Thursday, September 28, 2006

What a day, week, month, year....(what more is there?)

Wow. They say that life has rhythms and I agree. Susanne and I had our second attempt at insemination just 9 days ago, and you'd pretty much think that this would be really preoccupying us (by the way in spanish"preocupar" means "to worry"). Anyway, rather than being worried or preoccupied, we're both just running ragged. I'm the project manager for a summit of federal IT workers that will take place next week and with several hundred people registered and coordinating all the speakers and logistics (with the help of some wonderful friends on the Federal CIO Council) I've been going about 100 miles an hour for several weeks now.

Even our wonderful birthday trip in early September to our favorite bed and breakfast was not nearly enjoyable for me as an earlier trip trip because of my propensity to wake up in the night with great ideas about how to accomplish something better, or more likely, to wake up in a cold sweat realizing the there are certain dependencies in our critical path that could make or break the final product. (By the way, I don't really talk like that right guys?) When you have a project that has a set date, you can change the scope if you want, or you can try and change the cost (good luck with that) but bottom line is that you have to deliver on the date promised. So in a big nutshell I'll be stressed out until 5:30 on October 4th.

To add to the craziness Susanne (thus me too!) has been getting up at the crack of dawn every day this week to drive from DC to Baltimore for an almost week long training on how to help homeless people apply for disability benefits. As a social worker and Representative Payee at a non-profit that serves over 10,000 people per month (free medical, legal, social services, food, clothing) she is constantly going 100 mph. I honestly don't know how she does it and am basically in awe of her energy, committment and desire to help others. As you can tell, I think my wife is amazing. add to our hectic lives, on Tuesday, Su had a fender bender. Fortunately no one was hurt and the other driver just waved that all was fine and drove away, but unfortunately our car was a bit crumpled. We hoped our local auto body guy would say he could take care of things for a pretty reasonable price but no luck. Apparently it was more than a bit crumpled. So we've both spent time on the phone with State Farm trying to get an appraisal of the damage, yada, yada, yada.

And then tonight Su called to let me know that both our cats were missing. Now, for those of you who know our cats, you know they are house cats. They are not outdoor cats. They've never been outdoors. And, it was POURING rain outside. We've had a guy over several days a week for the past few weeks painting our front and back porch and today was his last day. We quickly surmised that he'd left the door ajar. When I got the call from Su at around 6:00 I was working with a friend at her office and my friend must have thought someone died when I heard that CJ and Harley were both missing. I jumped uphalf shouting "what?." I was so shocked and scared that they'd be injured/afraid/cold/hungry/attacked by other animals/lost...the list goes on. We knew that they had their tags with our phone number but it was still pretty scary. I told her I'd be right home. (By the way I was out the door and running toward the Metro, in the pouring rain mind you, within seconds.) But to help you better understand my intense feelings about Su's call, read the entry below from our old blog. This happened in 2004...

Ode to a special little cat--Teamo
Well, lest any of you think we don't really ever write about our cats Harley and CJ, I'm going to fill you in on a secret. We've got a whole secret little blog just about them on our site. Pretty sneaky huh? We thought so. Susanne and I really do love our little kitty cats as you'll see by reading about some of their antics, but I wanted to take a moment today to tell you the story about a little cat named Teamo.
Teamo--the name actually came from the words Te Amo which means "I love you" in Spanish. Susanne and I had a funny inside joke about the name Teamo (which rhymes with Nemo) which we gave to a new little jet black kitten in we got 2003. Let me back up a bit. When Susanne and I first met, she had a wonderful little cat named Harley (who you can read all about on our aforementioned CLOG.) But I'd never had a cat before. Then we got to thinking how great it would be for Harley to have a playmate and so we went out and adopted this little guy who was about 6 months old as I recall. Gosh, they were so happy together. They'd wrestle and play all day and I remember in the mornings how Teamo would run down the stairs ahead of me and sprawl out on his back, belly up, seeming to dare me to even think about ignoring him. What a cat!
Well, last spring I was actually away for about 8 weeks working on the G8 Summit which was held in Georgia when I got a call from Susanne. Teamo had been lying behind a door all day and was listless and sick. She (and her mom who was visiting from out of town) took Teamo to the vet who gave a grim diagnosis. Teamo had been born a feral cat and appeared to have contracted a virus. He wasn't going to get better and was in pain.
I remember getting this information in a phone call and being devestated that I couldn't just fly home. Sometimes now I think I should have. The next day Susanne held Teamo as the vet put him "to sleep." I was on the phone with her through it all and it makes me cry to think about it all again now. I know that anyone who has ever lost an animal can understand how terribly painful this was for us. (Susanne's mom had to get on an overseas flight and I'll be forever grateful to our friend Emily who went with Susanne for that final time with Teamo.)
We didn't think about getting another cat for many months. But we saw how lonely and clingy Harley was and decided last fall to get a new kitty. CJ has been a delight, but every once in a while when I least expect it, I think of our little "I love you" cat who looked like he wore a permanent tuxedo and I smile inside with a bit of sadness. It's been about a year now since Teamo left us. Bye Teamo. We really do miss you. -Monica (and Susanne)

Well, as you can see, after losing Teamo we've been really happy with our Harley and CJ. So tonight's call was terrifying. But then, wonder of wonders, Su found them. They were both cowering in closets. We don't know if it was the thunderstorm, our porch painter--we just don't know, but even though they usually come in a heartbeat when called AND FED, they were both just glued to their spots for hours (oddly in different closets.)

Alright I've written enough for now. I've calmed down too. And in case you're wondering we are thinking about next Tuesday when we can test to see if we're going to be Mamas. Thanks M&K for your kind words and energy in your last blog post. And now, time to pack. We're going camping!!! -Monica

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