Monday, February 22, 2010

Muffin Tin Monday - Orange

It's Muffin Tin Monday again and today's theme is orange -- something Austin was really excited about because he's been wanting to do a colour-themed lunch for awhile.

So on and off all morning we talked about what we were going to make for lunch, and what orange foods we could include. Here's what we came up with:

Cooked carrots with maple syrup on them (because that's the ony way Austin will eat them ), dried apricots, orange M&Ms (because there are a lot of M&Ms in the house right now as Alex gets them as potty treats), orange slices (which neither kid touched), cheese and peanut butter with peach jam.

Notice a pattern with my muffin tin lunches; they pretty much always include peanut butter and jam -- that's because, according to Austin, lunch isn't lunch without peanut butter. In this case, he spent 15 mintues trying to convince me that peanut butter was actually orange and not brown! I conceded when he agreed to put peach jam on top!

Check out other muffin tin lunches here.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

When your home office is in the family room...

...sometimes the view from your workspace looks like this.
'Tis the life of a stay-at-home/work-from-home mom.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Goodbye Ollie

My cat died yesterday. And as much as I complained that he was a dumb pain in the ass, I loved him. And today, all I feel is sad -- sad when I think about it, sad when I see his half-eaten breakfast still in the bowl on the floor; sad when out of the corner of my eye, I think the blanket is him on the couch.

There's no doubt he was a pain in the ass and a grumpy, grumpy, grumpy old man. He was only 10, yet hit the grumpy old man stage by about age 2. A friend who cat sat several times in his earlier years told me that the first time she looked after him while we were away, she thought he was an old cat I had moved with me from my parents house-- not a close-to-kitten-age cat.

Yes, he was that grumpy.

He liked me. He didn't overly like anyone else. Not that he was mean or aggressive towards anyone else, he basically just didn't want to be around people. That is, unless someone was going to feed him -- then said person was his best friend until he got fed, then he went back to normal aloof self.

Since it started out just me and Ollie in Peterborough, he grew to accept Ryan after a few years and eventually he tolerated the kids. By tolerated I mean that he would get up and quietly leave the room any time a child walked in and yelled 'cat!'. He'd leave at a slightly quicker pace if same said kid was chasing him as he made his escape.

He had a little 'problem' as many of you know, a problem that we lived with. In hindsight, I don't know why we lived with it for so many years but we did. We did because we didn't want to put him down. But it came to that on Saturday. He had gotten aggressive over the last month or so -- beating the crap out of Chloe, our other cat. Without doing any tests, the vet said at the very least he had a chemical imbalance and she even suspected he had a brain tumour. In short, there was nothing more she could do for him.

I remember when I first got Ollie. He was about six months old and I picked him up from a farm family. He was supposed to be a barn cat but didn't like living outside so would sneak into the house and sleep on the couch. And, as the family didn't want cats in their house, they decided to give him away.

It was January, 2000 and it was cold. And when I brought him home, the tip of his tail was frostbitten. A few days later -- that tip fell off. And freaked me out. I called Ryan to ask him what to do (figuring he had cats all his life and I didn't) and his only response to me was 'cats tails aren't supposed to fall off'.

So I called one of those 24-hour emergency vet lines. And told the on-call vet what happened. He said to me: 'is it oozing?' I said no. 'Is it bleeding?' I said no. 'Is there bone exposed?' I said no. 'Is he bothered by it?' I said no, but I am!

There was nothing anyone could do for his tail and over time, his fur grew longer in that area to cover the exposed blunt end of his tail, making it so you'd never know by looking at him that a two-inch piece of tail had fallen off.

And one thing's for sure. I'll likely never have another cat whose tail falls off!
Goodbye Ollie. You drove us crazy, but you will be missed.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Still stuck between a rock and a hard place

Over a year ago, I wrote about my cat Ollie and about how we didn't know what we were going to do with him. Yes, a year has gone by -- but not exactly a year of indecision.

When Ryan and I could never make the time to talk about what to do with him, we realized that we didn't want to talk about it and that in itself was a decison. So we went with that, and lived with Ollie's little 'problem'.

And for awhile he got better again, and then not so much, and then better again. He seemed to go through cycles -- we'd have good months and bad months. And since Ryan and I weren't willing to discuss the elephant in the room, we lived with it.

Until about a month ago, when Ollie started to repeatedly beat the crap out of our other cat, Chloe for no particular reason other than she'd walk into the room he was in.
We didn't even notice it was happening at first because ever since we got Chloe (7 years ago) from time to time the two of them would beat the crap out of each other. Something brothers and sisters have to do every now and then.
But then it started happening every day. Then twice a day. Then three times a day. It was becoming unbearable.

And that's when I realized that every fight was now in the master bedroom. And every fight was now started because Ollie walked into the bedroom. This got me thinking about the last week or so and I realized that Chloe hadn't come for dinner in a few days. And I had found 'business' in a corner of the bedroom, but had assume it was Ollie's doing.

But no. Chloe was now too terrified to roam the house -- for fear of being beaten up -- and had set up a safe haven for herself in the master bedroom. And she wasn't leaving for any reason. Not to eat, not to pee, not for anything.

I promptly brought her food and water into the room, put a litter box in the closet (yuk, but better than her doing what she needed to do on the floor) and called the vet with a plea for help.

Our vet is a wonderful person, who is very understanding. First thing first, she told us to separate Ollie from Chloe. So he now lives in the spare room and she's free to roam the house. Except, she's still too scared to emerge from the bedroom for more than a few minutes at a time.

Our vet offered to do a few exploratory tests on Ollie to see if there's anything going on that's causing his aggression. We agreed, but I was honest with her, and with myself, and told her we don't know how much more we want to do.

I love my cat -- he has been my companion for many years -- but I think it might just be time to put him down. (There, I said it.)

We can't keep living like this.

Monday, February 08, 2010

Go Canada Go for Muffin Tin Monday

There was no scheduled theme for this week's Muffin Tin Monday so I decided to go with an Olympic theme. We've been talking about the Olympics a lot around here lately (mainly because the kids will realize that for the last two weeks of February, I will likely have the TV on almost all the time -- and I never have the TV on during the day).

Last week, we learned about some of the Olympic sports and how all the athletes are trying to win medals for their country (which led to a discussion about Canada and the tracking down of the Canada Day flags from boxes in the basement so the kids could wave them around). So, in honour of cheering for Canada -- we spelled Canada in our muffin tin at today's lunch.
We have a peanut butter and jam C, a cheese A, a cucumber N, a pickle A, a peanut butter and jam D and a deli meat A.

See more Muffin Tin Monday lunches over at Muffin Tin Mom. (And bring on the Olympic couch surfing!)

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Time to face facts

I used to highlight my hair because I liked the way it looked, because I was bored with my hair and well because I could. At times, I had so many 'highlights' I was more of a blond than a brunette.

Then, around the time I got pregnant with Austin, I stopped. Partly because I didn't want to be messing with chemicals while pregnant and partly because I was tired of blond highlights and wanted to rediscover my natural colour.

But then, about 8 or 10 months ago, I started to get tired of my hair but, being a way-too-busy mom, I've never made time for myself to highlight or colour it. I barely manage to make time for myself to go for a quick cut, let alone a colouring. Instead, I keep telling myself that next time I go in for a cut, I'll colour it. Next time. Honest, next time.

And then, a few days after my birthday, as I was looking in the mirror, I spotted it. A grey hair. And another one, and another one, and another one. Suddenly, I realized, when I pulled my hair into a ponytail, there was a little grey patch right in front. And then I realized that even when I don't pull it back, there's still a little patch right in front that's GREY! And I don't like it one bit.

Now, a certain someone I know has been going grey for years. And I have repeatedly said that I like it that way and that it's very distinguished looking. But I didn't mean I liked it enough to start going grey myself. The greys are crinkly and unruly and I just plain don't like them.

I blame my kids for turning my hair grey, not my age. And I guess it's time to face facts and colour my hair the next time I get a cut. I think that'll be soon. Really soon.

Monday, February 01, 2010

Muffin Tin Monday -- Dr. Seuss

I've been doing muffin tin lunches with the kids on and off for the last six months but I either don't remember to do it on a Monday or, on the rare occassion that I did, I'd forget to take a picture of it. And I rarely remembered to check out Muffin Tim Mom ahead of time to see the theme of the week.

(What is a muffin tin meal, you ask -- well it's pretty simple really, it's a meal served in a muffin tin. My kids love it and get super-excited when they see me bring the tins out. In fact, before the tins are even on the counter, the two of them are up on stools ready to help.)

But today, I actually got all three things together at the same time. So here it is.

Today's theme was Dr. Seuss and we used The Cat in the Hat as our inspiration. We used the page where the cat is holding the fish atop various things while balancing on a ball as our inspiration and I let Austin decide what to replicate in the muffin tins.

We have a peanut butter and jam hat, a tomato for a ball, a banana muffin standing in for the cake, a glass of milk, a fan made out of cheese slices and a rake made out of a pickle.

Check out what other people did over at Muffin Tin Mom.