Hello number two!

My my, where does the time go? I haven’t given up and if you have been checking in from time to time, just to see if I’m still here, thank you and so sorry! You know it’s bad when my father (who says he doesn’t read blogs) asks about an update!

I really have a lot of show and tell from the past few months, but today I will start with the most important- birthday #2! This past weekend was filled with sweet celebrations. It all started with a trip to the Farmer’s market and a chocolate (well Nutella) banana crape. Frances rarely eats sweets, so this was very special.

birthday2

We then returned home for some present opening. She’s really getting the hang of unwrapping all that paper, although most times she just wants daddy to do it for her. She had a fun time playing with all the new treasures, then it was time for lunch and a nap (for both of us!) When she awoke, Pappy (Josh’s dad) appeared with a shiny new red wagon!

birthday1

She proceeded to fill it up with every toy she could find, then she got in. I see many wagon rides in our future, however I will need some heavy training first as we live in a very hilly part of town.

It seemed like all the important events were taking place on that one day. Rebecca got married and auntie Caitlin was in town to do Nocturne. So what better time for her first sleep over then on her birthday! I wasn’t at all worried, I knew Frances would be just fine with her Nanny and Grampy and she was. It felt strange sending her off on such an important day, but I knew she would have fun and we would continue the celebrations the following day.

After an evening of weddedness and artiness, Josh and I returned home to a strangely quiet house. I crashed and didn’t wake up till nine the next morning. It was the first full uninterrupted long sleep we had in over two years and it sure was nice!! Frances was having so much fun, she stayed till noon and I can’t remember the last time Josh and I got so much cleaning done. Oh wait, yes, it’s been at least two years! We are going to send her away more often.

No birthday can be properly celebrated without cake, so we ended the weekends festivities with the traditional Lambie cake. (This is a cake my mother had as a child as did my sister and I)

birthday3

Frances seemed a little more excited about the strawberry decorations (sorry Nanny!) but the cake was delicious!

Advertisements

FutoMaki

maki2

When Josh and I moved into our first apartment together we knew right away that we would like the companionship of a cat. We had both grown up with animals in our family’s so it felt like the most natural thing to do. Animals always make a house feel like home and we were prepared for the commitment we were about to make. Being partial to tabbies I looked around and found the perfect little guy in a veterinary clinic around the corner. We brought him home in a cardboard box and he was so happy to get out and explore the new surroundings. After mulling over a few good names Josh suggested Maki and I agreed it was a great name (It comes from the Japanese Maki sushi rolls). We absolutely adored our new family member and he provided us with unlimited amounts of love and amusement.

Maki grew quickly from a tiny little kitten into a beautiful strong healthy solid cat. His nickname became FutoMaki (big roll) and we just loved him more and more every day. Once he was old enough and had been neutered we introduced him to a new world outside. He was in his element. After that first year we moved to our current house with a much nicer back yard where he could spend his days chasing bugs and cooling off under the lilies. Sometimes we thought he might be lonely, so we gave him the companionship of a little sister (Nori). It’s funny how animals just blend right in and become one of our own. It is hard to remember or even imagine what life was like before they joined you. They truly make your life fuller, much like human children but in a more mutual way, if that makes sense.

When animals come into our lives we are fully aware that their lives might be about 1/6 (if we and they are lucky) of ours. We know that we will inevitably see them pass, but those facts never prepare us for the eventuality.

Until two months ago Maki had been an extremely healthy cat. He had developed what we believed was a urinary tract infection. He was hospitalized, treated and cared for at home to what we thought was a full recovery. Back to his normal ways, a little thinner but seemingly healthy none the less. Last Tuesday he failed to show up for his midnight call to come in (he had never spent the night outside) this was unusual and even more so when there was no sign of him the following morning. On Wednesday afternoon Frances and I finally found him looking ill in the back garden. A visit to the vet could find no sign of trauma or a recurrence of a urinary infection. We brought him home to wait and see with plans to return on Friday. With no change and an obviously sick cat blood tests were ordered. We will never know what or how it happened but the results revealed serious and chronic kidney distress. The prognosis was not good and we were left with an extremely sad option. The only option to relieve our sweet boy from the pain he was very obviously in.

On Friday night Josh and I said goodbye to our dear friend. We stroked his soft fir and lulled him into a deep peaceful sleep as he heard us tell him for the final time he was our boy and we loved him.

A visit from Bill

It was the anticipation that did me in. With a category 2 hurricane headed our way and my father off sailing on a wooden boat equipped with the bare bones necessities it was a little worrisome. The media tends to freak many out and it’s always interesting to watch people prepare for such a weather event. The water aisle at the grocery store receives a good pillaging and many hardware stores have their generator stock wiped out, but after the blaze attitude towards hurricane Juan in 2003 it is good to be a little prepared. My poor mother finally had telephone contact with my father on Saturday afternoon with reassurance that all was well and they were tucked away and anchored  in a safe harbor. That was a relief to know but we still worried. The storm downgraded to a category 1 and blew in on Sunday morning with heavy rain and high winds. Thankfully it moved quickly and stayed well off shore. By dinner time there was blue sky and sunshine.

I didn’t get out for pictures that day and it’s hard to capture wind on a still camera, but this should give you some idea. This is how Peggy’s Cove, the greatest tourist attraction just 30 min. outside the city right on the coast, usually looks (well on a clear, calm sunny day).

peggys cove1

…and down below is how it looked on Sunday during the storm.

Having been there many, many times when it looks just like the top photo I can never imagine waves actually crashing into the lighthouse.

On Monday morning there was another phone call from my father to say they survived and were about to set sail  and continue on their journey.

Numbingly cold.

As I mentioned last post, we have been experiencing a heatwave. Some people love the heat but I prefer cooler temperatures, fall weather is ideal but I can be completely happy through the winter as well. Don’t get me wrong, I do enjoy the summer, and the best place to go and beat the heat is the beach.

beach1

beach2

I can’t tell you how happy I was to sit on this sand and gaze out at the beautiful blue ocean. The water was cold, like numbingly cold, but neither Josh nor I could resist and we both ended up taking an incredibly refreshing dip. Ah, sweet relief!

Now we are waiting to see what hurricane Bill has in store for us. I bought a few extra cans of beans and tuna at the store this morning and a package of batteries just in case.

Is it fall yet!?

When I began writing this post last week I started out by saying I could feel Autumn creeping in through the early morning chill. Now I only wish! We are experiencing some kind of heatwave up here in the north east and I do not like it one little bit. I find it uncomfortable and unbearable and you will not find me complaining come February when the temperature dips well below zero. This heat makes everyone in the house cranky and that’s no fun!

Speaking of fun in a fun way, and something I have been meaning to write about is the visit we had with my sister and family.

july2

After one very long year they made the lengthy drive home for their annual summer visit. It seems funner now that kids are involved and even more fun the older they become. Frances had a blast with her cousins and still fondly chatters on about them weeks later. They mostly bumbled about my parents house doing what kids do, they frolicked naked in the little kiddie pool and the boys became soldiers following a visit to the fortress in the heart of our city.

july3

Frances spent some quality time with her Auntie Sayer and this really makes me wish we saw them more. Just like I would really love to spend more time getting to know my awesome nephews, I want Frances to really know her very cool aunt. Boo hoo!

And of course no visit would be complete without the communal bath…

july1

where the two boys doted on their cousin, one with a comb and the other with a seahorse!

We didn’t get to do all the things that maybe we had wanted to, but we ate well and drank well and we were all together cramming in eleven and a half months of missing one another!

Sweet dreams

Now that Frances happily drifts into slumber unassisted, (finally!!) I have more time and good energy for extracurricular activities. Two nights ago I knit this hat:

knitting3

the pattern is called Kiddie Cadet, found on Ravelry. A super easy little project knit in the round with a worsted weight yarn. I used a pretty pink wool/ alpaca blend found in my cache. I’ve also been plugging away on another knitting project which I am certain will make it to completion as it’s past the half way mark and I haven’t put it down yet.

knitting2

I firmly believe a good nights sleep is fundamental to a persons mental and physical well being. I also believe children need to learn the importance of good sleeping habits. Choosing an appropriate bed time, setting up a routine and keeping it consistent is a good place to start when your baby seems ready. I can’t remember how old Frances was when we started the seven o’clock  bath, book, bed routine, but it is a nice time of the day that we (the mom and dad) look forward to. Well that was until a few months ago. It was beginning to take at least an hour for her to settle and fall a sleep (that’s after a bath and a few books) and I was becoming a cranky mother. Josh started to share in the dreaded task and the two of us were becoming grumpy parents. Not a good thing! Something needed to change before I pulled all my hair out

Changing a child’s routine is not easy and I think, should never be approached in a drastic way. Baby steps are required and lots of self assurance that you will soon reach your goal. Nap time was my starting point. We would read a book, have a cuddle, then I made her comfortable in her bed with some favorite books and a stuffed friend. From another room I listened to her freely chat away until… all was quiet. That was easy! Let this settle in for a few weeks, then we shall start on night time. Not so easy. I’m sure her biggest fear was that we would leave her in bed alone all night. I just kept reassuring her that we would come when she needed us and that she could still get in bed with us later when we went to sleep. It’s so hard to understand when you are so little, but I knew that once we got her through the first few nights she would understand. I do not feel comfortable with crying it out, but I’d be lying if I said there were no tears. I think we worked through it in a sensitive way making everyone feel good about this transition.

I can’t tell you how much happier this adjustment has made us. Frances sleeps well and when I ask Josh if he would like to put her to bed he gladly obliges. Now I actually look forward to bedtime, where we have a nice snuggle and read some good books. I even feel better on a daily basis, more cheerful, which makes me feel like a better mother.

Salting slug shame.

I’m feeling a little guilty about those poor slugs. They were beginning to haunt me by making their way into the house and sliming along the upstairs carpet. (the cat dragged them in on his fur)

I pulled the old plants out and put the new ones in, then I placed some sandpaper around the base of each plant. Every evening I vigilantly went out with my salt shaker and did the dirty dead, I felt no remorse. That is until I observed many large black ants happily munching their way around the stems of my beautiful new tomato plants!! Now I was dealing with a whole new opponent. I quickly re-evaluated my plan of attack in an effort to save the few remaining plants. I set out traps with honey and borax and I think that may have done the trick, no sign of ants since yesterday.

I know all insects serve a purpose and it is terrible for me to kill them, but please, I just want to grow some vegetables!!