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4 kittens

Rub your baby with an egg

Posted on 2017.05.14 at 23:44
This semester was so nice that I didn't even feel euphoric when it ended. I just faded from one nice thing to another. Grades are due tomorrow.

Kitten 1

This is Rascal, who yells and yells and tackles other people, the ground, a pillow, whatever. He likes to just howl wordlessly and run in circles, especially when he's very sleepy.

For Mother's Day, he made me this:

and this:

the latter by head-butting me. With exuberance!

At dinner - we went to the ever-monotonous chain restaurant Jason's Deli which has magic child calming powers - Rascal pointed out a baby and said, "Look at the baby! He's so cute!" and then later repeated it about two ducks in the water. "They're so cute!" Both times he sort of bent over at the waist, overcome by cuteness. As was I.

Kitten 2

This is Ace, who at two years old was one big invitation to come play, and always led with her belly. She was alllll belly, leading with belly, inviting you to play, arms and belly out. Rub that belly.

Rub that purple swollen arm, from where she got her 4 year old shots, with an ice pack. Look how tight that bandaid is. We actually took her in to a walk-in clinic, we were so alarmed by the swelling.  It was hot to the touch. They reassured us and sent us home.

That last line is hard to read. What's it say?

Oh, well, good. That seems like a low bar to clear.

We're the younger of the Geebies!

Kitten 3

This is Pokey, who at two years old kneaded on me always.  He was always in my lap, one hand up under my shirt. The cuddliest. The most in love.

Some pre-packaged schmaltz.

Flowers for his mama.

A robot saying hello, for his mama. It's a good likeness for when I'm a marshmallow.

"To help the earth, I can...not pee in the river."  At least he's learning to skirt the line of getting in trouble. The teacher did let this pass without comment.

Pokey and Hawaii have been obsessing over riddles lately, so I have been trotting out all the most tired ones. "Where were the survivors buried?" and "Which is heavier, a pound of bricks or a pound of feathers?" and so on. They were entirely stumped by "I can't operate on this boy - he's my son!", which I found depressing. Pokey did propose, "The boy's other father?" which is nice and progressive, but still depressing.

Railroad Crossing,
Look out for cars!
Can you spell that
Without any Rs?

"Use Ws!" proposed Pokey. "Wailwoad Cwossing!"  I laughed heartily at that. (The real answer is T-H-A-T. Ah, pedantry.)

What has a face, two hands, but no arms or legs?

"An emoji!" exclaimed Hawaii. I enjoyed that answer, as well.

Either one.

Kitten 4

This is Hawaii. At age 2, she was cautious and suspicious. Taking in everything about the world, but trusting no one. I could not make her laugh for the longest time. She'd look at me, not sure why I was trying to get her to laugh - what was the catch? How might this backfire on her?

I don't think Hawaii has forgotten the latch hook rug or her incomplete play that she was writing, but she has a third passion which monopolized this past week:

A Fuji Instax Mini 8. She spent all her birthday money on it. It spits out poloroid photos, only they're the size of a credit card.  It's really cute.

It took Hawaii forever to get everyone to cooperate for a selfie. She bribed, cajoled, threatened, cried, etc.

I really love this one:

That's only the first card! Hawaii also made this:

Aww, thumbprint cats.


I love you so much.
I love you more than the bumble bee loves buzzing round his flower.
I love you more than little Rascal loves his baby powder!

The bumble bee line is either riffing or derivative of a book we own, but the baby powder line is all her own, and charming, and true. Rascal adores that stuff.

Then the prescriptivist school stuff:

Sure, a recipe for me. At least she trusts me now.

Finally, Hawaii made me a robot to join Pokey's:

I'm sure these sibling robots would never bicker and fight:

Who is this handsome tomcat?

Daddy Cat

Why it will be Jammies.  I haven't decided if I will keep it original, or use an edited charcoal brush version to bring it in line with the kittens.  I love the original so much. I've got some heavy thinking and planning to do.

This is one of those stools that floats on three wheels, on springs. If you sit on the stool, it rests on the floor. If you get up, you can push it smoothly on the springs.

Every night, Rascal pushes the stool while resting his full weight on it. It scrapes awfully across the floor and the wheels break off. Every few nights, you'll find Jammies re-glueing the wheels back into the stool. It's our own little Sisyphean epic.

The actual drawing is more sepia-toned:

For mother's day, I asked Jammies' for a photo shoot of the kids.   We set up an appointment at JC Penney's. Here's a little prop couch they had laying around in the studio:

I would say that that photo is better than any taken by the real photographer.

Our kids were a big mess. Pokey'd had a (first!) sleepover the night before. Ace was exhausted. Rascal has the attention span of a goldfish.

But the photographer also did a shitty job. Here is what I wanted:

(Stephen Slaughter - Portrait of Sir Edward Walpole’s Children, via Pinterest)

I thought this was completely standard pose. But now I've searched for stock photos and I came up so empty-handed that I had to dig back in time, so perhaps it's not de rigeur.

The photographer tried her best to wrangle the kids. Her only trick up her sleeve was a feather, which she used to threaten to tickle. The school photographers joke while simultaneously snappying photos. This photographer would joke, and then pause for a few seconds to get back behind the camera.

She took a few, said, "Oh, that's a good one!" a few times, and it was over. We didn't see anything until we were out of the studio and back in the waiting room.

It turns out that she took exactly seven photos:


None as charming as Hawaii's:

I was in a foul mood afterwards. We didn't buy any. We paid $30 for the experience.

I just want one nice one of them looking angelic, to frame in an oval. And possibly to decoupage it onto a cross-section of wood with a raw edge to hang in the dining room.

(via) We'll try again in a few weeks.

Is there a Mama Cat yet?

Not yet. I have a couple contenders, but I want to print everything out and play around with some configurations.

The contractor put up this story board. It's really hard to see what's going on.  The top red arrow may be pointing to 580' above sea level, or else the lower red arrow is pointing to 580'. Either way, we'd like to raise our house to 580'. Small child included for scale.

That height - 580' - gets us up and over the 500 year flood plain by a foot. That's the level of water where the flood breaches our neighborhood and engulfs the larger world out there. We've been looking at a lot of contour maps.

Our base flood elevation, or BFE is 576. While we met with the city engineer, I thought about how BFD, BFE, BFF, and BFG all have distinct meanings.

Sad fruit bowl. Bananas undressing themselves and then feeling shame.

Some mother on the local facebook page posted some click-baity newstory about a kid who got sick and the doctors were wrong about their diagnosis. There was only one comment:

Rub your baby with an egg and it's gonna absorb the high fever and once you do, get a glass of water, only half, and break the egg in, and you'll see the yolk and the clear of the egg get cooked, and your baby will break the fever down. This is an old home remedy I use, as my mother did with all her children.

(Lightly edited for clarity.) I mean, what the fuck? What the utter fuck are we talking about here? I found this mesmerizing and kept coming back to re-read it. Certainly, rub an egg on your baby all day long, just whenever you're hungry.


Kelly Jennings
Kelly Jennings at 2017-05-15 15:35 (UTC) (Link)


Thanks for the kitten key! I never would have figured that out on my own, and it would have driven me buggy.

That is one cool camera. And I am *extremely* impressed by Hawaii saving up for it.
heebie_geebie at 2017-05-22 03:36 (UTC) (Link)

Re: Kittens!

The camera is so much more amazing and perfect for her than I ever would have guessed. She's very, very hard to shop for, in general. I love this camera.
pfgechoes at 2017-05-15 18:39 (UTC) (Link)
Of course, I'm sure Sir Edward's children and that chicken stood there without bickering, making faces, rolling eyes, sticking out tongues...the difference between a painted portrait and a photo? Only one child needs to hold still at a time. Maybe you should have the Geeblets photographed separately and then have them all painted together in a wooden-oval-decoupage-worthy arrangement. Maybe a watercolor like the Family Ties title sequence :-)

heebie_geebie at 2017-05-22 03:39 (UTC) (Link)
Sir Edward's children probably loved their mother and appreciated all her sacrifices and understood that Mother's Day comes around only once a year and couldn't they just all hold still for TEN SECONDS?!

After the photoshoot, I was so pissed I decided to go for a run, just to burn off some energy, and when I was almost done, I was still pissed, and knew I needed to get over it in order to enjoy the rest of the day. So I bribed myself with some ridiculous semi-extravagant impulse buy which is till TBD, and then I felt better.
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