Monday, November 10, 2014

No Long Weekends

I'm only slightly bitter that I had to work today. Sacha was off school, Andrew was off work, no students or teachers in the school, even most office staff took the day off. I was left to man the reception desk. Oh well. I get tomorrow off for Remembrance Day, so that's nice. Sacha is in the parade with his beaver group. I might have to physically restrain Alice from keeping her out of the parade. There have already been tears shed. 

I took the kids to Reifel on Saturday, at Alice's request. She was adamant that we go feed ducks (my master plan is coming to fruition). I even had a coupon for Go Bananas that was only good for Saturday but Alice insisted that we feed ducks. I bought some seed with sunflowers and peanuts and the kids had a great time holding their hands out and having the chickadees eating straight from their hands.  Sacha even had a red winged blackbird come and perch on his hand at one point. It was just like Snow White. 

On Sunday, Tina came over and watched Frozen with Alice and I started a crafting sweatshop getting ready for her birthday party next weekend. I have 10 mini Mad Hatter hats, a playing card garland and a bunch of mome raths ready to go. I just need to make some large playing cards for flamingo croquet (and buy the flamingos), draw a Cheshire Cat and get baking for the mad tea party on Saturday. 

Then I have one week to prepare for a big surprise for the kids the following weekend. No wonder I'm exhausted. 

Monday, November 03, 2014

Time Travels

I hate daylight saving time. They were making a big deal about it on the radio this morning that it is daylight saving time rather than daylight savings time, even though that sounds better.  Actually. I guess I don't hate it. I wish we were permanently on it. I hate the switch back. I would happily trade the tiny bit of light we get before 8am for the hour we get after work.  This system may have made sense back when we were all farmers and didn't have reliable artificial light sources but we need to modernize our practices.  

It threw my whole day off too. I had to pick up a letter from my doctor for work because I am going to be missing some time at the end of the month due to a minor surgery. But because the clock my my car doesn't auto adjust, I felt like I was in a big rush to get back and pick up Alice from daycare and get her to ballet lessons. Of course, by the time I picked her up and stopped for gas, we still had 1/2 hour before class started. So I thought while we were a little closer, we could pop over to the vet and pick up Oliver's ashes. It is only 30 blocks away from the dance studio, should not have been a problem. For some reason, the vet was closed when we got there. Alice started crying because she wanted to see Oliver and didn't want me to leave with out him (poor thing). We raced back to the studio and I got stuck in the worst traffic. Alice was nearly 20 minutes late to a class we were half an hour early for. 

I consoled myself by watching crappy tv when we got home. Yay. 

Saturday, November 01, 2014

Treats and Tricks

Halloween is my favourite time of year. The kids had their costumes picked out a month ago. Sacha dressed up as Leonardo the Ninja Turtle. Alice was one of the many Elsas running around the neighbourhood. 

My office actually dressed up on Thirsday because the kids had a pro-d day on Friday.  We were Disney/fairy tale villains. I was Ursula the sea-witch from the Littke Mermaid. 

We trick-or-treated twice as far as last year. All through our townhouse complex and over by Sacha's school.  It is a Halloween hot spot 3 blocks away, easily five times as many kids as our street.  There was even one house handing out coffee with shots of kalhua and amaretto for parents!

Tina came trick or treating with us. She was dressed as a giant banana. My Ursula outfit was too heavy to carry around all night. Those tentacles really drag you down out of water. 

After we got home and the kids were in bed, Tina sat down and sorted all the candy into categories.  I always have the kids trick or treat with small bags or buckets and have them dump their loot into one big bag so that no one owns anything. But we all know, Alice gets the smarties, Sacha gets the aeros and Mummy gets the coffee crisps. 

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Pumpkin Carving

This year we had two pumpkins from Mum's garden at Bowen, one grocery store pumpkin and two picked out from the pumpkin patch in the dark on a scout event.  The scout trip was really fun. The kids got to play on a fire truck, an old fishing boat and with animals in petting zoo. They got to sing camp fire sings and roast hotdogs on a stick and we took a tractor ride out to the patch and through a corn maze. It was just after a big rain storm and it was so muddy. Originally, I was just going to drop Sacha off and run errands with Alice. This was a stupid idea. Alice made it clear that she was also going to go to the patch. Sacha had his headlamp flash light but Alice and I didn't have anything so we were creeping up on others with lights to try to pick a good pumpkin. Alice picked out a white ghost pumpkin and Sacha picked out a golden one. 

This is the first year that I actually let the kids carve their own pumpkins. Sacha's turned out great! I did not help him at all. Alice's looks a liitle more like someone tried to murder a pumpkin but she insists that it is not done yet. She also insisted that it is a portrait of "Oliver". She's really missing him. 

Sacha's pumpkin on the left. Alice's on the right. 

Sunday, October 26, 2014

RIP Oliver

September 4, 1998-October 26, 2014

This morning at about 5:45am we said goodbye to our little dog, Oliver.  He had a long and happy life. He was such a gentle dog that took all kids of loving abuse from Sacha and Alice (especially Alice) who would fling themselves on him and hug and kiss him. Dachshunds are known to be ornery, often biting people but Oliver never bit. Even before he had most of his teeth removed last year. 

We had taken him to the vet about a month ago for a geriatric check up and she confirmed our suspicions that he had a form of doggy Alzheimer's and cataracts but wasn't in any pain at the time. 

He had been coughing on and off yesterday and didn't rush to eat his breakfast. By 11pm, the coughing turned to heavy panting and we knew that we would have to take him to the vet in the morning and that this might be his time. At 4am, Oliver came up to my side of the bed to wake me up and sounded more like gasping for air, rather than panting. I picked him up and snuggled with him while we started calling around to vets to find one that was open 24hours. We had wake up the kids to and gave them each a chance to gently snuggle with Oliver and tell him they loved him. 

The vet confirmed what I had suspected, he mostly likely had congestive heart failure and his lungs were filling up with fluid. It's what happened to Gus too so I knew what the symptoms were. There were a couple other possible diagnoses but none had a good outcome. So we made the decision to put him to sleep and put him out of his misery. 

This is the only time in my life that I haven't had a dog.  I have no plans to get another one for quite a while, it's just too much for me right now with the kids even though they both love animals so much.  Now, I have two doggie beds, leashes and collars, half a bag of dog food and piles of dog blankets that I will have to find a new home for.  It's going to be difficult getting used to not having a dog. Little things like assuming any ball of blanket on the floor most likely has a little wiener dog wrapped up in it. 

Monday, October 20, 2014

Denise The Menace

I know Sacha was the exact same way when he was the same age, but I thought girls were supposed to be easier until their tween years. 

This weekend, Alice climbed behind a dresser in my room and drew a great big mural on the wall with a red crayon.  She got stung by stinging nettles 3 times on a hike we took on Sunday because she refused to stay on the path.  She took Popsicles out of the deep freeze and didn't close the lid. Again. Luckily I found it before the whole thing thawed. Unlike last time.  She fell asleep in Sacha's laundry chair because her bed was too full of picture frames. 

I just checked tonight and she's in the chair again tonight. No more picture frames so it must just be a preference. The pribalem is that it's not so comfy at 3am when she wakes up and finds her way into my bed. 

I'd say this wasn't even a particularly devilish weekend either. 

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Gobble Gobble

A long weekend crammed full of activities doesn't feel much like a long weekend. On Satutday, Sacha had a scouts event called Hug a Tree. They learned how not to get lots in the woods but if they did get lost, what they should to. He got a whistle and an emergency blanket to keep. When we dropped him off it was pouring rain but as we drove across town to drop Alice off at her friend Willow's house the sky started to clear up. 

It was supposed to be a glorious 2 hour break from both kids while they were occupied but because the two events were so far apart. It was more like an hour and fifteen minutes of kid free freedom which I used to go shopping for thanksgiving groceries. 

Saturday afternoon, the kids played on their bikes and scooters while I made a pie crust. 

On Sunday, Sacha had his friend over to play.  It was a whirlwind. They flitted from one activity to the next like hummingbirds.  The two most successful things we did were making Halloween decorations for the windows and making slime out of glue and borax. The boys had fun pretending to sneeze giant boogers into their hands.  It was an intense two and a half hours.  Sacha struggled with letting his guest go first at board games and doing the things his friend wanted to do, like play soccer. He was so excited and out of his normal comfort zone.  After the play date was over, I could have used a nap but pressed on and finished the pumpkin pie I started the day before and made a peanut butter pie that was amazing. I think I now have an answer to the question, "if you were stranded on a desert island and could only have one thing to eat for the rest of your life, what would it be?" It would probably be a short life filled with diabetes and gout but peanut butter pie is delicious!!

We had the big turkey dinner at Margot's house. Sacha had been very adamant that he really wanted thanksgiving fruit this year. He was only going to eat turkey and thanksgiving fruit. So that was another project on Saturday. To make a horn of plenty out of paper mâché. The paint was still wet when we put it in the car and drove to Margot's.  I only had apples and a banana to put in it. Margot added a lemon.  Alice only had thanksgiving fruit this year, no turkey. 

Monday, I thought it might be fun to try to do a scout badge. So we looked up "global challenge". They are supposed to learn greetings in other languages, try foods from around the world, learn about wild animal conservation and plant a tree or flowers. We have since learned that the scout group works together to earn badges and not on their own but we had fun doing all the challenges anyway. We found out before we got to the planting part, so that didn't happen. But we learned greetings in French, Spanish, Russian and Japanese.  We went to a Korean BBQ and Japanese restaurant and Sacha tried dishes!!  He didn't try sushi but he tried yakisoba, ton katsu, green tea and Korean style grilled chicken and beef. He liked all of it except the yakisoba and for him with his food issues it was amazingly brave. He even practised using chopsticks and wasn't half bad. Alice was less adventurous, more squirmy and not interested in foods from around the world at all. 

After lunch, Sacha and I went to the aquarium. Alice was actually really naughty while at lunch. Climbing under the table, climbing on me, flicking good across the table etc, so after numerous warnings, she lost her chance to go to the aquarium yesterday. But Sacha and I learned that you can't thrown plastic bags in to the ocean because sea turtles and other creatures think they are jellyfish and eat them and that is very bad for them and they can die. 

And that was all the energy I had for the weekend, we came home and Sacha and Alice trashed my bedroom when they were supposed to be watching Mulan upstairs.  Laundry every where, every stuffed animal we own, Alice's duvet was mysteriously wet on the floor and bread crumbs in the bed. Two of my few rules in the house are 1) no food upstairs and 2) no toys in my room.  Little monsters. How did they have any energy left? At least I got to watch the season opener of Walking Dead while they partied it up upstairs. So it wasn't a total loss.