Wednesday, February 27, 2008 --- I don't know how to balance blogging and a job outside of the house...I'm a failure!

I am having a bitch of a time trying to balance blogging and working outside of the house. It sucks because I was so regular with I just feel like a failure who can't manage her time. But the thing is, I'm doing laundry, cleaning, grocery shopping, etc. with whatever free time that is not taken up by sleeping and watching the few highly necessary television programs we like to watch each week. Ugh! In addition, I have a freelance website job going on -- for a certain Pilates studio in New York -- which I am very excited about -- but again, less free time for me and me-blog when I get home each day. Ah, well.

The other thing that has made me actually avoid blogging is my ongoing frustration with Blogger mistreating me and my post publishing process. I know that the best solution is to migrate to dynamic blogging (i.e. Wordpress) -- and I WILL do this! But, F*CK! I just don't have the time right I avoid...because Blogger can't piss me off if I don't blog!

One thing that we have been having fun with is KITTY CAM. I got a web cam for Christmas (which works independently from a computer -- just hooks up to our home network) that allows us to watch our cats when we are not home...or when we have our backs turned and we want to see what those little f*ckers are doing when we are not looking. Plus, their Grandma really likes to check in on them from Connecticut -- just to see how fat they are or to watch them playing. I don't know why I enjoy this so much, but I do. It's like I'm producing my own Feline reality tv show! Here are some still shots from the KITTY CAM as an animated GIF -- of Noodle the Cat.

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Thursday, August 30, 2007 --- What has been going on in Butterfly's cocoon?

As you all know, we put Trudy to sleep on August 13, 2007. She was cremated on August 14, 2007...and, we got her ashes back the following weekend in this pretty little box -- which is now on a shelf in our living room. It came with an engraved name plate which we affixed on the inside of the lid. We have been missing her terribly, but we are glad every day that she is no longer suffering.

As a household, we will always have a hole in our hearts for Miss Trudy. The boys were missing their sister...Peanut, especially, was walking around meowing and howling, looking for Trudy for days. We still miss her non-stop purring, her instant appearance whenever you called for her, her love of tuna water, her insatiable need to rub her cat lips on us when she wanted to be pet... We have ALL needed some cheering up...and, we had an available spot in our place to offer someone special a new home! So...

...Meet Nutmeg! It was a difficult choice, but this little bundle stood out from the crowd at PetSmart's Adoption Day as the best candidate to join our little, not-so-little family. She's very outgoing and she has a cool orange spot on her head. The boys accepted her relatively easily -- we only had them segregated for one day!

Jackson offered to give her a wash off the shelter a rather untraditional manner!

You can see that Peanut is pretty oblivious to her presence when he is sleeping with his dad...

...And, after a rough start of throwing up whenever he looked at her...from fear(!)...Noodle is now able to take a nap with her on the sacred chair...

Her first major act of mischief??? Eating through the wire on these headphones for her Daddy's XBOX 360! Surprisingly, Daddy was not that upset...probably because it gave him the perfect excuse to buy the better X2 wireless headphones from Turtle Beach...

Vive l' XBOX 360!
Merci beaucoup, ma petite Nutmeg!


We also just got back from Connecticut and visiting Mommie Dearest for a Belated 4th-of-July-Birthday Celebration -- she's a Firecracker Baby! Here we are in the dark making motion trails with our super-long sparklers. You can see some of our other fun with explosives on her blog.

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Sunday, July 15, 2007 --- Today, I had 2 cats in my ass!

As filthy as that sounds, it was all pretty innocent. I was taking a little nap and these two (Peanut and Noodle) decided that the crook of my leg under my butt was a good place to sleep. Since I sleep half on my side and half on my stomach, I always have one leg bent up and one leg straight -- so they were actually sleeping on top of my straight leg. Rest assured, this was not good for my circulation in that limb! I was woken up by the man snapping pictures... Eventually, we dismantled this cozy little arrangement because my leg was getting numb and I needed to use the bathroom. But, it was very toasty and sweet while it lasted. ;-)

In other news, Trudy has finished her course of liquid antibiotics. Now, she just needs to continue one daily pill, which is not so bad. We have been monitoring and recording her weight, hairball puking incidents, etc. She has been slowly putting on weight, but it is really difficult to keep her interested in any one particular food. She likes certain foods one day, then she gets bored and will not eat them the next day.

Today we bought a couple of new foods to try. She devoured an entire plate of Whiskas Mixed Grill in Gravy -- a really creepy, juicy concoction that comes in a pouch, of all things. SHE LOVED IT! I guess she liked the idea of eating like an astronaut? ChooChoo in Space, woo hoo! Just you wait though. We will buy a few more pouches of this stuff and she will probably never eat it again...which means the garbage disposal cats, Peanut and Jackson, will come along and eat it for her. It is good to know that her finickiness will result in her brothers' gaining weight, and not her. Just what I wanted.

However, Noodle is a good boy. He is universally finicky and barely eats his wet food. He is a dry-brown-pellet man, mostly -- I do not expect him to gain any extra weight as a result of the Kitty-Buffet table.

And now, I think I will have some Corn Flakes...all this food talk made me hungry for a snack...Damn Cats!

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Monday, June 11, 2007 --- Recently acquired items of cuteness...and a heart-melting sweetie!

I am loving these new items that we got at the outlet a few days ago...very cute cotton, empire-waisted shirts from Old Navy. I got this white one as well as black and navy.

...and my ethnic-looking leather sandals from Naturalizer (very comfy on the tootsies!).

And, as a bonus treat for all of you cat lovers...a picture from Noodle's latest kitty photo session! He just melts his momma's heart --- in spite of how evil he can be...

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Sunday, February 25, 2007 --- More crazy-wet-heavy snow in Virginia...and other topics of possible interest.

Today it was snowing again in Virginia. The flakes were incredibly big and heavy with wetness --- when they built up on the tree branches outside our windows, the trees were falling over from the weight. Crazy...take a look!

I am guessing that my mom and aunt Jackie were having fun snow-shoeing today in Vermont --- maybe they got some of this fresh snow falling on them to add to the hiking in the wilderness-oblivion experience?? I wanted to check in with the ladies with regard to the Vermont weather, but my mom won't answer her cell-phone...Maybe they will read this post and comment back to me!

In case you did not already know this fact, cats like to sleep. Here is a rare moment --- Noodle and ChooChoo sleeping together on the same chair! This chair is a household favorite for the monsters because it is fuzzy and cozy --- and, it has a coordinating washable cat pillow on it which allows us to keep it fur-free for actual we ever get a chance. :)

Not much else going on here. I am a little blue because it is so gloomy outside. But, luckily today is Sunday...which means the man and I watch The L Word at 10pm --- so that is something to cheer me up.

Here's something new! We just obtained a pack of each of the 2 new flavors of Orbit Gum [my exclusive chewing product of choice]!!!

Let me just say that Raspberry Mint KICKS ASS...starts out tasting a little bit like rasperry cough syrup, but then it mellows and becomes an intense raspberry flavor that makes your mouth chilly and fresh. I give it a Borat "very niiiice!"

The other new flavor is Mint Mojito which is a little weird...?

I would describe it as a combination of chilly sensation, fresh mint leaves and Lime Pledge furniture polish (if they actually made a Lime version, but as far as I know, Pledge is only Lemon flavored...) It kind of grows on you after a while, especially if you are a citrus fan. One strange thing about it I noticed --- when you blow a bubble with it and then it breaks, the resulting blast of air in your mouth smells like fresh plants, similar to the smell of leaves in Summer?? Does that make any sensory-sense to anyone?? But it doesn't thrill me as much as Orbit's Lemon-Lime which has a wonderful sour-tangy flavor almost like the original Gatorade Gum...

Orbit Citrusmint is also quite good --- for an Orange and Grapefruit inspired chewing experience!

All gum pictures are courtesy of

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Thursday, January 25, 2007 --- Maximizing our efficiency...Noodle says, "what the heck is this?"

We have temporarily changed the appearance of our fireplace...and it looks kind of strange...but we sure are toasty!!

It has finally gotten cold in Virginia and we were using the fireplace daily, but we were getting tired of lugging wood home every other day from the clubhouse. And then, after constantly having to run the heat in the apartment for very long periods of time to heat up the living room and the bedroom (at opposite ends of a long 4-room external-walled apartment) we got sick of how much electricity this was wasting. I realized that we were spending the majority of our time in the living room because it was the warmest I partially closed off the rest of the apartment, turned off the heat, took out the very efficient space heater and decided, we are only going to use electricity to heat this one room (rather than 4 semi-used rooms) and stay there. Then, I got the great idea to hang a mylar blanket in front of the fireplace to reflect our heat back into the room (instead of losing it through the drafty fireplace) --- and let me tell you, WE ARE TOASTY!!! And using less electricity. Al Gore would be so proud of us. Of course, Noodle wants to know what the heck did we do to his fireplace?? [No more sooty paws for you, mister --- at least until the mylar comes down!]

Noodle and Jackie love their pass-thru --- it really is the best way to watch everything that is going on in the kitchen. Especially in the sink!

And so, our large family is warm on the couch futon by night and doing our work on the laptop in various corners by day. When we are not using the bed, the cats have decided to implement a quadrant strategy to divide the space fairly --- no touching, please.

Goodnight everybody!

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________ - THE BUTTERFLY BLOG - Copyright ©2007 Vanessa Lee Hamlen. All rights reserved.

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I am a graphic designer. I love animals and have quite a few pets. There is a frustrated DJ inside of me --- hence, my ongoing obsession with making music mixes.

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Musical Goodness

-- Music from Butterfly's personal library --

LORI'S LABOR: A collection of 6 unique playlists with varying intensity and mood for your listening pleasure! I created these original mixes for my friends to use during the labor and delivery of their first baby, Nicholas.

You can visit their blog here: ---> The Bridenstines!

Listen to my comical, purposefully nasal, total HAM-job submission to the 2007 Blogger Christmahanukwanzaakah Online Holiday Concert in the mini-player above!
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