Introducing Delilah!

So, if you’ve been keeping up with us, you know we have a cat named Blueberry. You can read his story of how we had him, lost him, lost him again, and then got him back by clicking here.

Now, Blueberry is an AWESOME cat. He’s simply amazing. He does great with kids, he’s well behaved, he doesn’t scratch things up. The only bummer part about Mr. Blueberry, is that he pukes if he doesn’t get organic cat food, or if he gets into anything, but that’s all manageable, and I don’t mind cleaning it up if he does puke. I’m a mom. I’m used to cleaning up yucky stuff.

Anyways, when we first got Blueberry back, my mom suggested we find him a friend. It made sense. Out of his entire life, Blueberry’s never really been alone, without a cat-companion. He had his two sisters when he was little and we lived in Indiana, then he had Lily when he lived with my mom and step-dad, then he had Betty when he lived with Hannah. He hasn’t really ever been without a cat-companion.

So, I started looking a couple days after we brought Blueberry home. I wanted to let him adjust for a bit before we brought home a second cat, but I started looking. Just keeping an eye out. My mom and I decided that Blueberry would probably do better with a female companion (Don’t worry, he’s fixed) and preferably younger, because he tends to take on a big brother/mother cat kind of role with younger cats. And this way, with a younger companion, if and when Blueberry passes (a very long time from now!) the kids will still have Blueberry’s friend and won’t feel like they’re replacing him if we get another cat.

So, I looked on Craigslist. I looked on Petfinder. I looked at Clear Creek Cat Rescue. I looked a lot of places. I wanted to find a cat that was younger (2 or under) and female, and was already fixed. I wanted her already fixed partly because of cost, plus I didn’t know how good of an idea it would be to have a kitty recovering from surgery with two little babies running around. I didn’t find any cats I wanted or could afford. There were a couple I was interested in, like one at the pound, but I couldn’t afford a three hour drive and $125, as much as I would have loved to have been able to, it just wasn’t possible. And there was one at Clear Creek Cat Rescue I was interested in, but she was an itsy-bitsy baby, and I was kind of worried about how tiny she was in comparison to my kiddos! That, combined with a higher adoption fee, it just wasn’t possible, especially since I’d still have to drive up there!

So, I stopped looking for a week or so, mostly because I sort of gave up. But today, out of curiosity when I was waiting for a video to upload for my review blog, I took a peek at craigslist. I sent an email to a woman looking to rehome her 11-month-old cat named Delilah, but nicknamed Deedee, and she responded pretty quickly. I asked a few questions about her kitty, and let her know I was in Soldotna (about 3 hours south of Anchorage where she was) and asked if, since I would be driving three hours to get her, if she would be willing to waive the rehoming fee (Craigslist encourages small rehoming fees in order to ensure your animal is going to someone who genuinely wants it). She agreed, and I gave her my phone number. Her friend (who the kitty was staying with) called me, and we talked for a little. I got the okay from Dan to go up and get the kitty, but I drove to town to grab Dan’s cell phone beforehand. I really didn’t want to drive to Anchorage without one! So, while I was getting the phone, and some snacks for us on the drive, as well as topping off my gas tank Maryah cleaned up the house a little, and got the kids ready to go.

When I got back from getting Dan’s phone, we packed up the kids, and set out for Anchorage. The drive was pretty uneventful. We talked a lot, and just enjoyed each other’s company. It was around 7:30-8:00pm when we left, so the kids fell asleep shortly after having a snack, and didn’t wake up again until we got to Anchorage.

We met up at the Dimond mall. Mandy, Deedee’s owner, was really sweet. You could tell right off the bat she really loved Deedee and she seemed really sad that she was having to give her to someone. Those situations always suck, but sometimes it’s better. I’ve been there before, so I know how it is.

She got Deedee out, and let me hold her right away! She was so fluffy, and light! She reminded me a lot of Lily, just how her body was structured, fluffy, light, and long. Very dainty. Very feminine. She let me hold her. She meowed a little bit, but she seemed okay with me holding her. She was really interested in all of the cars driving by, and all of the lights and noises in the parking lot. It was cute how she would stick her head out and look at everything!

Maryah liked her right off the bat. She thought she was “cute and soft and fluffy and sweet.” (I just asked her! Ha!)

Mandy said she felt better about it since she was able to look at my blog. I was kind of surprised she had, but she had said she saw the domain my email was from (this one) and decided to check it out, so she got to learn a little bit about me and my family. She even read about blueberry and everything that happened with him, and that made me feel good about it, because it shows she really cares about where Deedee is going.

So, we said goodbye, and I told her not to be a stranger if she’s ever in Soldotna. And not to hesitate to call me or send an email. I don’t mind at all, and would be more than happy to let her her know how Deedee is doing.

We headed South. Took us a few minutes to figure out exactly how to get back onto the highway that would take us home, but we did. Then, about ten minutes out of Anchorage, Maryah reminds me, “So…Weren’t you going to get gas?” Ha. Just like me to get so excited over everything that I forget!

So, we stopped at the Tesoro in Girdwood. I go to swipe my car at the pump, and what happens?

My card was declined.

I know I have money in my account, so it’s a little irritating, but this isn’t the first time it happened. For some reason, whenever I go to Anchorage, Wells Fargo likes to lock out my cards. I called the number on my card, and for some reason, it’s impossible to get ahold of anyone real on the line, and there wasn’t an option for the lost/stolen/locked card issue… But it gave me a number to Wachovia. I tried a bunch of the menu options on Wells Fargo’s line, but none of them were leading to real people, and they were all saying to call back during normal business hours. I was kind of confused, but I called the Wachovia line, and thankfully, someone real answered. The woman said she couldn’t help me, but could directly transfer me to someone who could. So, I waited on hold… And waited. And waited. And waited.

Finally, I get an answer. They go through the normal stuff… Asking for account numbers, security questions, last transactions, etc. So, they finally believe it’s really me, and they unlock my card. I go back to the pump, with the guy on the line (I had been inside the gas station) and I try my card.

Still declined.

The Wells Fargo guy tells me to go inside and see if they can swipe my card. So, I go back in again, and they clerk swipes it… Four times.

Still declined.

I tell the Wells Fargo guy that it’s still not working. He puts me on hold. Then when he comes back he tells me the same thing. That he unlocked my card and it should work. Then he suggests that maybe there’s something wrong with Tesoro’s card machines. Umm… I saw several other people use their cards. Then I suggested using the Wells Fargo ATM inside. I try it, and guess what.

STILL DECLINED.

The phone guy keeps telling me it’s something wrong with Tesoro’s system (it’s not), and then he asks me how far it is to the nearest gas station. Umm, an hour if I drive back to Anchorage (but I don’t want to back track!) and three hours if I go home, and I don’t have enough gas to get there. And besides, I really don’t think it was Tesoro’s system, or other people couldn’t use their cards either. The guy on the phone keeps trying to convince me to go to another gas station, and finally I say;

“Look Buddy, I don’t know if you’ve ever been to Alaska before, but everything is really, really, really far apart.”

By this point, I had been on the phone with this guy for an hour. And by that point, I was getting pretty damn angry. He kept insisting my card was unlocked, but it wasn’t working. And I know nothing was wrong with my card, because otherwise it wouldn’t have registered on his end that I even attempted to use my card.

The guy tells me that I’ll have to wait until normal business hours to speak to someone further about this issue, and that they would like me to follow up about it with them. My response?

“Well, tell you what. If me, and my two kids in the car with my teenage friend, aren’t still stranded three hours from home at a freaking gas station by the time ‘normal business hours’ roll around, then sure. I’ll call. And let them know how unhelpful you were.”

He pretty much told me to have a nice day, goodbye, and “Thank you for choosing Wells Fargo.” Grr. Yeah right. I’m seriously thinking of switching banks. This kind of stuff is ridiculous!

I call Dan and tell him everything that’s going on. I don’t have any cash on me, or any other cards. I asked him if he could get on priceline and book me a room in Anchorage, but when he looked, the rooms would have been for the following night… Not right then. And then, he remembered that they have to swipe your actual card when they check in, so that wouldn’t work either. I talked to him on the phone for a bit, trying to figure everything out. By this point, I’m really stressed. Maryah, Maddi, Danny and Deedee have been in the car for over an hour waiting for me, and I had no clue what to do.

Dan suggests I ask the clerk if he can type in card numbers instead, and thankfully he can. Dan gives him his card number, he runs it, and I get my gas and head home.

Then I get stuck behind a truck going 35-45mph in a 65mph zone almost half the way to the Sterling Highway turnoff. Fate had it in for me, I tell you.

But, Deedee was good the entire way home. She meowed a little bit, but she did good. We didn’t make her stay in the kennel. She went back and forth from Maryah’s lap, to sitting on the back of the backseat. She fell asleep for a while, but did good.

When we got home, we set up her litter box right away. We left her in her kennel and let Blueberry sniff around it for 20-30 minutes. Then we put Blueberry in the other room, and let Deedee explore by herself a bit. She wanted to stay in the laundry room for quite a while, but we made her come out and look around.

She was really nervous and growling a lot at first, but she started getting more comfortable. Once she seemed decently comfortable, we brought Blueberry back out.

I was really surprised! Blueberry didn’t hiss at her at all. Normally, you would think he would, since this is his house, and she’s the one intruding on him. But, nope. He was mostly curious. He really wanted to get close to her, but she kept hissing at him and he’d back off.

She’s been letting him get closer and closer, but she still hasn’t let him get too close.

I’m impressed with how patient he is. He keeps following her around, even though she keeps growling and hissing at him. She’s not growling as much, or hissing as much, but she still is a little. He’s a patient guy though. I’m sure she’ll come around to him eventually. He seems to be okay with her, but she’s leery of him. But, I expect that will change sometime within the week, they just have to adjust to each other.

Anyways, here’s some photos! And I’m off to bed. I had a VERY long night!

Just got into Anchorag, close to midnight.
Deedee looking out the car window on the way home.
Getting used to where her things are.
She camped out in the laundry room for a bit.
Deedee and Maryah in the laundry room
Danny watching Deedee
Deedee sniffing and investiagating the baby.
Deedee and Blueberry. He keeps following her and bowing his head down. I think he's trying to show submission...

It’s been FOREVER since I posted…

Wowza! So, I haven’t updated in quite a bit. I’ve just been SOOOO busy lately. It’s been chaotic. I can’t even begin to describe everything going on…

First, we were all sick. Maddi ended up in the ER with croup, and Danny ended up in the hospital overnight for a respiratory infection in his left lung. Definitely not any fun! Thankfully that’s all over and everyone is starting to feel much better than before! I feel kind of run down, but I think it’s just a byproduct of being sick added to chasing kids around all the time.

I’ve been going to church a lot more lately. I’ve been enjoying it. I’m still investigating it, but I’m enjoying it for the most part. 🙂

School is… well… school. I could be doing better. I think the problem is, I’m not interested in it. They’re all subjects that I really have no genuine interest in. It’s not really something I enjoy at all. I’m getting impatient waiting to do my childbirth education and breastfeeding education certifications. I wish I was rich. Ha ha ha!

I might start vollunteering at the WIC office as a peer breastfeeding counselor. That will at least get me some experience, right? I would definitely enjoy it! After all, who dosen’t love talking about boobs? Just kidding. 😉

I entered Maddi and Danny in a photo contest. You should vote for them! They’re number 10 and number 11! It ends tomorrow, so hurry up and vote!

-Sammi

Consumer Reports on Safety: Baby sling carriers raise safety concerns

Baby sling carriers raise safety concerns

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Baby slings and designer cowgirl boots may be fashionable among Hollywood stars and other new parents but at a recent meeting I learned about some safety concerns that made me shudder. Over the past 10 years, there have been at least 22 reports of serious injury associated with the use of sling-type carriers. The injuries include skull fractures, head injuries, contusions and abrasions. Most occurred when the child fell out of the sling. A new fashion statement emerges, that is Freshwater Pearls.

In addition to the injury reports, which were gathered by the Consumer Product Safety Commission, a number of recalls of sling carriers in recent years (including the Infantino pictured) has prompted ASTM-International, a voluntary standards-setting organization, to hold its first organizational meeting to start a standards-development process for sling carriers to address safety problems. Concerns raised by manufacturers, who requested the review, included not only the fractures and bruises but the risk of smothering.  The CPSC information documented a risk of death caused from “positional asphyxia” caused by placing the infant in the sling in a head-forward position that can cause the airway to close.

Some of the incidents with sling carriers were likely due to improper assembly, improper wearing, or failure of rings or other hardware. Most of the sling carriers demonstrated at the ASTM meeting seemed complicated to put on and prone to user error. Clear instructions and perhaps video demonstrations might help prevent mistakes. But, as we all know, consumers may not read the instructions, and misinterpretation or misunderstanding can lead to errors that can endanger precious cargo.

It’s uncertain how an ASTM standard can help make these products safer or error proof. We caution parents who do favor the sling carriers to frequently check the hardware and adjustments—and to do so without the baby on board. For now, we think there are better ways of transporting infants including strollers, hand-held infant carrier/car seats and even other types of soft infant carriers. For additional information on our Ratings for these and other products visit the Babies & Kids section of the Web site or read the Babies & Kids blog. — Don Mays

Consumer Reports on Safety: Baby sling carriers raise safety concerns.

Hmm. Interesting. It made sense to me though. I’ve seen those carrier in person, and honestly, I’ve used a similar one on Maddi. I only ever used it once though because I really didn’t like it. Since I’ve started to make baby carriers, my slings have never been padded. I’d done double-layered slings, but I’ve never padded them. It’s just not safe. And the baby dosen’t really NEED padded in a sling. Just my opinion.