sit or really face what was happening. I kept an eye on the other cousins, I took pictures, I talked about anything but Grandpa. The next day we were cleaning out the house, I did some heavy lifting despite what I was told, still not wanting to face what had happened. I didn't really face it till a few months ago, I picked up the phone to call Grandpa to ask him a gardening question and the number was disconnected. Then I remembered why.

Grandpa Hafen in his Garden of Eden

Then last night Grandpa Rick passed away, Troy's dad's dad. He was opinionated, stubborn, and stuck in his ways. But he was a sweet funny, guy. We had a joke going on that he had girlfriends that came over while his wife was out and every time we talked I'd ask how they were doing. He'd laugh and say they were fine and pass the phone along. He was a man of few words but always made it clear what he wanted. He'd been in the hospital 6 months, it was Heavenly Father's mercy that made it a peaceful passing with his wife by his side.

I was heart broken to find I have no pictures of him. 

Through all these we've known of The Plan of Salvation, that Heavenly Father has a plan that we don't always understand or agree with, but we know in the back of our minds it's all for the best and that he knows what he is doing.

We thank Him that we've been able to know such valiant souls. While we could have the point of view that these influential men have been ripped away from us; we choose to take a different point of view. We choose to see it as they're mission in this life had been fulfilled. That they had done all they had been asked to do, and Heavenly Father had them all depart surrounded by the ones they loved. And now, they watch and protect us from above.

"O God, who holdest all souls in life; and callest them unto thee as seemeth best: we give them back, dear God, to thee who gavest them to us. But as thou didst not lose them in the giving, so we do not lose them by their return. For not as the world giveth, givest thou, O Lord of souls: that which thou givest thou takest not away: for life is eternal, and love is immortal, and death is only the horizon, and the horizon is nothing save the limit of our sight." --Rossiter W Raymond

Friday, April 5, 2013

Babies and Cats

I've been wanting to do this post for a while, but I wanted to wait and make sure it was true, and that Thomas wasn't going to do a 180 on me.

As many know, a concern through my whole pregnancy was how would Thomas react to this whole thing. I'd heard so many friends that had to get rid of their cat once they had children because they became jealous and would spray all over, and/ or attack the parents or children. I was terrified this would happen, I've always viewed Thomas as "our first child," we got him as a kitten and he was the first pet we got together. I was going to do every thing in my power to make this work.
Thomas as a kitten
Things we did to help Thomas adapt to his new "sister" BEFORE she was born:

Schedule change: We knew the routine he was in would have to be changed. So we slowly changed his feeding schedule to one that would work for us with a baby. He was also used to being played with through out the day. That too wasn't going to happen with a baby. We changed it so he gets one on one time at night once we are both home. He also got used to the fact that I was going to be home a lot more.

Noises: We did what we could with this one before Kelli came. Thomas can be skiddish to noises in the house but if the same noise is played on the TV he doesn't care. We watched baby movies and played some on the computer and he really didn't care.

Smells: I opened some wipes a month before she was born and would periodically wipe my hands with them. I also put baby lotion on. 

Baby Toys: Since Kelli was early we didn't do this one too well. While we were still in the hospital Troy and other people finished getting the swing, bouncy seat, and play gym out and assembled. So it would be ready when we got home and Thomas could check them out. He's still not a fan of the bouncy seat.

Then Kelli came!
Things to do after the baby is born, but before they come home: 

The next morning I had Troy bring one of her blankets home. He laid it on the couch so he could sniff when we wanted but also be able to "get away." This I think was key. The next day before we got home I had Troy bring another blanket and put it in the crib.

Another huge help was the calming pheromones. I originally thought Troy had just fallen to the marketing scheme, but they really did help. He was spraying all over his litter box, and seemed tense for a while. Once we plugged it in, he stopped spraying the next day. They are worth a try if you are struggling.

Once we got home Kelli stayed up stairs till night time. I went down and played with Thomas by myself. He came up a few  times, but stayed far away. I brought her down that night and he was just like "whose this? And why is she down in my area?"

The next day he was more comfortable.

Kelli and Thomas day 2

And now he's:
Kelli is in her crib in the above picture. He lays or stands in front of the crib when we first lay her down, then he'll put his paws on the side almost like he's trying to say "good night." Then he follows the person out.

If someone other than Troy and I is down there with her he'll sit in the office door way. He doesn't want to get close to them, but he wants to keep an eye on whats going on.


Those of you who are expecting a baby or are trying to get your cat to adapt to a baby, be patient and know it can happen.

** Every cat is different and you should do what you believe is best for them. Speak to your vet if you have any concerns or questions.**