Thursday, February 4, 2010

Poll Results

The poll I put up asking people's opinion on whether or not I should rip back and fix that row that got messed up in my Swallowtail shawl is now closed. The results weren't that clear- 10 votes total, 6 for ignore, 4 for fix. I've decided to leave it as it is, though, since the pattern has straightened out since then (although it does explain why I was having so much trouble back then!). I've decided to go with the majority (and my own feelings) and leave in the mistake, so I can just keep going with it.

Elijah's parents came over for dinner tonight, for the first time since we moved in here back in September. I'd been meaning to have them over for ages, but it somehow never happened. They live just around the corner, maybe a two-minute walk, so although we see them often enough, and they've had us over for dinner several times, this was the first time they'd joined us for dinner. I made beef stew, a variation of my mom's recipe, and everyone loved it. I also made cornbread, which was a boxed mix, an impulse buy in the store (honey cornbread mix, and it was on sale), and for dessert, a peach pie that I bought frozen and just baked. We pulled out our kitchen table into the center of the kitchen so that all four of us could fit around it (it's a small kitchen, so normally, the table sits pushed up against one wall, and we usually eat at our computers anyway, it's just easier at this point), and had a lovely time chatting. Elijah's parents' house is small, as is ours, and they chose to have a computer desk and birdcages (they have five birds) instead of a dining table, and there's no room for a kitchen table, so they always eat on the couch, watching TV. It was nice to just chat without a TV on, since we always spend half the TV-watching time chatting anyway. In short, a good time was had by all.

I gave the cats some catnip before Elijah's parents came over, hoping to get them into a playful mood, but like always, they hid. I did get each of them out of their cube-cave (which was a big struggle with Han he didn't bite or use claws, but definitely threw his weight around to try to get me to leave him alone) and had them sit on my lap for a little bit, and Mom got to pet them. Han finally calmed down (he had been struggling to get down), so once he was calm for a little while, I let him jump off my lap. The boys are nine months old now, and Han is definitely the bigger one. I weighed them last week- Luke weighs 7 lb, 10 oz, and Han weighs 9 lb, 10 oz, so he is a full two pounds heavier than his brother. He also has the unfortunate habit of showing that he wants to get down from my arms by pushing off my chest with all four legs. I trim their claws, because they haven't learned to control them very well. They don't intend to cause harm, they just don't realize that they're going to hurt us. Han will struggle to get down, so we've been restraining him until he calms down, and once he's relaxed, then he is allowed to get down.

Toilet-training has been progressing slowly. Both boys are to the point where they will put both front paws up on their own, and allow me to put their back paws up (I say "paws up!" to try to get them to associate the words with the action, so that I can transition to just saying it and having them do it on their own, and eventually just do it without prompting, but they've been slow learners about that), but won't do it themselves. Luke will hold one back paw kind of halfway when he's pooping, and allows me to nudge it up to the seat, but won't give me any help with the last foot; I have to lift it up. I've been decreasing their litter bit by bit, so that they're now down to just a very light covering of litter on the bottom of the bowl, but if I don't put in enough litter, they complain and won't use the toilet until I put more litter in. They also both climb completely into the bowl before putting paws up, although I've tried to teach them to get into the squat position right after they jump up onto the seat. That tendency, combined with the small amount of litter, means that they're getting urine on their paws when they pee (I clean it after every use, and if I don't, Han complains until I do clean it. I put extra litter in at night so that they'll tolerate it). I had hoped that the lack of litter would make them uncomfortable enough that they would be encouraged to lift their paws on their own, but that's not proving to be the case. Training has been going on for three months now, but I feel like we've been at a standstill for a long time, they're just not learning what I want them to do, or being stubborn about doing it.

And just so that this isn't a completely pictureless post, here's one of Han!


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