Thursday, February 14, 2013

Reclaiming Valentine's Day

Valentine's Day has never been a big deal for us. Ryan and I have never celebrated it -- no presents or flowers; no big fancy dinners or date nights. It's always been just another day for us.

But the kids like Valentine's Day. Alex especially. When she woke up this morning she was SO excited. 

"I'm going to get hugs and kisses and give Valentine's cards and get Valentine's cards and it's going to be so much fun!" she said to me this morning.

But I didn't know what today would be like (actually, being only 2 p.m., I still don't 'know'.) Last year, Valentine's Day was a tough one. Ryan's grandmother died mid-afternoon on February 14, 2012. By the time Ryan got home from work, him and I both knew and we were both pretty somber  After dinner, we had to tell the kids -- who were 5 and 3 at the time.

Fast forward one year to today. Facebook is filled with messages of loss one-year later from family members. I don't know how Ryan feels because I haven't seen him yet today (he's leaves for work before I'm up). I feel a little sad, but personally, I try not to remember the date someone close to me died. I'd rather remember them as they lived rather than when they died. The kids remember their great-nana well, and still talk about her from time to time, but they don't remember the exact day she died and they don't need to remember that. They want to have fun on Valentine's Day, and that they should.

And so, this is my long-winded way of saying that I decided to claim what was a meh day and turned into a sad day into a happy one. 

Last night, I quickly made cards for the kids -- nothing fancy, just some cute dollar store heart stickers on the front and a little love note inside. The kids' were glowing when they saw them on the table when they came to breakfast. I stuck a little love note in Ryan's lunch bag too.

For dinner we'll have these heart-shaped pizza pockets that I just finished making:

I was going to bake cookies but having to work and all, I didn't have time. Maybe the kids and I will make some after I pick them up from school.

Nothing fancy, just a way for the kids to have fun and for mom and dad to remember that we're surrounded every day by the people we love. 

So Happy Valentine's Day to everyone. May you always be surrounded by the people you love.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

My very expensive cat

Our 11-month old kitten taught us a very expensive lesson last week.

It started on Sunday Feb. 3 when she seemed to be getting sick. We didn't think much of it -- in other words, a cat puking on the carpet was nothing new. Monday was much of the same, but it was Monday night that I realized she didn't come for dinner. Weird, I thought, because this cat eats everything in sight as fast as she can.

By Tuesday she had pretty much disappeared and by Wednesday evening, we were worried. She was lethargic and moaned when you touched her. And I started to realize that she hadn't eaten or drank in days. So off to the emergency vet clinic we went.

One x-ray and a hospital admission later and we had one very sick cat. And a very difficult decision to make -- do we pay what it's going to cost to make her better or basically let her die. In the end, it was an easy decision to make -- we'd pay the money. After all, it's not like she's an old cat, she's not even a year old. But more importantly, she's the kids' cat and losing her would devastate them -- especially if we knew that there was something we could have done to help her.

And especially since she wasn't 'sick' in medical terms. Instead, she had eaten something that wasn't edible and it was now lodged in her intestine.

What did she eat you ask? She had gnawed off a piece of the kids' foam playmats. You know those inter-locking coloured mats that you put down on floors to make them fun, or in our case, on top of the carpet to protect where the kids' will be colouring with markers. Yeah, those $25 mats.

So after spending a small fortune for one night at the emergency vet clinic on tests and treatment (because did I mention that she was severely, severely dehydrated from not eating or drinking for days), we moved her to our vet clinic on Thursday morning.

She was monitored there for the day on the off-chance that she'd 'pass' the obstruction on her own once she received enough fluids by IV.

No such luck. And on Friday morning she had surgery where the vet pulled two of these chunks out of her intestine:

Lovely, isn't it? How she managed to swallow them I'll never know.

Saturday, Sunday and Monday were spent recovering from surgery at the clinic and even though the vet took pity on us and gave us a break on certain fees, you don't want to know how much we spent to save this cat's life. I can think of a lot of other things I could've spent that money on.

Was it worth it? Yes. Moo loves the kids and they love her (and so do we). She really is a part of our family....albeit now, a very expensive part of our family. Oh and those mats...they're about to go on the curb for garbage pickup.