Archive | kittens

A Little Bit of Life Lately

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Hello again! How are you all?! It’s been quiet on my blog the past couple of weeks, thanks to a slew of sickness and Elliott being out of town and family visiting and other writing. I’m savoring nap/rest time right now where my kids have to be quiet for an hour… and where I can catch up with you, read a bit, and eat a huge bowl of strawberries and cream!

I thought I’d share a few photos from my phone to get caught up:

becca-garber-update-may-2015-1.jpg The weekend of Mother’s Day, my parents were in town after Elliott left for three weeks of Airborne School. I was so glad to have them here for a couple of weeks! We went to see my cousin Tyler in a rock climbing competition (he placed third!) and on Mother’s Day my mom and I went on an amazing historical home tour in our town.

IMG_8569 My cousin KT and her husband and daughter also came for a short visit, and the kiddos had so much fun together. We visited the San Diego Zoo…

IMG_8586 … and the beach, where Alton made a huge sand castle fortress and the kids waited like hungry vultures until they could knock it down as soon as he was done.

becca-garber-update-may-2015-2 We also spent a lot of quiet days at home and enjoying time with my mom, who is such a wonderful guest and friend and support to me, especially in this stage of young motherhood. Thank you for all your help, Mom!

We also finally harvested our first artichokes from our very thirsty, very demanding, very temperamental artichoke plant. (He seriously has a personality all of his own!) And one afternoon Lena and I cut out paper dolls from a book, which was about as much fun and as frustrating as I remembered from when I was about her age…

IMG_8650 Right after my parents left, the kids and I roadtripped up to central California for Elliott’s cousin’s wedding. Since it was a five-hour drive, we were all really bummed Elliott couldn’t be there! But the drive when surprisingly well. These two are good little travelers. We trained ’em young!

becca-garber-update-may-2015-3 Elliott’s parents flew out for the wedding, and his dad had fun showing us around the small town where he grew up. He treated us all to donuts! The kids we beside themselves with glee.

becca-garber-update-may-2015-4 The rehearsal dinner and wedding were beautiful, all in the bride’s family’s backyard. What a setting! Lena and Gil were antsy during the ceremony, but that meant we got the best seats in the house.

IMG_8694 Unfortunately, while I was standing in the hors d’oeurves line, Gil and Lena were dancing with some other kids, and then Gil suddenly stopped and threw up… all over the dance floor! I had brought another shirt, so my mother-in-law changed him while I did the Mom’s Walk of Shame and marched out onto the dance floor to wipe up the mess with a stack of baby wipes. Unfortunately, Gil had barely donned a clean shirt when he threw up again, and so I decided to cut my losses and go home.

It was a looooong night of vomit almost every hour for Gil, and I wasn’t sure what we would do the next morning. I didn’t think I could drive home by myself with him in this state! Miraculously, my mother-in-law was able to change her flight free of charge, and she offered to drive us home to San Diego and then fly out of that airport the next morning. Thank you, Mom and Dad!

It was such a gift, and definitely needed because Gil was still sick for the next four days. Thankfully he’s better now… and has moved onto a new virus. This has been the spring of sickness for us, and I am so ready for it to end!

IMG_8735 Lena was so glad to come home to her precious kittens, all of whom are growing up so quickly and continue to bring us so much joy.

IMG_8795 Elliott was still out of town and the kids were still sick and I was so tired, but Lena had been begging me to “make cheese!” with her for days. So finally we finished gathering the supplies and made homemade mozzarella. It was super easy; here’s the recipe we used. I think we kneaded it too much at the end because it is unfortunately very rubbery. We’ll do better next time! Now we just need all our tomato plants to ripen so we can make a totally homemade caprese salad.

becca-garber-update-may-2015-5 And then Elliott came home! I can’t even begin to describe how relieved and happy I was after worrying and praying over his safety for the past three weeks. He was training to become a paratrooper, and that involved two weeks of training and then one week of jumping out of a moving airplane with a parachute five separate times. But he has nothing worse to show for his trials than a few fading bruises. Here’s a video if you want to see what he did!

Lena took our picture… about 100 times, including some great outtakes, like Elliott “fixing” my hair the way he does before most photos.

IMG_8818 We have some very proud kiddos, too! Do you like the shirts Elliott got them? :)

becca-garber-update-may-2015-6 Over the weekend we did some fun things together as a family and with friends, including going to this rodeo — Gil’s first!

IMG_8902 We visited the tide pools at Sunset Cliffs (I also blogged about them here), where the kids found sea anemones and hermit crabs, and then found kelp pods to pop. I said this could be their cover of their first album, “Smashing Kelp.”

becca-garber-update-may-2015-7 On Sunday we visited North Park, where my favorite store — Pigment — has been reconfigured to accommodate an entire section where you can design your own terrarium. You can even buy a little brass watering can to go with it! Gil was all over that.

IMG_8967 On Memorial Day we visited Kensington (a cool neighborhood where we almost bought a house) for their small town parade. Fun with friends even in the rain!

IMG_8970 Yesterday the kiddos and I visited the museums in Balboa Park for “free resident Tuesday,” a perk that we take advantage of pretty frequently. We visited the underwhelming Automotive Museum, where the best thing we found was this picture for my dad, who worked for Mobil for most of his career!

IMG_8966 And I’ll leave you with these sweet kittens, who are now eight weeks old and so much fun! What have you all been up to? Happy Wednesday!

7 :: in deployment, family, husband, kittens, life lately, motherhood, visitors, wedding

The Sweet, Squishy, Furry Faces of Maine Coon Kittens

becca-garber-maine-coon-kittens-3-weeks-1 becca-garber-maine-coon-kittens-3-weeks-3 On Saturday morning, we got the kittens out of their nesting box (which they are almost big enough to escape from!) and played with them for awhile in a corner of our living room. Kids, kittens, and Magnatiles… I can’t think of a much cuter combination.

becca-garber-maine-coon-kittens-3-weeks-2 They were three weeks and two days old when these pictures were taken. They’re all maturing into their own coloring and personality.

becca-garber-maine-coon-kittens-3-weeks-4 becca-garber-maine-coon-kittens-3-weeks-5 becca-garber-maine-coon-kittens-3-weeks-10 They’re beginning to play together, and sometimes I sit there for half an hour and just watch them and laugh. They bat at each other, wrestle, roll, and nibble (their teeth are mere nubbins), and then they both stop and look like this:

becca-garber-maine-coon-kittens-3-weeks-11 “Whew! Ok, let’s do something else.”

becca-garber-maine-coon-kittens-3-weeks-16 This little cream-colored guy on the left is still looking for a name (as long as he’s ours, that is!). I’m trying to come up with something literary. Any ideas?

Lena named our pretty calico girl Pippi, after Pippi Longstocking, and it’s such a perfect name for her.

becca-garber-maine-coon-kittens-3-weeks-6 “The cream one” and Carrots, who is named in honor of Gilbert Blythe.

becca-garber-maine-coon-kittens-3-weeks-12 becca-garber-maine-coon-kittens-3-weeks-13 becca-garber-maine-coon-kittens-3-weeks-7 Siena is getting more comfortable with her kittens being out of the box and playing with us, but she always interrupts their play date every few minutes to chirp and coo at them, the way Maine Coons do. They always come waddling to her as fast as their little legs will carry them.

becca-garber-maine-coon-kittens-3-weeks-8 The “orangest” one is Gimli, after the red-bearded dwarf in The Hobbit. So far he’s the most serious and least adventurous of the four, so the name suits him, I think.

becca-garber-maine-coon-kittens-3-weeks-17 Carrots is the most playful, as well as the most quizzical, and he’s totally stolen my heart.

becca-garber-maine-coon-kittens-3-weeks-14 becca-garber-maine-coon-kittens-3-weeks-15 Annnd snack time, a signal that they’re ready to snuggle up with their mom in their box again! We’re loving these precious little kittens, and they get more fun every day as they become more engaging and curious. However, I have a feeling some busy, mischievous days are ahead of us once they are roaming around our house…!

11 :: in kittens, Siena

We Have a Surprise!

becca-garber-maine-coon-kittens-20 Our cat had kittens!!!

Siena, our Maine Coon, gave birth to four little kittens on April 2, 2015. We’ve been loving them for the past week and a half. They’re thriving and ready to show their faces to the world!

becca-garber-maine-coon-kittens-7 Here the kittens are just a few hours old. I’ll write more about the labor and delivery soon, but it was amazing! Siena very clearly wanted Elliott (who, coincidentally, is a veterinarian) to be her labor doula, and he stayed up all night with her.

becca-garber-maine-coon-kittens-1.jpg Now here they are two days old! We set up a “nesting box” for Siena in our closet and have carefully guarded her privacy during these early days. This was the first time we held the kittens. They were so tiny, about 4 oz each, and their eyes weren’t open yet.

becca-garber-maine-coon-kittens-8 You’re probably wondering how our (exclusively indoor!) cat got pregnant. In light of Elliott’s training as a vet, this was a BIG family decision. Given the abundance of mixed breed animals everywhere in the world, we wanted to be really sure of the value of letting Siena reproduce.

Siena is a purebred Maine Coon, which means she carries traits like her friendliness, large size, and the unique tufts of hair on the tips of her ears that make her look like a lynx. We do think it is worthwhile to maintain certain characteristics that have been developed in animal breeds over centuries. We love Siena and her breed, and we wanted to give a few other families the joy of having one of her kittens.

Elliott had a friend at work who also had a purebred Maine Coon, a huge silver mackerel male. He is a gorgeous, friendly cat, and I would adopt him in a heartbeat! He came to stay at our house for a week in January, and by mid-February it was evident that our “arranged marriage” had been successful.

There is another reason we’re excited to have kittens in our home, and that is for our children. We want to raise them around animals who procreate, live, and die, teaching them about the circle of life in a natural and healthy way. One day we’d love to have chickens and goats and a bigger yard… and the dreams go on. I’ll write more about this another time, though, because involves another layer of the kittens’ birth story.

And now here they are at six days old, eyes open:

becca-garber-maine-coon-kittens-9 Tiny little faces! There are two gingers, one cream, and one calico. The first three are boys, but the calico is a girl (obvious from the beginning because she has more than three colors in her coat).

becca-garber-maine-coon-kittens-3 Here the kittens are a week old. Lena helps every evening with weighing the kittens and then holding them gently in her skirt for a little while. We continue to be very respectful of the nesting box in the closet, visiting quietly and not disturbing Siena when she’s nursing.

becca-garber-maine-coon-kittens-2 Whenever Siena leaves, the kittens pile on top of each other to stay warm and sleep. It’s the sweetest thing! Here’s a few more of six-day-old kittens:

becca-garber-maine-coon-kittens-4 becca-garber-maine-coon-kittens-5 And now they are a week old! Lena has fallen head over heels in love with the calico, named her Sally, and says, “This one is going to be mine when she grows up.”

This is a problem because we are not planning to keep any of the kittens…!

becca-garber-maine-coon-kittens-10 becca-garber-maine-coon-kittens-11 And here are a bunch of photos from this past Saturday evening, a nine days old and more precious than ever.

becca-garber-maine-coon-kittens-12 becca-garber-maine-coon-kittens-13 becca-garber-maine-coon-kittens-15 becca-garber-maine-coon-kittens-16 becca-garber-maine-coon-kittens-19 becca-garber-maine-coon-kittens-21 becca-garber-maine-coon-kittens-22 More photos to come! :)

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19 :: in kittens, life lately, Siena

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