Friday, July 18, 2014

Diesel's Day

Our Boxer, Diesel, is almost 12 years old. Which is pretty good for a Boxer, especially one that was diagnosed with a serious cardiac condition when he was 3 and a second one a few years later.

Diesel is my heart dog. He has been with me since he was 18 months old. It was just him and me then, and he's seen me through many changes. I went from being single, to married, to a mother. He's said goodbye to two doggie sisters and has been an outstanding foster brother to more than 25 dogs. I love this dog. I adore this dog.

But in the past little while, he's also been diagnosed with degenerative myelopathy. This is a total asshole conditon. Its similar to Multiple Sclerosis in humans. It's a nervous system conditon, basically the messages are no longer making it from his spinal cord to his hind legs. It starts with some toe dragging and knuckling under, and standing with legs crossed, but progressively gets worse and all strength and control is lost. As of now he's not able to walk more than a few steps and can barely stand up. He's beginning to drag his back end around. His urinary continence is weakening. He can't poop without falling into his mess. He's lost so much muscle tone and has gotten very skinny in the back end. My husband made him a wheelchair, and we have a special harness to help us carry him. But it's gotten to the point where we can't deny the inevitable anymore. It pains me to say it, but Diesel's time is almost over. At this point it's over as soon as the vet can fit us in. 

But, on or before the day that will be Diesel's last, I am going to make sure he gets the following:

  1. Eggs.
  2. A cheeseburger. 
  3. Pepperoni. 
  4. Sour Patch Kids. 
  5. Beer. 
  6. Attention, love, kisses, hugs from all four of us and his boxer sister and foster sister. 

This situation is horrible for me. I am a wreck and I can't even breathe through my nose, I've been crying so much. I don't know how I'll live without this guy. I don't know how long it will take me to feel normal again after he goes to the Rainbow Bridge. I know all the stuff. I know it's inevitable, I know it's the kindest thing we can do for him, I know he has finished his work here, I know he's lost his dignity and we can't keep forcing him.  I've comforted so many people in this situation before. But when it's your turn it's different. I am just gutted. And it's going to be a long, long time before I feel better. 

But one thing that will never, ever change is that Diesel is my heart dog. He always will be. I will have a tattoo done of his nose on my arm, which is where it's been while we slept for many nights in the past ten years. 

I'm so sorry this had to happen to you, Diesel. You are the best dog that ever lived. You deserved more. 

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Boy the Younger's Planes birthday party

What an exciting day we had! I'm not sure how Boy the Younger could possibly be four years old already, but somehow he is...and we celebrated it up, gymnastic-style. Because the kids would be flying around Kyle Shewfelt's Gymnastics, we thought a Disney Planes theme would be good.

So - here's the party!

When we got to the gym, the kids went in with their coach (who was excellent, thank you!) and the parents got to relax on the couches in the viewing lounge and enjoy watching the kids (and the WiFi). The kids rotated through a few stations and learned how to use the equipment properly, and then got to run wild for some free play time. This place is great, there are in-floor trampolines, a foam pit, lots of springboards and mini-trampolines and bouncers, rings, bars, ropes, you name it! The kids had a blast tiring themselves out!

After a little more than an hour of running and jumping around, it was time to move into the party room, where we had some lunch and desserts. I did try to have some healthy things to balance out the sugary treats, but all the kids magically saved room for the sweets.

Skywiches - ham, turkey, cheese sandwiches

Chili baked inside dough. The kids agreed it was too spicy but the grown ups liked them!
What can I say, who doesn't like veggie straws?

The sweet table

The cake - affectionately known as "Dusty Craphopper"

To nobody's surprise, the chocolate dipped pieces disappeare first.
Blue Jello with marshmallows inside, topped with whipped cream.

After refueling, it was time for all Boy's friends to give him their gifts (and help open them). Boy was able to remember to say thank you to each child and give a big hug to his friends.

And then Boy gave his friends their thank you gift, which was a Planes collector cup with a marshmallow Dusty pop, a spinny propeller thing, and a little fruit gummy treat. And a thank you card which he insisted on signing personally.

And so, now I have no more little babies left! This is the year they both will be school-aged kids, and although I'm a little sad to be finished with cuddly nursing babies, it's so nice to have my two big boys, who can do anything and live life with fun, passion, and huge smiles!

Happy Birthday!

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Mood Poisoning

Know how a few bad experiences in a day can just kind of snowball and put you in a terrible mood? I've always been pretty low on immunity to this kind of Mood Poisoning. Worst are when those bad moments happen early in the day, then my entire day can be tainted with the grumpiness.

But - I'm delighted to discover that it works the opposite way, too. And that there is an effect of magnitude and integrity. When the pathogen is particularly compelling, passionate, enthusiastic, or clearly truthful, the effects last way, way longer. 

I had the pleasure of listening to a very inspiring speaker recently, and although I already felt quite passionate about my work, this person's passion really infected me, and I've been carrying it for a week now. 

The lovely thing is it also makes me immune to the other type of communicable moods. People can't bring me down, no matter how hard they try!

  • Parent who cut me off to drive the wrong way down the daycare parking lot...gee, I'm sorry you are in such a hurry. I hope you made it to work on time!
  • Seven cars that failed to stop when my kids and I were trying to cross the street to get to the bus sorry that your bosses must all be such jerks. It must suck to have to drive like that. 
So given that I've noticed an awful lot of myself in my kids - this is my new mission - to make sure that I infect them with some Good Mood Poisioning early in their day, every day.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Boy The Elder's Star Wars Birthday Party

Well, it isn't six months late yet! Better late than never, right?

This is the Star Wars themed 5th birthday party we had for Boy the Elder this summer. We just booked a multipurpose room at our local community centre and did it all ourselves. Luckily there was lots of themed decorations available that fit just perfectly. But the food, some of the favours, and the games and entertainment were all done by us.

This sign was at the top of the stairs, leading down to the party space:

Each Padawan was given a Jedi robe (made with Intentionally Katie's no-sew pattern) to wear for the party and they chose a pool noodle light saber - very telling who chose light side and who chose dark side colours...

The party food was all set up after the Padawans played light saber balloon games for a while...which quickly devolved into beating each other with their sabers.

Eating time! And there was WAY too much food, we were eating leftover Hutt Dogs and Han Burgers for days after...

We played a few games - Light Saber Training (keeping balloons in the air with the noodle sabers)

Star Wars Bingo (got these cards from Etsy seller TrulyBillEve). It was totally more fun than it looks.

Use The Force (disc tossing game)

And the goody "bags"- a collector cup with a Han Solo Rolo (Han Solo in carbonite caramel filled chocolate, using this mold) and a Millennium Falc-Oreo (Oreo cookie inside a molded chocolate Millennium Falcon, using this mold).

And that was it! We had a really fun time, and it was the party I've personally dreamed about for around 18 years or so...

May the Force Be With You!

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Kind of an Askhole

It seems like my Boy The Younger's Whyarrhea hasn't improved, in fact maybe it's gotten a wee bit worse. That boy can grill me like a cheese sandwich. He is SO going to follow in my footsteps and end up working in something research-related. There's no way he'll be as good at anything else as he is at asking questions.

Of course, as he gets closer to 4 years old, his questions have really branched out and now include all five W's and a lot of H's.

In the past few days I've had to explain the following, at least sixty times each:

  1. What his choices for breakfast are, and in corollary, what they are not.
  2. Where he can put his dirty laundry, which has never changed since it became his job to look after his own dirty laundry.
  3. When we are going to go on an airplane next.
  4. How much longer until he gets to start Kindergarten.
  5. Why Mommy decided to get a different job (ok, maybe he hasn't actually asked about this, but I wanna tell them all about it!).
  6. Who Mayor Nenshi is.

It is exhausting being this boy's mother. And of course, it's been the holidays, so he's been home from daycare for 2 weeks, which gave him extra time to think about all his questions (thankfully I have not been home much, it's been Daddy's turn!).

After one particular long session, he even made a shocking self-observation: "Mommy, I ask a lot of questions." Without really thinking about it, I said "Yes, you kind of are an askhole."

I'm glad that in addition to my curiosity, he also has my sense of humour and, like me, enjoys a good curse word now and then.