Thursday, July 31, 2008

Feeding Raw.

So I made the decision to raw feed our new puppy. Having never owned a dog as an adult I did what any responsible soon-to-be puppy owner in the 21st century would do and googled dog feeding. For the couple of weeks before she arrived I just read as much as I could find.... vet recommendations, commercial claims, the BARF fad and true raw feeding. Going raw just made more sense and resonated with me as the best choice. This site from an out-spoken Australian woman is one of my favorites on the topic:

So far she's doing AWESOME on it. I couldn't be happier with how she looks, her body weight is ideal (and she's growing like a weed!) and her energy level speaks to how great she feels. The claims about the stool..... less of it, less smell and the fact that it dries and turns chalky within a couple of days if left are all true. We have no yucky dog breath etc. Her vet tells me how wonderful she looks and to keep up what we're doing.... so I'm getting ever more comfortable with our choice.

But while I've gotten over my squeamishness at tossing her a whole fish to devour or a quarter chicken carcass to gnaw on, I'm not sure how to broach the subject with our puppy sitter. I feed Aero a pre-made "whole animal" raw patty for breakfast that I purchase from a local specialty pet food store and in the evenings I feed her a variety throughout the days: turkey wings, pork hocks, whole fish, chicken (did you know that the only dangerous chicken bones are cooked ones? cooking makes them sharp and prone to splinter.... raw ones are soft enough and perfect for eating - who knew?). And while she could just survive on these patties for both meals, that's a much more expensive option for us than feeding the way we are. I'm pretty sure no one would have a problem with the patties - they really don't look much different than canned dog food..... I just wonder if she'll be totally grossed out or look at me like I have a second head if I pre-package raw meat meals for her too....

Would you be grossed out?

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

I screwed up.

At work. I made a mistake last December (we just noticed today) and it cost someone else. In hind sight it could have been much, much worse - but there's no way around the fact that I'm the one to blame (I was in denial and spent a couple of hours on the phone and tracking old emails to find the mistake someone else might have made, but no) ..... there was paper work I needed to complete (and thought I had) but in fact, I forgot... or got interrupted or distracted or whatever the case may have been. It's not like any excuse would be valid - there's not really "excuses" in my business. I can't tell you how lucky I am that the people involved are so kind and understanding. I could be getting my ass sued (or more likely just paying out a shit-load to avoid that). I can't tell you how guilty I feel. I think some days I take lightly the considerable impact my actions (or inactions) can have on individual people's lives. Yikes.

Baby Bug!

My girl has learned to sing the Baby Bumblebee song at daycare.... you know the one? "I'm bringin home a baby bumble bee, won't my mommy be so proud of me...."?? It's cute, but ever since learning it every insect is a "baby bug". As in "Mommy! Mommy!! BABY BUG!!!" in a full shriek of terror.... I have no idea where my girl got her paranoia of bugs.... honest ;)

But yesterday as we were driving down the road she very clearly screamed "BEE!" - she was in her carseat behind me where I couldn't see her and she'd been saying "baby bug, Baby Bug, BABY BUG!" so I figured she was once again seeing some insect or another and freaking a bit.... until she screamed "Mommy! BEE!!" I asked her if there was a Bee?? Not a baby bug?? "BEE BEE BEE" was all I got back, so I swerved over to the side of the road as quickly as possible and jumped out to open the slider and save my daughter from a ...... teeny-tiny mosquito-looking type bug. And not even one who was trying to bite her - just one that was flying against the window trying to escape the confines of the car. Nice.

So now guess who's learned "BEE" gets much more of a reaction out of mom than "BABY BUG"?? MmmHmmm.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Love this kid!

A visit "home"

So my mom and I took the kids down the road from her place for a visit at our old family cottage. My aunt, uncle and all three cousins were there... plus one kid and three dogs. It was a great afternoon. It was wonderful watching my boys swimming in the lake just like we used to and I was super nostalgic looking down the beach I used to stroll regularly. *sigh*

OK, I really miss it. I admit it. There's just so many years of memories for me here. I hope my children look back as fondly on their own childhood cottage years....

I see seven!

How many do you see? That would be my three cousins, the sisters who still have our old family cottage, my two boys..... and the two bellies that the oldest & middle sister are sporting, lol - one due in October (her first! She's in teal) and the other due in December (wearing red....finally - I'm not the only Dec birthday!)

Water Slide

Or at least the toddler equivalent! The girls had fun with this.... at least after my daughter got over her initial hesitation to slide into water she couldn't see through, lol.....

This is a marginally safer version of the rickety steel slide that my cousins and I tempted fate on when we were young in this very same lake.... I remember us squealing with laughter as we tried to get up the ladder and down the slide before the next wave would knock the entire contraption (and us!) right over! Those were the days ;)

A day at the beach

My girl had a blast with Grandma and cousin M.... I think I miss this wonderful sand beach more than I admit too.... a little hard to build sandcastles with pebbles - and the girls couldn't get enough of my mom showing them how it was done ;)

Puppy Love

Oh Aero had a blast visiting the old family cottage.... or moreso having my cousins' dogs to play and swim with! They got along wonderfully... made me realize just how big my 5 month old puppy is going to be though after seeing her next to these two full grown dogs, lol.... yikes!

Grandma's house

My children love Grandma's house in the summer.... who wouldn't? She lives in her dream retirement home with her private beach on the peaceful canals of her community which connect to the biggest lake in the province. Is just beautiful. They're heavy into landscaping right now so it should be spectacular when they finally call it finished!

The kids spent the majority of the time in the water... both swimming off the beach and jumping off the dock - perfect! Even Aero got in on the action - watching her get up the nerve to jump off the dock the first time was pretty funny ;) Still annoyed with myself though... I forgot (again!) to take my camera along when we took the pontoon boat out to pelican island! Ah, well - more pics next time!

Monday, July 28, 2008


There's a descriptive word (or a place depending on your mindset ;) but to me, the word describes perfectly a powerful, independent, strong and capable woman. Nothing meek, nothing mild..... not a woman you can walk over - or at least one you would regret attempting to walk over. I've decided my cousin has a little amazon in her.

You see, she recently discovered that her husband of 4 years (?) and father to their 2 year old and unborn child has been having an affair with a good friend of theirs for over 6 months. The other woman is married too (also with young children). The morally repugnant couple actually met early in the year while both couples were attending the wedding of mutual friends in Cuba. Nice hey? The most repulsive thing about this soon to be ex-husband of hers is that during the time of his affair he attended marriage counselling sessions with my cousin and deliberately continued trying for another child - resulting in her current pregnancy!

There was enough suspicious activity over the last few months to really get her suspicions up to the point where she confronted him with "hard" evidence and he moved out early in June. Shortly after that she found the entire history of their affair in his facebook email box.... what they said to each other and how they played her over the months - he as her husband and her as her supposed friend. It had to be devastating news to read..... she shared with me some of the incredibly callous and hurtful things he'd written and some of the "plans" they'd put in play.... plus references to other conversations. Nasty shit.

But she's not rolling over and playing dead! No siree.... she arranged to serve him with separation papers at the relationship counsellor's office (so she'd have a witness to his nastiness - thank goodness!) and at the same time arranged for the bitch's husband to receive an entire copy of the correspondence too (rumor has it that she's been booted by her poor, unsuspecting husband as well - good for him!). And my favorite part? I opened my facebook account to see that my cousin had updated her profile to read: "Xxx is disgusted that her husband Bill and Michelle McCxxxxxxx have been having an affair for over 6 months." hahahahahahaha.....

All her family..... all his family..... all their mutual friends - oh yeah!! You go girl. I had to congratulate her! No way she should hang her head in shame or meekly stand by.... they should be ashamed of themselves and not be able to hold their heads up around everyone who knows them. It was awesome. The other husband posted something similar. She has now posted: "Xxxx is now going to concentrate her energy on her daughter and taking care of herself and the baby she is growing... thanks for all the support." (I guess she had overwhelming positive response!). My amazon cousin :)

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Child Labour

Finally!! My dream of growing our very own slave labour crew is coming to fruition. The big one is finally big enough to handle mowing the lawn!! And the best part is, he thinks it's a privilege - actually enjoys it and doesn't realize it's WORK ;) Never mind that he still needs to be supervised - I have no issues with sitting, drink in hand, watching others work ;) Mwahahaha!

How big are you??

Oh my girl.... too funny, this age. She wants so bad to be "big" .... resists sitting in her booster seat for meals, refuses help time after time with daily activities like eating, dressing etc and gets incredibly frustrated when she isn't allowed to do everything her brothers do. Last night she refused to sit in the "baby" swing. Of course, silly me... you're obviously way too big for that! And so swing she did - in the BIG swing ;)

And then there's the flip-side....the times she wants to be swaddled in a blanket and cuddled like a baby or lifts up those little arms and begs to be picked up and carried. Or when she decides she still small enough to sit in the Bumbo.... and FREAKS when I try to tell her she's too big and take it away, lol.... what a goof :)

Energy Unlimited

Have you met my chocolate puppy? This is Aero.... she is energy personified.... running, fetching, digging, swimming.... keeping up with three kids? No problem..... in fact she can outlast a dozen ;) Cute, eh? (can you hear the Canadian in that?? lol... ;)

Friday, July 25, 2008

Dartboard medicine

Never have I felt more like modern medicine is really just a crap-shoot. My last 2 days in and out of the ER department feels like a complete exercise in futility. Watching the doctors mull over my symptoms and try to decide what it could be seemed very much like watching a game of darts.... maybe even a game of darts where the players have been drinking. "hmmm... I have no idea what it could be.... maybe it's ****** - lets schedule this test. Nope. OK, well maybe it's *****, let's try this drug on you....hmmm, it's worse you say?? I don't know what this could be. Ah well, let's schedule this test.... Rats, it wasn't that either."

You know at one point one of them suggested just prescribing me some strong pain-killers to mask whatever's wrong and sending me home. Seriously?? You went to med school for that?? OMG.... but really, it's not a whole lot further off than where I sit now. I know a few thing's that are NOT my problem, but they still just sent me home with a best guess.... and of course my third and fourth prescriptions this week - yay. So here I sit, currently on my third antibiotic in the past three days and doped up on a prescription I can't pronounce that could blur my vision, disorient me and/or make me dizzy. I'm no longer permitted to drive or operate heavy machinery.... didn't say anything about blogging though.... just don't hold me responsible for anything you may read in the next couple of days ;)

Thursday, July 24, 2008


So this is me today (maybe I should just go back home to bed :P):

Thursday, July 24: Mental clarity, discrimination, and your ability to separate fact from fiction is diminished now. Miscommunications and an inability to formulate your ideas coherently are likely. Your mind wanders, and this can be a time of creative reverie or daydreaming. Avoid making binding contracts at this time.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Noooo!!! Meeeee!!!

As in "No, me do it!" or "I wanna do it myself!". I dread hearing these words. Especially on a busy workday morning when I'm home alone trying to hustle three kids out the door for their respective daytime locations before I can get to work.... I know these words mean at LEAST a five minute schedule delay ;) (any parent of a two year old can sympathize, I'm sure). Peeling her own Baby Bells, putting on her own clothes, doing up her own buckles on the car seat (the list goes on) but it's the potty thing that's driving me up the wall right now....

What I don't get is, if you're going to insist on doing it yourself, why do I have to be drug along to bear witness?? "Mommy, Mommy Peeeeeee!" and I have to drop what I'm doing to jump to the bathroom with her only to be screeched at when we get to the door..... "Noooooo!!! Meeeeee!!!" and she'll work herself into a crying frenzy if I so much as step into the room! I have to stand at the door and watch as she struggles with her panties, does her business and then makes an attempt to wipe (at least she relents and lets me "have a turn" here too... otherwise ewwww!). But really, why take me along for the ride at all? Unless......Ah.....I've got my daughter addicted to praise and applause! It's no fun if no one sees how great you are! She wants me there, bearing witness, so she has someone to tell her how great and clever and wonderful she is, lol. (which I continue to do... because I'm a sucker for this little blond creature and let's face it - she is! ;)

A numbers game

You know, I can't help but reminisce about how the addition of each child to a family changes the dynamic so much. Your first child is an amazing, life-altering occasion. It moves you from a couple (with the ability to still be slightly selfish) to parents... huge step. But it's still just "you" and the baby. I noticed a decided change in the dynamic with addition of child number two... hard to describe, but definite. Like we moved from "us and the baby" to a family. Wow. Now I'm not sure what we've done with adding a third. I think she focused us a bit, centered everyone's attention on us as a unit... we're tighter (if that makes any sense). But we're also outnumbered now ;) So maybe now it's "us" and "them"?? (totally getting the need for the united front now, lol).

Still Wound...

.... but feeling a teeny bit better. Waiting on a test now... hopefully not too long but not really anything I can control either. Ah well.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Wound up

Don't you hate it when you think there may be something wrong with you but you just don't know? I do. I'm going to the Doctor today to check out something strange I've been feeling for a few weeks. I know it'll probably be nothing, I'm sure it is nothing.... but I'm my own worst enemy when it comes to stuff like this. Apparently I inherited my mother's worry gene... because I just can't help the worse case scenarios running around in my head. I've gotten myself so worked up at more than point over the past few days that I actually started crying from the stress. Sheesh. I feel so silly.... which I don't care for either - so really a no win situation. I'm to the point that I can't concentrate - not good. I'd love to share something a little more deep and thought provoking but I just can't think about anything else right now so that's all you get. Thank goodness it's almost time.....

Summer Sunset

I totally forgot to share the sunset as we drove up to the lake late on Friday night.... I took the picture from the car while driving (not sure if that's as bad as texting behind the wheel or worse, lol) but I couldn't resist.... the view across the farmer's fields from the highway was just too pretty.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Throwing stones

Well the day was over-cast but the rain they'd threatened never did fall.... so we took advantage of a warm day without the blazing sun to enjoy some beach time. Our old cottage had a long rambling sand beach... great for long, contemplative walks. This is different, it's a pebble/rock beach. But it's good in it's own ways.... it's very private, the kids NEVER get enough of throwing rocks in the water (and we have an endless supply now!) and there's something to be said for not tracking in all that sand... you actually come out of swimming clean, lol....

Crowd Control

This isn't illegal, is it??

Walking in the woods

First thing in the morning, before Grandpa arrived to work
for the day, we all went for a walk down one of the amazing
forest trails in our area. Nothing like a family adventure
to pass an hour or two :)

Keeping up....

There goes my little tag-along girl... trying to keep up with those big brothers. But I don't feel too sorry for her... once I realize she'd be more than able to keep up if she didn't have to stop for every rock, pretty flower or in this case, some wild raspberries. Ahhh, walking in the woods toddler style. But it is neat to see all the "wonders" we take for granted and walk by every day. I think we should all take a deep breath and walk like a toddler once in a while ;) I'm kicking myself for not having the camera with me when she sat down on the side of the road later this day to grab an entire bushel of fox-tails into her arms and bury her smiling face in them to feel how they tickled :) Little girls are so sweet.... I'm thankful every day to have one.

Monster Shed

My husband, the Ham... you can find him in poses similar
to that (middle pic) lots, lol...

A cottage for our family

We're cottagers, my family. All my life we've had a cottage. This is no big surprise considering I live in an area where cottaging is just a way of life.... in fact, we have the one of (if not the?) highest percentage of cottage ownership per capita of any place in North America. It's probably the fact that they can't even complete a count on the total number of lakes around here.... but whatever the reason, everyone I know has a cottage. It's what we do.

Growing up, my family's cottage was a true family was originally two neighboring cottages built by my grandfather and his brother as young men, with a guest house added along the way to accommodate sleeping quarters for the kids. At some point our side of the family bought out that brother's cottage and we ended up with two lake front cottages and a guest house on a double lake-front lot. Combined, it could sleep 22 people easily at it's peak.... and thank goodness because it had to house my grandparents, my parents & us plus my mother's three siblings and their families.... it was chaotic, but it was fun.... some of my favorite childhood memories surround those times at the lake running barefoot for days with my cousins, living in our bathing suits - having one long slumber party.

But times change and families grow. Even though two of my mother's siblings years ago moved away with their families, reducing the local clan to just my mother and one sister, that still leaves 6 of us in this third generation. My brothers and I recognized years ago that there was no way this old family holding could possibly hold another generation. So we've left it to my cousins... the daughters of my mother's sister, who've always had the closer tie to the place anyway. And now we're building our own... starting fresh - we're building a cottage for mine and my brother's families (when they come ;), but also planning it to last at least a generation beyond my own children. And I'm hoping they have the chance to build their own memories :)

We started the first building last fall, and it'll probably be a year or two before we start on the main cabin - definitely a few years before we'll call it finished I'm sure.... but it's a start. So this weekend we installed new patio doors (to replace the ones that were kindly given to us but that we just didn't feel would last long enough on their already older wooden frame)... and my Dad & husband got busy on the shed. Yeah, the shed.... that things like something out of Tim the tool man's dream - a little on the HUGE side, but I'm sure we'll appreciate all that storage space down the line :P

Friday, July 18, 2008

(I passed!)

I always worry when I've gone through a phase of "baby nostalgia" that I might actually be crazy enough to wish I had another..... and I would be lying if I didn't admit that the thought of balancing out the family hasn't crossed my mind.... I mean, there's my boys - 17 months apart and thick as thieves... they've got a built-in playmate anywhere we go (and they miss each other whenever they're apart for long). And then there's my girl. At 2, she's 7 and 5 years younger than the boys.... destined to a life of being the third wheel, the unwanted, tag-along, pesky little sister. Wouldn't life be so much better with a sibling close in age for her as well? And then I slap myself (as I always do when crazy thoughts try to lodge in my head). What WAS I thinking? Yikes.... so no, three is more than pleanty for us and she'll just have to deal with having to hang with ME as her playmate ;)

But I had clients bring in their most adorable four month old baby girl today... she was gorgeous and she stared at me intently and smiled shyly and just totally acted the "I'm-the-most-adorable-baby-in-the-world-don't-you-just-wish-you-could-take-me-home" part to a tee. And I loved having her visit....she helped me remember how wonderfully helpless and sweet my own baby was such a very short time ago - BUT she did NOT make me long for another.... Woo HOO!! I passed the test, I'm cured!! We're definitely done :)

Toddler for sale!

OK, just kidding...... but if you had asked me last night - say, around 3:30am when I'd already made my 5th trip to the girl's room in an hour (wth??), I may actually have paid you to take her. I have no idea what was up with the shrieking toddler from h*** but I was really tired of being "the mommy"..... In fact, I'm pretty sure at some point I actually told my husband that I was resigning - I no longer wanted to be the mommy (why is it they can never scream for Daddy in the middle of the night?? Don't Daddies deserve thier share of sleepwalking??). Ah well. It looks like we all survived. I may not be firing on all cylinders today (please clients - don't ask me anything too complicated today.... it's for your own good - trust me!).... but I'm awake and I made it here to work. Ugg.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Closing a door...

So my baby girl is potty trained. Yay!! But I can't believe how fast the last two years of her have flown by. We've been here before.... years ago when our second (and to our thoughts at the time, last) child finally finished toilet-training. It's so liberating - to be done with diapers. And I remember the years that followed - unencumbered by a diaper bag, how our little family could just pick up and go places with little more than the clothes on our backs..... bike rides and zoo trips or anywhere else that struck our fancy at the time. I guess the diaper thing was a peeve of mine when our family was thrust back into babyhood with the late arrival of our precious girl..... I was so done with those!

But at the same time, reaching a big milestones is like closing a door on a precious chapter in a child's life. She's not a baby anymore.... she fast changing into a little girl, this toddler of mine. And while it was a shock to go back there, the journey through her babyhood has been a beautiful time for our family. I'd forgotten how amazing and silly and fun and just lovable they are as babies and toddlers... and really, all that gear isn't that much of a pain, right? In fact, I took the opportunity to buy some really cool gear that wasn't available (or at least, wasn't as cool!) when the boys were little ;)

This isn't really a time for mixed emotions. She's a firecracker and I'm loving the little person she's becoming - she makes me laugh every day. And how silly am I? Getting sentimental about her great achievement. Really I'm unbelievably proud of her.... but there's something so final about your last baby reaching each milestone.... like you'll never be there again (whichever stage they've just surpassed). I'm already missing it. I'll never have another baby and grandchildren are such a long way off....

Ah well, onward & upward. Meanwhile, we're free again :)

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Jumping In....

So maybe this is a funny time to start a blog.... I mean I'm already half-way through my oldest child's "childhood".... why start now? But maybe it's a better late than never scenerio.... no point in missing out on documenting the rest just because I've let so much pass by already. I don't know that I was ever at a point to devote the time to journaling my life before.

I'd never read people's blogs before recently.... I didn't know what all the fuss was about. It's taken several of my closest friends' recently starting thier own to wake me up to what I've been missing.... so here I am, jumping in.

Like scrap-booking. I've been scrap-booking for less than a year (and I'm obsessed now - no turning back). But before a friend invited me to her scrap-booking party, and I had a chance to get my feet wet with it, I never knew what I was missing. I guess blogging's no different. Scrap-booking your thoughts so to speak. They go nicely together.

So I'll move forward and take the time to write it all down.... so that one day I, or my children and family and friends, can look back and remember what it was like, day to day, in this amazing crazy journey to get who knows where :)