Sunday, September 15, 2013

A Weekend at the Lake

My dad and Sheila got here on Thursday after a 3-year hiatus. They are visiting for three weeks and we  have lots planned. This weekend we did a spur of the moment trip to Lake Erie to a little seaside town called Geneva on the Lake. We had cabins near the beachfront and the weather was perfect, if a little chilly at night. I love Geneva on the Lake. It's small and friendly and there's lots of characters there. Lots of bikers too, which made Craig say more than once that he wished he'd ridden his Harley there.
We all had a great time, particularly on the beach - the boys could have spent eight hours there just digging in the sand and skimming rocks and poking dead fish with sticks. The usual stuff.
Here's a few pictures of our fabulous weekend....

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Morning Madness Part 156

My blogs seem to consist entirely of me ranting about how terrible my mornings are. I think this is because (1) I am not a morning person and (2) I live in a madhouse. This morning was rather a humdinger though. Of all the nightmare mornings I've written about I really think this one takes the biscuit.

I have 3 neighbourhood kids that come over at 8am and hang out till school starts at 8.40. They are all great kids and play well with Jack & Danny. I usually keep an eye on them but I'm also getting ready for work and packing lunches and seeing to animals.

This morning the kids let the cat, Bart, out of the office by accident and he came flying down the corridor after Ben. I ran from the kitchen to get Bart back in the office at the same time Jack did. Unbeknown to me, Jack had been playing with Luke (his big hamster) at the time and he just threw him in the first cage he saw to help me with the Bart/Ben thing. Unfortunately he had put Luke in Whitey's cage (Daniel's tiny hamster). As I went back to the kitchen I heard Jack give a cry and say "no no no no!" and he snatched Luke out of Whitey's cage. By this time it was time for all the kids to go to school so I ushered them out fast before they saw too much but the poor thing look like his back was broken and he was dragging his legs behind him. It was awful. Jack went to school looking white and teary.

Thankfully Daniel didn't see a thing. He was in his bedroom having a MAJOR tantrum because he didn't want to wear the t-shirt I had set out. By the time I got him to pre-school, and even though he had changed his t-shirt, he was in that mood where I knew drop off was going to be rough and it was. The teacher had to physically pry him of my leg.

I've been hiding Whitey's cage and telling the kids he's at the vet because I thought we (Craig) might have to put him out of his misery, but tonight he seems to be walking about. His leg is probably broken as he is still dragging it around but we are going to give the little fella some time to heal and maybe he'll be okay?

So there you are. I think this morning tops my crap morning list.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Danny at Pre-K & Bart

Danny started his pre-kindergarten class today. I have been a tad nervous I must admit even though this is his 3rd year in the same building and he knows the teachers and some students in his class. He woke up at 3am crying,  saying he needed a hot water bottle and then had a minor melt down when he got dressed this morning because his t-shirt touched his pants. But when I got him to school he was FINE. In fact he did great. I asked him what he wanted to do tonight as a treat and he said "play Halloween Bingo". So we did. Bless.

My Boy
Bart is fitting in fabulous except with Ben. He has gone from hissing to actually chasing and attacking the poor boy, so we are having to keep him in solitary confinement till he calms down. By contrast he is the most gentle and loving cat I have ever come across and he loves us, his humans,  immediately. He just hates Ben. It'll just take time hopefully.
Black Bart
Today was the hottest day of the year & 95 degrees F! Cooler weather is coming thankfully. I have a list of stuff as long as my arm to get done before my dad & Sheila get here but with soccer, Tang soo do and a PTA meeting tomorrow night I might just have to rely on their graciousness & good humour.

Best way to keep cool!

Danny & his best friend Asher fight zombies

Sunday, September 08, 2013

Lots of Words this Week

It's been a week since my last visit and I should probably add photos to break-up my ramblings but time is of the essence this week so it'll all be words, sorry.

Last weekend was Labor Day weekend and after we lost Hank we were a bit down so it was low-key. We did take the boys to the Drive-In though which I'm so glad about. I want those memories for them - of going to the drive-in on a warm summer night and laying out in their dad's truck with a sleeping bag & popcorn. The other thing we did was swim swim swim, since the pool closed on Monday. I think we were there the whole time actually. When we left Danny cried and when I thanked them for a fantastic summer I actually got a lump in my throat. We can't wait to get back there next year.

This past week was NUTS. Craig worked late 3 nights, til 11pm, and I had something on each evening either with work or kid's stuff, so we didn't even get to the house till 8 or 9 each night. It was awful. I was so tired but so wound-up that I did not sleep all week. I'm teaching 4 days a week now and trying to make money at work and it's actually very stressful, very draining.

But enough of the morbid,  and onto more crazy stuff. Because I did not learn my lesson from getting a cat from another person who didn't give a shit, I agreed to take in a cat called "Jack (of all things) because a lady in our neighbourhood is "allergic". Let me say what I think is happening since I actually met her - she is moving in with her boyfriend and Jack belongs to the boyfriend. Jack has been with her boyfriend since birth & he loves him. Jack is also an outdoor cat and very high-strung. She has lived there for a while already & told me she is not a "cat person". So let's be honest here, it's not an allergy thing - she hates the cat and he probably hates her. Anyway, we brought Jack home with us and he was a nightmare. We put him in the office on his own and kept going in to see if he was okay and he'd attack us, biting and scratching, one by one (except Daniel of course, he wasn't touching that with a barge pole).  Finally I went in and sat down on the poof and he came over and went postal on me! Hissing & trying to bite my bare feet! That's a new one for me - having an animal trying to bite my feet while I'm doing an Irish jig and swearing like a sailor. He truly terrified me so I made a quick exit and texted the owners to come get him. I felt very sad when Jack's dad said "well that's another interview you failed Jack".

So as you can imagine, I'm starting to feel like the crappiest cat owner on the planet, even though I had the best relationship in the WORLD with my Frank.  But today I went to a few rescue places and actually found MY cat. Jack wanted a cute kitten of course and tried a bit of a store crocodile-tear argument thing but I shut him down and told him quietly why an older cat was more important than a cute kitten. I got my way and now that we are home he loves the cat.

So, our new family member is called Black Bart, named after the infamous highwayman. He's jet black with startling and gorgeous green eyes. He's 6.5 years old and was adopted back in 2011 by a lady who then came back in 2013, stark raving mad, declaring him as the devil and an evil entity and said she was going to kill him. She was escorted off the premises and thankfully he came to us. I have no idea of his history pre-2011.  Bart is the most loving, friendly and accommodating cat and I feel a bit bad for him because Jack is still too scared from the cat Jack episode to get too close. The only thing is that Bart hasn't been with dogs before so hisses at Ben, but they'll work it out. But Bart is a good egg. Bart's the right fit I think.

So there you are. In between all that we had Jack getting his orange belt stripe in Tang Soo Do, Danny's school open house, and soccer practices. This week has been one of my most exhausting ones of  my whole year though, it really has (and yes, first world problem, sorry).

Sunday, September 01, 2013

RIP Hanky Panky

Hanky Panky
We lost Hank today. As we were leaving the house to meet friends for lunch I saw a dead tabby cat by the garage door and asked Craig to stop the car. Immediately Jack said "It's Hank!" but I thought no way - how can he have got out of the house? Of course it was Hank. I think he ate some poison, rat poison maybe, in someones yard because there was white froth around his mouth and nose.

Jack was hysterical crying and has been upset all day. Craig and I are both sad too but also shocked. How did he get out? We have both been super sensitive to not letting him get out but he's been trying lately. I saw him last at 10.30pm last night, when I gave him some extra wet food that he likes as he was meowing at me.

So we just buried him in the garden, along with Frank & Tutz. Jack threw a handful of his favourite treats in with him and we'll look for some nice rocks for his grave. I feel so so sad. He was such a great cat - so friendly and loving. And the short time we had him he had truly found a place where he was flea-free and loved and taken care of.  Just yesterday morning Craig and I were laughing as he was sat on Craig's head in bed.

So long Hank. Wish we'd known you longer sweet boy.