Archive | March 2012

The Reality of the Situation

Hmm the month end teaser that I have been holding up for everyone … well, we are moving. And it has been one heck of a ride. Last month Ken did a check of the rental situation here in the city we live in, seeing how many that would suit our family are available (way more than when we moved here in June of last year. There was ONE we could apply for and we lucked out on that one, so the intent was to move before June to have an easier time of it) and if we could get out of our year lease early.

Remember the leak in the ceiling in the basement? Well it took FIVE DAYS for them to even come see it, they said they couldn’t find a plumber (well we were told by local friends that is ridiculous, that it had to be they couldn’t find a CHEAP ENOUGH plumber). And then when they DID come and see it they cut a hole in our basement ceiling, in the dry wall… without drop cloths or a container to hold the pieces… so you can imagine the mess that was left behind. And the hole in the ceiling that remained! 

Add to that the layout of the place simply not working, the storage being lacking and our need to be in a place with owners who are a little bit more organized and cohesive and we simply needed to hunt down a new place.

So we collected our best references and started the hunt. I think Ken had seen over 2 dozen places by the end of this month, all sorts and all over the city. There WERE a few we had to discount right away, they were in bad condition or smaller than the place we already had. We were on short lists for tons, and had one ask for WAY too much personal information before even deciding on us (that one we had to pass on as it felt a lot like the beginnings of identity theft). What has amazed me is how many places strung us along, not making a decision until the very end of the month… nerve wracking I am telling you!

I am sure over the past few weeks those with eagle eyes have seen the chaos that is moving. That is one of the reasons that going to Cousin Veronika’s was such a godsend. That way Echo had freedom of movement and quiet while healing and I had a much needed break from the mess. It was especially important as by this time I was starting to crack from the stress of the rental hunt.

Had to share one more of Miss Dinah from that visit

Ken was looking at places right up until Friday which was really NOT how we had planned things. I am so thankful for the friends and family who kept me grounded, reminding me that this could have been the same result if we had waited to move until the end of our lease time (actually more likely as there is less available in the summer as everyone wants to move then). It really is just too bad that we cannot afford the “perfect” renting scenario – the ability to cover the new damage deposit, rent at the new place for a month AND rent at the old place for a month all at the same time!

The boy with the missing teeth!

As it got down to the line the kids and myself were simply in the way. Combine that with the death of a family member for Chris and Chris in Saskatchewan and their need for a pet sitter and we were up and out of the house Thursday before noon. I packed clothing, some of the pertinent school stuff, white paper and toiletries and we headed out to sit the pets. 

I bunked the kids down a little creatively. Echo and her playpen ended up in the computer room, Trinity and I sharing the spare and the boys all in the tv room in the basement. They all were a little bored… but that is sort of the theme for most of March with Echo’s surgery and the chaos of packing to move!  

We worked on a special pet sitting project with the twins. We made a mini book for each of them with pictures of the pets, their names, what animal they are and some of the interesting things we learned about them. Gavin’s favourite animal is Duke (the white dog) which happens to be Zander’s as well. He and Trinity ended up in love with each other.

Duke and his girls

There was some excitement meeting the ferrets as well. The kids got to help feed them, give them water and even pet them before Chris and Chris left for the funeral. 

Meeting one of the ferrets up close

We had a few issues with the older cat. She is not friendly and 3 of the kids got scratched, thankfully nothing severe. BUT the other kitty – Tigger, she is a suck! So that more than made up for it. Poor Echo was confused as Dinah at Veronika’s and Echo are the best of friends. So going from that to Dria’s attitude meant she got that one step too close. 

THE Dria

Tigger

Everyone is a little keyed up from the upset, the surgery, the time away from home… and the confusion as to where home will be after the 1st has not helped. I have done my best to make adventures out of ALL the possibilities but having been in charge of Echo solely for a couple weeks has meant long days and short nights. She is a handful when you are the sole boss when she is up which leaves the evening to get things done and then she gets up so early… all in all I am EXHAUSTED!

Sharing her popcorn

The great rental hunt actually went right to the deadline! Poor Ken was checking out places right up to Friday afternoon! The man was a powerhouse, he worked his full time contracting job AND rental hunted. Add to that the surgery (which took one day longer) and my time with Veronika and he was one busy individual. I am glad to say his health has NOT suffered, though the man could use a more intimate relationship with his hairdresser and a good razor. 

The final result is less than optimum. We are the proud renters of a house… on the 15th or so of April. They have a repair to do before we can take possession. Not the best of scenarios but a relief all the same. Now to juggle the time until we get to the new place. That is one of the definite downfalls to having such a LARGE family – we take up A LOT of space! The challenge for us now is to create an adventure for the kids that will make this less than ideal situation into something exciting and new. The pet sitting book was my first go at that. The end result for each of the twins was rather nice actually, though it has reinforced that I need to work even harder on Zander with his writing skills.

Gavin working on his book

We have found yet ANOTHER of Fat Sheep’s relatives… this one lives in Ontario and is on Facebook named Sheba Sheep. Once the Fat Sheep blog is up and running again we will have to do a whole post on her adventures! The family just keeps growing!

There was some sad news to share from Monday – Karyn’s father, who was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s a little more than a year ago passed away in his sleep. His funeral was the same day and time as the one Chris and Chris had to go Saskatchewan for – Friday afternoon. She is supposed to get home tomorrow night. I am hoping that we can meet in person before we head to mom’s for a bit of our exile and to celebrate Easter as we always do. Gotta wait on that van repair (of course… seriously while the Quest HAS been good to us for the most part, it has been a whole lot of hurry up and wait on its usefulness outside of city limits). 

Now that some dear and wonderful friends have helped us move OUT of the old rental (thank you Sean, He Chris, Kristen, Fydo and Lauralee we owe you so much!) and it has been cleaned it is time for us to move on. Well try to, Ken went to call the landlord to come and walk-through and he was indisposed so that has been postponed for tomorrow. The kids are asleep, the animals resting and yours truly feeling like the future is a much brighter place. We are going to have an interesting April but it will lead to an AMAZING May! And for now, for now I try and figure out how to make life amazing for the kids with less than their usual school supplies. Wish me luck!

And one more of the cat for good measure

 

A Vacation With A Cousin AKA Relaxation With the Best of Company

Friday did not end with us coming home. For myself, Trinity and Echo there was a girls only weekend with Cousin Veronika to begin. Ken and I decided it was best for Echo to go to Veronika’s where there is more space and a quieter atmosphere while she got back to 100% again. Yours truly was in GREAT need of a break from the stress that has become our end of the month. Of course I will share THAT adventure after I catch this blog up on our medical saga.

I was home a little over an hour, called my mom, started sorting through a few things to continue on for use during the weekend before Veronika made it to our place.  I had prepacked most of what we needed anyway so it was rather easy to gather everything up and head out… with a stroller and playpen of course. 

Our first stop was the grocery store to pick up Echo’s baby aspirin and run through our instructions with the pharmacist. Apparently the way we are using the aspirin is really the only way you use it now a days.  Then it was on to Veronika’s for supper and hanging out. RELAXATION (once we drug all our stuff in) was just what we all needed… time with Trinity, watching Echo get used to walking around again… sitting around NOT worrying… it was so nice! We really didn’t have much planned for the weekend but lots of fun and time without the stresses that are present in my home right now. 

The only plastic cup in the house!

Stretching those legs!

That night Kathy came to visit with a new old boardgame for us to try. She lives 10 min or so from Veronika’s so the drive was very short for her. We hung out and watched the new Muppets movie with Trinity first and then it was time for games and snacks. Good company, positive company was a balm for the soul really. We stayed up late visiting and hanging out after Kathy left. 

I think it was called Fullhouse. It was made in 1979 and was a hotel based game, great fun and not too hard to learn!

Of course that meant ECHO was up SUPER early… and now that she is completely mobile no sleeping on the floor for Mommy. But that was ok, as we made sure to make time for a nap in the afternoon.  Saturday we went out to the grocery store for free cookies from the bakery and a ride in the car shaped shopping cart (oh and groceries). It was so much fun watching the girls turn the little steering wheels and Echo cover herself in cookie. 

The awesome cart

The amazing cookies

The reason for the outfit change (and this was BEFORE she finished the cookie, it got worse!)

The rest of Saturday was relaxing… of course the nap mentioned above, snacking, bad tv… all the wonderful things in life. Lots of girly time!

Wandering pre grocery trip

Learning the iPad from big sister

Post cookie yoga?

Followed by serious colouring with the favourite cousin

And passing out on the couch late at night

Sunday morning we headed over to Kathy’s to visit with her, her brother and her kitties. Well the kitties were a little nervous but we will win them over. I am supposed to pet sit at her house in June so we are visiting when we can to work on getting to know them better. 

More colouring at Kathy's

As an added bonus Trinity got to make cookies with Veronika, the premade dough in a tube kind. We tried no name brand – total yum!

Baking of the cookies

NOMS

The weather went a little icky Sunday with more snow… so we came back to the house and had naps and tv and and and… repeat process.

Baby in the house

Then onto Monday and a slight change in plans – story time at the Indigo Veronika works at. Well we didn’t make it much through story time but Trinity had fun playing with the toys. We decided to shop the next day as the weather was even worse… snow and rain and in the morning fog. Of course a quick stop off at the grocery for cookies first! 

Screw the books... they had TOYS

And trains

But Dinah was more fun!

We spent another quiet evening in the home. Trinity got spoiled with a chocolate cake in a mug. 

Spoiled little girl!

TUESDAY was shopping day… Trinity opted NOT to go to storytime but we wandered enough that when we came around to the bookstore to shop there was CRAFT time! So of course Trinity sat down and partook. It was a Scardey Squirrel themed event (we have some of those books thanks to Karyn) and we even got a poster to take home!  We had lunch in the foodcourt… Trinity had KFC that she shared with Echo and I went for A&W (I do so love their rootbeer). It was fun to just sit and chat and people watch (one of Echo’s favourite activities). Then back to shopping.

Enjoying the mall

Which had some cool decor

With the best of cousins

Stopping only for lunch

We found a cute dolly for Trinity at the Buck or Two for 3.00, I got a pair of pjs on sale for around 5.00. We checked out the Sanrio store that was Hello Kitty heaven but decided against purchasing. Instead we stopped at a Dollarama where we bought some bits and bobs. It was fun to get out and do a little guilt free shopping, though I wish I had been able to find a book or two! 

With dolly - 3.00!

The plan WAS to head home Tuesday night but after calling Ken and finding out that there really was nothing for me to do back home to help with month end’s drama and the calmness that was right where I was… and a cousin willing to drive me home the next day the plan changed to Wednesday. Sometimes the vacation doesn’t have to end… well for one more night at least. 

Darling Dinah

Wednesday actually showed a slight change in pattern – Echo let us sleep in until 8! Veronika was long gone for work for the day so that left us some time to get working on her laundry and boxing up some items (she is moving by the 15th of April). A last half day or so of relaxation and avoidance before returning to the chaos. 

My yellow girls

And a little more iPad

Trinity (and myself really) did NOT want to go home… she was in tears when we pulled up to the house! BUT once she saw Daddy it was a little better. The rest of the evening she had to tell me how much she missed Veronika. (I think she actually missed her more than the iPad!) It was so surreal to walk back into the chaos and noise after so long away. 

Zander had lots his two front (top) teeth while I was gone! (and Echo grew in her bottom left from center tooth!) They had watched a TON of tv, played games with Daddy (Zander asked the tooth fairy for nothing more than more time with Daddy! He wrote her a letter and everything I am told!) and got utterly spoiled. So we all had a bit of fun that week! 

So very glad she is up and walking again!

As We Head Home

Friday marked the end of our hospital saga. I lucked out and our nurse took Echo out to snuggle around 5am instead of waking me (did I ever need sleep) and from then on she started to perk up more and more. She could not stand or walk of course with the iv in her foot but sometime the night before they closed off her iv so that it was not connected to fluids and medications giving us more freedom to hold and snuggle her as well as in the morning removed her from the monitors. The left the stickers and such on as they were needed for the Echocardiogram we had to have before leaving the hospital.

Ken and I had agreed to meeting up back at Echo’s room at 7am Friday morning, I didn’t wake up until 7:30 and Ken required me using the phone in the shared area of our ward that allowed local calls! His timing was rather amazing, he came in right behind the nurse who was there to take us to our x-ray. The first stage of us going home. 

I hate the xrays… Ken and I both were quick to go behind the shield and not look. It is hard to deal with! But the techs are compassionate and they even gave us the option NOT to go with… but in for a penny in for a pound! She got to ride down there in a stroller and everything. 

Ready to x-ray

Then it was back to hurry up and wait… well breakfast for our Echo. The night before the nurse had helped me give her a sponge bath for her head, neck and face so she was at least a little fresh. I had to go back to the kitchenette to fill out her meal as she didn’t like most of what was there but it was a good meal. She had finally started drinking again too… they were a little concerned about that. She didn’t drink much at all the day/night before, but with all the iv fluids she just wasn’t feeling it. 

We had time to sit up a bit… no crawling of course and to start fussing… and wait wait wait for those last two steps – the echocardiogram and the meeting with the surgeon. 

I had time for a shower in the room… time to bring out blocks from the toy room for Echo to keep busy… time to enjoy our littlest angel becoming more herself again! 

Blocks

Then it was rush off to the echo-cardiogram where Echo AND Daddy fell asleep with Baby Einstein playing. The doctor had to see the results so the tech sneaked out and let Echo sleep. She had a really hard time napping in the hospital, she was either too busy people watching out her door of her room or checking to ensure that myself or Ken did not leave her bedside.

At that point it was time to wait for the surgeon. Once we chatted with him, went over the post op instructions AGAIN and were made aware that we had to come back in a month for a follow up all that was left was the nurse coming to remove the last of Echo’s hook ups, check us out and see us off.

Taking the iv out was a bit traumatic. The nurses in surgery really taped it on, but she was so excited to be free! Then there was the chest stickers (those didn’t hurt, and I saved them) and then FINALLY clothing!! Ken went to get the vehicle and between the nurse and myself we packed us up and readied Echo to go home. The nurses were able to give me the left over bottle of the antibiotics so we don’t need to purchase the prescription which is great as we don’t have coverage for that right now. She gave me the nurse’s instructions and the doctor’s write up. The nurse’s version is MUCH easier to read! Basically we walked through what to look for with her incisions (swelling, bleeding, etc etc) and a reminder as to how to deal with the aspirin (once a day, crush and add to small amounts of yogurt etc if needed)… she also gave me enough syringes that I don’t have to worry about how many doses, just run out of syringes on the antibiotic!

I stopped off at the cardiology office to check on the scheduling of our 1 month follow up. They are to call us with a date. And we were off! Time to pack the car up and head back to the den Otter’s to get the rest of our things. We visited Izaac, Alexander and their grandma for a little while to let Echo stretch and gather everything off and then it was FINALLY time to go home! Time to reunite our little family! 

Nekky baby to end the entry