Happy New Year!

We’re almost two weeks into the new year and things are great. We’re having such a mild winter and I’m loving it so much. I’ll start off this post with highlights from us enjoying many of our Christmas presents!

Starting off with Star Wars Episode I using our Disney+ subscription.
Yeah…Damien fell asleep during it LOL He only slept through maybe 20 minutes of it. We’ve already watched the first 2 movies of the series.
Damien’s been using his new reading pillow to play games on his phone. I will say I totally expected him to be texting more than he does. Guess he has better things to do.
The awesome burrito blanket–washed and dried!
The shark cup works great to keep his toothbrush off of the counter.
Damien asked MULTIPLE times a day to eat his giant Hersey’s kiss. He was OBSSESSED!
In case you wanted to know what it looked like on the inside. Much to Damien’s annoyance, I didn’t allow him to eat it all in one sitting lol
Trying out the VR headset with some sort of treasure game
Now for the adults! Our entryway doesn’t have storage or a closet which leads to everything piling up by the door. It especially makes it hard in the wintertime with all of the winter gear and I have to store the majority of it in other places around the house.
Ta-da! A new “closet” and shoe rack! I don’t have to look at the mess AND I can store everything together by the entryway! 😀 We also bought some things like new pot holders, pots and pans and cutting boards that we needed.
I would argue that Scott did NOT need a new computer, but try telling that to Scott.
I made a meme of Luke “troubleshooting” haha!
Finished building the new computer. I think he’s still waiting on one more part? Honestly I can’t remember…

Now for a very naughty kitty! Oh boy. Luke still excessively uses his claws, not only on the furniture, but on our skin as well. So many painful cuts! We’ll be getting his claws trimmed soon. He also chews on paper, cardboard, strings, and some plastics. He also out of nowhere started playing in his water bowl. He basically splashes most, if not all, of the water out of his bowl. We’ve tried different dishes and raising the bowls up a little bit but nothing has worked so far. So dumb. Doesn’t he know he needs water to live?!

I stopped recording only to stop him for completely emptying his bowl…
My new computer chair I just bought last year after we moved here 🙁
The living room curtains from Luke’s many climbing sessions…

But of course, there is some good too…

They say cats are liquid.
This string is the only toy that makes Luke pant from exhaustion after playing with it.
Licking Damien’s hair after school
On Damien’s first day back to school after winter break (and first day back to face-to-face learning after over a month), he was VERY tired and cranky so he wrapped himself up in a blanket on the floor. Luke brought him his tabby and was checking up on him!
The best cuddles
Luke was all cuddled up with me until Damien sat down and then he left me…Traitor!
Cat fishing LOL!!!
The rowdy brothers
Damien made me a picture for Christmas with paint and markers–so cute! I love it!

Merry Christmas!!!

What an end to a crazy year! It didn’t really even feel like Christmas until Christmas Eve. Truthfully we’ve been very fortunate given the circumstances. We’ve stayed healthy, we’ve kept a steady income, and Damien has really grown and matured this year. I can honestly say that I couldn’t ask for anything more.

Damien and I making sugar cookies 🙂
We had a lot of fun cookie cutters to use
Ready to decorate!
Plates from left to right: Sarah, Damien, and Scott. Damien mixed red and green frosting together to try to make brown for his “poop” emoji cookie LOL
Mmmmm
Rob and Robin sent us a cute Balsam wreath this year. Looks great on the front door! Thank you!
Sleepy Christmas kitty
On Christmas Eve, we had root beer floats.
Christmas morning has arrived! We couldn’t put out the gifts the night before because Luke would have ripped up the wrapping paper.
I started taking pictures, but ultimately decided to just do a video of Damien opening his presents. Here is Damien opening up computer speakers from Great Grandma and Grandpa Whitehill.
Damien just wanted to wear his VR headset…even though he can’t play anything yet.
Damien with his first cell phone! That’s not an error…it was 0 degrees on Christmas Day lol
First order of business–be wrapped up like a burrito!!!
He’s so happy!
Luke didn’t know what to do with all paper at his disposal.
The gift breakdown for Damien (Thanks!):
From Great Grandma and Great Grandpa Whitehill: Computer speakers, a squishy soap making kit, and a giant Hersey’s kiss
From Great Grandma and Tom: A shark treasure dig and a snow sled (can’t wait for more snow to try it out!)
From Grandpa Whitehill: A VR headset and a GooglePlay giftcard
From Grandma and Grandpa Hanks: A reading pillow, a shark bathroom cup holder, and a burrito blanket
From Mom and Dad: A cell phone with a case and 6-months of Disney+ streaming service with a box of movie snacks
After we got contacts entered into Damien’s cell phone, he really enjoyed texting 😀
Immediately following the excitement of gift opening, Scott fell asleep for about 2 hours…He can sleep through just about anything.
The reading pillow outside of the box. Looks great!
Luke was investigating the strange noises coming from the computer speakers.
Damien playing around
Damien wanted to wrap Luke up like a burrito too, haha

We had such a wonderful Christmas this year. Thank you to everyone who sent something! Damien absolutely LOVED everything he received. Merry Christmas!!!

BFFs

I take sooooo many pictures of Luke and Damien and I just wanted to share some of them.

Evening cuddles
I bought new storage bins to store all of my holiday decorations and it turns out that Damien LOVED hanging out inside of it…like for hours…
Watching TV
Luke in one of his weird sleeping positions
Snuggled up
So cute!
Damien has had this little stuffed tabby long before Luke so I think it’s funny that they look alike lol. We also found out that Luke has been stealing the tabby and Damien’s Creeper from his bedroom at some point during the day and dragging them downstairs. I actually got video today of Luke taking off with Creeper, haha!

I’m Dreaming of a White Christmas…Not Really

Less than one week until Christmas! We’ve had an abnormally warm winter so far. It’s only snowed a little bit with some rather warm temperatures for this time of year–I love it! Of course I know the bitter cold is right around the corner, but I’m enjoying it while it lasts.

I’m happy to report that Damien has been doing AWESOME this round of distance learning. After figuring things out for the first week, Damien is pretty much able to work independently for the school day to include completing/submitting his schoolwork and attending his scheduled zoom sessions on time. He’s even able to keep track of the time himself! So impressive!

Luke hanging outside of Damien’s bedroom door while Damien’s “in school”

After some back and forth, Damien has officially quit Taekwondo. He had wanted to quit twice previously, but both of those times he decided to stick with it. This time though we decided we’re done after about 4.5 months. He was two weeks out from belt testing for his camo belt and had two belt stripes on his yellow belt. He did really like it and his new class was way more interesting and upbeat, but I feel like it was scheduled at the time of day where he just wanted to relax. It’s unfortunate because it was great for exercise, conditioning, coordination, precision, and focus. He was getting really good too! Sometimes his form would be better than some of the higher belts in his class. I’m disappointed, but I understand. The last thing I want to do is to fight with Damien every time we go.

Damien’s last class

The struggle continues with Luke. Luke the Destroyer. I originally erected the big tree sans ornaments to see if Luke would leave it alone. Nope! I even put some lemon zest underneath the tree thinking it would deter him since cats are not supposed to like citrus scents. Nope. So I took it down and decided to try for the smaller tree instead. Scott suggested putting aluminum foil underneath since it worked so well to keep him off of the kitchen counters. It surprisingly worked, which is still weird to me. Wish I would have tried it with the big tree!

Luke investigating, but that’s as close as he gets 😀
Damien reading his Christmas card from Great Grandma and Tom. He also got a McDonald’s gift card for a treat–yum!
Luke’s new toy
Cat beds aren’t designed for Luke’s preferred sleeping style.
I finally got a picture of Luke’s lower lip. It’s funny to me because it makes it look like his mouth is open sometimes when it’s not.
Relaxing after Damien’s evening shower
BFFs
I thought it was a cute pic of my boys 🙂

Since the pandemic kicked off back in March, I really haven’t been exercising like I should. It’s really been a huge challenge for me. Plus, I haven’t changed my eating habits and have been eating more than I should, so I’ve been steadily gaining weight this whole time. Ugh! Going to the gym is more of a hassle than ever because of all of the extra COVID19 requirements, and I work from home a lot so it doesn’t make sense to drive to the base. After much consideration, I finally bought myself a VERY basic treadmill. I’ve only walked on it so far, but I hope to build up to running soon. The AF has pushed their PT tests back to April 2021 so I need to be ready by then.

My new treadmill

The Fall Season

We’ve had two holidays since I’ve last posted, Halloween and Thanksgiving. Both were low-key and uneventful. We didn’t go trick-or-treating this year or hand-out candy because of COVID-19, but we allowed Damien to buy a new video game he’s been wanting so he was perfectly happy spending Halloween evening playing Pikmin 3. We did make Thanksgiving foods for Thanksgiving with minimum leftovers and played a civil game of Monopoly after dinner.

Damien is getting to the age where he’s developing his own sense of style. He’s very proud of his new winter hat and vest. He wears them to school daily.
Taekwondo allowed the kids to wear costumes around Halloween. We bought Damien a onesie instead of a costume this year. Cheaper and multi-functional! He even got to wear it for pajama day at school!
Look out! It’s a ninja creeper!
Getting around to using a birthday gift
Playing around

Due to an increase in coronavirus cases in the area, Damien will be starting distance learning on Monday through the rest of the calendar year. If everything goes well, he’ll be able to start in-person learning again in January. I really hope he’ll be able to go back to in-person learning. It was very hard on everyone when Damien did school from home at the end of 4th Grade. We’re making a couple of changes this time though such as moving Damien’s desk into his bedroom instead of having it in a common area.

Right before Thanksgiving week, we received notice from the school that Damien was in close contact with a person who tested positive for corona. It really only means that we’re supposed to monitor his symptoms for the next two weeks, but we decided that Damien should take advantage of the Taekwondo zoom sessions that are offered.

Getting ready for zoom class
Luke and I watching class

The Sour Patch Kid

We’ve had Luke for almost two months and I refer to him as a sour patch kid because he’ll do something mean and hurtful and then turn around and do something cute and sweet. He has HOURS of energy a day to run around the house wrecking havoc and then cuddles up peacefully for his many naps. Surprisingly a single sheet of aluminum foil has kept him off of the kitchen counters, but it hasn’t stopped him from jumping on the dining room table or trying to stick his paw into your food. He’s so fast too! It’s probably because he gets so many hours a day practicing his hunting skills. Oh and he bull-dozes his way into rooms/areas that he’s not allowed such as the garage. He’s very skilled at getting what he wants. Where is that sweet, docile kitten I met at the shelter? lol

He never ventures to the very top, but does like his kitty tower.
Damien likes to seek out Luke for naps.
Awww!
They’re so cute together
Luke sleeps in the weirdest positions…
Luke deceptively looking like a sweet, innocent kitten.
Luke hanging out of the heat vent lol
Damien and Luke cuddle time
*sigh* My snuggly baby

Damien’s Belt Testing

Today Damien tested for his yellow belt and he did so well! This cycle they learned how to do round kicks and he really struggled with his balance and form, but in the last couple weeks he got it! My only critique is that he still lacks some confidence. It’s hard to think of him as shy and not confident because he’s NOT that way at home. I’m sure it’ll improve over time.

Showing off his 4th belt stripe. Ready to test!
Showing Luke his fighting skills
Listening to instructions. Damien’s in the middle line.
The newest yellow belt–woot!
Saying the oath after testing
Class picture
I asked for a picture of Damien and Scott lol
Damien and I 😀

Of course I have to throw in some pictures of Luke!

He scares me up there! I’m afraid he’s going to fall.
This makes up for all the naughtiness and scratches
He sleeps in the weirdest positions
They say cats are like liquid
Apparently Luke doesn’t even care if the lap is human LOL!
As an adult, this is the highlight of my weekend–new furniture! Everything we owe is so neutral so we decided to go with a blue to spice it up a little.

Kitten Update

We’ve had Luke for about a week and a half now and we’re seeing a lot more personality! He’s now playing with toys and he seems a lot more comfortable around the house, even sleeping in places other than our laps. Here are some observations:

Luke was so OBSESSED with Scott’s beard that he shaved it off lol.

He doesn’t like to eat out of your hand.

He actually acknowledges his reflection in a mirror! He once tried to play with the other “kitten”. 

It’s been difficult to keep him off of the kitchen counter and dining room table. Our efforts to stop the behavior seem to be making him better at jumping. There are certain foods that REALLY drive him crazy where he is relentless. Yesterday it was over a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. I’m guessing he wanted the peanut butter.

We’re still working on getting him to only scratch on his scratchers. He just LOVES to use his claws. On everything! He also slips/rolls off of things and then uses his claws to pull himself back up again, even if it’s your leg!

He seems to roll onto his back more for Scott than anyone else.

If there are multiple laps to choose from he seems to have a hard time deciding where to lay.

He doesn’t seem to mind a little water.

He’ll watch tv! Sometimes he’ll watch the tv or tablet. He seems to be attracted to the various sounds. I was shaking trees in a video game the other day and he jumped down to sit in front of the tv and watch me play.

He doesn’t seem bothered by Damien’s loudness (odd, I know), but he definitely was scared of the vacuum noises. He was even skittish a day or so after vacuuming.

Damien watching his tablet underneath a pillow fort
Luke watching Damien brush his teeth.
Luke likes to give you good access to his neck to be pet.
Luke making room for himself
Damien and Luke playing with boxes.
The new cat tree! Too bad Luke doesn’t care for it at all :'(
Cuddles after Damien’s shower
Luke loves the boa-type fluffy toys.
He already lost the ball to this toy…
Scott bought Luke a bed so he’d have a comfy place to take naps in his office.
Spending quality time together

Luke

We adopted a kitten! A little over 24 hours ago, we brought home a 19-week old gray tabby named Luke. He’s already neutered and up-to-date on all of his shots.

I was really bummed that things didn’t work out with Frank and have been keeping my eyes peeled for a friendly young adult cat at the local animal shelter. Well, when I checked on Wednesday, there were a bunch of new kitties posted and Luke stood out to me. The description read “Luke here, I’m a young, good lookin’ boy about 19 weeks old and I’m looking for the a good home with lots of pets. I’m all about the pets, really. Like, I am a world class lap cat who enjoys attention in all sorts of forms. I am so excited to go to a good home that gives me lots of kisses and pets. I’m a social boy who loves to meet everyone and I fall in love pretty fast, just a fair warning!”

I just had to meet him! So I took the last appointment available they had on Thursday and went to meet him by myself since Scott had to work and Damien was in school. He was exactly as advertised. Very cute and very sweet. He’s a little bit younger than what I was looking for, but they’re not kittens for very long. I had the shelter place him on hold and took the last appointment available on Friday to bring Scott and Damien to meet him too. There’s no way to could bring a pet home without Damien’s approval. Of course they loved each other and the rest is history!

Oh, and between Thursday and Friday, a bunch of the kittens were adopted out to include a black and white kitten named Kai who I was also considering for adoption (he was a biter). So I’m glad I didn’t wait.

Meeting Luke at the shelter
Damien and Luke getting to know each other
He likes belly rubs?!
Selfie!
Finally slowing down enough to get a picture
Awww so many cuddles!

The first evening Luke was very active. He spent hours walking around back and forth between everyone, only stopping to rub up and get pet before seeking out the next person. He seems to crave the attention. I can definitely tell he’s going to need some training and redirection when it comes to using his claws. He likes to use them a lot, whether he’s kneading on your lap or pulling on the carpet.

Morning snuggles
Luke seeking out a snuggle buddy
I got to snuggle with him too! I’m a little jealous of the nap…
You may be asking yourself, “Well what does Luke do when Damien’s playing video games?” Answer: he finds space!
Always looking for a lap lol

Today, Luke was a little bit more docile. He napped a lot and just slept on whoever was available. He really seems to enjoy Damien’s company and is very comfortable with him. It warms my heart because Damien loves to cuddle and loves physical touch so they’re both getting their needs met. He calls him Luke Skywalker and even sings to him. Luke doesn’t seem to really like to play with toys, but maybe we just haven’t found one that he likes yet.

Is there anything cuter??!

Happy 10th Birthday, Damien!!!

DOUBLE DIGITS! I CAN’T BELIEVE IT!

The birthday boy on his birthday, getting ready for his 3rd day of school.
I had to get a picture together before work 🙂 Later we rented the Sonic the Hedgehog movie and ordered pizza since it was a school night.
Birthday celebrations commenced on Saturday!
A new water bottle to bring with him to school since they’re not allowed to use the drinking fountains.
An alien-themed gem dig kit
A gift card to the eShop to pick out a new Nintendo game of his choice
Shark shower curtain–AAAHHHhh!
A new ipad case (Old one is damaged so the ipad will fall out sometimes. Plus, it’s GREEN)
Opening presents
Shark-tooth dig kit
Beach bath mat
A water gun to go with an outdoor pool…too bad it’s already getting cold outside!
A new sweatshirt. It’s already dropped below 32 degrees once already this month… We also got him a few more pairs of pants and a new jacket. He’s growing like a weed!
The curtain and mat together in his bathroom. Super cute! The mat was too long, but is being exchanged for the right size.
A comfy Roblox pillow
A coat rack so Damien doesn’t throw his clothes all over the floor or couch

I didn’t take a video of the gift-opening and completely forgot to get a picture of everything together, but here’s the breakdown:

From Great Grandma and Great Grandpa Whitehill: An insulated water bottle for school

From Great Grandma and Tom: A Roblox pillow case and pillow, a water bottle for home, and an alien-themed gem dig kit

From Grandma and Grandpa Hanks: A shark shower curtain, beach bathroom mat, and shark-tooth dig kit

From Mom and Dad: A water gun, a small outdoor pool, an ipad case, clothes, a coat rack, and a $35 gift card for a video game

Thank you so much from Damien! He really loved everything!

Time for cake! A BURGER cake! LOL!!
Thinking of a wish…
Damien’s favorite pastime…eating and watching videos on his tablet.

Damien had a great 10th birthday 😀