Toby

Our family has experienced a lot of changes the past few months. Change is good albeit a bit stressful and overwhelming but, for the most part, it’s good.

I’ve been wanting to write about Toby, our newest fur baby, for awhile but things have been crazy so here I am now.  While still trying to conceive and assuming it wasn’t going to happen (more info in another post), I decided that I needed an additional dog.  Toby’s photo came my way across my amazing friend, Sarah.  She’s a volunteer for Protection Pitbull in Montreal, a Pitbull advocate, and an all-around wonderful person. When transporting Sir Toby to the vet to have his manhood snipped she dropped his pic my way and let me know that Toby is an amazing family dog who needs to be adopted out of Montreal due to the Pitbull bylaw newly in effect (Coderre, you’re a loser).

It just so happened that Toby would be going into the care of BARCs Rescue in Calgary.  What are the odds?! That means it’s fate, right?! So, without consulting my partner or discussing with my family, I emailed the rescue and submitted an application to become a foster.  Within a week or so, I was officially signed up as Toby’s foster mom with the option to adopt. (At this point, I did consult my partner. I am a mostly responsible adult.)

After some paperwork sorting and reading lengthy literature about fostering that nearly put me off the task, Toby boarded a West Jet flight to Alberta.  I excitedly packed up some dog food and toys and headed to the airport roughly 40 minutes early, just in case he happened to get in ahead of time. When has a flight ever arrived early?

I’d like to say it was love at first sight but I’m no fool. It was definitely like and a little bit of fear at first sight.  Toby is big. Much bigger than my Bichon/Mini-Poodle mix.  A big, sturdy, quiet dog was wheeled out of the cargo hold in an ever bigger dog crate and my first thought was,

“There’s no chance I’m fitting that thing in my vehicle with the dog inside”.

The crate just fit on its side and Toby squeezed his way in beside it.  I fed him food from my hand and he quietly sniffed out the window during the drive home.  That was just the beginning of us making things work.

Our family has tried their best to speak to this gentle giant in our best Quebecois-French accent to make him feel welcome and at home and to let him know that we are friends, not foe.

Toby’s presence has been a lesson in patience and kindness.  We are all not so different, this dog and I.  He definitely has some anxiety around large groups and can feel protective and scared about the unknown real quick.

I get it, man. Preaching to the choir.

He’s misunderstood by his smaller and older canine companion in the house when he’s not trying to fight but simply trying to play.

I hear that bud. Sometimes, they just don’t get me either.

And his favorite thing to do is eat, find food to eat, steal food to eat, get treats to eat.

Oh, my dog, my best friend, we are not so different at all.

If you can adopt or foster, check out these resources below.

http://barcsrescue.com/index.html

https://www.petfinder.com/

http://www.protectionpitbulls.com/

Time, Well, Spent.

I don’t go shopping often because I’m lazy and I hate trying clothes on (lazy x2). On the weekend I took myself out for a treat and bought some of my favorite items of clothing to wear  – tunics, dresses, flowy sweaters, tights and leggings. Hello comfort, my old friend. I even stepped up my game and bought sparkly Bobby pins! *brushes shoulder off, not really understanding why*

Excited, I dumped the clothes onto the bed to have a look at what I bought. Where will I wear these pretty clothes?! Under my snowpants for the morning walk to school? Maybe around the house for my toddler to wipe his filthy hands on? So many options! 

Pondering my choices and mentally rearranging my closet led me to sitting down in bed, which led to laying down in bed ,which finally led to me pushing all of my new clothes onto the floor because Mama needed a nap. 

The floor is not my domain, I lost rights to that territory a long time ago.  If something is on the floor, the dog, cat, and kid battle it out for what’s rightfully theres. 

There can only be one winner. Since the cat can easily get onto the bed and we only let the toddler sleep on the floor on Thursdays (just kidding…relax), Cashy Washy won.

What I really went shopping for was a new dog bed.

Enjoy Cash, it’s all yours. If it doesn’t fit you have 14 days to exchange but the colors suit you just fine. 

35

I’m not big on birthday celebrations and if I can, I like to receive my congratulations from afar.  Facebook wishes or text messages are perfect but don’t throw me a surprise party because my social anxiety will crack under the pressure.  Generally, I don’t have too much difficulty avoiding people or social engagements on this day since it falls so close to Christmas and New Year, most people are already tapped out emotionally and financially.  My friends, the stars were aligned on the day I was born.

I’m really starting to feel my age lately.  I think it’s accentuated a bit more because I don’t drink anymore and because I’m a parent.   I appreciate my sleep a whole lot more and I need it to happen during regular sleepy time hours or it legit doesn’t count.  When someone asks me to go out, I assume it’s a play date or doesn’t require me to be out of the house past 9pm.  If either of those isn’t the case then I assume you’ve asked the wrong person or you’re simply asking me to be polite (I LOVE polite invitations with no expectations). My muscles ache a lot more than they use to and, as far as I’m aware, my body make a lot more noises when moving from bending to standing.  I marvel at how quickly time passes to friends, acquaintances and strangers far more often than I’m proud of, and I legitimate enjoy discussing the weather outlook with family members.  Also, I have a lot of conversations “with” my dog (he responds with his eyes, the looks say it all) about his eating habits and how neither of us is to ever die.  Now that I think about it, that might be akin to something other than my age but let’s just keep moving.

Birthday’s tend to start off with reflection, on myself, who I was, who I’ve become and who I’d like to be.  Now, if you add in New Year resolutions and Christmas gratitude and you’ll see I’ve got hella thoughts happening right now.  So, this year I’m going to (trying to) keep it simple. Write every day. A specific medium is not required.  Whether it be writing here, on a scrap of paper, in my journal, or something thoughtful on Facebook, doesn’t matter.  As long as I write.   Writing generates thoughts I didn’t realize were in my head which in turn, forces reading, research and reflection.  Pretty decent cycle, covers a lot of bases and makes me sound smart. Check – check – check.

Now that I’ve admitted my “new year/birthday” goal, publicly documented it, and shown that I’ve committed to it (the proof is in the pudding baby!) I think i’m allowed to proceed with my old lady birthday enjoyment.  A massage, a nap and a movie are in my future.

I better get moving, it’s already almost 8:30am and I intend to be in bed 8pm.  Cause i’m gonna party like it’s my birthday.

 

Another One Bites the Dust

Another holiday season has come and gone.  I hope it was a lovely one for you and went the way you wanted, whether you hoped to be surrounded by family and friends or you just needed to get through it.

Christmas is such a big holiday for most people (at least it is here in Canada),  the pressure of the season is so overwhelming that it can take away from the true sentiment of it.  When I was in junior high, I remember feeling stressed and worried that what I received wouldn’t compare to friends and classmates.  My clothes wouldn’t be the right brands, I didn’t get the coolest toys and most of all, did it look like enough money was spent on me.  I always knew these things didn’t matter, Christmas is about the people you’re with, but the holiday message is most often overshadowed by the dolla dolla bills y’all.  So, I’m here to publicly admit that I’m not a big Christmas fan. Old news if you actually know me but this is my blog, so keep reading.

My favorite national holiday is Thanksgiving by a landslide.  The sole purpose is to have a day off of work, spend time with loved ones, and eat delicious food while reminding each other the many reasons that you’re grateful. You can’t go wrong with that.  The commercialization of Christmas and the pressure to spend-spend-spend is too much for my cynical and poor-at-heart self.  I generally keep that to myself (except to my Mom and my boyfriend, sorry guys) until the holidays are over because no one likes a spoil sport.  Plus, I have kids now so I have to pretend to like a whole slew of things.  It’s in the parental contract.

All that being said, my holiday was wonderful and my family felt immense love. I’m forever thankful, appreciative, lucky, and grateful – regardless of what the date on the calendar is.

 

Detox Recap

a.k.a.  – I love Twizzlers

In a post, I wrote a couple of months back (Trying to say bye to the haze) I tried a cleanse to help clear my mind and kick my sugar addiction.  I chose the Wild Rose Herbal D-Tox and I gotta say, it wasn’t terrible! That’s my version of a glowing review, FYI.

Without getting into the specifics of the detox, HK Love Bites has a good overview here if you’re interested, I found that the recommended diet helped me get back to basics, and determine which foods worked well for my body and what didn’t.

One huge change for me was noticing the effect the sugar had on my overall mood. I was happier, less moody, less sluggish and my circadian clock got itself back on track  It was only a week but the changes were extremely noticeable to me. Please note, I generally eat hella sugar. More than normal, more than what’s right or okay.

This cleanse managed to make me change my overall diet, make better food choices, become more conscious about what foods I like, how I can cook healthier and what makes me feel best. (For instance, dairy, and peanuts make my gut say, “no, no, no”. Guys, I feel like we’re really bonding.)  A bonus to the whole thing was losing roughly 10 pounds!  Well, partly the cleanse and partly the multiple times I had the stomach flu. I’ll still give Wild Rose some of the credit.

I’d recommend trying this out if you’re looking to kick sugar for a little bit/system restart (we aren’t meant to live without licorice forever), you have time on your hands to prepare your meals and snacks, and don’t really have anywhere to be.  I did this while unemployed and home with my kid all day. If I had to do this while working in an office, I wouldn’t last 1 day because office snacks, potlucks and lunch meetings are designed for us all to fail at healthy eating.  Add kids and my laziness in the mix and you’d find me eating chips at my desk for breakfast day 1.

That’s enough healthy eating talk for 2016.  Now, let’s embrace December for all of its full-fat, sugary and carbolicious majesticness. Eggnog french toast, here I come!!!

Predetermined

Last night, I stole a muffin that was meant for my kids and I ate it. Once they were out of sight, I seized my opportunity and gleefully stuffed the gigantic chocolate chocolate-chip muffin into my mouth while watching a PVR’d episode Big Bang Theory.  No less than 2 hours later,  nausea kicked in. The porcelain god began to play his siren song and I was drawn to the bathroom.  All night long, I suffered. Paid my dues. Karma is a bitch and she got her revenge.  Never again will I steal a muffin given to my kids by their grandfather. Please pay attention to how specific that “never again” was…. I may borrow a muffin from my children in the future, just not in the scenario mentioned above.

There is the possibility that it’s simply the stomach flu and it was a random bug I picked up along the way,  an occupational hazard for being a parent.

I’m too dramatic for a simple bug, so karma it is!

While I lay on the couch, resigned to my fate, I opened up a little package I’ve received in the mail. Three great books with a lovely note that said, “you deserve these. Get reading and writing, make this time count”.

I’m inspired! How thoughtful! So kind!

Just another twist of fate.  While I am in the process of starting my own business and writing with focus and purpose, I get this motivation at my door!

If you haven’t already, please re-read that last bit in a sarcastic tone. Now, you get it.

I sent this package to myself.  Surprise!  I was surprised when it arrived, my memory is terrible and I forgot I ordered it online.

I bought myself a book to improve my writing style, another to try a new author and the third to visit a well-known one.  At the checkout, I added the note because I think I’m hilarious.

I’m a believer of fate but sometimes you gotta make your own destiny, or at least push it in the direction you want.

Am I right? Or am I right?