Thursday, May 31, 2012

Oregon Trail Day 1

we made it safely to Mississippi (well, some of us)...that's the good news. the bad news is that in the past 29 years I must have been a real asshole because karma came a knockin' and that bitch broke down my front door.

where shall we start in the 22 hour journey? the sum could only be described as a hybrid between the Oregon trail and National Lampoons Move to Mississippi vacation. I can fully assure you Oregon Trail on those green/black computer screens was a million times more fun though. in fact, MANY many many many times during the trip I was waiting for Ashton Kutcher to pop out from behind some kudzu and say that we were punked, but that would have been too easy. since the whole 3 day journey is an absolute shit show, I'll just start at the top...

this isn't mine and C's first rodeo. we've done the Colorado Springs to El Paso drive twice now. Both times couldn't have been A-N-Y easier. We even stopped this last time at a natural farm and let the kids feed Billy Goats halfway through. I guess we got cocky. whhhhaaaatttt a bad move.

about 1.5 hours into our drive from EP to San Antonio, we decided to stop and fill up our tank and get some lunch. my dad's only advice to me was to make sure I never had any less than half a tank when driving across the vast wasteland that is west Texas. while I was paying and pumping, w was whimpering. he has never really liked car rides, so we didn't think anything of it. after we got our food and I was about 15 seconds onto the freeway entrance ramp, w went all Regan MacNeil up in there. approximately 900 retches and 2 cubic tons of puke later, we were pulled over in one of those little triangles of land between the access road and the ramp and very uninterested in the $28 of McDonald's we'd just purchased. we *really* should have taken that as an omen for the rest of the trip. C got master mcpukey clean up and I got the carseat. thanks to isaac newton and that super fun thing called gravity, i had quite a job on my hands. I literally used an entire container of wipes and filled up an entire McDonald's bag with w's caramel colored stomach contents.

25 minutes and one change of mix-matched pajamas (with no bottoms) later, we were back in Dante's parking garage circling from the 5th, to 6th, to 7th circles of Hell. anyone who has ever driven across West Texas can attest to this. can I get an Amen?

9 hours after we started our 7 hour journey, we arrived in San Antonio to some super excellent news that our expert travel arrangements had landed us at the only La Quinta in the milky way proper that didn't take pets. because we are hella organized, we made prior reservations (the night before) through hotels.com. they have an iron-clad return policy that is only thwarted by act of congress and some vicious sailor slang slinging by one very hot and very pissed off momma. I was not the purveyor of the sailor slang on this momentous occasion, but all I know is hotels.com's absolutely no exceptions policy was excepted and we had reservations at a new pet-friendly hotel (which we incidentally were now parked outside of).

the unpacking of the truck was far harder than it had to be. I don't know which part I liked better, being covered in cat piss by 2 very PISSED OFF (literally) cats or mother nature deciding to change the color pattern on my skivvies and pants. (she always was a heck of an interior designer). once we were in the room w/ all our belongings, I had to do clean-up crew on mother nature's redecoration and jack busted in. he looked up at me with huge crocodile tears welling in his eyes and said "mommy's ddddyyyyiiinnnggg". I explained to him that I was, in fact, not dying in one of my least favorite conversations with my children ever.

and in our infinite wisdom we decided to wait until we got to San Antonio to feed the kids dinner. geeeenius. by the time we got to the room and settled, it was 9pm and there was no way in fresh Hell I was rolling out to any restaurant in the vicinity. lucky for us, la Quinta had room service. classy, yes?

I guess I should have been tipped off when the chick on the phone asked for my hotel's phone number and repeated back "you are at the la Quinta on such and such road" I ordered the very fastest stuff on the menu: 2 salads and ham and cheese sandwiches. aside from the fact that the order cost MORE than our room did for the night, everything seemed in order until I heard "thankyouforyourorder. yourfoodwillbedeliveredinonehour" porque?!? feeding 3 toddlers ham and cheese sandwiches at 10pm was my future? no thanks. no thank you not one little bit.

C threatened my life if we didn't get food mas pronto, so she called back room service and asked them a hearty wtf? it ended in us canceling that order and reordering from a local italian place. C promised them that the tip would decrease with every passing moment but that the sooner they got the food to us the more elated they would be with the tip. it was there dominos style in 30 minutes or less.

once everyone ate, we FINALLY got the kids to sleep. laying in bed I started having a panic attack about leaving my rings and j's ipod in the truck. I only had to park in in BFE's cousin REALLY BFE earlier in the evening so that was super fun heading back out. I saddled up and marched onward, out and back, when the bologna bandit incident happened.

3 hours later after I was done giving my sworn statements, DNA samples, and belly button lint to the cops,I finally started dozing. little did I know, I was sleeping in the same room with the cat from the meow mix commercials and brother was plain hangry (hungry+angry= hangry). he meowed and meowed and meowed non-stop until around 3 am when I in desperation gave him some pizza. ciao.

at 315, I went to sleep for the rest of the night. that's where day 2 begins...

in other news: everyone is asleep and I couldn't find Chapstick. I had to use lipstick, so Im pretty sure I'll be looking like Tara Reid in the morning.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

shaking his amoxicillin

oh my law. how did this day get out of hand so quickly?

**warning: do not read further if you are not interested in hearing about my x rated conversation with the friendly San Antonio PD**

after a day straight from Dante's inferno (more on that later), I had to go collect my valuables from my truck. on the way down I saw a naked arm and a white blanket in the front seat of a car. i thought that rather odd but thought what happened next REALLY odd. on the way back from the truck, I saw a naked man doing what appeared to be mastering the art of bation. I came back and told C. she called the front desk practically in tears bc really... In who else's life does that happen?!

2 minutes later the front desk calls back to ask us where specifically the vehicle is at. they said the cops were on their way. holy Christmas.

5 minutes after that there is a knock on our door and the security guard is here and asking me what happened. I told him I was hoping they'd just shoo the guy off, not arrest him. I explained to him what I saw, but I said (in a moment of delirium perhaps) that we should give him the benefit of the doubt bc maybe he was shaking his amoxicillin". the security guard looked like he was begging mother Earth to swallow him up.

approximately 10 minutes after the security guard stopped by, the policeman came up to have a chat. I told him the same thing and he said that the guy was without clothing but sitting in his car talking to his wife on the phone. Jeeves. he asked me of I was 100% sure what I saw. I informed him that I was a staircase away and I didn't play I spy with his pickle, but yes, that's what it looked like. he said the security guard wanted to kick the guy out and the whole deal. I was feeling so bad bc the dude was probably on the phone w/ his wife when the officer banged on his window. I said, well, maybe he was readjusting his towel or whatever. I don't want the guy to get arrested, I just don't want him choking his chicken outside of our hotel room. is that really too much to ask? really!

San antonio better step up their game tomorrow...otherwise I wouldn't come back here if you paid me.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Sharp Tongue

Psalm 57:4 "I lie down among lions that greedily devour human prey; their teeth are spears and arrows, their tongues sharp swords."

I don't often post scripture, but this has been laying heavy on my heart lately. I have been hurt by words before and I am guilty of hurting people with my words. Shouldn't we find a better pastime? If you think it would be hurtful for someone to hear what you said, just don't say it even if they've hurt you.

Matthew 5:39 "But I tell you, do not resist an evil person. If anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to them the other cheek also."

The best "revenge" you can get on someone is to let God handle it. Have you ever prayed about a problem more than you've talked about it with your friends? God will give you the peace you seek from commiserating with others. I promise.

Monday, May 14, 2012

deployment appliance law

you've heard the saying "when the cat's away, the mice will play"? in the case of deployments try "when the cat's away every mfing thing mrs. cat needs to do the household chores will break" knock on wood not necessary.

the first time I was ever left home alone after Daddy j and I were married all Hell broke loose. he went to the field for a month. I had JUST gotten out of the Army and we had just had our wedding.

the most ridiculous of the incidents occurred on a Saturday evening at about 550. I had just gotten back from the grocery store and came in and got all changed into my pjs (no bra of course) and decided to throw in a load of laundry. when I went out into the garage to run a load I stepped in about 6" of water. I checked around and saw that there was something wrong with the drain area behind my washer. immediately grabbed my phone and called Saratoga homes... no answer. by this point, I realized it was 553 and the road I lived on had model homes at the end of it. i knew they were open until 6, so I figured I'd better hurry. somewhere in between being frazzled and insanity, I neglected to put on shoes and set out to find my car keys. I couldn't find them anywhere. and so I decided in haste that since it was Safurday, I'd better walk down to the model homes and get ahold of someone who could call a plumber. oh yes, I walked in pajamas, barefoot, and braless about 10 houses down to the model home. when I got there I walked directly into the office and interrupted the salesmen (arms crossed across my chest for modesties sake) and let him know what was going down. he looked at me in all my grocery store feet glory, his mouth dropped to the floor, and he just mouthed breathlessly "what?!?" after a few head scratches, he got it fixed for me, but I'm sure to this day the legend of the barefoot braless wonder lives on.

today's vacuum cleaner debacle occurred with much less fanfare, but with quite a few more 4-letter words. somewhere between my post-partum molting period and the cats we had accumulated roughly a tonnage of hair in our roller. apparently old brittle hair is better than flint wand a rock for starting a fire. at some point in my vacuuming I noticed the smell of burnt rubber and ass. stopping the machine, I realized that I was looking at enough hair to make a rug for the white house and still have some left over for an obama chia pet. freaking gross. I managed to get it taken apart and reassembled in a reasonable amount of time. the belt had a hole burnt in it and the bag needed replaced too. eiyiyi.

just waiting to see what's next.

stress amnesia

what the hell? I have heard before that stress makes people forgetful but I've never experienced it before. although I feel pretty good, I must still be under a ton of stress and I can't remember a damn thing.

you know that confused feeling when you walk into a room and you can't remember why? I have been doing all day everyday. my poor cat came and sat on my face last night at 3 as a not so gentle reminder that he was hungry.

Good thing we hung out at home all day. little j is exhausted and has really benefitted from the sleep. since we haven't been busy, I've been extra homesick for Daddy j today. is it November yet?

Sunday, May 13, 2012

1%

whoop whoop, y'all! we are 1% done with the separation. so far so good! now, we just have do a 3.5 day clump 99 more times. I got 99 problems and a deployment is definitely one.

lesson learned in the first 1%. schedule is KEY. I wish I could think if a better word than key even. essentially isn't really cutting it either. what's one word for "has to happen or my son acts full on cray cray and you think you've entered a parallel universe where the mayor of naughtytown is my offspring"? yeah, I couldn't think of a word either.

when j wasn't speaking in toddler tongues and torturing all of America with his shrieks, he was actually retry funny today. this morning he as drinking from his new "brachiosaurus" sippy cup and he grabbed his sister's too. he named them mommasaurus and daddysaurus. at first they were being really sweet hugging and kiseing and then, they started scrapping bc well, even 2 year olds understand comedic timing.

in other news: I had the strangest convo ever today with the host for a restaurant where we ate tonight. this is how it went...

me at 425pm: may i make a reservation at 5 or 515 for 4 adults, 2 kids?

host: uh, let me ask.

me: ok

host: no, I can't take your reservation, sorry we are full.

me: so should we not come then?

host: well, I can't take a reservation, but I can take your name for the list 30 minutes out.

me: so it's a reservation and you aren't full?

host: no, we are full but we can probably have a table ready for you in 10-15 minutes after you arrive in 30 minutes.

me: ???? ok, so I'm going to give you my name and you will have a table for me in 40- 45 minutes? (thereby making it 505- 515)

host: yes ma'am.

me: ok............. do that then.

America, what the Hell?



Friday, May 11, 2012

nightmare on bayside street

looks like lisa turtle (lark vorhees) been sipping on the same juice as Michael Jackson. talk about white elephant in the room...

2/365- don't step on your peter

we had a really great day today! I haven't dropped a single tear and we got to Skype w/ Daddy 2 times and talk to him on the phone once. That certainly makes it easier.

ma'am and I took j and c to the trampoline place. they had a blast as usual. j was continuing his pursuit of the opposite sex all over the gym today. at one point, he introduced himself "names jack" and grabbed the little girls hand without solicitation. bahahahahahahahaha! she ripped her hand away sooooo fast. don't hate the player, sweetheart. hate the game.

I also *may* or may not have said "don't stand on your Peter; you might break it" to my son today. tehehe. j calls his computer "Peter". Idk why he named it but he did. so, I was referring to his computer, but the double entendre was just too much.

jack also painted a picture for Daddy J today. it's named 'rainbow (abstract)'. all the rainbow colors are there and he knew them all, but it's a bit of a toddler monet.

another favorite moment of mine today was when I asked j what shape a stop sign is and he said "octopus" close kid. close.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

1/365th

damn am I ever glad this year isn't a leap year! I've taken my melatonin and I am in bed for the night with every light in the house blazing. ok, not every light, but at least 1/3.

I held up better than I imagined today. I've always been pretty good when in the middle of an 'event' but really quite dreadful in the lead up. although; I think the fact that I haven't cried non-stop today is proof that God heard the prayers that folks were sending up for us. I thank you for that! Please keep them coming. I got a little sick to my stomach earlier tonight, but not to worry! I was able to still choke downs piece of chocolate cake. whew. that one was close.

In other news, my darling son had his first conversation with an imaginary friend today. he has taken on a "wittle snake" also known as "just a wittle snake" he walked up to the snake and pointed to the cat. he said "that not a snake. that a cat, siwwy!" then, he pointed to himself and said "I not snake either. you so siwwy, wittle snake". precious! then, right before bed he picked up the phone on the play kitchen and called Daddy. when he hung up, I asked him what his Daddy said. he responded "he said hi!". lol. you don't say? I love that little man. c had her first fettuccini Alfredo tonight. she did so great. she then enjoyed her first ever andees candies. girl after my own heart!

hoping that we hear from Daddy in 4ish more hours. I will take the astronomical international phone charges directly on the chin to know he is there ok.

gold star for momma!

I *may* or may not have mostly kept myself together at the airport. I'm not counting tears against my gold star count because tears are ok. I did not at any point in time sob uncontrollably, so that's a plus. If I recall correctly (as its all kinda a blur) I did kinda ugly cry once for about 3 seconds when j started screaming "don't go away, daddy! don't go away!" over and over.

what KILLS me is how oblivious everyone in the airport was to what was going on. daddy j was in his civilian clothes, but he was clean cut and had military issue bags. it was pretty obvious to me (anyway) that he was military and that he was deploying. unless they were waiting to tell him when we weren't around, no one said thank you to him for what so obviously was a very sad goodbye. thankfully J is going someplace safe so we know we will get him back at the end of the year. are Americans really so freaking clueless about the sacrifices that our Armed Services make everyday?!? someone needs to break it down for them. my husband just left his 1 year old daughter for 1 year. in other words, when he gets back he will have missed HALF of her life. half. so thank you random Colorado Springsians for not thanking my husband or any of the others there for the sacrifices so that you can sleep easy in your beds tonight. misplaced anger? maybe. whatever helps.

With that said, i am so thankful for all the outpouring of support that we've gotten today from our friends and family. everyone who has written or texted or called, thank you. it helps me to not feel so lonely. I can't wait for ma'am to roll in this evening at 445ish to help stave off the case of the nighttime lonelies.

I've got a little more cleaning to do before she comes and I've got some Toddlers and Tiaras, New Girl, and Private Practice to catch up on. who better to keep me company than miss flatscreen? I mean God must have really played a hand in J's deployment date because tonight is Thursday night tv night. everyone who knows me KNOWS that Thursday night tv is what I look forward to all week. there are few things I like better than Thursday night tv. you know, besides spending time with my husband which is totally #1. since that's out of the way, it's time to take my relationship w/ my tv to the next level.

expecting J to call any minute with news that he safely arrived in DC. 6 hours until his flight oversees.

he JUST texted. leg 1: safe. :)

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

ain't no spartan martyr wife

let's don't even play. I am a freaking mess today. I held it together really good until about 530 when I burst into tears.

let me be really upfront here: I am going to miss my husband 100%. my biggest concern though is for my son. he starts asking "wheres Daddy?" as soon as his feet hit the floor after his afternoon nap. we have been telling him for days- weeks even that his daddy is going away for a long time. I tried to tell him tonight that daddy wouldn't be around tomorrow night; but he was busy pretending to be a peacock. he doesn't get it when daddy is in the next room. I see the freight train coming straight for him tomorrow and there is nothing I can do to stop it. it.breaks.my.heart. as a mother, I want to keep my baby boy from feeling any heart ache. I know there are times when I have to let him
make his own mistakes and get his little feelings hurt, but ripping away his hero when he is 2 isn't it.

ugh. this is hard and let me get REAL real for a minute. my biggest fears (yes, I must be insane) are that I can't be parent enough for the two of them my husband is the best daddy in the world, no contest. I hate that they will spend a very important year of their lives without him. it breaks my heart and scares me. it makes me want to be a better mommy, a more patient mommy, a more organized mommy, you name it. in addition, I worry that I'll be crippled by sadness. I suspect that won't happen, but man I don't want it to. I know there will be days that I have to force myself out of the house despite probably wanting to stress eat an entire pizza instead (just being honest). there are very few things (if any) in this world that I love more than my babies smiles. I want to do something everyday that brings a cheek splitting smile to their face. even if it's just playing in the backyard. sigh. I hope I can.

and while we are being real, I *may* or may not have called my mom in a soppy wet puddle of tears, sobbing uncontrollably to come out and stay with me tomorrow through Tuesday. have I mentioned how unbelievably grateful I am that she is retired? I don't know WHAT I would do without my parents being able to come to my rescue. I mean, what says "grown-up" like a pitiful me begging my mom to come save me from my loneliness?

my sweet baby bday girl is laying next to me also oblivious to the day we will have tomorrow and the most awesome 365 that follow. aside from the fact my house looks like a toddler tornado rolled through and I'll be spending my morning after j leaves cleaning in a frenzy, I'm pretty excited that j and c will get to see ma'am tomorrow afternoon. that'll give everyone something to looking forward to and to distract from the suckfest that is 10 May.

cloudqaeda

today is c's birthday aka daddy J's last day in the usa for 182 days (until mid-tour).

started the day with some present opening.  j and c were super pumped to open the presents-- mostly j for c.  he gets an a+ for present opening and a c- for sharing.  see?  that is why i am going to be an amazing homeschooling mom; i can totally grade fairly. 

*dang i love me some barbies (or just opening some barbies)*

ran the last of the errands after quick baths for everyone and then headed to the indoor trampoline place.  j thought he was in cirque de soleil tryouts on the harness, except for the fact that he wouldn't jump he would only swing.  c wouldn't stop long enough to let me get a picture so i have a lot of blurry pics of the birthday girl.


*so do i have to paint my face weird colors and stuff?*

after trampolining (and one epic meltdown) we went to get some grub at jimmy johns and pick up mommy's birthstone ring for daddy. 


*that's one fine looking birthday girl waiting for her very fancy birthday turkey sammich*


when we got home we let the kids "swim" in the pool (aka run around 90% neked and throw rocks into the pool). 


*i dont know what is classier my behind the knee stretch marks or our astro turf putting green*

while we were outside we asked j what the clouds looked like.  he gave us a "truck" and then an "al queada" for this cloud.  WHAT?  there you have it folks- the face of al qeada.  hide yo wives, hide yo children!

*my finger wanted a close-up.  she is so narcassistic*


Tuesday, May 8, 2012

america! f- yeah!

i set out to make a yellow ribbon wreath today.  i have been absolutely crazy person obsessed with making one for a few days.  i don't know why i feel like this is my patriotic duty before my husband leaves, but i just HAD to make one.  i gave up some precious nap time today to do it too, so you know that i was serious about it.  anyway, here is a tutorial on how i created said masterpiece. 

supplies:
1 foam wreath from a craft store or the walmarts $5
1 pack of floral pins $1
2 clusters of red, white, and blue fake carnations $1.94
1 pair of acu pants that you can cut up (i am assuming anyone interested in making this wreath has a pair of acu pants laying around with the crotch torn out or the knees a mess)

step 1: cut the legs out of acus essentially turning them into britney spears style acu pattern daisy dukes.
you should have enough material to make a wreath and go to halloween as a "slutty private".  double win.

step 2: cut the legs into 1.5 (ish) inch strips.  next, cut the strips into 1 (ish) inch chunks. as you can tell this a very precise science.

step 3: pin the acu chunks in the middle with a floral pin and stick the acu chunks into the foam wreath.  repeat until the whole wreath is covered.  (i chose not to do the sides of the wreath too 1. because my daughter kept stepping on my wreath and 2. because i *may* or may not have stabbed myself at least 13 times already)



step 4: once the whole wreath is covered, take the carnations off of the stems and stick the floral pin into the green part and stab that puppy into the wreath too. 



step 5: arrange them two beside each other in the red, white, and blue pattern.  america!, f- yeah!



viola! you, my friend, have just made yourself one kick ass wreath. 



you might notice that i don't actually have a yellow bow on my yellow ribbon wreath.  i bought the wrong ribbon because i was in a hurry and so my wreath is yellow ribbonless. whatever.  i actually think that the yellow would have clashed with my america carnations.  (honestly, i thought that silk red, white, and blue flowers were a bit of an urban legend, or at the very least could only be bought in alabama or my home state of mississippi.  but now i can't think of one thing that i shouldnt put red, white, and blue silk carnations on.  i mean really.  they are AWESOME).

Monday, May 7, 2012

my heart and head

by writing this blog, i aimed to track what j, c, and i are up to while daddy j is gone.  i also planned on it being a 100% honest look into what i am feeling.  people who haven't been in this situation usually go one of two ways-- they either think that you are being completely ridiculous in feeling sad because afterall, you signed up for this or they are over-the-top sorry for you.  i hope that this blog helps to clarify what someone like me might be feeling.  i know that i can't speak for everyone, but as i face this i want to be honest and open about my heart. 
this morning i woke up at 430.  it was one of those where i was startled awake, but couldn't really figure out why i was startled.  i laid there looking up at the ceiling for a few minutes and decided that nothing was out of place, but that i just needed to be alone for a bit to process my thoughts.  i think that was a bit ironic since in a few short days i will be alone A LOT.  but anyway, here i am up and thinking. 

this morning we are taking the kids to a indoor trampoline place.  i am looking forward to watching j jump and get out tons and tons of energy.  i don't think he even knows that the freight train that is deployment is headed straight for him.  he has not been acting like himself lately.  i know that he knows something is going on and we have talked to him about it, but i don't think he really understands-- afterall; he is only 2.  c is going the complete other way.  she is very cuddly with her daddy and wants to be with him non-stop.  that is unusual behavior for her because she is usually mommy's bff.  mommy is the provider of her "boom boom juice" and she doesn't stray to far from the boom.  it is really sweet to see her hugging, kissing, and loving on her daddy. 

after the trampoline place, i don't think we really have any plans.  i hoped to make a yellow ribbon wreath.  it's on my to-do list.  i don't really know how i am going to do it yet, but i will take pictures along the way to post here for those of you who might want to make one too.   it's silly how in my mind that is something i've just gotta do before he leaves.  it's not like it is going to help the situation in any way, but it will make me feel better, so damnit that is what i am going to do. 

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

7 and a butt days

this morning was spent sleeping in and eating eggs. at o'dark30 this morning c decided to play a rousing game of nosebleed "I get chu!". a normal game of "I get chu" is played by the parents (Daddy J and me) running after the kids and then shouting "I got you!" when we grab them for a hug. Even the creative one, c has created her own version of this game where the end-state goal is that the parents are awake and have nosebleeds. she likes to sit up in bed and ram her forehead into the bridge of our nose. it's a swell way to wake up. literally. anyway, c woke us up and I asked Daddy J to take her. I think I bartered that he could have a nap this afternoon and I'd watch the kids, but my blinding nose pain and exhaustion were really what was motivating that promise. after the 1.5 hours it took me to actually get awake (I.e. suck down coffee time), we got dressed and ran errands. our passports are now siskle and ebbert style 2-thumbs ways up. we also stopped and got Daddy J's other various necessities for travel. he got most of his packing done today- a feat. I avoided throwing up when he was packing- I deserve a medal or at the very least a cake with me in a cape on it. I only cried for about 23 seconds when I was all alone too. I didn't cry because I was sad he was leaving, I cried bc I caught myself wishing this year would go by fast. but, if it goes by fast, my kids' lives will zoom by too and I do NOT want that. My life already is on fast-forward. I don't need to take it up to the 4x fast-forward option. I just need to pray that I can embrace the suck one day at a time.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

it's may. I *may* or may not have been dreading this month for the past 9 months of my life. when Daddy J first told us he was going to deploy, it seemed like a long way away. now, here we are just waiting for the dreaded day to come. me sigh. this blog is how I plan to keep up with what me and j and c are getting into while the cats away.