Monday, October 30, 2006

Saturday was our 2nd anniversary of being married, 3rd for being engaged, 5th of having met! Hoo boy, does this date ever bring up a bunch of feelings and emotions! (I'm also including some photos of the good-luck sugar scuttle here too as a tie in!) Some very good memories, some not-so-good ones and also a bit sad as well, since it was supposed to have been the day I would have my wedding.

No, that's not a typo. Due to visa, travel and importing the dogs, we had to hurry and get married to avoid my visa expiring. We figured the next year on our anniversary we'd hold the proper wedding. Of course then I went and got preggers and 28th last yearLaurent was 13 days old. Still last year it was insanely happy as I soaked up all that lovely newborn babyness! Especially as there'd been concern I might not be able to have a child. Plus who can argue with the cuteness of a 1 year old ring bearer being pulled in a wagon by my lovely Aussie! Unfortunately, for reasons I won't bore everyone with that didn't happen and while I could put it back to NEXT year, it doesn't feel right. The time for that has passed yk?

So that's that. Allowed myself a good cry at the time I would have been walking down the aisle. Thought about the dress I designed from scratch, chose the fabrics for, made the pattern for, even did a mock-up of at one point... and never got to make. It really was beautiful. I'll scan and post a photo later.

Now that sounds like I had a really crap day. But it really was a small part of the day and I've made my peace with it. Felt better after I got it all out and spent the rest of the day admiring my child trying to toddle about, boxing things up, and looked at houses! We looked at a GORGEOUS place in Box Hill South. It's as big as you're likely to get in this area landwise... couldn't have sheep of course, but could have a few ducks to herd. It's even got a special area fenced off for the dogs to play agility in (non-standard course) and a seperate work shop which I could hold small training classes in eventually. But it's listed at $600K, which means mid 600's plus stamp tax. We're likely to get about $575-600 out of this place, approved for a $50K loan and have about $40K which we'd thought of investing but COULD possibly use for this buuuutt... there's still what $36K stamp duty, and real estate agent fees and legal fees for drawing up papers. But it IS gorgeous and I could see us staying there long term.

Drove around a few of the other areas trying to get a "feel" for the neighborhoods, some of them were okay, some of them not so much. Hm. Nothing really jumped out and wowed me.

So then we drove out Belgrave way, as in Amanda's fantasy world, I'd love to move there. (Still love Woodend more but that'll probably never happen. *sigh*)

Now for cute pictures! First, is Laurent next to the birds cage, looking at our tomatos and basil. :-)
Finished the night off with new pictures of Hope and found out that eye clearances were perfect annnd she's coming home on the Vic Speciality on the 4th!!! WHOO HOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!
(NB: Blogger is being sucky about photos, will put them up later!) For anyone new, Hope is "Cuebiyar Cross My Heart" by BISS Thornapple Sub Zero (imp USA), out of Am/Can/Aust CH. McMatt's Lovely Lily (imp USA)

Downside: missed out on herding because Nic had Saturday booked and Sunday missed our first Croyden class when the police said a black car was being looked for and held us up till 10:00! Argh! MURPHY: TAKE A FLYING LEAP!!!!

This one is Bubby Lala with Bijoux. And if Bijoux looks a bit rough around the edges it's because he's actually Nic's from when he was little! :-) Excuse the mess, we're packing everything up at the moment!

Also had to put up some pics of Bubby Lala enjoying the pork noodle soup! He was pretty fascinated with chopsticks as per usual so we let him have a go at using them himself!

Heh. Well, it's a start anyhow!

I also (while still trying to figure out how to load the video to youtube with the formatting issue thingie, managed to get still captures off the video!
(notice how her raised forleg is the same side as my raised back-stepping leg... just starting this and it looks a lot nicer on here than it is in real life!
This is actually part of the 4 leaf clover leg weaving/twirling trick we've got. Simple but neat-o!
Just some front heeling.
And this is just the little miss looking out from under the gate when we went shopping and *gasp* left WITHOUT THE DOG!!!

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

First... today Laurent, who has been standing up on his own for a few days took his first official (deliberate) step! We've had a few steps that were the result of him starting to loose balance and trying to catch himself but those don't really count imo. I suppose that means he's actually going to start walking soon... EEK!!!

Second, is my newest purchase. When we went to the auction the other day, we didn't intend to buy since what I'd saved was decimated by Nic's shortened work hours/crap pay. Still I adore antique hunting and love going to auctions.

We both saw this sugar scuttle and said, "Hey, look at that!" at the same time. It's got pretty scrollwork and even the little scoup is finely detailed - it's ornate enough to be pretty but not so much as to be pretentious. It was listed as Victorian but it's Edwardian imo. We agreed with one look that this was something we wanted. It just had a nice feeling about it, you know? So we put in a proxy bid at what I figured was about it's money but not over.

We got it! I looked at it even closer and noticed something... on the lip is a hand engraved "R & L. B" with a date 15 December 1908. It's captured my imagination. I fancy it was a wedding gift to the couple, all those years ago. I picture her in
an ivory silk two piece awash with lace, net and tiny delicate embroidery, pin tucks everywhere, flounces and frills aplenty, an empire waist line and wax orange blossom headpiece holding on a gauzy veil. Or perhaps it was a 25th anniversary gift. I wonder what their names were? I only know them as R&B. I wonder what their life was like, their dreams? Did they have any babies, maybe a little boy like mine who made his mother melt with gooey smiles as well? I consider the scuttle and see them in my minds eye as being upper-middle class, comfortable but not wealthy as it's NP though still from a firm of reputation, hard working but enjoying the nice things they had. The name and date engraving was by hand, though it's one schooled in nice penmanship. They must have kept it carefully as it's in good condition but obviously they used it regularly instead of keeping it as a display piece, as some of the fine detailing shows smoothing. Was it one of relatively really luxurious things they owned and treasured and loved to use? Did it have a place of honor for when guests came for dinners or tea? I wonder if she smiled in delight at such a pretty little thing when she saw it too. I rather like the idea that she felt it was something special as well. Perhaps that love seeped into it over the years and is what caught my eye - the aura of a happy, furfilled life. I like this idea and I'm considering the scuttle something of an anniversary good luck charm, perhaps it sweetened their marriage and will be equally good luck for us.

Some more good news: new job for Nic, starting in 2 weeks! Yay! It won't be as much fun as TGI Friday's perhaps but it's better hours, more of them and much better pay.

NOW... finally the TAG!
Here are are the rules to play:
List 5 weird things about yourself or your pets.
Tag 5 friends and list them.
Those people then need to write on their blogs about 5 weird things, and state the rules, and tag 5 more people. Don’t forget to let the people you tagged know by posting a comment on their blog!

1.) My dogs like fruit and vegetables
2.) My cat, if you pretend to shoot her (hold your hand with pointer out and say bang) will run as if she were, even though she has never once had any aversive including being squirted with a squirt bottle or anything that might remotely resemble that motion. And no, she's not scared, just weird.
3.) My dogs will actively solicit medication and needles at the vets (ex. blood draws) and then beg for more. (Pavlov eat your heart out.)
4.) Sierra's favorite treat is water. Plain, ordinary water. She will choose it over food treats or toys.
5.) I don't cut their nails, they file their nails themselves on a giant nail file.

and a freebie... in this house, even the cat does obedience!

Tagging: Sif, Jayne, Amanda (not myself, so no smart comments please!) and um... next two random people who read this cuz I don't know who else blogs who hasn't been tagg
ed yet. ;-P

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

I'd been waiting for this one to put up flowers with baited breath! It's "Bronzette Star" and isn't it gorgeous! Look at the colours! YUM! The new flowers are almost black-briquette before they bloom but they turn into this gorgeous riot of colours!

And non-flower...
Cade looking pretty swish in his new purple tracking harness. He was pretty excited as wearing it means I've laid a track and articles which means YUMMY COOKIES FOR CADE!!! (That's the important part, the cookies!)

Today was a rough start after a long night but a goodish day overall. Ended up late to meet our financial advisor to decide where to put what percentages of the money that's floating in holding pattern after maturing. I hate being late! *sigh* Watched the auction I was going to go to the viewing for the other day. Some nice stuff, was disappointed in the quality of the hall stand, as it looked nicer in the photo I saw! Saw a pretty Victorian Sugar Scuttle. Chatted with an art fellow regarding the Mavro's, Allaurd's and Testevuide's. Need to take care of removing the antique fireplace mantels which we're keeping and putting in regular onFreestyle with the fuzzy red dog and had fun as always there. Came home and FLOMPED!

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Bubba Conversations

Every day should be like today. Woke up to gooey bubba smiles and chirpy chatter. Breakfast with STRAWBERRIES. (Nic is sucking up.) Watch bubs as he alternately motors about and comes for hugs; chattering, smiling, laughing madly, attempting to stand alone before plopping on his bum with a giggle.

We had the Gena thing today, which was pretty cool if not stuff I was already aware of. Reminded me of some stuff I knew but need to work on all the same. Had fun with the other people there and taught Sierra to stick her head in a bucket and walk around like that just for fun in a few minutes. Nic watched Laurent, bringing him in when he needed cuddles and food. Lala ate an half his weight in watermelon and rockmelon and spent the rest of the time crawling about showing off how clever he is to his audience - the little HAM! Came home to regroup and let the dogs romp. Ended up having this little conversation, like ones that we've been having lately with L's growing understanding of the world around him and they're just so darn CUTE!

Laurent points excitedly to Sierra who is outside wiggling at the window and waves, laughing and exclaims "Dahg dahg!" I nod, agreeing. "Yes, that's Sierra, she's outside." He signs "want" and chants "Sisi!", *signs 'want'* again and cheers "Sisi! Sisi! Sisi!" while bouncing enthusiastically.
"You want Sisi inside?" I ask. He laughs and repeats the 'want' sign* "Sisi!" At this point kitty comes wandering by and I point down to her. "Look La" He looks at her, "Tasss! Khee!" and then immitates a miaow sound.

Bwhahahahahahah!!! I have turned him into an animal nut!

(For those needing La to English translation:
Sisi = Sierra, our dog, Sisi is a nickname
Khee= kitty
*want* sign = hand held out, opening and shutting to indicate he wants whatever he's pointing at. I am hard-of-hearing so I do use sign language with him too!

Friday, October 20, 2006

I was reading today on one of the discussion forums I'm on about how one of the posters thought her neighbors might be abusing their child and felt she should contact child services but didn't want to create trouble for them if there wasn't really a problem, because maybe she was mistaken about what she heard, and after all everyone has bad days and maybe they were just going through a rough patch. I hate it when I hear this kind of stuff. I understand you don't want to be in the uncomfortable position of reporting a neighbor or friend or family member but it's a lot less comfortable to be little and unable to do so. If you're wrong, you're wrong and Child Services will be happy to have a case where NOTHING was wrong for a change. If you're right, you just may save someones life.

All this made me dig out a poem:

I am a child who was like you were.
I am a child who could be like your own.
I am a child unlike you were.
I am a child unlike your own.
I am the silent, haunted eyes
peering out from behind the windows.
Mistrustful. Wary. World weary.
I am the little girl who hides her tears behind her smiles,
grasping at straws of normality,
weaving them to cloak myself.
I am the moment of fear, as I flinch from the hand
I should be able to trust most.
I am knowledge beyond my years,
I know the real monsters wear human faces.
I am the keening sound of powerlessness,
kept captive by my blood.
Your thoughts of not intruding,
his badge, his masquerade.
I see your too polite and nervous smiles,
like grins on a skeletons face.
I hear your whispers and I know
that glimmer of knowledge in your eyes.
You know. I know. Still it goes on.
I have seen the belt flash.
I have known time to slow.
I have seen the curled lip and puckered brow,
his face contorted in fury.
I have known dangling off the ground,
suspended like a fish on a stringer.
The neck, the pressure of a grip,
the blaring silent loudness
and the sudden sweet pain as it drips.
Crimson. Clouding eyes rolling back,
twitching and tremors.
I am Shame,
his anger must be my fault, must be deserved.
Else why would you turn from my aid?
Why do you fail ot look me in the eye?
If you know it is wrong and you know it goes on
why should YOU flinch? I haven't struck a blow.
Why am I always here and alone?
I am a child. A child who was like you were,
a child who could be like your own.
But I will never be a child like you were,
I will never be a child like your own.
I am just me. And I'm better off alone.

Sorry to go dark and dramatic on you folks but PLEASE fercrisakes, if you suspect abuse report it! You just may be the voice a child doesn't have in an adult ruled world.

In happier news, I had a good day. Nothing huge, just lots of little goodnesses. *G* Got quite a bit done, got the tiles for the hearth, found a fire place mantel so we can take our 2 antique ones with us, got Sierra's transfer (AKC to VCA) mailed, got a bag of free cat litter with the cats food as a promotional and got Cade a new padded harness for Tracking... it's purple... and spiffy! Last but not least I got to attend a great auction today... not that I could BUY anything but I was just there to keep an eye on market prices for items I want when I can afford them. If you're interested in antiques, auctions are a great place to LEARN about them so you don't screw up when you buy. *G* And yes, as I've been told, I'm a bizare 25 year old I know. Lots of folks need to tell me that. But I just llooovvveee antiques! Today they had 5 estates from folks who apparently had LOTS of disposable income to buy high quality stuff before they passed away... high quality stuff within drooling range. ;-) Going to another one tomorrow to drool over few gorgeous items I can't afford but certainly will enjoy seeing up close! :-)

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Little Bunny Lala finds water-melon and watery bliss

Since the moment he discovered watermelon he has been a complete addict! I can't eat any without him being at my leg, insisting "yum yum YUM!" to indicate he'd like some. (Subtle this one... not!) I happen to really like it as well and wouldn't mind eatting SOME of it when I cut a slice for myself! On the other hand, he's so adorable when he eats a huge slice, big as a dinner plate, complete with big lip smacking sounds, a satisfied sigh of bliss and a big ol' BURP at the end. ;-)

The other thing I've decided is that we really need to get him a proper wading pool! He's way too interested in the dog's water dish! O_O

"Is there any left for me?"

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

*cluck cluck cluck*

Remember when I said I'd be okay if I only had one kid? I LIED!

I wanna 'nother bubba! It doesn't help that my evil, lying, demented hormones are whispering how nice it would be to be preggie again (I spent my whole pregnancy threatening to spay myself the second he was born... I was miserable, flat-on-my-back sick the whole time!), how wonderful and fun it would be to have a newborn (with Laurent just having turned 1 yr old, schyearight) and gee wiz, newborns are pretty easy after all seeing as how they sleep all the time. (Huh?!? Nuh uh, I spent most of L's first months getting less than 2-4 hours sleep a night!)

All I can say is it's a bloody good thing I'm getting a puppy soon, soak up some of this broodiness!!! ;-)

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Warning: long and rambling post with lotsa pics!

A picture of a slice of Laurent's Cake with the proper icing flowers~_~'

Sorry for not blogging the past two days but I've been recovering from L's party and the week in general!

We ended up staying up (literally!) all night baking and cooking for his birthday, as Nic and I were a little over-excited about catering! At 8:30 we piled child, husband, dog and self in car. Rushed to Croyden, plunked down my money, filled out my forms - the president says, "Gee, you look a little stressed, what's up?" LOL

Anyhow, I got in - finally - yaaaay!!!! But no time to enjoy it, have to FLY to the make-up studio and caught hell from the salon manager for being late by like 7 minutes and how I'm stressing his artists. Got my hair-cut the day before and everyone seems to think it's quite flattering... but I just don't like this length because my hair tends to *FLOOF* at this length due to it's wanna-be waviness, unless I use a straightening iron which I honestly can't be frelled doing every single day! I like it either SHORT or LONG. Got chided by Mary for letting my hair go so long between cuts and eventually had to say that with finances what they are I have the option of either getting a skilled cut but only a couple times a year or getting more frequent el cheapo cuts... I prefer to have someone with skill! Trust me, I'd be quite happy if I could afford exxy haircuts all the time without a thought! :P

Got back, stuffed everything in the car, including a dozen balloons and rushed there about 20 minutes late by the time we arrived.

He got his prezzies from us (wood toys and such) at home after the party and I was so bummed we didn't have time to do a rosemary memory tree (basically a swag of rosemary that guests could write their favorite memory of the day on for Laurent in the future, which I was going to put in his b-day scrapbook, so he got impressions from everyone on the day) which I'd had my heart set on since what was supposed to be our first wedding*, Nic forgot our own camera - then mentioned this to the photographer who was worried he was saying that because we weren't happy with his work (TOTALLY not the case, we just wanted some instant happy snaps of stuff you wouldn't necessarily want a pro to waste his talent on, like taking pictures of the cake and picnic spread, Laurent covered head to toe in water-melon juice etc and one that we could send folks straight away without having to wait for development/proofs!), my mixer broke at 3 am so I couldn't do proper butter-cream and royal icing and had to use store bought stuff that doesn't pipe right or taste the same, likewise the meringues had to be nixed. Still had a nice, if somewhat "colourful"... day, as is to be expected with a bunch of children on sugar highs! LOL Laurent got his first bit of sugary horribleness - a bite of his birthday cake, which he promptly spit out in favor of watermelony goodness. Nothing but nothing gets in the way of La and his water melon! He finished off a whole inch thick slice and went back for more! O_O

We'd requested no prezzies because we have enough toys around here but he ended up getting some nice stuff anyway, some books from Beck and Nic's cousin Nina, some crystals from Jayne and the lovely Liam helped pick them out, and a gorgeous t-shirt emblazoned with a Picasso doggy illustration (!) from Sif and family, along with some beautiful hand-made birthday cards from Beck's boys which will be saved in Laurent's scrapbook, including a very sweet poem from Josh.

We also had a photographer out to shoot the party, Jason Settimi and I can highly recommend him to anyone. Lovely fellow, easy to work with and got some lovely candid shots of us. I'm going to have such a hard time waiting to see the proofs in a week and a half, Ms. Impatient Nosey Pants that I am! LOL

Here is the actual ceremony:
INTRODUCTION: Firstly, we wish to express our joy to you that Laurent has brought to us with his birth and first year. Since the moment he was born I've been struck by the desperate feeling that time was passing too fast. I remember looking at him, only a few minutes old and thinking those minutes had passed too quickly as I sat and held him watchfully. I wanted to grab each moment, hold each one and force it to slow down, to linger gently for awhile so I could enjoy those first few hours and stay in each one for at least a few days or a week or a month.

I was so aware he would never again be one minute, one hour old, one day old, one week old. Slowly he would loose the special look of a newborn, downy hair would be replaced with silky fine baby hair, his eyes wouldn't squench in the same way as they grew used to the light of the outside world. I suppose every mother feels a bit like this but I wasn't prepared for how keenly I felt the minutes and even seconds rushing by. I felt such an intense need to savor each moment to the fullest, commit it to my heart and never ever forget. In the wee hours of the night when I was so exhausted my eyes stubbornly refused to focus and all I wanted was to sleep just ten more minutes, I reminded myself that this time would pass all too quickly as well and I would miss it later and it made me treasure it as well.

I treasure the changes in him, I love the sparkling eyes and gummy smile and chubby kissable cheeks of his 1 year old self that have replaced my newborn and then my infant. I still bury my nose in his hair, no longer downy but now a lovely wispy golden brown and inhale the wonderful scent of him. I adore the way he looks when he reaches out his arms to me, the way his crawling speeds up when there is something he really wants to see, his sweet baby laugh and the way he wraps his arms around my neck and cuddles close. I know that you will keep growing and I will treasure the next set of changes even as I treasure the ones that have come thus far but I know I will miss the 12 month old you as well.
But a child is not raised alone by his parents. Today, we want to welcome him formally into our family and also to the wider family of our relatives, the community of our friends and the world. The more love a child receives, the more they will benefit in their lives and the more love in turn they will be able to give to others. The more people to whom they relate the more balanced and rich their growth will be. So your presence at this celebration today is appreciated, as will be your interest and involvement in the years ahead.

The first quotation I would like to read involves us all. As a circle of friends and family we all share a responsibility to provide the atmosphere in which our children will develop as people.

If a child lives with criticism - he learns to condemn. If a child lives with hostility - he learns to fight. If a child lives with ridicule - he learns to be shy. If a child lives with shame - he learns to feel guilt. But If a child lives with tolerance - he learns to be patient. If a child lives with encouragement - he learns confidence. If a child lives with fairness - he learns justice. If a child lives with security - he learns to have faith.If a child lives with approval - he learns to like himself. If a child lives with acceptance and friendship - he learns to find love in the world

We ask for your blessings, encouragement and support; without family and friends beside us, we would miss one of the greatest joys of life. That is to give and to receive love. To help and be helped. To teach as well as to learn. We are delighted those with us today have chosen to celebrate this time with us.

Starting with two lit candles and a third candle unlit
It was said, "There is a light that lights the way of everyone who comes into the world." It is the light of hope. We light this candle to celebrate his birth: out of the darkness of the womb he came and emerged into light. (First candle lit) Blessed is the woman who bears a child, for she knows how love covers pain. Blessed is the man who fathers a child, for he makes a bridge between the earth and heavens. (second candle lit) Child of light, you know not yet the love and joy overflowing from our hearts. (Parents, each one taking a lit candle, together light the third candle.) When one candle lights another, it's light is not diminished, rather, the light in the world increases. In this way, little boy, you have already added your light to our family. May you continue to bless us and all those you touch with your light and life.

NAMING We have named this child Laurent Etienne. When I first became pregnant, we had decided on giving our child a French name to honor his heritage. After a lot of thinking, Nic decided on Laurent, meaning "Crown of laurels". At the same time I decided Etienne, which also means "crown of crowns" as his middle name. He is truly our crowning achievement. Laurent is believed to impart the qualities of resolve, enthusiasm, direction, boldness and organisation while Etienne imparts uprightness, open mindedness, humaneness, generousity and imagination. We hope these qualities will serve him well in life. We ask you now to join us in welcoming this child to the world as friends and family. "Welcome Laurent Etienne!"

It is traditional to give gifts to our loved ones on their birthday. This custom started as it was believed by being surrounded by friends and family and receiving gifts in the form of talismans ill luck was warded off for the coming year.

We have chosen as a symbol of our love and hope for Laurent a pendant made of Labradorite. We give it to him to wear with love. We chose Labradorite as it is said to reveal ones spiritual destiny like a flash of light in the darkness. It represents the "temple of the stars", bringing clarity and the wisdom of other worlds and universes to us, bringing forth ones strengths to share with the world. Labradorite promotes strength of will and a feeling of inner worth about your own abilities, and your value as a spiritual being. Labradorite helps to combine intellectual thought with intuitive wisdom enhancing discernment in all situations. This gemstone elicits creativity by inspiring you to come up with original ideas and solutions to problems. Brings patience, allowing focus and concentration. It enhances perseverance, and opens you up to seeing the inner beauty of things and people, including yourself. That which can seem mundane or boring, even to the point of dislike, can reveal something precious when looked at from a slightly different perspective.

As a second gift, we plant today a tree in our child’s honor to celebrate life with life. Both tree and baby are unique and original. Each began with a single seed, concealing a complex potential that miraculously unfolds with each passing day. We chose a Wollemi pine a tree discovered in 1994 in an unexplored canyon deep in the forest. It is a living fossil, at over 200 million years old it was around even before the dinosaurs. It is a unique tree, unlike any other. Likewise, every person born to this world represents something unique and is called upon to fulfill his role in the world. The Wollemi pine puts down deep roots to support itself, so that it can grow tall and touch the heavens at over 40 meters high. It is a remarkably hardy tree weathering all conditions. It is also a very rare tree, as over the millennia, the range of the Wollemi pine shrank until the entire population existed only in a single canyon in a remote area of New South Wales. Today there are less than 100 adult trees in the wild, some of which are over 1000 years old. Seeds were collected so they could be grown outside the canyon to protect the species and the funds go to fund conservation efforts. They were first available to the public around the same time Laurent was born.

We hope that the roots of this tree will gain hold and spread deep, drawing nourishment from the fertile earth as our child draws nourishment from his own roots - his family and his heritage. We pray that the trunk will grow healthy and strong, withstanding the harsh forces of nature and able to support its canopy of branches and leaves. So may our son possess a healthy body and a strong spirit, holding steadfast to his own integrity and withstanding the tempests and temptations that could weaken or deter him. We watch these branches bud and blossom, giving shade and beauty for all to enjoy. So, too, may we watch our child bud and blossom to be a blessing and support to family, friends and community, and to make his unique contribution to the world. Help us nourish and nurture this tree and our child so that they may both mature and prosper, fulfilling to the greatest extent possible the potential which exists in them.

At this point, we ask all of you to think in your hearts of a blessing or a wish for Laurent as we plant this tree so that your blessings may grow with it and with him.

With this, I have one last reading and then we will break for food and what I know you have been waiting for... the cake!

On Children

And a woman who held a babe against her bosom said, "Speak to us of Children."
And he said: Your children are not your children. They are the sons and daughters of Life's longing for itself. They come through you but not from you, And though they are with you, yet they belong not to you. You may give them your love but not your thoughts. For they have their own thoughts. You may house their bodies but not their souls, For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow, which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams. You may strive to be like them, but seek not to make them like you. For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday. You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth. The archer sees the mark upon the path of the infinite, and He bends you with His might that His arrows may go swift and far. Let your bending in the archer's hand be for gladness; For even as He loves the arrow that flies, so He loves also the bow that is stable.

Laurent, we welcome you with love

(at this point we will break for meal, the cake being served and candles blown out, gifts opened, lolly bags/guest gifts distributed and a bit to relax and let the kids roam a bit) Just before everyone leaves we are asking them to write their favorite memory of the day they'd like Laurent to have on little cards which will go on a rosemary tree (for remembrance) which we're bringing.

Got back and got some new pics of Hope from Amanda, so here those are for all you puppy-breath addicts... bask in the cuteness! I swear she literally gets cuter every photo I see!!! ^_^

Also started freestyle back up so I gave the fuzzy red dog a bath so she was all purdy before we left! We got our video of our "performance" and hey... we didn't suck! ;-) I'll youtube it as soon as I can download the drivers so my stupid computer recognizes the format...

Since we'd forgot our camera on the day, I decided to get some nice photos of the little man after the fact. Also wanted to get pics of the cake, of him blowing the candle out, opening prezzies, La in a party hat etc. which didn't happen on the day because it got gobbled before we sang Happy B-day and didn't do the candle because of how windy it was! LOL I think the hats were history by the time we got done with the photographer and back to the picnic too! LOL So I grabbed another (GREEN!) one from the shop for pictures. Hopefully we'll go out with Nic's cousin Nina for an extra little bday celebration since she couldn't be there, and do some more photos then!
Adventure Bubba
A quieter moment...
Bubba discovers balloons!
Laurent with his fav new toy... a little GREEN train!
Cheeky bubba! Was chewing the bag when I laughed so he hammed it up further!
Laurent with Sierra again
Sometimes you just need a hug... Laurent all tuckered out.

And whoooo hooo.... more iris blooms! Witches Sabbath is the lovely dark purple black with yellow... very intense colouring!

And this is another Tempo Two iris but we lost the tag a few years back so I don't remember which it is!

Today we went to Preshil for the preschools open day which was quite nice. Laurent had a ball crawling madly after the older kids who thought he was quite neat as well and I can tell he's going to be a real little social butterfly already. We ended up sitting and having about an hour long chat with the principal, who lounged in a tire-seat in the sandpit and traded a plastic rake back and forth with Laurent while I had fun asking questions. Unfortunately I was soooo tired and brain-fried I didn't remember most my questions till after but that's what next time is for! I really liked the lay out and overall "feel" of the school. Nice flow to the plan between indoor and outdoor areas, nature is 'inside' through lots of windows and natural sunlight with bush-like views. I still want to go to some of the other schools (eg Montessori, RE streams), Steiner is too out there for me though but I'm trying to keep a beginners mind in looking at these things and seeing the pros and cons in each. Particularly I want to watch the teachers in how they structure the environment and day, how they resolve conflicts and overall 'life attitude' of the teachers and staff... not the right word but I'm not sure how to put it... like, okay, Preshil has the philosophy that every child and adult is fundamentally GOOD. Personally I feel that's an unnecessary label to add and can hinder in dealing with behavior as what it is: behavior, neither inherently good nor bad. Certainly some behaviors are desirable or undesirable, helpful or unhelpful, even detrimental to the child or others... but those do not carry the moral judgement of 'good' or 'bad'. If you believe that children and adults are good and do things BECAUSE they are good, then by contrast you also believe that some (few) children are bad or do bad BECAUSE they are bad... which sets you up for dealing with the child as good or bad instead of as a behavior that simply exists. It might seem like splitting hairs over words, how different are they really... but once you think about it, it's really quite a big difference!

Likewise the word 'naughty' really is something I disagree with the use of. It implies that the child is behaving in the way they are because they are good or naughty or because they are being good or naughty, not because they are children who are learning and developing and whom like any biological being try out new behaviours, express feelings, keep behaviours that work for them on some level or discard it if it doesn't or there is something that works better. It ignores their developmental periods and things like the fact they may be testing rules of existance and trying to integrate those to their world-frame.

Now this whole discussion came up from the point that they had a booklet with pictures and descriptions of activities that the 3-4 year olds had done this year and explaining some of the things at Preshil, one of which is the 'home area' where children can feel secure and act out events which have occured in their lives in order to fully explore and understand them. Sounds wonderful, I'm all for that! Then I read, "eg roleplaying including themselves in the role of the 'naughty' child blah blah blah. Yup. They used the N word. Granted it wasn’t them calling the child naughty BUT it implied that they do believe that some behaviour IS naughty (instead of just behaviour) and that this is their attitude and how they view children. That turned into this discussion on how judgements like that are just ineffective and unnecessary and generally a hindrance in working through the issue. Behavior is behavior, morals are best left to discssions in philosophy classes, no need to dress it up as good or bad to deal with it! As well, even though I understood they weren't saying the child was naughty, and were trying to assure me their stance is that all children are fundamentally good, the use of that type of language concerns me. Words are the expression of thoughts, mental structure and how you view the world around you and they seep into your actions. Thoughts become words, become actions, become habits, become character, become destiny. So while the use of that kind of language may seem innocuous enough on the surface, it really does have a ripple effect. :-/

On the other hand there was heaps of really great stuff about the school, the teachers did seem to do a good job of watching and assisting all the kids but not over-interfering either. The kids self-directed themselves in activities but then once it was time for storys on their mats they were all called in and asked to stay on their beds. That was one thing that caught me out a bit... I had to wonder what would happen if a child wanted to continue in their activity? It seemed self-structured but only to a point if that makes sense? Why must they sit on a mat, why not just come inside and sit quietly so as not to disrupt the others if you're promoting the self-structuring? It was all handled very gently but I wondered how it would have been dealt with.

The crafts sections they had were awesome, lots of "stuff" at various stations for the kids to engage themselves in and the kids were scurrying everywhere busily engaged in various activities. There were a fair amount of small animals there, a water pond, some budgies, guinea pigs etc. Half wine barels with lots of plant seedlings in them, lots of wooden toys and blocks to construct things with.

I have more questions I want to ask and more I want to learn. I noted a nice example of conflict resolution between two students who both wanted the same toy with the help of the teacher and mentioned this to the principal. I asked about how they handled conflicts. She said they tried to talk it out as much as possible but obviously there were limits and certain things were unacceptable. Well, yeah, I understand that but WHAT do you do in those cases? A question for next time.

The other thing I saw was that one of the little boys found a worm and was showing it off to the teacher and us. He told me rather proudly that he was going to keep it. I said something to the effect of, 'oh, I understand you want to keep him but worms need to live in dirt... if you keep him in your pocket he'll die. Don't you think it would be better if you watched him for a little while and then put him back in his home in the garden?" and she (teacher) just sort of laughed it off. Yeah, okay, it's a WORM. I getchya. But I think teaching a respect of nature and life (all nature, including lowly worms) is important. And it's important for children to realize that their amusements should not come at the cost of anothers pain or death. For those of you who still are stuck on the, "Amanda, it's a WORM fer heavens sake!" like my DH, would she (or you) have felt the same if he came up carrying a bird or less socially acceptable to abuse/kill animal? Respect for self and others and life starts at the smallest levels imo. When we did daycare one of the things we did was to try and draw paralels between the child and animal to help them empathize and show respect. So it would have been like, worms are an important part of our ecosystem, they have certain requirements to live, we watch them for a little while and then let them be, maybe go look at pictures of worms or stories or whatever. By the time we left I think the poor worm had carked it as he looked kind of dry, poor thing. :-/

I'm not sure the principal knew what to make of me. I could tell some of it we were on the same wavelength, and we seemed to really agree. At some points, I think we agreed on the concept, though we were saying the same things in what was perhaps a different way. And a few of the things there was that little pause as she chewed over a statement and was trying to find a way of saying she disagreed without offending me. (Which she wouldn't have done anyway... I find debate like this quite interesting because it churns up different POV's and things I maybe hadn't considered before or considering things in a different way which is what I’m interested in to start with!)

Also, on an unrelated note: I’m blowing a huge raspberry at the maternal and child health nurse who told me if I didn't start Laurent on solids at 6 months promptly I'd "miss the window of his learning to accept textures and flavors", "forever have a picky eater" and be fighting him. Dinner tonight? Baby sized portions of pork, cous-cous salad, roast veggie salad, chickpea avocado sandwich on whole wheat, watermelon and mango begged off my plate.

* We had a proper one planned which got screwed thanks to my visa "be married by X date or else" requirements since it's hard to be at your wedding after you'd have been deported, the quickie we did to meet those requirements intending to hold a proper one later, one which was canceled when we found out we were pregnant with Laurent and then it was SUPPOSED to be this year but Nic was just so uninterested in it and money was tight enough that I figured I should just give it up as not meant to be.

Saturday, October 14, 2006

A year ago...

A year ago, at about this time, I was winding down the evening and wondering if tonight would be the night bubs decided to make his enterence. I hadn't yet met my beautiful boy. I would wake up at 2 am in full labor, contractions 5 minutes appart and 40-60 seconds a piece.

The first several months of my pregnancy were miserable as I was very sick. It turns out I was seriously anemic which resulted in a whole lot of trouble. At 33 weeks I insisted on being tested and after 2 weeks of taking 668mg per day of iron for suspected anemia, (RDI for pregnancy is 22 to 36mg!) my results were less than half what they should've been! The last few weeks of my pregnancy, after resolving that, were wonderful.

Originally Laurent was due the 9th but I got my wish of having a little longer to enjoy the pregnancy as he was a week late. I had no signs... no braxton-hicks, no show, no back aches or water breaking... nothing. On the evening of the 14th, I woke up an hour after laying down, stretched and it occurred to my sleep addled mind that... *ouch*... yes, that was a contraction. They were about 40-60 seconds long and bounced between 2-5 minutes apart. I waited another hour until I woke my husband up. He half rolled over and looked blearily up at me and said, "Oh, okay. Are you all right?" Was I all right? Did he not just hear me tell him the big event was finally happening! LOL

I moved around the house laboring for about 45 minutes while he drew a bath and put on some essential oils I'd chosen. I got in the tub but only felt more agitated, wanted to get up and move. Darn! I’d been looking forward to the tub! We'd decided on a hosp birth but to spend as much time at home as possible.

The contractions were coming quicker and harder, though still not in a settled pattern and I was talking fairly normally, so when we finally called the hospital, they told me I was probably only just starting. I told Nic, irregular or not, signs or not, these contractions weren't 'starters'. I bundled up, let the dogs out and wished I'd thought to lay out nicer clothes to labor in so it would look nice in the photos! (Yes, you think nutty thoughts in labor!)

I had to wait in the lobby till they had a room to do a VE, during which time I was pretty internally focused, just 'in' my contractions and ignoring everyone.

Still no signs besides the contractions but a suite was opened and we went up. The first thing she did was bin the birth plan right in front of me. Then she asked to do a VE and I agreed as long as that's all it was. (First thing on our list was no augmentation or interference.) Then she told me she'd done a stretch and sweep of membranes while up there. She told me I was 7cm which sort of surprised me. I just expected that far along to hurt a lot worse than it did! I was also really surprised how much breathing through the contractions really did help. I'd always sort of assumed it was mainly to give yourself something to focus on and prevent hyperventilating but it honestly let me ride on top of the pain like a wave instead of inside it.

I did opted for a small amount of epidural, right at the end. Labor was really intense by that point and I'd got to experience most of the labor naturally. From what I've learned after about it's long term effects on babies though and the difficulty we had with breastfeeding, next time I'm going to go all natural.

The epi slowed things down but the pain relief was very welcomed as I was tired of having to debate with the nurse over everything from monitoring to having a bin near my bed. Because the epidural use was pretty minimal, I could still feel my legs, move them, sense the ice cube they ran all over my tummy/legs to test it (?) and feel the contractions as they came and went quite clearly and had no problems knowing when to push later on. (In hindsight, compared to natural birth it was so clumsy though.)

I was tired by this point and asked Nic to get something to eat and grab some scrapbooking magazines for me. About that time they popped back in and announced that I was fully dilated and in a few minutes I should feel the need to start pushing! My water still hadn't even burst! I was sooo excited!!!!! I had no intention of having the baby without Nic though so I told them to call him, page him or get a bloodhound and track him because this baby wasn't being born without him! LOL They found him or he wandered in a minute later... I don't know which but either way he got there just in time. They lanced the waters just before I started to push when I felt the contractions. It took me a few pushes to get the rhythm of breathing without having him slip backwards in progress but after that we made nice, steady progress. I could feel each contraction very clearly and feel him moving down the birth canal. My husband moved down when he crowned and was able to touch his hair.

Just before his head emerged fully, he got a bit stuck with his big head and they were talking about an episectomy as I was already tearing. This is the other reason I want a natural birth next time, so I can walk about, stay off my back which causes more tearing than standing/squatting and look at things like perineal massages etc if bubs gets stuck. It was the one thing I'd reeeeeaaallyyy not wanted... I just really was squeamish about the idea of a scalpel and stitches... I told her NO way and asked my husband to make them stop!

They were trying to convince me and getting out the tools. While they turned, they were talking with Nic to get him to 'reason' with me (smart man, he told them no way he was going to try and con me into anything I'd already said I didn't want) and I felt a contraction coming on. I was annoyed with being talked about like I wasn't there. I heard the midwife say she was excited because it would be her first episectomy. "Hey, women in labor here! Contraction coming on!" Ha! Yeah, remember me? The woman GIVING BIRTH! They turned around and told me by all means to push if I felt the need to with the sort of pat-on-the-head tone that said "whatever amuses you dear", so I did and the midwife had to toss the tools down quickly because out came his head and his shoulders and body followed shortly after. I looked at her, "I told you I wasn't having an episectomy!"

Laurent Etienne was born 5 minutes after 4pm, healthy, hearty and hale. He weighed in at 4.2kg. They toweled him and placed him on my chest and I started helping dry him off and stoking his cheeks and hair. I was struck by how much he looked like his 20 week ultrasound. (We had the 3D/4D kind.) He quieted when we wrapped him in a little closer and quickly settled in to nursel. I was just staring at him, memorizing his face and the way his eyes looked and the way his fingers curled around mine.

I was pretty exhausted as well and just let myself relax while he had a good feed, during which time the placenta was birthed unassisted. (ETA While reading his hospital discharge papers while planning my daughters birth, I later learned they had slipped pitocin in my IV. The one part of his birth I thought I'd done 'by myself' it turns out actually wasn't. And pitocin was something specifically mentioned in the birth plan as a drug I did NOT want.) Eventually they told me I needed to be stitched up as I'd had a second degree tear and lost about 500ml of blood. Nic was able to stay for a little while but had to leave to let the poor dogs out, feed them etc.

Eventually they needed the birthing suite though so they had to get me out. I was exhausted and moving made me woozy, so I knew I had no chance of swinging myself up out of the bed and walking over to the wheelchair for the ride. Sure enough every time I so much as moved I blacked out. The accoucher let me have some toast and juice but they needed the bed. I was hurting when I pulled the stitches. Eventually I managed to get upright into a sitting position and kept a death grip on the bed handle long enough to half-throw, half be dragged into the wheel chair where I promptly blacked out again. She was ordering me to stay awake because she wasn't going to thow out her back catching me tying to tick me off enough to make me stick around. It worked, I was irritated enough to insist I was here, I was just in shock since I'd just birthed a human being and I needed some air thank you very much! I blacked out again, dreamed about a purple spot and soldiers marching in formation (not a CLUE what that means...) and woke up to be told we were going to the showers. I told her I'd be happy to take one later, I wanted to sleep right now. Unfortunately she was having none of it and wheeled me down to the showers where I had to stand up again (and pass out again) to sit on the shower stool. I don't remember much of it other than that Laurent was there in my line of sight and coming to a bit when she whipped the sprayer into my face a couple times with orders to stay awake, which I griped back that I WAS, before I faded back out. Eventually it was over and they wheeled us down to our room where I was more or less poured into bed, glad just to be left alone. I saw the baby wheeled in next to me and fell asleep while they were still looking at my medical charts content they would soon be gone. Let them worry about the paperwork, I had my baby and my bed, that was all I was interested in!

I woke up at about 2 AM, alerting to every baby in the ward's crying. L turned out to be such a snoozy little guy though, the second he fussed I picked him up and fed him, so he never really cried much. (In hindsight, this is probably much because of the epidural having after effect.) He let me know he was hungry by doing little O mouth and grunting. . He slept in the bed with me after that which was one very cool thing... several of the midwives and one of the paeds were telling people to cosleep!

The first day was pretty quiet, I mostly just held him, fed him, changed him and stared at him. Nic was able to come for awhile but since he's the only one I knew, he was my only visitor the whole time. My room-mates however... well the limit was supposed to be 4 guests and during visiting hours only. What a joke! At one point I counted close to 30 people crammed into that room, all of them noisy, kids pushing under the dividing 'curtains' between the beds and the time WELL past visiting hours! (It was quarter to midnight and visiting hours supposedly ended at 8-9 I think.)

The second day, they found he was running a fever and told me they were going to have to give him IV antibiotics. Apparently his test came back at 44 when the maximum acceptable range was 20 and he'd have to be under 7 to go home. The IV was awful. The doctor who came to do it came in the wee hours of the morning and it took about an hour and a half of poking him in all four limbs to establish a line before admiting the lighting was so poor in the room she knew she should have took him up to NICU to do it in the first place. He screamed and struggling the whole time, biting on my nipple hard enough to blister it and he was traumatized before the line was in. After that, he latched onto me and refused to let go... he had a death grip on my shirt, kept his head buried into my chest and wailed hysterically if I tried to move away from him. I ended up falling asleep with him like that in the bed, still clutching me and feeling absolutely awful.

I also developed a fever and had to go on antibiotics. I was still pretty out of it so I don't know exactly what I had but the meds I was getting were just larger doses of the ones he was getting.

A week later we were finally released from the hospital and I was SO glad to be going home! There was one very nice midwife/nurses there that I still miss... she helped us "loose" the discharge paperwork every time they threatened to keep him for IV antibiotics but discharge me. She hugged me when we left and I think I recognized in her eyes she was sad about some of what went on. I was just glad to be away from the doctors and needles and flushes and my room-mates great-auntie's cousin's barber's niece and her half dozen children peeking under my curtain.

On the whole Laurent's birth was a huge experience! The parts before the epidural were amazing, almost spiritual and I gained this whole new appreciation for my body and womanhood in general and just generally felt "connected" to the world around me on a whole new level. I've never been very a "girly" girl but it really allowed me to see the inherently positive, unique things and strength I had to offer not just as a person but as a woman in specific. Looking back, knowing what I know now, I would have liked to have done things a little differently as far as giving birth at the hospital... I'm leaning more towards either homebirth or a birthing center next time. I would have liked to stay in a home environment, to have midwives only, to have a doula, to have my husband rooming in after and not to be subjected to the briskness in care I was after. (To be fair, 3 nurses care for a ward of 30+ patients so I understand they're run off their feet at times but I still felt it was a bit harsher than it needed to be and was annoyed they don't enforce their own rules.)

Anyway that's our very, very, very long birth story!

I am all emotional tonight, remembering my labor and his birth. I can't believe it was a year ago. It seems like yesterday. He had such a tiny squishy little face and the most amazing eyes. There is nothing like looking into those eyes for the first time. I am so amazed at the little person he's becoming... such a little individual, so determined, so happy. So many emotions all at once wrapped up in this mother gig!

Friday, October 13, 2006

Hope is cute and Murphy SUCKS...

First the cute... then the gripe.

So here's my cuteness... Hope at 5 weeks old, turning into a real little fuzzball! Good heavens, she's got feathering already!!! O_O Her breeder was pretty flat out gearing up for the specialty tomorrow so pics were a bit more limited this week wowza would you look at that coat!

Now for the gripe.

Anyone who has known me long has probably heard me grumble at Murphy at one point or mutter about being Murphy's favorite person.

To whit, tonight, while grocery shopping, I recieved a call from Croyden. Yes, THAT Croyden. The one I've been trying to get into since before January that has been consistently booked solid.


I was so busy doing a mental victory dance (trying not to let it become a real life one, cuz that's just weird in the middle of a market) I missed the bad news (and it's a doozie) until I'd already hung up assuring her that we'd be there with bells on come hell or high water. It seems I forgot birthday parties.

That's right, to claim my place I must show up this Sunday between 9:15am and 10:30 am. THIS SUNDAY. In the morning. Right before Laurent's party during which time I have to pick up Laurent's balloons, have my make-up done (all in Camberwell), finish the finishing touches on the food that must be served fairly immediately after making (at home) and get to the gardens in time to set up everything for Laurent's birthday and meet the photographer at promptly 11am in the Fitzroy Gardens.

If I miss it, I'll have forfeited my place. I have to show up in person, no exceptions, because they want to see that I'm dedicated and commited to coming.

*cries and pounds my head on a brick wall*

And yes, it's Friday the 13th.

Those of you coming to Laurent's party...

bring your appetites! Here's a sneak peek at the menu... I am having a blast dusting off my cake decorating skills!

Filet de Porc Farci Aux Pruneaux

Oriental Chicken Salad

Mini Fritatta
Savory Salami Muffins
Roast Strawberry Meringues

Antipasto, cheese platter, olives, bread, bruschetta, dipping oils etc
Smoked Chicken, watercress, cucumber & mayo finger sandwhiches


Patte de Pommes du Terre in the Normandy style
Fruit Salad in Vanilla, Ginger and Lemongrass Syrup

Tomates Farcies aux Herbs

Chickpea & Roast Veggie Salad

Chocolate Cake

Rosemary Butter Cookies
Blackberries with Lemon-cream & Shortbread Biscuits and
Mini Cupcakes for the Kidlets


Ice Water infused with green-apple & mint, Blackberry, and Lemongrass

Wither Hill sauvignon blanc
Desert Wine Marcarini Moscato d' Asti (these may change...)

If there are any concerns with the menu, as far as allergies, please drop me an e-mail. Also to anyone who I may not have had the chance mention this to we are requesting our guests only gifts are their presence and good wishes. Dress is nice if you've got it (borrowing from Jayne here *G*) and for the kids, the photographer has requested simple, classic clothing looks best so as to keep the focus on the children. Laurent is going in white and linen for the formalish portrait bit. (Anyone want to lay odds on how long it STAYS white on my sweet little dirt-mud-goo-n-grotty-stuff magnet????? ROTFLMAO!)

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Just adding a few notes for the evening... Cade came through just fine. When I picked him up my vet went over his bloodwork and what was done and after remarking, "normal, normal and normal" added it was all really pretty boring. Good! Just the way I like it! Except for the $600 bill! Youch! Dog needs to go out and get a job!

Cute moment today, which several of you saw... we were at playgroup today, at Jayne's house and Over The Hedge had been turned on for the older kids. At one point Laurent spotted the animals on the screen and made his way over there with a chunk of water-melon. (He was seriously gorging himself on it, he loves it!) He was holding it up to the screen trying to feed the ''animals'' on the screen and just couldn't get why they weren't taking it... his doggies always do! LOL

Awhile back I'd had a really good idea for a new type of clicker, it would essentially have no lag time, single click for precision and enable better record keeping with a counter, be ergonomic so that you could hold it and depress from any position. Pretty freaking brill eh! I was SO proud of myself for having this really cool, unique idea!

So I mentioned this on one of my clicker lists and everyone agreed that it was a great idea and I should market it! So at the suggestion of several people I e-mailed Karen Pryor to see if I could get her company to develop it. Okay, maybe rather presumptious because in the training world I'm a little no-name nobody and she's... well, she's KAREN PRYOR yk? Polar opposite.

But still... it was a really, REALLY good idea! Heard nothing for awhile and was a bit bummed. I'd thought about developing it on my own but I'm not a mechanically gifted person, so I don't know how to do it myself. Or know who to go to to get a prototype built to specifications. So, e-mailed her and described my idea. Heard nothing for a few weeks and was feeling pretty bummed, toyed around with going it on my own anyhow somehow because I still felt it was a useful idea. Then today, I got an e-mail, rather brief, saying, ''Yes, we are working on this, but do not expect to have a prototype this year. It is in the pipeline but not at the top yet. Thanks for your interest!'' Really not sure how I feel about that! :-/

Oh and to the idiots who need to spam my comments section with their get rich quick crap, even though I know you don't actually read the blogs you spam... do you SERIOUSLY think anyone is going to answer that kind of crap or be fooled into signing up for such an obvious SCAM?!?!? Get a life and quit setting up spam bots!

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

My life mottos:

"Playing chicken with deadlines and working under stress and pressure is fun." (Apparently, cuz I keep doing it and seem to thrive on it even when going nuts.)

"When you see something you want to go after, jump first, plan the landing on the way down."

These are not perhaps the wisest life mottos but they certainly do make things interesting. I have everything pretty much ready for Laurent's birthday except for picking up a few odds and ends, a long over due hair cut for myself (bless Mary, she's a saint and a miracle worker...), pick up the fresh produce the day before for all the various food items, bake/cook/frost and decorate and then pick up stuff that has to be done just before like the balloons. Invitations, hand-made and DONE, ready to go for tomorrow! Photographer booked. Venue and question of permits dealt with. Speeches written and organized. Tree for tree planting and pot taken care of. Guest gifts taken care of. L's gifts taken care of.

* pick up extra potting mix for the tomatos, salad greens, snap peas and cape daisys, pick up native potting soil for pine, drool over water trays, water displays and all the gorgeous plants I WANT but must resist until I'm actually moved or I'll have more to deal with leaving behind.
* print everything out so it's not just living on my computer or Murphy will make me pay by crashing it five mins before crunch time
* pick up the pram from repair shop in Sunshine West (shudders)
* foam board and ribbon for the rosemary rememberence thingie for L's bday
* hearth tiles so we can get the heart done
* find a place that sells doors and mantles which fit Edwardian houses as we want to take ours with us cuz they're pretty and would cost a mint to buy again for a new place... unfortunately the doors we've found to replace them are slightly different dimensions than circa 1911 when things were not-standardized
* pick up table and heating elements for food dishes that need warming at the party
* beat the idiot spa repair person who hasn't figured out the concept of showing up when scheduled. Again.
* check out and book a storage place for moving, start boxing up the extra 'stuff' we don't want around for showing or auction

In addition to this, Cade is going in tomorrow morning for surgery to remove 2 histiocytoma tumors. They'll basically have to snip off the tip of his one ear. This type never metasize so removal is due to their persistance and ulceration rather than worry of cancer. He's going to have a dental (scaling/polishing) as well, so we're going to remove them at the same time. He will have all the standard bloodwork, plus heated fluid IV so recovery is easier and they have a line already in if anything does go wrong. But it's Cade, my heart-dog who has been with me through everything since highschool. And it's a lump. Which automatically equals Amanda-worrywartness. His sire Dimitri had lipomas, which are typically harmless, for years until one killed him at age 11. That is quite young, as the breed averages 16-17 years. Cade is almost 9, just a little younger than Dimitri. I worry over every lump and bump he gets and the older he gets the more I worry even though I know it's nothing and his litter siblings are fine even half-siblings through his father are fine at 13 years old. Doesn't matter, I'll worry anyway.

Dogs aren't the only ones who generalize fears or develop superstitious behaviour from them.

Monday, October 09, 2006

Just a quick note...

to say that the issue with the comments section has been resolved and everyone can once again post! I'm sorry to those who had been trying to comment and wasn't able to get through! There was a glitch, apparently something got reset without me realizing it which disabled the ability to for anyone to comment! In the immortal words of Homer, "DOH!"

Hope to see everyone on the 15th for Laurent's birthday!

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Behold the fuzzy cuteness!

More pics of my adorable puppy because there is no such thing as too many photos!!!!! ;-)
I can't wait till I get to take her home!

Clever little pupplet isn't she! Not stacked just four square naturally! :-)
Don't you just wanna kiss this cute widdle fuzzy face????
The "heart and soul" litter... the girls are facing front in this one!
The litters names are: BTD1 Cuebiyar Soul Patrol aka Taylor, BTDd Cuebiyar Wholelotta Soul aka Luke, Hope (of course!) aka Cuebiyar Cross My Heart, BMD Cuebiyar Body N Soul aka Frank, BTB Cuebiyar Heart N Soul aka Ditto, BMB Cuebiyar Heart Beat aka Rhythm and last but not least BTD2 Cuebiyar Soul Music aka Gospel. (ETA: For the non-doggy folks, those first abbreviations are BT=black tri, BM=blue merle, D=dog, B=bitch, d= dilute.)

As a walk down memory lane, I just found this photo going through my files. These pups are all 4 years old now... they're Sierra and her siblings! (Sierra is the 3rd from the left, the red merle with the half white face.) Sierra's litter sister Casey had a litter last year and her nieces and nephews are lovely, line-bred back to Billy, Sierra's grandfather. Two of them are with Sierra's breeder - Grace aka Samilyns Grace Under Fire and Precious aka Samilyns Grace Under Pressure along with their brother Ben who lives with Deb Enderle, Casey's owner and the pups co-breeder.

ETA Regarding the toy that was damaged, the store has made good and is mailing me a replacement. So a bit of a yay for that! I just didn't want to leave it as an unbalanced impression since they are making it right.