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Archive for the ‘Our Four-Leggeds’ Category

Mr. Magoo is picking up new words every day right now. Still not speaking in full sentences like some of his peers but certainly able to make his wants & desires & thoughts more known.

We all (ok, maybe it’s just me) think it’s pretty funny when a little one drops an f-bomb for the first time, but none of us really wants to be our child who does it, so, we’ve been a little more careful with our language around here.

But sometimes the embarrassing language is not something you’d expect.

On Saturday my Mom brought Mr. Magoo to the Santa Claus parade. At one point she was standing in his way & he told her to “GIT!”.

Mom thought she misheard & so asked me what I thought he might be saying. Where did he learn this less than polite way to ask someone to move? That would be from me, talking to the dogs. And I’ve been trying to catch myself ever since – I tell them to “git” a LOT (they tend to get underfoot at the worst times)!

Cute? Yes. Scary to have underfoot when going down the stairs? Yes!

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Wow was I happily surprised this morning when we woke up & came downstairs to find the thermometer already read 20 degrees! Ok, I’ll admit it wasn’t early in the morning – Diaperbutt & I rarely do early, but still, 20!!!

We spent most of the day outside. I worked hard on the swing seat repair I’m working on (hopefully I’ll finish it this week & be able to post the pics), Diaperbutt played, the dogs barked (you know how threatening people walking by the house can be) & the sun shined merrily upon us with only a slight breeze (it has seemed the wind has often been cold lately).

In the afternoon I got to sit on my swing seat (finally!) & read while Diaperbutt played (or rather hung on me & tried to grab at my book). And then after supper we went for a walk.

I love days that we are able to spend almost exclusively outside!

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Last night I had a conference call for Guiding Mosaic 2010 to get updates from the whole program team & to beg people if they know lifeguards to send them my way (do you know any lifeguards who wanna come play for 2 weeks?).

Shock of all shocks Diaperbutt crawled onto my lap & fell asleep 5 minutes before the call – almost 2 hours earlier than usual!!! It seemed the night was off to a fabulous start.

Ah, but starts do not always indicate how well the trip will go & that was definitely the case last night.

Bubbo is a big fat lover but he's also an instigator, quietly riling up everyone around him.

12:30 – Grumpy Bear went to leave his office & stepped on the cat in the process – she screamed & bit him in protest causing him to yell out in pain which spooked the little black dog who ran through the house barking causing me to jump up & try to hush her. Not surprisingly Diaperbutt finished the chain reaction by waking up crying. It took me an hour to get him settled again.

Our old girl knows how to make herself comfortable (here she is taking over the dog's kennel) but she will protest LOUDLY if anyone interferes with her once she is comfortable.

3:00 am – some critter got into our garage, knocking over the garbage & greatly agitating the big girl. I had to get out of bed & go downstairs & look out the window with her to reassure her they were gone & no real concern to start with. Shockingly Diaperbutt did not wake up but when the big girl barks in that particular way it always gets my heart rate going ’cause it is her “something is actually happening” bark & sometimes she’s actually right. It’s not easy to fall back asleep after the little adrenaline rush.

The big girl can be really comforting to have around but she is also guilty of false alarms.

5:00 am & the cats get into a tousle (we really need to start throwing the fat one outside at night – he’s just too full of piss & vinegar to be in the house) resulting in a lot of hissing & screeching & thumping (I thought cats were supposed to be graceful?). Macie felt she needed to let us know & added her two cents in the form of yelping little barks. Not surprisingly Diaperbutt woke up crying – after an hour I give up & get up as he is obviously not going back to sleep.

She looks cute but that's just her cover for a whole lot of BAD!

I love our critters but there are times I question my own sanity for having them in the house!

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I’m counting this as 3 projects & as it took me more weeks than that I think that is fair.

I had actually painted this room a few years ago, back when the dream of it becoming a nursery seemed to be becoming less & less likely with the passing of each month. I had mixed one can of leftover yellow from the kitchen with one can of all purpose white & got this lovely pale yellow. I didn’t really want to change the colour but I had none of the mix I made left so I had to make some more necessitating repainting the whole room as our renters had done some damage to the walls.

This is what duct tape does to painted walls.

Because the room is quite wee & the furniture was in it already I could only paint half the room at once with everything pushed to the other side.

I am pretty happy with how close to the original colour the yellow turned out. The blanket dolly is one I made for Diaperbutt while I was pregnant - I keep trying to get him to accept it as a lovey but he thinks my breasts are far superior!

Part two was the need for curtains. I had previously made curtains (you can see the edge of them in the first photo) but they were barely the size of the window & did nothing to cut the light. This room is south facing so we definitely needed something that would make the room at least a little bit darker, so it was off to the fabric store with me (that is a dangerous place for me to go – so many possibilities!).

Sorry for the bad photo - I guess I should take one at night so the glare from the window is not so bad (& wow do I need to clean that window!).

I made the curtains tri-layered with white on the outside to hopefully reflect some of the sun/heat out, an old red curtain in the middle (which makes the room glow red when they are closed) & this cute Canadian print on the inside. I am partial to this type of tie-back (we have similar ones on the main floor) ’cause there is no fussy tying required to open the curtains.

The most difficult part of making curtains is getting all the layers to lie nice together since it takes so much space. The floor is the only place to do it but I always seem to get a lot of extra "help" making the project take longer than necessary!

Lastly was all the finishing touches.

The lamp shade was an old one that was looking pretty grungy. Lamp shades aren't so easy to clean but I thought I'd give it a go to try to save it so I painted it with watered down acrylic craft paint. I'm quite happy with how it turned out.

The furniture is Grumpy Bear’s father’s bedroom set from when he was a child & is in pretty good shape overall. I still need to figure out how to get the stickers off the mirror but the crayon on the headboard came off nicely with a scrub brush & a little elbow grease.

As you can see from this before photo it is a nice sunny room that the dogs are partial to.

So a baby gate had to go up!

Baby gates are great for babies & dogs - wished I discovered that several years earlier! And right now Diaperbutt thinks opening & closing them is a whole lot of fun!

A rag rug on the floor, clean sheets & some blankets made by grandma’s & the room is pretty cozy.

I also purchased & assembled the bed rails with the hopes they will keep him safely in the bed through the night. The rails took me over an hour to assemble!

Charlotte, our grumpy old girl is allowed in.

And I found the perfect toy bin at Shopper’s Drugmart the other day that is blue on the outside & green on the inside – now I just need to figure out some nice “quiet” toys to put in there, unfortunately Diaperbutt doesn’t do quiet so well.

We still need to make a nicer cover for the corner behind his bed (for now the electrical is covered safely but it doesn’t look so nice).

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A year ago today was one of the longest, most stressful days of my life.

It was the day we moved back to Canada from Costa Rica with 2 cats, 2 dogs & one cute baby in tow.

We started the day with a prearranged cab ride to the airport in San Jose with a quick stop at the hardware store for cable ties (I had nightmares the night before of Sadie aka Houdini getting free of her kennel & running wild on the tarmac).

The airport in San Jose went much better than expected – you tend to draw a little attention when you’re travelling in a party like ours & so we did get a little extra help & attention.

Once we through security it was just a matter of waiting & hoping for the next several hours that everyone would arrive ok. When we finally boarded the flight attendants were fabulous double checking the animals for us & ensuring that all 6 animals were on board (yes, we only had 4 but we knew there were 2 others & we figured it was easier to ensure all were on board then to try to ensure our specific critters were on).

The flight was PACKED as it was the last one leaving Costa Rica for the season on this particular airline but it was uneventful.

Once we arrived in Toronto we were in store for several hours in security, we just didn’t know it yet. Turns out it was a particularly busy night in Toronto & the wait to get through customs was almost 2 hours long. Diaperbutt did spectacularly & although I was feeling awfully anxious about the animals we all managed to stay pretty relaxed.

Once through our customs we headed into baggage claim where are bags had long been sitting waiting for us, as were the poor critters. They had been unceremoniously stacked in the baggage claim area & abandoned – not a staff person in sight to watch over them & we could hear Macie’s sharp little bark echoing through the deserted chamber.

Relieved to see everyone in one piece we still had over an hour before we were free of the airport. To get the animals through customs went very smoothly (I was worried as I had not had their vaccination records translated from Spanish) but was a long process. In addition we had to get the paperwork in order for our sea shipment that was to follow in several weeks – we had been warned if we didn’t get this done during our initial entry into the country that it would seriously complicate delivery of our stuff.

Finally through all the customs steps with everyone in tow (& a baby who was getting seriously overtired & hungry – customs just doesn’t seem like the right time to nurse & I never mastered nursing standing in line) we headed out of the restricted areas & were immediately jumped upon by my Mom. She had driven up to Toronto to meet us with a friend of hers who lives in Toronto. They had been waiting the whole time we were going through customs – almost four hours & my Mom was getting more than a little bit worried something was wrong.

At the car rental desk we met our last bit of complication when there was  a confusion with the rental. For a moment it looked like we might be stranded in Toronto but eventually Grumpy Bear was able to sort it out while Diaperbutt & I took advantage of the quiet lobby to sit & nurse.

Once outside in the very crisp April air we found our vehicles & got ourselves all sorted out. The dogs were happy to be out of their kennels & get some loving & a pee break! From there we loaded up our rental vehicle with the luggage, cats & a fresh, new litterbox my Mom had ready for us. I installed the carseat & got Diaperbutt set up for the long drive ahead.

We had to disassemble Sadie’s giant kennel to get it strapped to the top of Mom’s vehicle & then we loaded the two pups into the back. At this point we parted ways (much to the disappointment of the dogs). Mom & her friend took the dogs for a long walk in a local park & then back to her friend’s house for the night. Mom drove home with them the next morning.

Grumpy Bear, Diaperbutt & I headed for his parents house immediately with a quick stop for something to eat (it was quite late at night by this point & we were way overdue for supper). Diaperbutt did fabulously & slept almost the entire 5 hour drive.

At Grumpy Bear’s parents we all toppled into bed relieved to have the long day behind us & finally be “home”, although it would be almost another 2 months before we would all be living together under one roof again as a family – one mommy, one papa, one boy, two cats & two dogs.

Looking back on it I am amazed it was a whole year ago – I think it is the fastest a year has ever gone by in my life.

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It’s not far from our house to the Early Years Centre, a little over 1/2 a kilometer. It usually takes me about 7 minutes to walk with Diaperbutt in the Ergo carrier, on the snowy days it’s faster to walk than to clean off the car & drive.But today it took me 30 minutes to do that walk ’cause I didn’t have my heavy load – ’cause he walked the whole way!

We only had to stop about a hundred times to investigate snow & rocks & garbage cans. It took four tries of the mittens before Diaperbutt kept them on. We stopped to pet a super friendly cat (Connicher & Charlotte rarely let him actually touch them) & the train tracks proved a larger stumbling block than I anticipated. We also needed to stop & watch the progress of every vehicle that passed us.

Who knew I was charging past all these interesting things all this time?

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Charlotte is almost 15 years old. She is grumpy old bitch of a cat – in fact I can hear her growling over the indignity of Connicher coming close to her as I write this. She doesn’t particularly like to be pet unless it’s on her terms (that is only around the head & neck) & even then she may turn on you at any moment.

That belly might look cuddly & soft but it is most definitely a no touch zone.

She is demanding when it comes to food & thanks to a good friend of mine who was once also a roommate she is insistent that she must drink directly  from the faucet Рso every single time we pee she is in the sink leaving paw prints & fur behind.

A rare moment of truce between Charlotte & Connicher.

She loved Costa Rica – all the sunshine & warmth. She never left the yard & explored, just basked in the sun. Unfortunately, thanks to the addition of the little black dog to our family while in Costa Rica, she developed a really bad habit of lying in the sunshine — while on the diningroom table. A habit we cannot seem to break her of now despite there no longer being any sunshine on the table at any point in the day.(Don’t worry, if you come for dinner I always make sure the wash the table before meals & kick the cat off.)

Enjoying the Costa Rican sun.

She has her favourite sleeping places & generally moves from one to the next throughout the day: behind the monitor on Grumpy Bear’s desk, on the dog bed in the hall, on the end of the bed, on a pile of laundry – the cleaner the better. She’s all about the comfort, our old girl.

The reason our dryer should always remain closed.

That is why I was so surprised tonight when it was time for Diaperbutt’s bath. She was sound asleep in the bathtub! At first I thought maybe she was dead – it was such a strange thing for her to do, but nope, she hissed & screamed her displeasure when I gently removed her to a higher perch. I guess sometimes staying safe from the persistent nose of a dog is more important than comfort.

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