Tuesday, July 30, 2013

The guy in the back of the room......

My husband is a quiet sort. Which makes the "opposites attract" adage all the more true considering that I am anything BUT quiet. He is the strong, silent type - always there when needed, getting shit done, but not taking any credit for it or needing any kudos for doing it. He just does what needs to be done and moves on to the next thing.

This past weekend we attended the baptism of my great-niece and nephew. I was scrambling to get some pictures and I quickly asked Jeff to "watch my purse and camera bag." The next thing I knew, the priest had asked the family to gather on the altar and suddenly we were in a semi-circle watching the baptism ceremony unfold. Everyone but Jeff. He was still sitting in a pew, dutifully guarding my purse and camera bag. The only other people in the church were two wedding planners tying bows on pews and the husband of the godmother and his two kids, occupying the pew behind Jeff. I motioned for him to join us, but he gestured towards the bag and kept sitting.

I didn't think much of it, except that I wished he was on the altar with me. But I was also caught up in taking pictures and didn't have much time to dwell on it.

Afterwards, he mentioned that he felt excluded - that the whole family was on the altar and shouldn't he have been, too? But he quickly brushed it off saying it was ok, because he was watching my stuff for me. And then he reminded me of another time he was excluded.

When we first began dating, it was only a very short time after my separation from my first husband. We were to attend my niece's wedding and I invited Jeff and Arlie to come along. Before we went, we sent emails to our respective families explaining our relationship, and letting them know that we would be arriving together. And staying in a hotel together with our kids.

Jeff's family responded warmly and I received a couple emails of support as well. I had "talked up" my family to Jeff, telling them how laid-back they are; how completely accepting and easygoing they were. But my sister decidedly informed us that Arlie could attend the wedding with us, but Jeff was NOT invited. My ex-husband, however, WAS invited and would be attending. Obviously this was an awkward situation for all involved and it went over about as well as could be expected. Or worse.

Having nothing else to do on the day of the wedding, Jeff took a long bike ride and then returned to my sister's house where a huge party had been held the day before. Knowing that the wedding reception would be held there in just hours, he set about cleaning up from the party, including disposing of a huge pig carcass (the party had been a "pig pickin'" - and we had roasted a whole pig). Not to mention all the cups, chairs, garbage, filthy kitchen and more that needed to be cleaned. He did it all and waited for our return.

I could not believe he would do such a kind act - especially after being snubbed by my family! And I knew instinctively that he did it, not because he was trying to win any favors with the family, but because it needed to be done. It saved everyone a ton of time and trouble. And took a lot of stress off my sister, who would have had to deal with it all while trying to throw a wedding reception on top of another party.

That was just one of many times I saw Jeff being generous and selfless. He's more than happy to hang back, hold the bags, attend the event he's not interested in......just because that's how he is.

Early on in our relationship, when things were crazy and hectic - both of us going through divorces, raising our kids, blending our families - there were plenty of times I thought I couldn't do it. I simply didn't believe I had the strength to do the battle. I couldn't see better days ahead - everything seemed bleak and hopeless. And I remember Jeff saying to me once "I've got your back!" He said it many times after that and I knew that regardless of how things turned out - whether our seemingly risky move into togetherness so close on the heels of broken relationships would last, whether we'd end up married or "just friends" - that he would always, always "have my back." It was that simple. I just knew.

We've been married nearly seven years now. We've weathered four teenagers, endless emotional crises, financial disaster, sleepless nights, and the general noisy chaos that is our life. Some days we hardly see each other or speak more than a few words (most of them by text) because we're so busy. Other times we languish in the bliss of a few kid-free days on a short getaway (although, truth be told, the last time we stayed in a hotel without the kids, the first thing we did was take a nap!). We're tired. But we're happy.

And so, standing on that altar without my husband, caught up in the busy-ness of taking pictures, I neglected to stop and see that he was not with me. Not by my side as he should be. Guarding my purse from a church full of.....no one. (And, seriously, who steals a purse in the house of God?). Regardless, he was, once again, excluded and forgotten while the rest of us laughed and posed for pictures and enjoyed a family moment.

He did join us afterward for pictures and general congratulations all around, but once he pointed out the obvious - that he was not standing up on the altar with our family - I couldn't help but feel bad. It's bothered me since that moment and I know it's nothing I can set right, and I know it is, in his book "not a big deal" but to me it illustrated how important it is to look around and make sure the ones you love are close by. Enjoying family moments with you. Instead of holding the bag.

This guy is my rock. And there's no one I'd rather stand next to, ever.

I love you, Jeff.

Shit my kids say.........

We've all heard that kids say the "darndest" things. Is darndest even a word? My spell-check doesn't think so. Anyway. I'm here to tell you it's not just little kids who say funny, crazy, or even downright peculiar things. For instance:

Harrison, age 14: Mom, have you ever met a terrorist? I mean, face-to-face?

Arlie, age 15: What play are we going to see? Me: Henry the Fifth. Arlie: I didn't even see the first one!

Harrison, age 14: If you were ever to get arrested, what would it be for?

Hannah, age 18 (in a few days!): This is my llama face! (proceeds to pull out both upper and lower lips and waggle her tongue while making what I presume to be llama noises, although I can't be sure).

Hayley, age 20 (who is supposed to be packing to move into her first ever apartment in a few days): See my nails? I put sparkles on them!

Me to Hannah: You should really start looking for a job. Hannah: Don't make me hit you.

Hayley (from her blog): I hope I don't end up a garbage-eating sack of sadness.

Hannah: Is dinner, like, a THING tonight?

Honestly, I should really write these things down more often. And not just on Facebook!

Monday, July 22, 2013

What do fat chicks wear to weddings?

Tonight I think I officially came to the conclusion that I cannot wear a dress. Which is really sad because I LOVE dresses. I love looking at them and I love it when people wear them and look cute in them, and I would like a whole closet full of dresses, please.

Except I don't look good in them. Besides being plus-size, I am miserably short and seem to have gained all my weight in my mid-section, making me look like the only non-pregnant pregnant woman out there. But seriously - all this celebrity gossip about who might be sporting a "baby bump?" Those tiny little protruding tummies are nothing but lunch. A serious baby belly looks like....well, mine. I used to lament my hips and thighs (and it didn't help that my sister called me "horse hips" and "thunder thighs") but I prided myself on my little waist and I was always well-endowed. So, while I had a little more "curve" in my curvy body than I would have liked, I looked just fine.

I distinctly remember getting "the pooch." Shortly before I was pregnant with my first child, I developed what would now be called a "baby bump" and I was more than thrilled when, a few months later, it really WAS a baby bump and I could breathe a sigh of relief and stop worrying about that annoying pooch that appeared suddenly. Now, I had an excuse! And for nine months (and 50 lbs of weight gain) I pushed that little worry to the back of my mind. I wasn't even all that concerned about getting back to my "pre-baby" weight after the birth, because I was too busy marveling over my newborn. Almost a year and a half later, I was pregnant again, having only dropped about 15 of the 50 lbs I gained. No biggie - I was pregnant again! Who would know? That time, I gained 35 lbs. And afterwards (ok a couple of years later), I dropped all but 15 lbs of THAT "baby weight." My third pregnancy I gained 38 lbs and after my son was born, I went on Weight Watchers and lost all of my baby weight and more. I was down to 130 lbs, which was the skinniest I'd been in ages! (Side note: at 5' 2" and 130 lbs I would still be considered overweight by BMI standards). I felt great and pranced around in size 8 jeans. Briefly. It wasn't long until I was back in a size 10 and then a 12, but I still felt pretty awesome. I had tossed all my size 14 jeans because I was NEVER going to be "that fat" again.

Which, as it turns out, was no big deal because I WAS never that "fat" again. I was fatter! I decided to finally do something about the anxiety that had plagued me since childhood and went on medication. It made me feel "normal" for the first time in ages, but it also came with a 40 lb weight gain! I really didn't want to keep gaining weight, so I switched medications to one that seemed to not have such an effect on my weight. But slowly, slowly, the weight crept on. Ironically, I was also becoming more physically active than I'd ever been and I wasn't eating any differently. But I kept gaining weight. I do think my medication makes it hard for me to drop weight. I haven't kept gaining. But I've stalled out at a weight that..........well, let's just say I didn't weigh this much on the day I gave birth to my firstborn! I'm about 30 lbs heavier than that - so no wonder I look pregnant! Essentially I am - I'm carrying around more weight than I ever did carrying a LIFE inside of me. And it's all concentrated around my middle. My waist is......non-existent.

Which makes wearing dresses less than appealing. There's nothing cuter than a dress that nips in at the waist, and flares out beyond - a classic, feminine silhouette. I have a whole Pinterest board devoted to dresses. I love them that much. And if my body would cooperate, I'd wear dresses all the time.

I'm trying to drop the weight. But some days I think it's hopeless. I'm weak and a sucker for sweets. I eat healthy and balanced meals, but I also love my treats. I drink mostly water - I don't down soda or eat chips from a bag nor do I watch TV for hours on end, or much at all. I exercise a few times a week, and I am on the move constantly. Sometimes I sit for hours on the computer, writing, checking Facebook and email, and researching. But I'm mostly up and down, doing things all day long. So, I'm working on it and I could do better. And I don't hate myself - I dress cute, I accessorize, I don't care what size my clothes are as long as they fit and look nice. I don't try to squeeze into things that are too small, and I don't wear clothes so large they hang on me like a circus tent. I like myself. I wish I were skinnier. I wish I could wear dresses.

I'm going to a wedding. In fact, I have three weddings to attend in as many months. And it just seems right to wear a dress to a wedding. My outfit of choice is jeans and a cute top. Capris in the summer months. A sweater over a tank top, or something with cute details. I almost never wear any other type of pants unless you count yoga pants! "Dress pants" make me cringe. I like things that are comfortable. Dresses are comfortable. But they are not very forgiving. From the side, in a dress, I look pregnant. I can't do much about the wide behind in a dress - there's nothing there to "break it up" - no cute pockets, no "line" where a sweater or top falls over the waistband of my pants. I'm smaller on top than I am in the middle, so I have to wear tops that are probably a size too big just to get them to fit over my tummy and not be tight. It's difficult to "fit" me. We're all so individual - our trouble spots can be anywhere - that it's a wonder there are even standard sizes. Certainly not one-size-fits-all.

I tried on all manner of dresses tonight - borrowing some from my daughter, who is several inches taller than me, weighs about the same, and looks absolutely amazing in dresses. I tried on maxi dresses, short dresses, dresses that showed off my cleavage, dresses that had sleeves, sleeveless types, casual, dressy and somewhere in between. And nothing was quite right. Nothing felt comfortable. I know the bride is the focus at a wedding - who is really going to care what I'm wearing? But I care. I want to feel comfortable and pretty. Effortless. Not needing to "suck it in" or wobble around in too-high heels.

I don't have time to find anything else, either. I only have one day before we leave so I'm kind of stuck with whatever I can scrounge up from my own closet. I could try to go shopping but with my limited time, I'm afraid I'll just go through a lot of trouble and come up empty-handed. So, what do I wear to the wedding?

Of course it's not lost on my how much easier this all would be if I dropped a few (or many) pounds. But I can't lose weight in two days. Maybe by the next wedding, I'll have managed to drop a few pounds and some of the few dresses I do have will fit better. But that doesn't help me right now. I just want to look fabulous - is that too much to ask? :)

Frustrated by tonight's failed dress-up session, I actually Googled pictures of "plus size women." None of them looked like me. Some were bigger, some smaller. I found a lot of articles about loving yourself just as you are (all written by skinny women!). I found articles about women accepting their flaws - those flaws being wrapped up in a body I would kill for. I wish I knew then what I know now. That my horror over my "horse hips" and "thunder thighs" at the time would get much, much worse. That the "fat" I was then is the "skinny" I wish I was now.

I'm not saying I don't have my strong points. I'm cute and have nice skin and pretty hazel eyes and curly hair like no one else (both a blessing and a curse) and I'm funny as hell, but I'm not skinny. And if I were skinny? I'm sure something would have to give. I'd have adult acne or be a bitch. I mean, seriously? Who can have it all? I like me, but I wish I looked cuter in dresses. That's all. And I still have nothing to wear to the damn wedding.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Motherhood. Not for the weak.

"I suppose every daughter eventually gets to this moment with her mother. You stand there, staring in disbelief over something she's done or said - or about to say because you can feel it coming. The truth is, you don't fully appreciate your mother and all she's been through in those moments, otherwise your reactions to the scene might be a little less selfish. But you are young, you haven't "lived" yet and you respond like a person of youth would. 

So...you just sit there staring at your mother, wondering 'Why?'

And that is unsettling, right there in that moment. 

When you don't have the benefit of years of wisdom, all you an see are your own needs. Such is the case with the young. You can't understand your mother the way you should. But, in all the non-verbal, unspoken measures of judgement you know something is happening that is powerful. Whatever it is will affect you greatly. Knowing this, you are shaken in how to respond. You know intuitively that you are an extension of your mother and you haven't yet figured out in life just how that is going to work for you. And so, whatever "it" is that is about to crash into your world, you are unnerved at what it will all mean. 

In your mother, you see you.

And you don't know quite what to do with that yet. " ~ Helen Odenwald "In You I See Me"

I recently read this book, and those are the words that stuck with me throughout. The book is about two sisters and their mother and the "secret" their mother reveals that they have another sister. They eventually find her, make contact, and forge a relationship. It's a nice story. The book is not particularly well-written or organized, but it illustrates a mother/daughter relationship that comes full circle.

I have three daughters. Two biological, one "bonus" or "step" or whatever other term society likes to use to describe a child born of one mother and raised by another. I consider them all my daughters. But as individual as they each are, so is our relationship.

My oldest is 20 years old, and about to plunge headfirst into the adult world by her own choice. She has concluded that living on her own and supporting herself is the best way for her to "fit" into our family now, and that is ok with me. I'm supportive of a young adult her age taking steps to become a full-fledged adult, however misguided she might be in the actual facts of life (like needing a steady income, paying bills on time, prioritizing wants over needs). She will figure those things out by trial and error, just as I did, and hopefully remember some of the life lessons I've tried to impart along the way. Our relationship is as it should be - she, pulling away and sensitive to my input, me, wanting to keep her from being hurt, or experiencing stress, or any of the other negatives of the real world. But I can't. And, so, I must let go. And let her successes and failures be her own. And forge a new kind of relationship - a middle ground between being her mom and being her friend; still guiding but holding back a bit more. Biting my tongue when I see her about to fall into tricky situation. Helping but not hindering. Like me, she is full of big ideas and has definite ideas about how her life will unfold. But she is her own person. In her, I see me.

My middle daughter is almost 18. A near-adult, but not a bit ready to take on the world in that way. She, who is perfectly happy to reside at home, happy to be driven around instead of acquiring a driver's license, having no interest in adult rites of passage like getting a job or having a debit card. Nope, this one would happily live at home until.......well, forever, maybe. She likes the simple things, like snuggling with the dog, or watching movies. But her view of the "real world" - well, it's pretty grounded. She has a wisdom beyond her years, even if she doesn't always act on it. She's intuitive and "tuned-in," a great "reader of people" and always strives to make others happy. I worry, sometimes, that she puts others' happiness over her own. I worry that she won't get a job. I worry that she won't go to college. But I know she's still a kid. She's young and has struggles and will take a little bit longer to grow up. So, while I'm still fully her mom, I'm also her friend, and advocate and supporter. And, eventually, I'll have to push her. I just hope it's not too hard. Like me, she is funny and welcoming, warm and inviting. But she is her own person. In her, I see me.

My youngest daughter, and my "bonus" daughter, is 15. She is mature, responsible, eager to please and prefers her own company (along with her cat). She works hard and is completely confused about the trajectory of her life. As it should be. At 15, she is still at a crossroads and things could go so many directions. We get along well, she confides in me. But I am not her mother. I am her parent: the person who has raised her longer than her own mother at this point, the person who is in her daily life. I want for her all the same things as my "own" daughters. She is my own. I do not differentiate. But she is cut from a different cloth than her sisters - things that only biology can conjure - ways that only she can know because she is from another mother and has a different father. She is driven and athletic and competitive. Socially, she shrinks back. She prefers to be alone and keeps her few friends close and is fiercely loyal. Like me, she is shy and uncertain, organized and likes things orderly. But she is her own person. In her, I see me.

We're all a bit of each other. And that's what makes it so hard. And so beautiful.

In each other, we see ourselves.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

I just wanted to take a bath............

So, it's kind of cool today. The kind of summer cool in Seattle where, in the evening, you might want  a jacket, or a fuzzy blanket, or even a bath! YES! A bath! That seemed just the ticket - I was a little bit cold, I had some new, yummy-smelling bath salts given to me by one of my students at the end of the school year, and I hadn't soaked in the tub reading a magazine in ages! I have a lovely, corner soaking tub (jetted!), scented candles, and a surround just big enough to hold my bath supplies and a large glass of milk and Hershey bar (I mean, essentials, c'mon!).

In fact,I hadn't taken a bath since.......last winter? I'm not sure but judging by the dust layer in the tub and the cobwebs on the candles, it's been a while. You see, in the winter, I love nothing more than a hot soak in the tub with lovely bubble bath and a stack of magazines. I have everything at the ready, and after a quick scrub of the tub, I'm ready to jump in and luxuriate in the suds.

Ah yes. Scrubbin' the tub. I'm very particular and like my bathtub to be freshly scrubbed before I soak. Which, let's admit, depletes a bit of the enjoyment because I have to WORK for my tubby, but there's nothing like spanking-clean white porcelain to greet my equally white ass. Whoops, did I type that out loud?

So, of course, I had to clean the tub. I decided the best way to do this was while standing IN the tub in my bra and underwear. I'm not sure why but it might have had something to do with the fact that it might be less offensive if someone were to burst in the door at an inopportune moment while I was bent over scrubbing the tub. A red-underwear-clad butt is always less scary than a nakey butt.

Boy howdy, was that tub dirty! When I'm not using it on a fairly regular basis, it becomes a breeding ground for stray hair, dust, and whatever falls off my counter into the tub on a daily basis. Tonight the tub contained one tube of sunscreen, a large sponge, the diffuser off my hair dryer, and a large, potted plant. My husband is responsible for that last part. I guess he was "watering" the plant by letting it sit under the spigot, collecting random drips.

I removed all of those items, and in doing so, I accidentally knocked over my container of bath salts which hit the dog's water bowl (actually a former baby doll bathtub that I keep in my bathroom for when the dog is thirsty at night) at just the right angle, spilling it over in a rush of flooding that swept under my laundry hamper and a cardboard box. Yes, there is a cardboard box in my bathroom. It's been there since Christmas and is actually filled with Christmas items. Shut up. I've never moved it and now it's got a partner - a similar box (empty) that sits on top and acts as a nice little collecting shelf for things like towels and clothes that need attention (sewing, stain removal).

I had to climb out of the tub to clean up the mess which is no easy feat. In fact, since this house was built, I've lamented how high the bathtub sits and how it's hard to climb in and out of it without ripping off my lady parts on the faucet. My husband graciously purchased me a step-stool that is painted and glossed so that it's as slippery as snot on a doorknob, so it's not really a safe alternative. However, I did manage to climb out and clean up the mess. When I moved the step-stool, I found a wad of hair so large it looked like a small puppy. So, THERE'S where all my hair goes when it falls off my head!

After cleaning up the hairball and the scouring powder that also spilled in the bath salt disaster, I climbed back in the tub to finish cleaning it. I had to wipe down the window sills, and, in doing so, had to move a very large sailboat my husband made in shop class in high school. He's already broken it once, and it only took him about ten years to fix it, so I had to be VERY careful wiping the dust off the sailboat. Despite my utmost care, the thing wobbled precariously and in catching it, the "lines" became entangled hopelessly in my cleaning rag. I finally shook it all loose and backed away cautiously. Next, came the other windowsill. I noticed some cobwebs and the crumbled-up carcasses of two large flies and one bumblebee. GROSS! Shuddering, I swept them into the rag and shook them out under the running water.

For some reason, the tub wasn't draining very quickly so that in a matter of seconds, the water was filling up and I was standing nearly ankle-deep in floating fly carcass bits. I turned off the water and danced around attempting to avoid the disgusting dead bodies and I saw a SPIDER crawling up my leg! I screamed and flicked the cleaning rag wildly, sending a stream of dusty, hairy, carcass-laden water into my EYE! And let me tell you, it's not easy to dispose of a spider down the drain through the blur of dirty water in your eye.

After catching my breath, I continued to wipe everything down and finally came to the actual cleaning part. I picked up my container of Comet (2x the bleach the label proclaimed! Hell to the fucking YES I want 2x the bleach! Give me 10x the bleach! My bathroom is infested with all manner of disgusting and I MUST destroy it!). I sprinkled it liberally around my feet and up the sides of the tub and bent over to start scrubbing.

OUCH! Back spasm! Back spasm! I felt my back seizing up in a most ominous way and I immediately attempted to counter-act it by doing yoga back bends. By this time, one boob had started to work it's way out of my bra and was bulging out at a most unattractive angle. So, there I was, in my bra and underwear, one boob ready to spring loose any moment, doing yoga in my Comet-covered tub. Did I mention the window was open? Apologies to any of my neighbors who happened to be in the park at that moment. Please don't put that on the internet.

Finally, blessedly, I scrubbed the whole tub, then had to stand, ankle-deep, for ten minutes while the ever lovin' tub drained slow as molasses. Rinse, drain, rinse, drain. I got the last of the Comet sludge rinsed down the drain. By this time I was NOT cold any more. Rather, I was breaking a sweat, my back was spasming, and all I wanted to do was put on my pajamas and get in bed. So, I climbed out of the tub and did just that. And knocked the damn bath salts over AGAIN.

After that experience, I thought I had a pretty good blog post that needed to be documented. Being lazy and tired by this point, I decided to just download the Blogger app on my phone. I could blog on my phone while lying in bed! Technology is great! Except, not. Because I downloaded the app and it didn't work. I was just about to stuff my face with my Hershey bar, drink my milk and bid adieu to this crappy evening when my son walked in. I begged him to bring me my computer, which he did, and that is why I am able to bring you this excellent bath experience that I did NOT have tonight.

Perhaps tomorrow, I will deem the tub still clean enough to enjoy a bath. Or not. No magazines were enjoyed tonight. No sudsy bubbles enveloped me in relaxation. But I'm still eating the Hershey bar. I'm not crazy.

Thanks for watching my dog, here's a pie!

For the past three days we have been "babysitting" my ex-husband's girlfriend's daughter's dog. I'll wait while you decipher that. Ok, ready? The dog is a Yorkie, which is just Latin for "adorable face that hides the fact that I yip uncontrollably in tones that could break glass, and I also occasionally shit on your floor and bite your (bigger) dog in the face." At first, it seemed like a good idea (like having one more beer or another child) that turned into a not-so-good idea pretty quickly.

I mean, first off, you don't greet the house dog by biting her in the face. Well, you DO if you're a Yorkie, I guess, but Georgette, the princess dog of OUR house, did not appreciate it one bit. But did she retaliate? She did not. She simply snubbed Riley the Yorkie the rest of the time he was here and deftly avoided his sharp little teeth by minding her own business (and relocating rooms). She did exact a TINY bit of revenge by eating Riley's food a few times. And throwing up on my bedroom floor. Twice.

Riley the Yorkie had an affinity for my son, who was the only family member he had been previously acquainted with. However, my son was not in the greatest mood this week and less than tolerant of the hyperactive, bouncy love that Riley bestowed upon him. Hence, Riley's imprisonment in the bathroom for a good part of his time in our house. My son did feed and water the dog, and provided him with plenty of excursions outside (to the grass, because apparently Riley does not know how to pee on rocks). But his dad's suggestions to "baby the hell out of him" and "sleep with him" did not pan out.

Riley was quiet a good deal of the time, but when he wasn't - boy, was he loud! Each tiny "yip" was about as enjoyable as getting stabbed in the ear with a safety pin. And he would not shut up! There was no quieting the dog until HE was done. A few sleeping members of the family did not appreciate this at all.

Several times during the week, my son remarked that he "better" be getting paid for all this dog-sitting. Especially when he had to run around the house to catch Riley to put him in the kennel, or when Riley would not get off his lap while was trying to play guitar. Today, the ex and the girlfriend returned to fetch the little yapper and paid Harrison in........pie.

Granted, it was a fresh huckleberry pie from Mt. Rainier, but..........a pie.

We don't even like pie! Pie is an abomination to mankind. Unless it's chocolate or banana cream or coconut cream. Or anything except a puddle of gloppy fruit marring a perfectly good pie crust. Mashed up fruit swimming in sugar and corn starch that makes it glimmer like lip gloss is disgusting. Fresh berries? No problem. Gloppy berries? Horrific!

My son also took care of his dad's cat and watered his plants while they were gone. After looking at his dollar dreams disintegrate into pie crumbs, he looked eagerly at his dad and said "Your cat is still alive! So are your plants!" and held out his hand. The girlfriend shook it and said "Thank you!" and his dad replied "The pie is from both of us!"

Three days of Yorkie yips and we get a pie?

In yer face!