Archive for the ‘Penny’ Category


Where Have I Been?

September 23, 2010

You might have noticed my lack of online involvement lately. Or you might not have. But some people are starting to wonder (Joie). So it sounds like it’s time for an update.

For my online friends, you know I went back to work in December. I was working 1-8pm and I spent my mornings sleeping in, then hanging out with the Penny-munchkin. When I got home at night, I spent a bit of time with Court before we crawled into bed to do it all again the next day. That schedule wasn’t bad, but it sure didn’t account for LIFE. I didn’t spend alot of time with Court. Not alot got done around the house. And I was feeling useless at work because I was part dayshift, part nightshift. Not to mention no interweb time.

Finally in July my schedule changed to days. I’m working 10-5 now and have more time to get things done. But I’m sick of spending that free time sitting around at home. Back in March, we fostered a dog rescued from Mexico from Pawsitive Match Rescue. Poor Spudnik! He was scared, and in a whole new world. He had been abused at some point. The vet found bullet shards riddling his torso. He’s gone to a new home now, with wonderful adopters. But he ate our new couch and wrecked our blinds in our new house before he did go. Now Court says no to foster dogs. I get that, and I don’t begrudge him for it. But I still want to help the dogs.

I spend alot of my time helping them now. I do airport runs – which are meeting travelers at the airport after they’ve cleared customs with a couple crates of dogs. Then we take all the dogs outside for a potty break, and send them home with either their fosters or adopters. I do supply runs all over the city – picking up and dropping off whatever needs transporting. I even got a magnet for the back of my van that’s a pawprint with “Rescue Dog Transport Vehicle” on it! Oh yeah, I upgraded to a minivan from my wee little Neon! I couldn’t fit Court, Penny and I in there, let alone dog crates! Now I can do all sorts of transporting.

I’ve been wanting to do more of the computer related tasks though, and have recently started helping with medical requisitions, tracking medical papers, mailing out the records to adopters, activating the 6 weeks of free pet insurance, updating the website, posting on their facebook page AND running their twitter account!

I try to help find fosters for dogs coming in, and I answer any questions that people have. I help out at adoptathon events (speaking of which, we have one at the Blackfoot Farmers Market this Saturday, Sept. 25, so come visit the dogs!), go to meetings, drive dogs around for fosters who don’t drive, and sneak in the occasional supply run for Pound Rescue as well.

So now you know where I’ve been. And while you’re here reading about it, check out Pawsitive Match.

We have something like 42 dogs coming in this week needing fosters. Sorry for some of the bad photos – it’s all we have so far. If you’ve ever thought about fostering, now is the time. Or if you’ve never thought about fostering, ask me about it. It doesn’t cost you anything, and judging by everyone’s reactions to Spudnik most dogs don’t act like he did. They just need a home to stay in until we can find them an adopter. Most dogs¬†stay 2 weeks to 2 months.

Of course, you’re always welcome to adopt one of these beauties (or any of the other ones that aren’t on here).

(Edited to take out the dogs needing fosters because they’re outdated and eating bandwidth)


Wok Box Kid’s Meal Is Not Worth It

July 24, 2010

It’s hot here today. Heat makes us lazy. OK, admittedly we’re lazy with the heat or not. But we’re super lazy tonight, so we ordered delivery from Wok Box. We’ve been to their restaurant location a few times, but this is the first time we’ve ordered delivery. The meals that Court and I have had have been great. It’s amazing to watch their cooks prepare all the different types of food. They serve a variety of Asian dishes from Thailand, China, Vietnam, India, Singapore, Japan, South Korea, Malaysia and Mongolia in a quasi-fast food setting. You order at one of the counter, get a number and pick up your dish from the other end. Find yourself a seat and enjoy. My favorite dish is the Singapore Cashew with chicken. It’s on the spicy side but I like most of the vegetables (and I’m picky about some Asian vegetables), and I can sort of handle it. I was hungry tonight and I thought Penny would be pretty hungry too, so rather than share, I ordered Penny her own kid’s meal – Jungle Noodles. This is how their website and their menu describes Jungle Noodles:

Veggies tossed with chow mein noodles served with stirfry sauce.

Sounds somewhat appetizing for a child, albeit lacking in the protein department. Sounds like fun too, because an 18 month old can have alot of fun with noodles. But this? This is what we got:

Yes, that is one VERY lonely strip of carrot you see in the middle. And that was pretty well the extent of the “vegetables.” That, plus a 200 mL juice box cost me a whopping $3.99. I could have bought a 8 pack of juice boxes and cooked Penny a pack of ramen noodles for less than that.

Needless to say, I’m really disappointed with Wok Box and am rethinking spending our money there.



July 15, 2010

I just saw an old employer of mine advertising an organization that matches disabled persons with jobs. It made me think, why aren’t there more jobs for people with disabilities? I mean, how hard is it? It could be as simple as adding a note to your job posting that your building is accessible. You need to be willing to conduct phone and/or video interviews for people with limited mobility. You could say point blank that you are willing to work with people with disabilities. It’s always going to depend on the impediment involved. You might need to purchase some speciailized equipment. You might need to look at specialized training. You’ll probably need to have an orientation session with your existing staff. But it can be done! If I was in any kind of hiring position, that’s what I’d be doing.


Brainwave of the Day

July 13, 2010

I saw a billboard today, something along the lines of “Join the fight to end bad driving.” It didn’t say ‘bad driving’ but it was something like that.

My brainwave? Change all of these “Join the fight to end ________” advertisements to “END the fight against __________” advertisements.

I don’t want to a join a fight, whether it’s to end cancer, MS, cerebral palsy, kidney disease, diabetes or anything else. However, I’d like to support the eradication of these diseases and illnesses. Stop them in their tracks and boot them out of our lives. No more pansy-fingertip-poking trying to shoo them out. Just drop kick them as hard and as far as we can.


Today, I Celebrate

May 17, 2010

A year and a half ago, I didn’t know that women chose not to breastfeed. I thought if a women and child did not have a breastfeeding relationship it was because it wasn’t possible for one or the other. At the time, I chose to breastfeed as long as my baby and I were both willing and able to do so. Little did I know how much time I would spend snuggling Penny up to me – for sustenance, for ‘us’ time, for love.

I have never regretted breastfeeding, although at times I missed having my breasts belong to ME. At first, I spent so much time nursing Penny that I thought I did little else. Over time the frequency diminished until I went back to work in December. After a couple of weeks of struggling to nurse her every morning and every night, I cut out our evening session. We’ve both been happy to meet in my bed every morning before we start our day, and lie tummy to tummy while she suckled away. Her hands never stopped, always playing with the blankets, my bra, a toy, her toes, the dog or her daddy if he was home. But she knew what she wanted and her mouth never let go until she was done.

But that part of our relationship has come to a close. Over the last few days Penny has only nursed for a few seconds before rolling over and energetically starting her day. Today, she wouldn’t suck at all. So now, while I mourn the loss of that intimacy with her, I celebrate instead because my little girl is growing. I know that we will continue to find time for Mummy and Penny to snuggle, and I steal probably a thousand kisses from her in a day. I now get that half hour of morning back when we need it, and by golly my boobs belong to ME again! Well, and to Court too ;)


What’s the hardest thing to juggle?

March 23, 2010

Recently the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra asked on Facebook, “leave your comments on what you think would be the hardest thing in the world to juggle.” The answers ranged from octopi, to piranhas covered in baby oil, to Chinese finger traps. Amongst the amusing and creative replies were a few that rang with truth.

  • Family and career
  • hhummm… motherhood and career???
  • holding a new born baby and trying to catch eggs flying up in the air as you slip on the ice. or more realistic, family that don’t get along that well, new career/profession, pregnancy
  • 3 jobs and a small family of 3 children!!!

Family and career. An often debated subject – whether to stay at home with the kids, work from home, work out of the home. What is best for your family, what is best for your kids?

Obviously the answer is going to depend on the family. What meets your needs as a family unit, as a parental unit, financially? Finances are probably the largest factor in the matter, dictating the need to work for many. For some, the desire to be at home, to be with their children, is overwhelming. Through inventive solutions, sometimes strained relationships, and mostly likely strained bank accounts, some parents are afforded the opportunity to stay home. Then there are the rare few that are fortunate enough to be able to stay home, whether with a bit of a lifestyle change or not.

In our household, it was the desire to purchase a house that drives our decisions. We could afford the mortgage payments on my maternity benefit income, so we knew we could do it when I went back to work. We simply could not afford it if I stayed home.

So there is my lot in life – for right now anyway. I have to work. I have to be a mom. I have to be a wife. Or I could choose not to be on any of those, but I think life as I know it would fall apart pretty quickly if I did. So I juggle them all. It’s not a perfect set-up right now, but we muddle our way through. I spend a few hours with Penny in the morning – in between taking the dogs outside and her nap before rushing off to the dayhome. I go to work in the afternoon, which is quite ideal for me to be honest. But by the time I get home, it is 8:30 or later. That doesn’t leave much time with Court. If Penny’s not in bed by the time I get home, she goes as soon as I get there. We scrounge up some supper, we cram in a little PVR’d TV. Then it’s time for Court to go to bed. The poor um… guy gets up at 6 in the bloody morning. I’m not happy with the way this is. I don’t get enough time with Penny. I don’t get enough time with Court. We don’t get enough time together as a family.

Weekends come along and we try to cram in as much time together as we can. While grocery shopping, house supply shopping, family visiting, hospital visiting, dog walking, sleeping – just about everything except relaxing.

Can you suggest anything to help us connect until my schedule changes at work (not sure when or to what hours, but eventually it will change as I’m on a training shift)? I miss my life :(


Penny’s First Birthday: My Year in Review

January 4, 2010

At this time of year, many people are posting their year in review. What kind of year was 2009? What did they do, and what are they looking forward to in the coming decade? Some people are even brave enough to share their New Year’s resolutions with us.

The past year of my life can be summarized with one word: Penny. On the eve of my little girl’s first birthday I want to remember how we got to this day.

365 days ago, right about this time (8:00 pm), I was just getting moved into a delivery suite at the hospital. My labour had been induced 36 hours before with noticable contractions starting up about 28 hours before. It would be almost another 12 hours before Penny Elizabeth came into our world, a fashionable 12 days late. She was beautiful, and she was mine.

The first month of Penny’s life was spent focusing on the art of breastfeeding. My little 8 pound bundle of joy was STARVING! Or that’s how it seemed anyway. She ate every 2 hours, or more often than that sometimes. We were new at this, and weren’t exactly doing it right. I ended up in pain, but we got it figured out. It was my goal to be able to comfortably nurse Penny in public, without feeling the need to cover up either of us. I can proudly say we reached that goal!

When Penny was almost 6 weeks old, we discovered she had cataracts. Court was born with cataracts too, so we knew there was a 50/50 shot she’d get them. Luckily, we caught them before her eyes were developing too much, and she had surgery on both eyes to remove the cataracts and implant lenses by the time she was 9 weeks old. At 11 weeks old she got her first pair of glasses. Glasses for babies are kinda funny looking. But at that point it’s about functionality, not looks. And they grow out of the ugly frames quickly.

In March, Court and I finally grew up and bought a house. We wanted somewhere permanent and stable for Penny to grow up in, and maybe have some room for a little brother or sister for her eventually. We were building a house though, so it would be months before we actually got to live in our new house.

I think I spent most of April at The Clayground, painting pottery for everyone for Mother’s Day and Father’s Day. Penny was such a good girl! She’d sit in her carrier and sleep, or watch me and play with a couple of small toys. And of course, smile at everyone there! I’d make a mess of her trying to immortalize her footprints, but luckily the paint is non-toxic and washes off easy. I’d really love to go back and paint more pottery now (and can, since I got a gift card for Christmas), but Penny can’t go with me. She’s just too active now!

When Penny was 5.5 months old, she passed that all-important milestone: she got her first tooth! Once that first one broke through, they came fast and furiously. Within weeks she had the bottom front 4, and the outside top 2. Normally they get the front teeth first, then the outside 2, but not Penny! I was starting to think she’d want her front 2 teeth for Christmas. Now she has 11 and a twelfth one that’s been threatening to break through for a couple of weeks.

With the weather warming up, Penny and I spent alot of time visiting – grandparents and other babies from our prenatal classes. I looked forward to taking Penny swimming, although we didn’t do that until almost the end of June. We went to Riley Park a number of times, mostly with the other moms. Penny wasn’t as keen on swimming as I was, but she didn’t hate it. We didn’t have a bathtub in the house we were renting, so she didn’t know what to do with water. We always showered with her. Just now she’s learning about baths and bath toys.

Once Penny was old enough to start feeding her solid foods, I was all gung-ho on feeding her SOLID food and not jarred crap or cardboard dust pablum. For a while she did really good, gnawing on onions and peppers, sometimes on steak. But after a while she just stopped. She’d hold the food but it just didn’t go in her mouth anymore. Feeding her was a source of anxiety and confusion for me throughout the year. I found there’s alot of information if you want to make your own baby food, or how to feed your baby good nutrition. But there’s not alot of information on how to transition from breastfeeding to solid foods. Eventually I found out that breastmilk is still supposed to be the major source of nutrients until Penny is a year old, and I stopped worrying about it as much as I was.

In August, we went for swimming lessons. Now that Penny got to spend some real time in the water she started to learn about splashing and playing. Definitely no fear in that child! She would sit on the side of the pool and lean forward to fall into my arms. But she knew it was coming and would close her eyes before she got to the water. I really wish I could have taken some pictures there, but the pools have a no cameras policy.

In September, Penny got her second pair of glasses. Her prescription had changed drastically, surprising even her doctor! Her new glasses look so much better on her, causing the nickname “Professor Penny.”

Right around then I started to think about going back to work. I didn’t particularly want to, but at the same time, I was having a rough time at home with Penny. Going back to work would be a sanity thing for me, as in it would save my sanity. I ended up finding a job and starting there the same weekend we moved into our new house at the end of November. Why not do everything at once? Now Penny goes to a dayhome from 12:30-6 every day. It’s a good thing that she goes there, since she gets to interact with other toddlers. It’s kind of funny to see everything she picks up there, from new words like “uh-oh”, to trying to walk down the stairs. Unfortunately Penny doesn’t walk yet, so walking down the stairs doesn’t work too well for her.

And finally we got to Penny’s first Christmas! While I was still pregnant I was SO tempted to buy some of the Baby’s First Christmas outfits. But I was due on Christmas Eve, and I knew there was a good chance she might not be here in time to use them so I waited. Thankfully I did! It saved me alot of money, because by the time this Christmas rolled around, everyone forgot it was her first Christmas. We only ended up with 2 tree ornaments instead of all the the cute little shirts and onesies I would have bought last year. Penny might have been almost a year old but she doesn’t understand the concept of Santa or gifts. We ended up opening most of her gifts for her, but she was quite happy to play with them once we opened them.

And now, 364 days later, we’re ready to celebrate the anniversary of our baby’s birth. I love Penny so much! There’s nothing I’d rather do than snuggle with her. I love watching her play, I love watching her interact with people, I love listening to her babble. I love recognizing each step of her development as it happens, and anticipating what the next one will be. I love waking up in the morning and hearing her “mumumumumumumum” as she calls for me. I love when she falls asleep in my arms as I nurse her. I love looking back at her from the front seat of the car and seeing her adorable smile peeking out from the confines of her snowsuit. It absolutely melts my heart when she lays down on the floor and puts her head on the dog. It breaks my heart to hear her cry.

The year was hard – harder than I thought it would be. I thought being a mom came naturally; that I’d just know what to do and when. I thought Penny would know what her role was. And I trusted that the doctors would know what they were supposed to do. I guess it doesn’t work that way though, and I find that the past year has actually been a struggle. There has been pain, both emotional and physical. There has been depression, for both myself and Court. There has been tears, from all three of us. But would I change anything? Hellz no! I wouldn’t trade the past year for anything in the world. All it takes is one smile from my little girl, and my whole world is right again!

Happy Birthday tomorrow, Penny!

Coming tomorrow: Horoscopes for the next year of Penny’s life.