Monday, 13 November 2017

Making memories

It's early Monday evening of a long weekend, and I'm exhausted.  It's been a busy weekend and to be honest, I'm ready for the short work week ahead (I have requested vacation for the upcoming Friday...three day week, hooray!).

On Friday, I had planned to meet with my financial advisor but she was storm-stayed in a small town a couple hours out of Regina.  She sent me an e-mail that morning to let me know.  D was working her part-time job and had arranged for J to take care of Eli which meant I had much of the day to myself.  So what did I do?  I went Christmas shopping of course!  It may be more than six weeks away but with between 4-6 inches of snow on the ground it seems closer than that.  

I managed to cross a number of gifts off my list; my brother and sister-in-law, my niece, my friend N, some stuff for D and C, and my staff.  I always buy small gifts for my team, nothing major but usually something fun.  This year I found challenging puzzles and some fun Christmas coasters.  I'll tuck them into a bag with a bit of chocolate and a couple of homemade cookies.  I tend to purchase gifts throughout the year and this is true this year as well. I already bought something for my nephew.  For both he and his sister, I also bought Chapter's gift cards.  They both love to read and this way, even if the rest of the gift is a bust I know they'll get something they like!

For Eli, I had bought a Fisher Price house with little people last spring. It's tucked away in the basement, ready to be wrapped.  I suspect he'll appreciate the wrapping paper more than anything.  His mom has been buying items as well - I'd say she's gone overboard - but since this is his first Christmas he won't remember anyway.  Remaining on the list are my adult children though I've picked up a few practical items; pj's, toiletries, and socks.  They'll also get gift cards - that's become a tradition too - because I don't share the same tastes in clothing.  Again, this way they get something they need or want.  

We're going to start decorating in a week or so, as D wants to make up fridge magnets with Eli in his elf pajamas with Sheldon and his reindeer collar and head gear.  We'll see whether either of them will cooperate...I'm not entirely hopeful.  That reminds me, I need to buy hooks for the ceiling and fishing line...this is one year I'm not going to trust that the tree won't be knocked over...either by a rambunctious kitten or mobile baby.

Speaking of Eli, he continues to learn something new it seems every week.  A week ago, he wasn't able to pull himself to a sitting position from his tummy or back, this week he can do both with ease.

He's also army crawling like a champ, though has managed a couple of movements forward on his hands and knees.  Sometimes his movements get him into a predicament, as it did in the photo.  He had crawled under his bouncer, then sat up.  At least there was room for him, as he often gets caught in the legs of the stool behind him and needs to be rescued.

This week also brought two more teeth - he now has both top and bottom front teeth, and we think there may be more to follow soon.  Poor baby is drooling lots, chewing on everything he can get in his mouth (even the odd cat toy...which sends mom and G'ma into spasms), and gets quite fussy at times.

He's been eating some solid foods for awhile now, mostly arrowroot cookies, or cereal puffs.  He's also had scrambled eggs and toast.  This morning's face is brought to you, courtesy of peanut butter toast.  No allergy here, thank goodness.  (He's had peanut butter in small amounts for a couple of months.)

Although some of the toast didn't make it into his tummy, he made good work on his slice of toast.  And then he had some of his cheerios, or rather, he and Sheldon had some cheerios.  I've never seen such a cat for eating cereal, bread or cookies...he loves the all!

Speaking of cats, Saku seems to be have come to terms with Eli.  Of course, Eli has yet to pull his ear or his tail so things have remained calm.  But I'll often find Saku stretched out on the play mat while Eli plays.  

This photo makes me laugh, Saku is such a big cat!  He's definitely dropped a pound or two since Sheldon came to live with us.  That kitten keeps him running and wrestling.

The rest of the weekend saw me stay close to home.  Saturday, D was away with Eli, so I pulled all the furniture away from the walls in the living room, vacuumed and scrubbed the floor.  It is pretty amazing how far cheerios can be tossed (Eli) or chased (Sheldon).  Add in the cat fur balls that collect behind and under furniture and it was much needed.  I must admit, I tend not to move the bigger pieces of furniture, the desk, the china cabinet and such as frequently as I should.  

Sunday was the Eastern and Western CFL semi-finals.  Our littlest Rider fan, Eli got his gear on, and joined G'ma in cheering on the Riders.  AND it worked, we won the Eastern semi-final.  Yes, I know Saskatchewan is in Western doesn't entirely make sense to me but we got a cross-over spot and are playing in the east.  Next weekend is the final in Toronto. If (fingers crossed) we win that, we're off to the Grey Cup in Ottawa.  One way or another!

Off topic, do you see the cords on the back of the chair?  I've had to be creative as young Eli thinks cords are the greatest thing, ever!  Bring on the Christmas wrapping paper, maybe he'll leave the cords alone?

Well, this is getting lengthy, so I'll end off with this photo from Friday. D was packing the car, so I got Eli ready to go to J's.  He's wearing his winter snowsuit that Mommy bought for him, and the cap and mitts that G'ma made for him.

I'm very pleased with they way the cap turned out.  This was my second effort - the first time I didn't trust the pattern and it just didn't work.  I think, the idiot string for his mitts is a bit too long, but he won't be losing them!  That blue just brings out the color of his eyes.

I'm taking care of him this evening as well, as D is working from 6-10.  He went down for a nap about just under an hour ago.  I thought I'd best get to this post - he sure keeps me hopping when he's awake.  Hence the exhaustion....but oh the sweet memories we're making.

Have a wonderful week everyone!  

Saturday, 4 November 2017

Keeping busy

Phew, having a baby in the house is reminding me that I'm grateful I had my children when I was young.  Eli is one busy boy!  Add in a rambunctious kitten and my home is moving and shaking for a good portion of the day.

D is doing better, this time, and seems resigned to the fact that she and J are not able to live together.  J has taken Eli for a couple of overnights since she returned and she's expressed her frustration that Eli's schedule is off when he comes back here since J is a night owl.  Plus he doesn't bathe the baby or change Eli's clothing (diapers, yes) so the little guy comes back a tad bit messy and smelly.  

I try not to interfere...oh but it's hard sometime. One of the lessons I've tried sharing is to get chores done while baby sleeps, leaving enough time for a short nap.  Most of the time she plays with her I-Pad or I-phone (no wonder they're called "I") though she's started doing some crafting.  My kitchen table is currently covered with various projects including a scrapbook for Eli, flash cards that she's printed out and needs to laminate, and several bibs she's sewn.  I showed her how to set up the sewing machine yesterday and she's partially finished four bibs.  I've given up trying to get her to clear the table...some day all of these projects will be finished, right?

As I said Eli has been very busy.  He's learned to play patty cake - I've been playing it with him for a couple of weeks.  Now he'll do it on his own!

He's pretty proud of himself and will clap and clap for several minutes.  I get such a chuckle out of watching him.

Eli has been drooling and chewing on just about everything and it was pretty clear his teeth were coming in.

On Halloween day, D checked and sure enough his bottom two teeth had come through.  Now he's working on the top two.  Still no photos though.  A friend of D's who is a professional photographer told her the best way to get a shot of the teeth is to make the baby cry.  Mean!

 Speaking of Halloween, check out my little dinosaur!
I picked up the outfit at Costco. The sizing said 6-12 months, thank goodness it still fit.  This kid is getting so big!

He is moving more so I expect his weight gain will slow down.  He can army crawl and scoots around on his butt.  Eli can sit unaided for long periods, but still hasn't figured how to pull himself up into a sitting position.  Soon, I'm sure!

His mom took him to her workplaces and he had a visit with his dad as well.  Apparently J was a bit upset that he wasn't consulted about the costume.  Sheesh, he could have bought one if he was so concerned!

Eli was quite happy to get out of his costume and into his pumpkin pj's.  After a cuddle with mom, he was ready for bed...he had a busy day!

This morning we woke to at least four inches of fresh snow.  I went out and used my electric shovel to move most of it off the driveway and then cleared up the rest with my regular shovel.  The long range forecast is calling for more snow and colder temps this winter.  I'm not looking forward to it at all.

It is, however a good time to work on my own projects.  I have a shawl I started, meaning to take it on my cruise that isn't yet finished.  I also have a knitted cap on my needles for Eli.  This is attempt #2, as I didn't trust the pattern the first go around and ended up with a effort that was less than stellar.  This time, I'm using the pattern and making it up for the 2-3 year old size, as Eli apparently has a big head.  I have enough yarn to make him a pair of mitts as well.  Then there is all that sock wool I bought last year intending to make socks for my kids for Christmas...ain't gonna happen but maybe I'll get a start on those as well in the next few weeks. 

Yep, we're definitely keeping busy around's a kind of busy, where I go to bed at night feeling I've accomplished something, no matter how small it is.  

Have a wonderful weekend!

Saturday, 21 October 2017

As the wind blows

It's been an up and down kind of week both weather-wise and personally.  On Tuesday evening we had a wind advisory, with winds reaching 119 km/hour.  I'm told that is level one hurricane force winds.  Thankfully, we had no real damage here at the house, just a few small branches off the trees and a chair blown over.  However, in one of the newer subdivisions a couple of properties under construction were entirely destroyed.  Seriously I wonder how well they were being built?  

The last couple of days have been absolutely lovely with temps well above normal (20-22C).  Today (Saturday) we're below normal at only 7C, but with slightly warmer temps forecast for tomorrow.  At least there is none of that four letter word yet being talked about. My cousin posted a long range forecast on FB that suggests we're in for a cold, snowy winter.  Yuck!  Hopefully that doesn't start until at least January.

I may have jinxed that though, as I took my car into the shop on Friday and changed over to winter tires.  And, of course, Halloween will be here soon and it is a rare year when we don't have snow or at least cold weather for the little trick or treaters.   I picked up a box of miniature chocolate bars last week. So far no one has gotten into I hope they'll last until the 31st.  Last year I was on my Halloween cruise to the Caribbean so I'm not sure how many kids to expect.  I'll hand it out until I run out and then shut off the lights.

On the home front, as the wind blew Tuesday night, it brought D and Eli with it.  She says she is finally finished with J.  I won't share what he did, but I have to say, I certainly hope this last escapade is not forgiven.  So I have my son, daughter and grandson in my home again.

Fingers crossed, she seems to be resolute this time and the weeping and moping that she exhibited the last time she came here has not been evident.  D has been considerate and helpful and seems much more involved with Eli.

And Eli, what can I say.  He keeps getting bigger and smarter, and more fun every time he's here.  

Last night his mom dressed him up in his Rider gear.  Whether he truly likes watching the movements or it is the noise and colors, he certainly pays close attention.

He was pretty happy too, when they scored a touch down!

He's started army crawling or creeping and can bend over and pull himself back into a sitting position.  Still can't do it from a prone position but he's getting close.  His favorite foods are sweet potato, creamed corn, arrowroot cookies and banana. His mom has this mesh thingy that the banana goes into - it looks similar to a soother, except with the mesh in place of the soother.  He gets that into his mouth and sucks like a mad man.  Far less messy than giving him the pieces of banana.  

Sheldon, it turns out enjoys cookie too.  Often, when Eli drops a piece, Sheldon is right there to gobble up the leftovers.  Earlier today, Eli was fussy at nap time and when D went in to check up on him, Sheldon jumped into the crib, curled up beside Eli and the baby settled right down.  

I don't have a photo of the two of them together, but Sheldon is very patient with the baby, he allows Eli to pat and pull at him.  I suspect that won't last forever, but for now it's so cute to see.

For now, I expect the two of them will live with me until spring but I'm not holding my breathe - J has a way of convincing her that she cannot live without him.  I'm hoping she'll realize there is no truth to this, that rather, he finds it difficult to live without her - most of all her financial support and easy access to a vehicle.

Sigh, if I just had a magic wand I could wave.  J would be somewhere far, far away with access to little Eli only through Facetime. My daughter would find the strength and resolve to know she can be a single mom and do a great job of it.  My son would have a permanent placement at work, and I'd be retired.  But I know that only one of those dreams are in my control...the rest I must let go of and simply pray for the best.

Most of all, I'll enjoy every minute I have with little Eli, watching him change and grow.  

Have a great rest of the weekend, everyone.

Sunday, 15 October 2017

Weekend Wrap-up

It's been a busy weekend, with lots of fun with friends and family (Eli) and productive as well.

Friday, after I dropped Sheldon off at the vet's office, I came back home to do some housework and make some phone calls.  I've booked my tire change-over for next Friday, a dental appointment (yuck) for later in November, and followed-up with AirMiles.  If you recall, I had to pay for my hotel room in New York as they could find no reservation.  I had called a couple of weeks ago and was assured the hotel would reverse the charge but it hadn't happened yet.  I spent about 35 minutes on hold, during which time I cleaned both bathrooms, did the breakfast dishes, took out the garbage and started a load of laundry.  

When the service agent got back on the line, she advised that the third party booking agent they use had made a reservation for me....for February 16, not September 16.  As a result, the hotel wouldn't reverse the charge but the third party had now agreed to reimburse the hotel....I should think so!  I have to wait another 7-10 business days but I've been assured I will get reimbursed for the costs.  And if it hasn't been reversed, you bet I'll be calling again.

After a few more household chores, I headed out to do a few errands before I picked up my friend K for lunch.  It is her birthday in a few days, so lunch was my treat.  We went to a local Boston Pizza and I was impressed with our young waiter.  I told we hadn't seen each other for several weeks so we'd likely be some time talking and we definitely did.  He kept our water glasses full and only brought the bill when I asked for it.

She and her partner J were just back from several weeks of a road trip to the States.  They visited a number of states and met some friends in Washington, D.C for a few days.  They managed to get in lots of golfing too which they both enjoy.  She was interested in my cruise as well, as they haven't done a Canada/New England.  I brought my photos but we talked so much, she didn't actually look at them until we were in the car on the way to her house.

On the way there, we stopped at the Casino to pick up tickets for a Corb Lund show in November. We've made tentative plans to meet for dinner that evening before the show but I expect we'll get in another visit before then.  We never run out of things to talk about.

I joined my regular Friday night crew for dinner that evening.  Lots of laughs that evening and then it was home to watch the Riders snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.  :(

Saturday, I had Eli from about 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. while his mom was working her part-time job.  He is such a character, so happy and content.  

He and I shared a breakfast of scrambled eggs and toast..that is, until he dropped his bit of toast and Sheldon decided he wanted it.

Despite having no teeth yet, this child is quite capable of gumming pretty much anything.  He definitely likes his food.  He went down for a nap about 11:30 and slept until 2 p.m.  I fed him again, about a half jar of sweet potatoes and he finished his lunch with an Arrowroot cookie.  (There wasn't any sharing with Sheldon...he loves his cookies).

While Eli napped, I decided to start knitting a pair of mittens.  I finished one before he woke up, and discovered this little guy isn't so little anymore.

I've since knit another larger mitten and will finish the second today.  We're definitely getting colder weather so he needs these....and sooner rather than later.  

Eli spent the rest of the afternoon playing on the floor. Most of the time I sat with him, though managed to get supper in the crock pot while he amused himself.  His mom showed up about 4:30 to pick him up.  He was so excited to see her.  She's working again on Monday evening and his useless twit of a father has balked at caring for him has asked me to care for him again.  I enjoy our time together, though it will mean I'm up later than normal as her shift doesn't end until 10 p.m.  For Eli, I'll give up some sleep.

Today, I've been taking it easy with one or another of the cats settled on my lap.  At the moment, it's Saku.  I did get a pot of soup made with the leftover turkey from last weekend.  Very simple recipe - saute onion and garlic and chopped up turkey in olive oil.  Add a container of chicken stock, and chopped potatoes and carrots and spices.  The original recipe called for tarragon which I didn't have so I added an Italian blend and some salt and pepper.  About 20 minutes on medium heat and it smelled and tasted great.  It will make my work lunches easy.

I do need to do a bit of grocery shopping as we're out of staples. I plan on using the leftover cranberry sauce and some blueberries I had frozen to make muffins this afternoon.  I brought out some hamburger patties from the freezer I'd made earlier this summer - we'll have those bbq'd with baked potatoes and corn on the cob for supper.

On that note, my coffee is finished and its time to go do my shopping.  Have a wonderful week everyone!  Hope you all had a great weekend too.

Saturday, 14 October 2017

Saturday night with the cats

Thanks for the kind words - my health seems to be restored.  Most definitely my appetite and just in time for the weekend. ;)

Friday was Sheldon's surgery day; I sort of wondered if I weren't tempting fate by scheduling it for Friday the 13th, but it all worked out just fine.

He wasn't permitted food after 10 p.m. the night prior which, of course, meant neither Saku nor Sasha were allowed food either.  I fed them all a second small supper just around 9 p.m., hoping that would stave off the hunger pangs the following morning.  Of course they were all up in my face by 6:30 a.m.  I managed to keep them entertained until it was time for Sheldon and I to leave the house at 7:15.

Of course, that was about the time that Sheldon decided to make a dash for it.  As it turned out, he's a good boy and was simply using the bathroom before we got in the car.  He's a good traveller too, he curled up in the cat carrier and only had a few words to say in the last few blocks before we arrived.  He was a little more anxious in the office while I filled out all the paperwork.  

Around 10 a.m. I had a call from the vet's office letting me know things went "purrfectly".  He'd been neutered, vaccinated, micro-chipped, and had his pedicure completed.  The vet told me he was sweet boy and didn't seemed fazed by everything that was happening.  Since he was finished so early, I could have picked him up by noon, but had plans for lunch with a friend so he stayed until mid-afternoon.

When I picked him up, the techs were gushing over how good he was.  I guess he was busy playing in his cage with the blanket, and when the tech brought him out to me she said, he'd leapt out of the cage and given her a hug.  He wasn't upset when he saw me and rode home in the carrier without a peep.

Of course they gave me the instructions that he wasn't to jump or run. Also, I was to watch to see if he drank and ate okay, and to call if I noticed if he was in any discomfort.  Well, let's see - upon release from the carrier, he went to the water fountain and had a good drink.  He then raised down the basement and back up again, leapt over a hissing Saku, and jumped onto the back of a chair in the sunroom.  I reminded him he wasn't to run or jump but he wasn't listening.  Next thing I knew he was having a snack at the kibble bowl.  Yep, he was doing fine.

Saku has had the hardest time with the return of Sheldon.  He hissed and growled, paced back and forth, and it seemed we were back to the place we were when Sheldon first arrived.  When I went to bed for the night, Sheldon startled Saku when he came into the room and I thought there was going to be a fight.  So I ended up tossing poor Saku out of the room with Sasha and Sheldon spending the night with me. There was some whining in the middle of night but I ignored it as much as possible. (Some of it came from me....kitten's can be a real pain to sleep with...every movement means playtime.) 

When we were getting the two accustomed to one another, I found the best way was to feed them together.  So this morning I put their bowls down on the mat; it worked somewhat but Saku was still "grumpy cat" whenever Sheldon looked his way.

This behaviour continued for most of today, but I think it's finally over as evidenced by this photo. I've never seen Saku allow any other cat to touch him even when he's sleeping.  As I was typing he woke up, looked at Sheldon and turned so his back is to him.  No hissing, no fuss.  Yay!

On that note, I've off to bed early.  I suspect it won't be long before there is a parade of cats joining me.  I assume Sasha is in the basement with his boy.  He usually hangs out with C until the house is quiet and then shows up just as I'm about to go to sleep.  If you read John's recent post of cat visitors in the night....well, that description fits my nightlife as well. (If you haven't, you'll want to, it's hilarious and I think every cat parent will nod in agreement).

I'll be back tomorrow with another post - I had my grandson today and have lots of photos to share.  He is so stinking cute!  But G'ma is tired - he's a busy boy.

Wednesday, 11 October 2017

Enough Already!!!

This is a post with much whine (no cheese) so if you feel the desire to pass by, go right ahead.

I had a lovely Thanksgiving weekend and with a short work week ahead, all looked well in my world. That is, until yesterday morning.  I woke up with a headache which is never how I like to start a day.

But I figured I'd power through, took some meds, a shower, dressed and got ready for work.  As I went out to the garage, I thought perhaps it wasn't a good idea, but I had a meeting booked with part of my team so after a few minutes of uncertainty I headed off down the street.

I made it about half way to work before I had to pull over.  I'll leave it to your imagination, but suffice to say I'm sure a few of my fellow commuters were a little shocked by my quick exit from the vehicle.  Once I felt up to it I headed back to the house, called my boss to advise I wouldn't be in, texted one of my staff to let the others know, and headed back to bed.

I slept for a few hours, then got up - with my headache feeling worse.  I attempted some additional meds, with food and within 20 minutes all of that lost.  That pretty summed up the rest of the day....lots of sleep and occasionally try to have something to eat or drink...I even tried an anti-nausea drug...nothing stayed down.  When I wasn't sleeping I was curled in a ball on the bathroom floor or writhing in pain on the couch.  

I seriously thought about having my son take me to the doctor, but I figured once the headache dissipated I'd feel better.  It took until nearly 10 p.m. before I felt any real relief.  I was certain I wouldn't be able to sleep but by 11, I was fast asleep and slept until nearly 5:30 a.m. 

At that point, I was still feeling wobbly on my feet and definitely dehydrated.  I now have a fool proof method to lose 3 pounds in one day....just not one I'd recommend.  I decided to test my tummy with a sip of milk and it stayed down, hallelujah!!!  I called into work to say I needed another day, I felt like I'd been hit by a Mack truck, every part of body ached (except my head, thank goodness).  

I napped for another hour or so, then got up and got a little breakfast, just peanut butter toast and a glass of milk.  I've spent much of the day tucked in my bed, watching multiple episodes of Flipping Vegas, and Flip or Flop (various locations), reading and cuddling with the cats.

The older I get, the more difficult I find being ill.  When my children were young, either I never go sick or I simply powered through it.  There was no one else there to help so I had to manage.  To be honest, I don't think the cats would have been fed last night if my son hadn't been here.  I could barely move between the bed and bathroom, and I suspect the smell of the cat food pate would have been more than I could have handled.

And being sick twice in less than a month is too much.  I haven't quite kicked the mother of a cold I came down with shortly after my trip. I'm feeling beaten up, hence the whine - I just want to feel normal again.  

Okay, enough of that.  Tomorrow will be a better day.  Not least of all because I have Friday off, so I'll only be at work one day this week. I'm thankful I have paid sick leave (lots of it that I won't ever use or be paid for); I'm grateful my son was here to help, and the cats made the best napping buddies. 

If you made it this far, thanks for listening!

Monday, 9 October 2017

Happy Thanksgiving!

It's a cool, sunny day here in Saskatchewan  a lovely fall day.  We had our turkey dinner yesterday and little Eli enjoyed tasting most of the meal.  The turnips weren't to his taste though.  He and his mom spent the night and I got to cuddle with him this morning.  Such a special little guy!

Happy Thanksgiving! Wishing you all a wonderful day however you choose to spend it.