Monday, June 7, 2010

The Monkey's Turning 4. Help Me.

Preparations for our almost 4 year Monkey are in full swing.

There are balloons covering the living room floor. Crap from the dollar store all over the kitchen counters. Birthday cereal is in the pantry. And in the spirit of full disclosure, I am sitting here in my chair by the living room window all decked out in a pink flowery butterflied heart emblazoned pointy party hat. You need to test these things out and make sure they fit. AND LEAVE IT ON. According to the 4 year old minus one day birthday girl, anyways.

(Yes. Murphy's Law being what it is, the DINKS from next door just walked by the window. I didn't wave.)

I found myself a tad melancholy today as I realized that our family is no longer going to have a 3 year old. I love three year olds. It's one of my favourite ages. Still innocent but toilet trained and independent with so many things. And not too much lip.

The Monkey was our holy crap surprise child and I've loved 96% of these years with her in our lives. But tomorrow she turns 4.

And I know what's coming.




Did I mention the attitude?

In the midst of today's melancholy, I asked The Monkey what we should write on her birthday cake tomorrow.

" 'bout......Gimme my presents!!!"

And then I bought beer.

Friday, June 4, 2010

I Am Not a Vet

Today was a big day in the Mahoney household.

It was time to Bob Barker Charlie the Cat.

"You're going to what?! To my WHAT?!"

I dropped him off at the local vet for his little surgery and the lovely lady behind the desk asked me to fill out some forms. As I was filling them out, we chatted back and forth about what vaccinations he was having done and she wrote some stuff down on her clipboard.

Then she said, "Are both of Charlie's testicles descended?"

To which I responded, "It took me 2 months to figure out what sex he was. I have no idea if he has an undescended testicle."

I mean seriously. Have you seen the size of a 5 1/2 month old cat's nether regions? I'll be perfectly honest with you...I've been sweating taking him to the vet all week because I was worried I was going to be told Charlie was a girl and I was an idiot and quite possibly a moron and I had absolutely no business owning a pet. Plus, the surgery would have been more money and you all know how I feel about that.

So, no. I didn't know if both of Charlie's testicles had descended.

Then I got to drive home having a conversation with an 8 year old girl about undescended testicles and vets hacking off a cat's scrotum and why exactly the vet had to do that. I was very glad I was able to avoid eye contact throughout that whole conversation.

But the day ended well. I mean, it ended well for me. At this particular moment, Charlie is looking at me like he's pretty sure I just ruined his life, but for me the day went well. Two descended testicles it was and that meant a simple surgery and easy recovery for Charlie. And no additional costs for doing whatever a vet has to do to cut off an undescended testicle. And that makes for an easier recovery for me.

So there it is. I don't blog for 6 weeks and when I finally do, I use the word 'testicle' 7 times.

Yep. Things may be back to normal around here.

Monday, March 29, 2010

A Monkey Photo Shoot

The Monkey is our fourth child.

This is very evident by the lack of framed photos of her in our house.

Lucky for me, I know a wonderful lady who agreed to rectify this travesty.

Peggy Wynne, of Peggy Wynne Photography, took on The Monkey last week. In a quick 25 minute session at the studio in her home, she was able to capture our youngest hooligan's cuteness in so many adorable poses that I now have a new problem.

Which one to choose?

Not only is Peggy great at her craft, but I love that she sends you a link via email so you can preview the photos online.

Peggy has taken photos for our family, as well as captured The Eldest's graduation.

Yup. Beautiful work. If you live in the Lower Mainland, I highly recommend her.

Thanks again, Peggy!

Saturday, March 6, 2010

A Movie Party

An 8 year old's birthday party. Movie style.

You needed one of these to get in.

The Princess greeted her guests with one of these.

We played games to collect a bunch of these.

So you could line up here.

And buy whatever you wanted to watch the movie.

The Eldest and The Boyfriend got in on the fun. The Monkey bought a lot of candy.

1 headache, 1 spilled pop, popcorn covering the ground, nary a vegetable eaten (and they were FREE - I don't get it) and 3 hours later, the 8 year old's movie party came to a close.

"Take your popcorn containers! Here, let me stuff them with more candy to eat on the way home!"

Then I tucked The Princess into bed and she said, "Thank you for doing all that stuff for me today, Mom. It was really good. *pause* What theme are we going to do for my 9th birthday?"

Happy Birthday, My Princess. Next year's theme is "Let's go swimming at your father's pool/skate at his ice rink". Oh, but I've scheduled a massage for that day so I can't be there.


Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Soup...Mmm Mmmm Not Good

This post should be about The Princess turning 8.

I should be going on about one of my babies growing up so quickly, and what kind of birthday cereal she chose, and what we did for her big day and what dinner she wanted.

Instead, I have nothing to report about that day because I slept her birthday away. I hadn't gone to bed until 6 am and woke up at 4:30 pm with a killer migraine and the need for a serious 10 minutes tooth brushing.

Aah, food poisoning. Chicken corn chowder, I shall never look at you the same way again.

I've had food poisoning once before. Two years ago when The Husband and I went away to Victoria for our wedding anniversary I apparently ate a bad chicken caesar salad. Nothing says loving like writhing around on a bed at the Empress hotel begging to die while your husband eats take out food beside you.

That was a bad evening. But this past Friday night? Let's just say that if you men out there truly want to find out just how bad those childbirth pains really are that your wimpy wife was going on about for 18 hours or so giving you an offspring, just go put a piece of half cooked chicken out on in the sun for a day or so, then go make yourself a chicken salad sandwich.

And that was basically how I felt as I writhed on the floor of the emergency room for several hours. In the throws of labour but without a cute baby at the end. There was a cute doctor, but let me tell you, discussing your latest bowel movements with said cute doctor while you may or may not have vomit chunks in your hair totally cancels out any pleasure from that.

I would also like to point out that vomiting into an emergency waiting room toilet is about as disgusting as you just pictured it.

But lucky for me The Husband and I got to hang around the waiting room for quite a while so we got to witness two drunk guys come in and explain to the triage nurse that one of them had been bitten in the face by a homeless guy's dog. To hear them tell it, it was pretty funny if you went by the continuous giggling coming from the two men. And to this I say, thanks. Thanks for pissing off the people that were going to be shoving an IV into the back of my hand.

Some good came from all this, though. The Husband answered a lot of work emails on his Blackberry while I slept fitfully thanks to some pain killers and intravenous Gravol. By the way, did you know that stuff really stings when they give it to you and then 10 seconds later will make your right eye go all wonky and your chest all tight and you'll start to freak out and THEN the nurse might tell you that's all normal and would I just relax, relax, already?

Here's a tip for you lady. How 'bout you tell me that before so I don't freak out to begin with? That's my suggestion. Take it or leave it.

And so, life is back to 'normal' around these parts today. My migraine finally left me midday yesterday afternoon and here I sit, 5 pounds lighter. To top it off, the soup company contacted me this morning and are refunding me the cost of that soup and just might be sending me some coupons.

For more soup.

Monday, February 22, 2010

The Difference Between The Husband and Me

I had to pick up a few things at the grocery store today. The sun was shining, I was without children and gosh darn it, it felt great.

20 minutes all to myself and I spent it inside Save-On-Foods. Who needs beer when you live life like I do.

The bill came to $10.34. I handed the cashier a ten dollar bill and 35 cents. She took the money and put it inside the till.

Then she asked me if I wanted my change.

She apparently doesn't read my blog.

I'll be honest with you. Although I razzed my dear husband about not wanting those two pennies back at MickyD's, I honestly didn't know what I would have said.

I found out today.


I told the cashier I wanted my penny.

Let me just pause while that sinks in.

Yes. I said YES I wanted my dang penny, thankyouverymuch, took that penny and put it in my change purse. It was pure instinct. No hesitation. And with witnesses present. It's not like I was in the drive thu. I publicly announced to the entire quick serve 15 items or less line that yes, Scottish blood runs through my veins and I wanted a solitary penny.

But dang it, a person's got to have principles. right? If I had paid by debit card, she wouldn't have asked if she should just round up my total to $10.35, right?


They're not gonna start doing that, right? 'Cause I can't take the humiliation.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Sorry. Yes, It's Another Cute Kitten Picture.

I mean, seriously.

This is getting out of hand. My blog is turning into a kitten fest. Sorry about that. I realize that most of you come here for the in depth articles on toilet paper injuries and bear scat but you'll have to just look at one more cute kitten picture.

Come on....his little hind legs up by his sweet widdle head, all asleep on my lap? What's not to love? I could go on about how he has an M on his forehead as well, and how he was obviously meant to be in our Mahoney family but that may be pushing things.

Well. Off to do something important. The Husband's underwear doesn't wash itself.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Gettin' Along

I think it is safe to say that The Kitten and The Dog have gotten used to each other.

Yes. That is The Dog's butt that Charlie is cuddled up against.

And the cuddling continues....

Monday, January 25, 2010

Do You Think This is Off?

Ya know what I wish? I mean, besides for winning a few million bucks and having someone at my ever beck and call to rub my shoulders? Oh, and that the letter 'a' on this computer would work on the first try?

I wish refrigerators had a self clean button. I just found turkey meat and cranberry sauce in my fridge.

It's January 25th, people.

Hmm. Let's do the math, shall we?

I would like to clarify that I actually cooked that turkey sometime shortly after the New Year. So, we're talking 3 weeks of decay, not four. That doesn't sound nearly as horrific.

So back to my fridge problem. I did some soul searching today and came to a conclusion. Several, actually. None of which makes me come out looking like Suzy Homemaker.

Conclusion #1: I clean out my fridge when I've run out of food storage containers.

Conclusion #2: I have some vague memory of making a pact with the devil to clean out the fridge every Monday, since garbage day was on Tuesday and I had just finished working and was home full time will all this spare time, just a newborn and 3 other kids to take care of and was clearly suffering from post partum insanity. But then our garbage day was changed and even though it's been roughly two years since it was switched, I still find myself being woken up at 6:58 am every Friday morning to the rumble of the garbage truck which causes me to start yelling at The Boy to get up and get the garbage to the curb. From this you may be able to deduce that I never clean out my fridge on Thursdays. So, conclusion #2 is that my fridge would be clean if not for the garbage company's schedule change. See? It's not my fault.

Conclusion #3: I never make soup from all those leftovers I pack up over a week's time that I tell myself would be perfect for making soup and therefore stretch our food budget. Seriously, people. I've been married for 20 years and I don't make soup out of the leftovers. Unless it's turkey. Then I carefully boil the entire carcass and spend 2 hours picking off every bit of meat, making a lovely pot of soup out of it and then let two pounds of turkey breast rot in the back of my fridge because turkey breast would be wasted in the soup and should be saved for making The Husband sandwiches or something.

So, apart from turkey dinners, 20 years and I'm still packing up the leftovers and telling myself they'll be good for soup and letting turkey breast lay forgotten in my fridge. This needs to stop. I'm thinking I should be putting those leftovers into the freezer, giving myself at least 6 months or so until I have to throw them out due to frostbite. I think that will be a better system.

Conclusion #4: If I had a stainless steel fridge, I'd love it more and take care of its insides better than I take care of my white fridge. But then it wouldn't match my stove and dishwasher. And they all need to match. It's one of my life rules. Plus, if I had $3,000 bucks to waste on metallic appliances I certainly wouldn't be pouring water into my van's cooling system every other day. Sigh. Ok. Forget #4.

Conclusion #5: I hate cleaning out the fridge and will use any excuse to justify why I haven't done it. There. I said it. Yet another reason I won't be receiving a Home Maker of the Year award. Put it up there with my love for cleaning under my couches.

So....hours of thought and an hour of blogging to come to the realization that I'm pretty much willing to do a lot of stupid time wasting things to avoid ten minutes of work. And make you waste 5 minutes of your time reading about it.

Especially when you only came here to see if there was a picture of the new kitten.

Well here you go. I'm pretty sure it's Charlie.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Eye of the Storm

God never gives you more than you can handle.


I found myself praying for strength tonight. Strength to help a 7 year old who was crying in her bed. She was crying because tomorrow wasn't going to be right since her Popeye wasn't going to be at her cousin's baptism.

"I just want him to come back and I know he can't. I don't like it. I just don't like this! I want it to be like it was before. And I won't ever see him again for like, 50 years at least because I won't see him until I go to heaven....and I don't want to go to heaven yet but I want to see him."

Sometimes you just have to let your children hurt. You can't fix it. You can't put a bandaid on it and make it better. And that, my friends, is a horrible horrible feeling.

The Princess episode tonight was just one of many reasons I found myself asking God for strength tonight.

The Eldest is having some major problems with her car.

The laptop is having troubles charging and every single time I type the letter 'a' I have to go back and retype it because the computer keeps putting in a space instead.

The engine light is back on in our car.

The government 'lost' The Eldest's student loan forms.

I've done something to my back and my joints are killing me today.

And we're out of lightbulbs. I'm pretty sure it is not normal to start crying when you discover there are no more light bulbs in the house.

Grieving and all that comes along with it has set everyone in the family on edge. Everyone in our family is raw. And when you pour salt into those wounds, salt being a broken car, bills to pay or a 3 year old that keeps screaming at everyone and everything and then finking that everyone is being rude to leads a person to be crying over burned out light bulbs.

And so I pray for strength. Just get through one more day. Just let me know what to say to a grieving 7 year old and a grieving 42 year old. What to tell an 18 year old who has had more crap thrown at her in the last two weeks than an 18 year old should have to deal with in a year.

And then realize that I haven't prayed for answers on dealing with a grieving 15 year old boy who holes himself up in his room shooting at things on his Xbox. So I pray for help...not to let him get lost in all of this.

It's 10:15 pm and I have no idea what the 6 people in this family are wearing to the baptism in the morning. I'm feeling rather numb after this day and I just want to sit with this tiny kitten sleeping under my chin right now. This furry little thing is purring and giving out the odd "mmmrrttt" when it stretches and then pulls itself further up under my chin. The Dog is snoring behind me, guarding the door and giving off the odd fart.

Life goes on. So many people are going through 100x worse than our family. I pray for perspective in all of this. And I'm just going to sit here for a bit and enjoy the company of a kitten curled up on my chest, breathing on my neck and every once in a while licking my chin with its rough little tongue.

Recharge my spirit with the fluff of a kitten.

I should be writing for Hallmark. Gah.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

A New Kitten

Meet Sophie.

Or Charlie. We're not quite sure yet.

He or she is a little ball of fluff that has made this little girl smile again.

The Princess has been working on cat ownership for about two years now. We've put it off. We got our dog, Bryn, and the house was busy enough with that. We bought The Princess a fish. But you can't cuddle a fish. We bought The Princess a hamster. Sadly, we found Butterscotch had died on the same day The Husband's dad so unexpectedly passed away.

It was a very bad week indeed.

We promised The Princess a new hamster. But when we went to the pet store, there was a sign on the door.

"We have kittens."

Dear god. No. I looked at The Husband. He looked at me.

We knew we were hooped.

Of course, The Princess hardly glanced at the hamsters. All she wanted to do was play with the kittens through the cage door. The Husband and I have been married for a long time. 20 years. A look between us was all we needed to come to a decision.

It was time.

We left the pet store without a hamster. Instead, The Princess walked out with the promise that we would start looking for the perfect kitten for our family.

We had the past few days to talk about the responsibilities. We researched our options and priced things out. Free kittens are never free (vet fees, shots and spay/neutering costs had to be figured in), and pet store kittens weren't what we wanted to support. There were black kittens at the shelter, but The Princess wanted a kitten with tabby markings.

Today we found Sophie/Charlie, one of four little kittens just ready to leave their mom for their forever home. And I found myself looking at anatomical drawings of cats hinies online, trying to figure out if it's a boy or girl.

Obviously biology wasn't my strongest subject in school. I'm still calling the kitten "It".

The Princess said, "Thank you, Mommy!" about 8,000 times this afternoon and evening. I've filed those thank yous into a corner of my brain so I can draw strength from them when the kitten is clawing up my furniture and The Princess has 'forgotten' to clean the litter box.

But tonight, I'm enjoying the feeling of an 8 week old kitten cuddled on my lap, who occasionally wakes up enough to lick my hand with her...or his rough little tongue.

So sweet.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Life Goes On

It's been a very rough week.

Grieving is hard work. It's exhausting. Mentally exhausting. Physically exhausting.

Lack of sleep starts to play with your mind and you find yourself incapable of performing the most mundane tasks.

Like supervising your 3 year old.

Case in point.

That would be The Monkey's dinner.

The wise man is a nice touch.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Farewell To Our Popeye

In the early morning hours of January 12th, 2010, a soul took flight.

It was to be one of thousands that day.

But for our family, this one particular soul's departure brought us to our knees.

Tuesday morning and a ringing phone at 7:19 am meant we would never hear The Monkey scream with happiness, "POPEYE!!" as The Husband's dad walked through our door.

At 7:19, we found out The Eldest would never hear, "There's my Little Chickadee!" again.

A ringing phone meant The Boy had lost a kindred spirit. The Princess would not receive the perfectly picked out birthday card next month, addressed to his Little Peanut.

7:19 brought our souls to the depths of despair, at the realization of all we had lost.

Golf trips. Dinners. Christmases. Birthdays. Stories. They all must happen without Popeye now.

Grieving wife. Grieving sons and daughters. Grieving grandkids. Grieving sister. Grieving family. Grieving friends.

But at 7:19 am, on January 12th, 2010, that solitary soul, one of thousands that day, was not grieving.

He was rejoicing.

By 7:19 am, he was in Jesus' loving embrace. He was being wrapped in his mother's arms. He was being hugged fiercely by his father. And his brother. And brother-in-law. And being greeted by other family and friends. He was celebrating.

And had probably already scheduled in a tee time.

So we are left to mourn. Left to remember. Tell stories. Laugh. Cry. Hug. Get angry at him. Get angry at ourselves. Hit a wall. Tell Mom you'll fix that. Smell his shirts. Wear his hoodie. Sit on his bed and sob. Fiddle with his glasses that sit on the desk. Smile at a memory. Answer the phone. Not sleep. Comfort someone. Be comforted. Answer questions. Ask questions. Make tea. Reminisce. Pass around the Tylenol. Be amazed at the thoughtfulness of friends.

Desperately miss him. Wish it was still Monday, January 11th, 2010.

And yet, in all of that, remember that Dad is already off golfing, with a big smile on his face and in very good company.

Sláinte mhaith, Dad. God speed.