Thursday, December 31, 2009
Today is the closing date on the house. We were certain we would be the moving in a couple of months. Then the phone rang this morning. I answered it full of excitment and happiness and it was our realtor letting us know that the owner was refusing to get rid of the tenants who are currently in the house. Our choices would be to wait until September to get the house or to take the house with the tenants. Both of those are not really what we are hopeing for.
So, any day I could give birth to my second son, we live in a one bedroom apartment and we have no idea what to do next. Matty is already sleeping in the laundry room which is working out alright. Can we keep our next one in our bedroom for the next forseeable future? Matthew made it in the same room with us until he was 9 months old but he wouldnt sleep through the night because we were in the same room.
Nothing else on the market is what we are looking for and if we buy land to build, we would have to continue renting for a few more years. This idea is ok with me except that then we would have to move to another rental place which would be more expensive and likely in a less wonderful location and it would be moving twice in two years.
Dave and I had it all worked out. It was going to be a lot of work but it was just what Dave wanted.
Today was the day we could officially have been owners of our first house. Now it is looking like it may not be for another while. Im fighting to keep myself from being to odiscouraged and sad. God obviously has the right thing for us and it just wasnt this house. Or maybe it is this house but it just isnt the time... its hard for me to consider another time being better but God knows things I sure dont.
Any ideas as to how to make a one bedroom work for a family of four for several more years at the most? We currently have a very spacious livingroom/dining room at the front of the house. Then there is our large kitchen, a big bedroom in the back of the house and then the bathroom and the laundry/matty room.
Please, send me any idea you might have to help me work out what to do in a few months time. Dave and I would love some fresh ideas and something to look forward to.
Hmm, having just written about this and thiking about it I am sure we can make this little place work for us for as long as we have to. Its helped me drag myself out of my pity and into the realm of possibilities. I like the place a lot better than pity. I mean, this is what God has so graciously bestowed upon us. A warm, fantastic apartment and fmaily all around and two sons, the possibility of owning a house one day... Things arent so bleak :)
Anyways, Happy new year everyone! May it be as full of wonderful possibilities as ours will be.
Tuesday, December 22, 2009
Dave and I have made the big leap from being renters to owners. We signed the papers yeaterday and if everything goes smoothly (inspections and finances) we will be moving into our OWN house March first.
From the pictures you can see how beautiful the property is. The road it is close to was one part we didnt like until we saw it and realized that it really isnt a busy road at all. The back yard is an acre and it has the barn which Dave will convert into a shop eventually.
It is currently three different apartments which have been badly taken care of. We will have to do a good scrubbing (anyone want to join the brigade?)before it is worthy of being lived in but it is liveable unlike some of the other places we looked at.
Dave will start by making one half of the house what we want it to be and hopefully by the winter of next year we will have that half perfectly to our liking and be living in it. The other half will be finished as the funds are available and as Dave has the time to spare.
In the end, we are hoping it will be a 5 bedroom home with a nice new kitchen and nice new bathrooms and nice floors with characteristics of the old home but with modern finishes as well.
So this is our new stage. Baby number two will arrive mid January if everything is on time and then in March we will own our first home. Busy busy busy. We might live in our current residence for a month while we have the home so some of the work can be done for the new born to be in the house safely.
Thats the news. We're excited. Please pray it all works out smoothly.
Wednesday, December 16, 2009
Last year I posted a list of all the things that were in my bag before I gave brith to Matty. I had a very thorough bag but I still found that in the end, even only being there two days, I was sad, lonely, bored and discouraged. Now I know those feelings come after giving birth. Hormones going crazy with the change to the body but I thought it might be fun to find out what you guys would suggest as some things to bring to the hospital that can be a comfort and help pass the time.
Yes, a new baby will be hard to put down and will get a lot of my attention but I would still love to know what you would suggest I pack in my bag. Help me pass this next month doing fun packing instead of waiting and waiting.
Monday, December 14, 2009
George Orwell's Animal Farm. I opened up the cover and the inside cover called it a fairy story. What on earth were they thinking? Sure it has talking animals but I have to say, I would never concider this to be a fairy story. Nothing magical or beautiful. Purely a commentary on the nature of man. I wont go in depth of the message behind it since I read it to read not study. Let me just say that it was an easy read but not one that I would be so excited to read again. That being said, i will still admit that it was well written.
One more down. Many more to go.
Friday, December 11, 2009
This is the second year that Dave, Matty and I have gone on Sinterklaas and cut down our Christmas tree, decorated it and then had a nice evening together. We always go to Daves fmailies to get the tree and enjoy some fmaily time.
Here are some pictures of our wonderful St. Nicks tradition for this year.
Wednesday, December 9, 2009
He is now 15 months old.
He still only weighs 21 pounds.
He says: teddy, daddy, mommy, down, all done, amen, oma, hi, buh bye, outside, dog, duck, bottle, car, ball.
He understands everything.
He doesnt listen to everything though. (He is our little disobedient one)
His favourite things are balls(this is anything round including potatoes and oranges) and stairs and telephones.
He naps once a day.
He is beginning to listen to stories. He does love looking at books more.
He had his first hair cut and become such a big boy.
He is beginning to play with his young cousins (although he still gets overwhelmed at times).
He loves to climb. The coffee table is the best spot so far.
I just found his very first molar has made it through.
He has exima on his cheeks. Hopefully there is no real allergy behind it.
He's our little monkey who will very soon be a big brother. Any guesses on how long it will take him to adapt?
Monday, November 23, 2009
Since then, Dave and I have looked at another two houses.
The first one was a private sale. We were thinking that it would be a real mess inside because it hasnt been lived in for years but when we walked in we were pleasantly surprised at what we found. It would be liveable right away but could definetly use some fixing up.
We thought about it but decided we should keep looking for things closer to our price range.
The next one was initially perfect. It was the right price (we hoped get it lower than the asking price) and it was move in ready and would definetly benefit from work. We actually decided to put an offer in on the house. Unfortunately, the owner is not willing to budge much on her asking price and we think we can find soemthign we will be more excited about for the same of less. So we have a standing offer on that house but will continue to look around at other things.
So far we have been looking in the east end because we had a real estate agent. We are just waiting to hear from a real estate agent in the west and we can compare what we can get for how much. Commute is really important to Dave though so west will mean longer drives for Dave.
Anyways, I'll keep you all posted once there is any other news.
Friday, November 13, 2009
Jane Austen's, Pride and Prejudice!
I have to say I was so fond of this book. I really thought it would be dry and a task to read through but I was so into the story and the characters that I didnt want to put it down.
I still have two more Austen's to read but I am going to take a break by reading a few others first. I dont want to over do my Jane.
If you have never read any of the classics, I would encourage you to start with Pride and Prejudice. Especially if you have already seen the movie. It helps you follow it a bit easier.
Friday, November 6, 2009
I have to admit, I enjoyed this book a lot more than I thought I would. It definetly takes a few pages to get in tune with the language and I will admit that often, while reading it, I had no idea what some of the words meant. But it was a very enjoyable read.
The main character is a lady named Anne Elliot who is a very loveable character. She is unloved by her family yet loved by everyone else.
This story follows the predictable plot of Jane Austens books but maybe that is why it was still so enjoyable. I am glad I enjoyed it because there are another two Jane Austen books on the list that I have to read.
I would recommend this book. Its short, easy to get into and the characters are enjoyable to follow and learn about. Now i just have 80 more books to go!
Wednesday, November 4, 2009
Yesturday Dave and I got to go and see our first house.
Ya, not a beauty, thats for sure but can you see the potential? We most certainly wouldnt buy it for what they are asking. It smelled of mold and it was so bad that Dave and I actually left with a headache. The entire house would need to be gutted along with removing the back half and building a new two story addition and garage.
Its on 1.3 acres which is a nice lot so the potential is there. I can imagine a tree lined laneway
and a white picket fence alone the road and otherside
A wrap around proch on the front and black shutters on all the windows
Its fun looking and dreaming. Currently this house has a crumbling bit of foundation on the inside (part of which would be removed) and a basement with 4 inches of water in it. Not sounding so great but, with Daves amazing work (sorry to boast) it would become something beautiful. For the right price and if an inspection shows nothing more serious than what we have already seen, we just might possess this pathetic looking building. Currently, it doesnt look like it will happen since the resale in the area isnt quite as high as we would like, but who knows?
We might get to go and see another house soon. If so, I'll be sure to let you know about it.
Monday, November 2, 2009
While reading another persons blog, I came across a neat list. Apparently, the BBC believes that most people will only have read 6 of 100 books on their list. So, I have decided to take a look at the list, mark those I have read and read all the others. As I finish the book I will write a post about the book. This sounds like a fun project to me.
My cousin, Tim, is doing something slightly similar and he gave me the idea to challenge myself in reading more. I love to read but usually never know what to pick up next. Ill start with this list and see where is takes me.
Corrin, the woman who originally posted this list, put out a challenge:
1. Copy this into your NOTES on Facebook or copy it to your blog
2. Look at the list and put an 'X' in front of those you have read
3, tag other book nerds
5. I've added a step five. Put in Bold those books you want to read by the end of this year.
(X) Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen
(x) The Lord of the Rings - JRR Tolkien
( ) Jane Eyre - Charlotte Bronte
(x) Harry Potter series - JK Rowling
(x) To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee
(x) The Bible
( ) Wuthering Heights - Emily Bronte
( ) Nineteen Eighty Four - George Orwell
( ) His Dark Materials - Philip Pullman
( ) Great Expectations - Charles Dickens
Total - 4
(x) Little Women - Louisa M Alcott
( ) Tess of the D’Urbervilles - Thomas Hardy
( ) Catch 22 - Joseph Heller
( ) Complete Works of Shakespeare
( ) Rebecca - Daphne Du Maurier
(x) The Hobbit - JRR Tolkien
( ) Birdsong - Sebastian Faulk
( ) Catcher in the Rye - JD Salinger
( ) The Time Traveler’s Wife - Audrey Niffenegger
( ) Les Miserables - Victor Hugo
Total - 2
(X) Middlemarch - George Eliot
( ) Gone With The Wind - Margaret Mitchell
( ) The Great Gatsby - F Scott Fitzgerald
( ) Bleak House - Charles Dickens
( ) War and Peace - Leo Tolstoy
( ) The Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams
( ) Brideshead Revisited - Evelyn Waugh
( ) Crime and Punishment - Fyodor Dostoyevsky
( ) Grapes of Wrath - John Steinbeck
(X) Alice in Wonderland - Lewis Carroll
Total - 0
(x) The Wind in the Willows - Kenneth Grahame
( ) Anna Karenina - Leo Tolstoy
( ) David Copperfield - Charles Dickens
(x) Chronicles of Narnia - CS Lewis
(X) Emma - Jane Austen
(X) Persuasion - Jane Austen
(x) The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe - CS Lewis
( ) The Kite Runner - Khaled Hosseini
( ) Captain Corelli’s Mandolin - Louis De Bernieres
(x) Memoirs of a Geisha - Arthur Golden
Total - 4
(x) Winnie the Pooh - AA Milne
(X) Animal Farm - George Orwell
( ) The Da Vinci Code - Dan Brown
( ) One Hundred Years of Solitude - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
( ) A Prayer for Owen Meaney - John Irving
( ) The Woman in White - Wilkie Collins
(x) Anne of Green Gables - LM Montgomery
( ) Far From The Madding Crowd - Thomas Hardy
( ) The Handmaid’s Tale - Margaret Atwood
(x) Lord of the Flies - William Golding
Total - 3
( ) Atonement - Ian McEwan
(X) Life of Pi - Yann Martel
(X) Dune - Frank Herbert
( ) Cold Comfort Farm - Stella Gibbons
( ) Sense and Sensibility - Jane Austen
( ) A Suitable Boy - Vikram Seth
( ) The Shadow of the Wind - Carlos Ruiz Zafon
( ) A Tale Of Two Cities - Charles Dickens
(X) Brave New World - Aldous Huxley
(X) The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night time - Mark Haddon
Total - 2
( ) Love In The Time Of Cholera - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
( ) Of Mice and Men - John Steinbeck
( ) Lolita - Vladimir Nabokov
( ) The Secret History - Donna Tartt
( ) The Lovely Bones - Alice Sebold
( ) Count of Monte Cristo - Alexandre Dumas
( ) On The Road - Jack Kerouac
( ) Jude the Obscure - Thomas Hardy
(X) Bridget Jones’s Diary - Helen Fielding
( ) Midnight’s Children - Salman Rushdie
( ) Moby Dick - Herman Melville
( ) Oliver Twist - Charles Dickens
( ) Dracula - Bram Stoker
(x) The Secret Garden - Frances Hodgson Burnett
( ) Notes From A Small Island - Bill Bryson
( ) Ulysses - James Joyce
( ) The Inferno - Dante
( ) Swallows and Amazons - Arthur Ransome
( ) Germinal - Emile Zola
( ) Vanity Fair - William Makepeace Thackeray
Total - 1
( ) Possession - AS Byatt
(X) A Christmas Carol - Charles Dickens
( ) Cloud Atlas - David Mitchell
( ) The Color Purple - Alice Walker
( ) The Remains of the Day - Kazuo Ishiguro
( ) Madame Bovary - Gustave Flaubert
( ) A Fine Balance - Rohinton Mistry
(x) Charlotte’s Web - EB White
(X) The Five People You Meet In Heaven - Mitch Albom
(X) Adventures of Sherlock Holmes - Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
Total - 2
(X ) The Faraway Tree Collection - Enid Blyton
(X ) Heart of Darkness - Joseph Conrad
(X) The Little Prince - Antoine De Saint-Exupery
( ) The Wasp Factory - Iain Banks
( ) Watership Down - Richard Adams
( ) A Confederacy of Dunces - John Kennedy Toole
( ) A Town Like Alice - Nevil Shute
( ) The Three Musketeers - Alexandre Dumas
(x) Hamlet - William Shakespeare
(x) Charlie and the Chocolate Factory - Roald Dahl
Total - 3
Well, I must say I am happy that I have read more than 6 but boy do I ever have a lot of books to read. I guess I better get started. Funny that I have some on my bookshelf I just havent read them.
How many have you read on that list? Anyone near me have any of those books I can borrow??? Please let me know.
Wednesday, October 28, 2009
Lately I have been very into the decorating ideas that I have seen and I look forward to collecting some things this year to use for next Christmas (socks for all 24 days before Christmas used as an advent calendar, hung from a line with a gift in each one). Until then I continue to look at nice creative projects people have made. Some of which I have considered doing myself... we shall see.
Friday, October 23, 2009
I woke up and I was uncomfortable. I thought I had to go to the washroom or maybe just needed to relax. I tried these things and it didnt help. Pain started shortly after. An intense pain, similar to contractions except it wasn't an ending pain. It didnt just come and go. It just stayed and hurt.
Dave was home and I was thankful for it because I spent the morning in bed. I was whining occassionally out of panic but mostly I was in my head.
"If this baby is born today, I will lose him"
"I cant give birth today, it isnt time!"
"Levi, keep moving, uterous, stop hurting"
I didnt want to go to the hospital. I didnt want to move. I just wanted to be ok.
I prayed for God to take away the pain but it just wasnt happening. I was in tears, feeling desperate to find the solution to my pain.
It hit me then and there. God wants my son. I am about to lose my son but he isnt mine. He is Gods precious gift and if He wants Levi, now is his time to come. So I did something really hard. I told God to take Levi. I prayed that Gods will be done and I told God that Levi was His and only entrusted to me. I was calm. Sad, but calm. I understood God was sovereign and that He would help me through whatever would happen.
The moment my prayer was finished the pain vanished. Levi was still moving around but there was no pain.
I thanked God for sparing Levi and myself. God had spoken to me.
"Levi is my child. Entrust his life to me."
It wasnt easy but only peace followed afterward. May I always remember that everything I have is God's and that I have only been entrusted with it for a time.
Tuesday, October 13, 2009
Lots of children, lots of noise, great food, warm ambiance, good friend, yummy desserts. Could anyone ask for any better?
Delicious pumpkin cheesecake made by my sister, and fantastic delux chocolate cookies made by my mom. It finished off the decadent evening beautifully.
A tuckered out boy. We had him snug in his carseat and he was asleep before we hit the end of the dirt road (that is very fast).
*a growing life inside of me
*my family in law
*beauty all around
Another Thanksgiving over but there is never an end to giving thanks.
Monday, October 12, 2009
I was so glad when everything turned out so well. We had cooked the turkey in advance and so just needed to reheat it and I think it was still moist enough and we had great gravy to pour over it as well.
We had a fantastic time talking around the table and in numerous rooms in the house and Carla (mom in law) gathered the whole family in the living room to sing me happy birthday in Frisian (or Dutch) and English. Then I got to open my gift. It was quite a surprise.
It was a nice time with family. Matty loved seeing his cousins from farther away (Eleanor and Brenna) and every one of the kids managed to have at least a little nap (4 kids, 4 pack and plays, 3 different rooms, most at the same time).
Today is thanksgiving with the Millar family and I am excited. I bought the turkey and made the stuffing and I look forward to sitting down with my family and eating and chatting and laughing...
Thank you, Lord, for EVERYTHING!!!
Wednesday, October 7, 2009
As I promised, I have some pictures. I can't say they are fantastic but they are so much nicer than my other camera.My birthday was a lot of fun. It started with a beautiful banner made with love:
Then it moved into sweets and a game:
And lots of fun with friends.
Friday, October 2, 2009
So much happens at the end of September and beginning of October that I get so flustered I forget to get the camera out for some pictures. So, tomorrow I will be attending my birthday party with my ladies and my camera. And I WILL remember to take pictures with it (brand spanking new camera that my husband got me for our anniversary, my birthday and Christmas).
What I missed for pictures was our anniversary (but I did post about it... at least) and my parents 31st anniversary. My sister and I made dinner for them and we all sat down and ate together. It was so nice to be together as an almost complete family (Dave was missing because of work) and I even brought my camera to get pictures... It was left in the bag. Good place for it, eh?
So for those of you out there who look at posts and see no pictures and you dread reading, I will have pictures for you in a couple of days... I... promise??? mmm, maybe not. I just hope I will. I can't promise because I know myself and my lack of wherewithall to remember things in crowds. Until then, have a fantastic weekend dooing whatever it is you are up to and when I write to you again, I will be 26. AHHHHHH!!!! I dont like that number.
Tuesday, September 29, 2009
The greatest moment was being presented to my love at the front and hearing:"I now pronounce you husband and wife". Since then, life has felt like it has always been this way. Dave and I are one and it seems foreign to consider it being any other way.
So much has happened in our short marriage and its increadible to believe there was a time when all of it was just a dream. Two sons, new friends, adventures to numerous places together, struggles and growth...
I am so excited to be where I am and I look forward to celebrating many more anniversaries with my best friend and husband. Just yesterday he was asking me if I had ever pictured us aftert two years and I had to admit I had only thought of us in 25 years. Marriage becomes more and more beautiful as it goes through trials and comes out strengthened and matured. Dont get me wrong, I dont desire trials, I just know they will come and we will have to deal with different things. Its the way it is.
I thank the Lord for blessing me with my life as it is. I ask Him to provide me with continual growth in seeing where I am failting as a wife and mother and I praise Him for all the amazing things I have seen Him do.
Thank you Lord.
Thank you Dave.
I love you.
Wednesday, September 23, 2009
He has also entered the whiny stage. Since he has very few words he just puts his hand up in the air, snaps his little fingers and goes "ain ain ain". This is very annoying and Dave and I have been trying to be consistent in our discipline of it. He isn't given what he wants until he stops whining and attempts to repeat after us. Usually that means he stops whining and looks at us and says "Da". But, he stopped whining so we give him what he wanted. Hopefully it will work and hopefully he will learns the words we keep repeating ('More please' is the big one).
Other than that, he just got his sixth tooth, he loves trying to make us laugh and he is still a fantastic little man.
News about the little one in my womb: he moves like a crazy dancer these days. I have no idea what it is that is making him squirm so much but I love feeling him... unless Im trying to sleep then its a bit... distracting. Im also re-thinking his name. I love the name Levi but apparetnly it is the same name as Matthew. This really doesnt matter to me but I also like the name Titus and I know Katrina would love to have a Levi one day. Dave and I will just have to discuss it and decide what we want. We still have quite a while to make up our minds. Any one else out there have an opinion? Levi David or Titus somthing...???
Tuesday, September 22, 2009
I decided to invite my parents over for dinner (a non-judgmental party who would forgive me if it was terrible) and Dave invited Jared over. He is a good cook so he made me a little nervous. As I skewerd the chicken neck to the back after having rinsed the chicken and patted it down with paper towel I felt very much like Julia from the movie Julie and Julia. So into the whole process. It wasnt until I had to baste the chickens (thats right, I made two at a time) that I was not feeling so happy about the whole thing. It kept burning me and the baster wasnt doing a good job... I had to fight being crabby ( I am so not the queen of the kitchen).
I made mashed potatoes, green beans, steamed carrots and gravy with the herb chicken.
Dave carved up the chicken and then the moment of truth arrived. Was it good? It was AWSOME!!! Even Jared said it was good. Right away he said it. Connor couldnt stop telling me how good it was and mom and I savoured each bite. Dave loved it and he doesnt like chicken much...
It may sound like I am bragging... Am I? I dont think so. I am triumphing in a success that could have so easily been a disaster. I am Katie, the woman who really doesnt enjoy the kitchen. I dont like cooking and I bake with glee sometimes but mostly prefer to make easy, boring meals. I, Katie, roasted two chickens and lived to tell you it was GOOD!
Ok, Im done. Thank you all for reading my excitement. And thank you mom for helping me make gravy and deciding the meat was done cooking.
Monday, September 14, 2009
My dad is still awaiting another operation. Apparently, when they cleared out the artery that caused the heart attack they discovered another two arteries that are very close to causing him another attack. One of them is 98% blocked and the other 80%.
My dad was so hopeful he would be going home today or tomorrow but he is yet to even be put on the list for the procedure/operation. He was given a false hope today when they told him to fast so that if they could slide him in at some point they would, but later was told he could eat because there was no room ( I can feel his disappointment and sinking dispair). I know he would like to be home. He would like to be back with family and colour and good food. He is where he needs to be right now but I think he struggles with worry and loneliness. I know I would.
Mom said they would be moving him up out of intensive care so he could have visitors other than family. Im sure it would be a welcome distraction for him. I guess they'll just move him back into intensive care once he has has the procedue??? Or maybe he will be ok since he has not had another attack...
Anyways, my mom and dad have felt so blessed from everyone who has called, e-mailed, made meals and every other ministry people have given. Thank you so much. We all love you so much and appreciate your continued love and prayers.
Friday, September 11, 2009
"Hi, this is Eryn from your Dads work... there is an ambulance ready to take your dad to the hospital here. We think he might be having a heart attack."
Apparently they couldnt get in contact with my mom so they called me to let me know what was happening. My brain went buzzing directly to all the people I needed to call, starting with my mom, of course. I stayed calm and collected. Definetly not what I thought I was capable of.
I waited on the phone until the paramedic got on the phone to let me know how my dad was. He kept it very business like but it sounded very good. My dads vital signs were all really good but his heart was beating really slowly. They needed to take him to the heart institute for surgery that was very normal and unabtrusive. They would insert something into his leg and it would go up into his heart and do something (Im so medically inclined). It would only take a short time and then he would be brought into a recovery room.
Once I took all this information and passed it onto my mom, she was quick to head over there and meet my dad as soon as visitors were allowed. I packed Matty up and we headed over to my parents place to wait. On the way there, my mind came to reality. My cool collectivity disappeared and I thought of all these horrible things. I was loosing control of the facts and beginning to think of all the possible future outcomes. I fought tears and also kept repeating "God is sovereign, He works all for good, the paramedic said it was minor..." and it helped me calm down.
Once my mom and brother finished their visit, my sister and I were soon to follow.
My dad lay there. We were all so surprised. He mentioned he never thought he would ever have a heart attack. Is it something most people really think about? He was scared, we were scared...
After visiting I felt a lot better. I mean, it wasnt nice seeing my dad having to lie down on his back and not move but God was so good to him. It wasnt a painful attack, it was not a big attack, and they were able to remove the blockage that was in the artery. He looked worried. I can understand. Its a big deal to have a heart attack, no matter how big or small.
And so we pray. Pray that his heart will be healthy from here on out, that he would recover well, that he would be able to handle being off work for three weeks...
My eyes turned off of me very quickly and went straight to dads. earthly and heavenly. I spent many minutes throught out the day praying to Him for him, thinking about him and Him, loving them both so much.
Heres looking at you kid! I love you Dad. I hope you are doing alright in the heart institute. We will visit when we get back from the wedding. Laloos, no cats in America, MUAH!