As it usually happens when change begins it snowballs at a rapid pace, it still amazes me we have accomplished as much as we have these last few weeks. Sept 26th Chris booked our flight to Vancouver and from there we needed to really get our things in order as our flight date was Sept 30th at 6:00 am. We finished packing, weighing, labeling 89 boxes of our belongings we couldn't live without. We sold the last few pieces of respectable furniture we had the week before and were stuck with about a dozen or so odds and ends not making the trip, with no time to sell them off. I put them in the yard with a big 'free' sign and was able to get rid of a good deal of the bulk. The day before our flight we had Sameday come and pick up our boxes and thankfully the people who were collecting were kind enough to put them on skids for us to avoid losing any of our parcels. The cost was around $2300.00 to move 89 boxes on three skids from Nova Scotia to Vancouver not to bad as the moving company estimates for the same amount of items were between $3500-$7000, and the moving companies would have taken 2-3 weeks as opposed to the 5 business days the couriers took. To be fair Sameday offers no insurance on your parcels, but we figured for $1000-$5000 in savings we could replace a few items that may not survive.
The only furniture item we packed was the baby's crib because it is a nice and expensive BILY model with mattress and Bambi bedding total cost around $700.00 and the baby has not even spent a full night in it. I was going to be damned if I sold it to some cheap whore for the $150.00 I was offered on Kijiji, having sold and given away a good chunk of the life I worked hard to build up I put my foot down on this sentimental item, we would just pack and ship it with us!.
The rest of the day was spent cleaning the house, making any last minute repairs and packing our suitcases for the trip. We went out and met my Boss and his wife for coffee and to say our good byes. It will be sad not working with them I was at that bakery for 5 years and really do consider the people there members of my extended family. The friends I made in Nova Scotia are a rare breed and although I have only been out of province for two weeks I miss them already. After that it was home again to say good- bye to the neighbors and keep on cleaning/ repairing.
By 5:30 am we still had not been to bed all night and we prepared for our cab ride to the airport. Luckily I had pre-booked our cab earlier that day, The cancelled phone service began at midnight, if I didn't have the cab coming we would not have been able to call for one as neither of us owns a cell phone (gasp!). We got to the airport after loading the poor cab with 3 large suitcases, one duffle bag, a car seat, a stroller, 3 carry-on bags, a diaper bag, the dog kennel, the baby and the two of us. We had a fairly uneventful flight two connections in total, Mushu tried to escape her kennel on the first flight from Sydney-Halifax as the noise from the small plane was scaring her. Chris just had to keep petting her in the carrier and calming her down. Once we got onto a respectable sized plane she calmed down for the rest of the LOOOOONG flight.
Then we had the fun of packing Mom's car with all our baggage after our long flight. But seeing mom on the other end was really nice, especially when Mushu was so excited to see her and the baby warmed up to her right away. Being around family is a good thing indeed.
So the last few weeks have been a bit busy but fun!. Chris started working with my stepdad getting to know a bit about workplace safety and the tools of the trade so to speak. I went out with mom and snagged some fabric and on Thanksgiving my sister and I made a blue furry monkey costume for the baby. She will be a flying monkey and I will go as the wicked witch for Halloween which should be pretty fun this year. Not so sure daddy will dress up with us. My last Halloween photo from this blog was sent into Awkward family photos by a reader and made it to the hall of fame for a few weeks before the administrators kindly took it down. 30, 000 Facebook shares later and he is not too keen to continue our family photo tradition, which is kind of sad :(.
We have gotten ourselves a storage locker for our belongings as Mom's apartment is kind of small for all of us. We are sleeping on an air mattress in moms dining room right now, but thankfully we are getting our own place on November 1st. We found a nice pet friendly building just down the road from mom, which is awesome as this is a really nice neighborhood in Vancouver.
I am hit periodically with the blues as our little Foxy never made it back home to us before we moved. I don't know what happened to her if she is alive and happy somewhere or if she has passed away, all I know is I miss her and I wish she was still here with us. We promised that poor sweet little creature we would protect her and love her and we failed her. I see all the dog friendly parks and places and know she would have been so happy here and it breaks my heart that she is not able to enjoy life with us now that the stress of home renovations and a big move are behind us.
A few weeks before we left I found and cared for a lost/ abandoned Golden Retriever for a few days, when no one came to claim her Chris took her to the SPCA. A few nights later someone called saying they found Foxy but it was a little Yorkie, we were able to find and reunite her with her owner, an elderly woman who had the little dog for 10 years so I'm glad at least I could keep her from feeling this pain. So that is a new beginning in a nutshell as time goes on we shall see how it plays out.
We dance through the house,
You giggle and your smile warms my heart,
Your downy hair wisps in the breeze,
Your tiny hands cling to my shoulders,
This is my reason for living,
Your big blue eyes twinkle,
Your legs kick me impatiently to go faster,
We spin and twirl,
For a few stolen moments the world is a magical place,
Full of joy and wonder,
Without pain and suffering,
For a few stolen moments we LIVE,
Instead of survive.
June 2008 I had finally convinced Chris it was time to get a second dog to befriend Mushu and keep her company when we were at work.It didn't take me long to find a toy Pomeranian on Kijiji that I fell in love with. Her name was Foxy and she was the same age as Mushu we waited almost a month to get her as the breeder had agreed to hold her until we went up to Halifax. When we got to the breeders friends house (the place we agreed to pick her up from as the breeder was in P.E.I) she was among a brood of happy, healthy Pomeranian's and Chihuahuas. Foxy was a small greasy, stinky, boney little dog who literally looked like she was going to die on us. How could we drive 5 hours to Halifax to get her and leave her to go back to the place she had come from, so despite not falling in love at first sight like we had with a feisty Mushu when she was a pup, we took Foxy home with us. This little dog projectile vomited on Mushu in the car and continued to pant/ foam at the mouth for the entire ride home. You could feel her rib cage and spine jutting out and she had hard pokey little nipples. We put her in a harness for bathroom breaks and the poor thing had no idea what it was for, she had no leash etiquette what so ever.
We brought her home and she had diarrhea right away, which was no big surprise given the fact her diet consisted of "Beneful stew" before we got her. We gave that little dog a bath and began to make her food with high quality dog kibble pureed with a bit of baby rice cereal. She started to eat it and eventually graduated to eating the cookies/kibble whole. Her stools slowly got better, her coat stopped being greasy and she eventually developed a layer of mass over her jutting bones.
It was obvious to us Foxy had not been treated well when one day she peed on the carpet, I firmly told her no with a finger point and she instantly cowered to the floor and pissed herself again. Trembling and scared I picked her up and gave her some cuddles and kind words. The final evidence of her poor life was made known when we took her to the veterinarian to get her teeth cleaned and to get spayed. I dropped her off at the vet to get spayed and asked them to phone me as soon as the surgery was done so I could come pick her up. They phoned me quite early to ask if my dog had been spayed already as they found a previous scar on her belly. I phoned the "breeder" and discovered she had been bred once and became pregnant with one puppy which had to be removed surgically. The poor thing had died a few days later making Foxy a pointless dog for people who obviously only wanted her for the income her womb would generate.
The Veterinarian had to remove four of her teeth and let us know she had poor knees in her back legs due to poor breeding. Despite her rough lot in life, Foxy eventually came out of her shell. She learned to love walks and her favorite thing ever was to be let loose in an open field and go running and yapping. She was a sweet little dog who licked and cleaned her paws in an o.c.d fashion, and would then decide to make sure she cleaned your arm too if it was handy. She was very sociable with other dogs and at times cats. Although I remember the day the neighbors cat decided to let itself into our suite Foxy turned into a Pitt Bull chasing and snarling at it despite the fact it was clearly 4 times her size. She put her full 3 lbs into protection mode and that cat never tried to sneak in again.
Foxy loved the park and hiking through the woods, but she hated the beach. The ocean terrified her as did the camera for some reason we will never understand. Both Foxy and Mushu were able to come on a family vacation with us to Vancouver and Saskatoon in 2009. They seemed to really enjoy themselves meeting my extended family and Chris's.
When I became pregnant and would sleep on the couch Foxy and Mushu would snuggle up close to my belly while I napped, Foxy continued to snuggle up for naps with me and the baby after she was born. I remember when the baby first came home Foxy couldn't wait to come and try to clean her little head and hands. That tiny little dog would crawl up to the baby timidly and sneak in as many kisses as she could get away with. Foxy would sleep in the bed right next to me and the baby every night and sometimes would try to weasel her way right in between us. I caught her red handed on too many occasions to count trying to clean the babies head while she slept.
July 1st of 2011 Chris and I were getting ready to make some home improvements before we sold our house in anticipation for our move. Chris came home late from his shift at work and unloaded the supplies from the car I was asleep in the living room. I woke up we watched a movie and got ready for bed, at which time I looked and looked for Foxy and she was nowhere to be found. We ran outside and searched the streets from about 3:00 am until noon the following day but she was nowhere to be seen. I put up hundreds of posters and spent hours walking throughout our neighborhood, I took time off of work to go canvassing and asking people if she had been seen.
Every reported sighting we received we went to investigate but to no avail. Two phone calls resulted in me reuniting a Chihuahua and a Yorkshire Terrier to their owners. I continued to put up posters right up until the week before our move and I continued to put up adds on Kijiji and email the SPCA right up until this November 2011 (this post has taken awhile to write as it even now has me breaking down into tears).
I dont know if she has been taken in by a family who is loving her and treating her well, if she was hurt or killed by some malicious monster of a human being or if she became a meal for a wild animal. I do know I dream of finding her regularly and I'm not sure if she has passed on and is trying to say good bye or not. I do know that her loss has effected me to the point of putting me into a severe depression that I am constantly today fighting to rise above.
I promised that poor little dog that we would be her home forever, that she would be safe with us and a loved member of our family for the rest of her life and we failed her. I think about how confused and scared she must have been when she got outside and no one came to get her right away, did she think we were mad at her or that she had done something wrong?. The guilt of not finding her and keeping my promise to her eats me up daily. I loved and continue to love that little dog, she is still in my nightly prayers and I will admit I still stupidly cling to the hope that some miracle may one day bring her back into our life.
I know some people may think she was just a dog, but to me she was my family. I lived in Nova Scotia with Chris, very few friends and no family around for 5 years. My two dogs were the only family I had when Chris was gone away for a work contract (before the baby was born), my only friends when the few people we had made connections too were not around. I never had to worry about being judged or unloved by them, there was never any drama involved having them in my life. I considered both Foxy and Mushu to be my adopted children and now I have only Mushu and the baby.
As a family we are broken, Mushu is not the same. She spent our last few months in Sydney sitting by the back door all day long waiting for Foxy to return. She tends to want to spend more time sulking in bed then when Foxy was in our life. Both Chris and I are heartbroken and find ourselves in tears when we find situations that we know Foxy would love, like trips to the dog park. I dont think I will ever be the same again, a part of me lost faith that there are such things as happy endings, or higher powers that care about the lives of man.
What kind of higher power could let a sweet innocent little creature like that live a life of such torment then separate her from a family that loved her so much. How do you resign yourself to saying good bye to someone you love forever? .I had always thought to be cremated with both my dogs and Chris when we passed away and once the last of us had passed to have all of our collective ashes released on a nature trail somewhere. Now here I am on the opposite side of the country and my little Foxy dead or alive is so far away we will never be reunited. Good bye Foxy where ever you are, I love you I miss and I am so sorry that in the end we failed you.
Last night, I got it in my head that I hated my hair, I have been growing it out for about 4 years now with not a single cut so I could have long beautiful tresses at my wedding ( yes I planned my wedding hair before my engagement, I knew we would get married one day!). With the big life changes going on right now, it may be at least two years before we tie the knot, and I am not going to keep my hair like this until then.
So last night I took some scissors and attempted to cut my own hair in the "scene" style......needless to say I am not a hairdresser at all! I should have looked at the botch job I did to the poor dog a few days ago and left well enough alone :(. But after a few snips it was apparent I would not be making a masterpiece and so today I am going to go get a REAL 100% PROFFESSIONAL haircut. YIPPIE!!!! I have been wavering on getting my hair cut like this for months and finally I'm going to do it!. Anthony Robbins says never to leave the site of a decision without making one step towards making that decision a reality. So by botching a part of my hair I have forced myself to go and get it done!.
Here are the pictures I'm bringing to the hairdresser (not me), fingers crossed it all works out!
For the past few months from January until about April, life has been in stasis. We (Chris and I) have needed to make changes but could not get on the same page as to where and what these changes needed to be. Allot of circle talk abounded where we discussed our future and both Chris and I refused to budge on our position of where and what we were going to do with our lives. But something BIG does need to change, Chris's career is not stable enough for family life, I need to find a career that allows me to be the mother I want to be, the baby deserves to be a part of a big loving family. The lifestyle we are currently living is no longer fulfilling either of us.
As it stands Chris is now working a job he doesn't like to pay the bills at a crappy rate of pay, while I love the bakery I am only working part time because raising my baby is more important to me. While Nova Scotia is still far more affordable than most other provinces, you still cant get ahead if the decent paying jobs are not available. We went in a matter of a year from comfortable to making ends meet and if we stay here that is all that is going to be possible for us.
Change can be hard, especially when you have an innocent little life in your midst that depends on some degree of stability. But sometimes you need to take stock of what you have and have faith that things can be better if you take a risk. We have a house out here, and I have a few good friends but that is ALL we have aside of course from each other. I know if we move we will be back to renting again for a few years, and I HATE renting but what will we gain?. A new career for Chris and myself living in a province where work will be constantly available, friends and family that have gone years in between visits. Yes we will have to start all over from scratch again, and while it should be daunting and frustrating I'm actually really excited for a fresh start.
Chris has a fantastic opportunity thanks to my step dad to get into an Apprenticeship in HVAC. The first part of the paperwork has gone through this week and now we await for it to go through the union, then for the job application to be approved. So that would mean a big move across the country for us to Vancouver! My home town :). Once we get there I plan on taking my E.C.E at home while I watch baby and hopefully I will be able to watch one or two other children while I spend the days with my girl!.
That's the plan, now while we wait to hear back from Chris's job we will be spending the next month fixing up the house so it can be put up for sale by mid June. I'm a little bit concerned about finding a place to rent with the dogs but we will do it!. So much change on the horizon I'm excited, I know it will not be easy but once we finish school the rewards will be worth the hard work!.
So whats new in the life and times of me?? Halloween was awesome! I managed to sew/ create our family themed Halloween photo shoot as Jim Henson's Labyrinth characters!. Christmas came and went it was nice and quiet, just Me, Chris and the baby, we set up our first Christmas tree together and made our first turkey. It was good times. Baby had an accidental fall from her highchair the first week of January and fractured her femur bone, it healed nicely by months end and she is crawling/ attempting walking just fine on it now. I started to work a few half days at the bakery again around November, I only leave the baby when she is able to spend the time with Daddy, I really don't want to leave her with strangers for child care if I can help it.
We decided this January we were going to move back to Saskatchewan and Chris was going to go back to school to become an Electrician, I am planning on doing homeschooling to get my Early Childhood Education and Daycare Management so I can stay at home with the baby and still bring in a full time income. Gluten free baking is becoming a bit more lucrative for us, we added cookies and brownies to the bread we bake and they seem to be doing quite well. I cant believe how many people suffer from celiac disease these days. We planned to start renovating the house to sell it by summers end, we bought new flooring for the living room, the down stairs hallway and the office. As of today it remains in box waiting to be installed. We are trying to come up with a new 5 year plan, still debating when or if we should have a second baby, I'm hoping to lose enough weight this year to order my wedding dress, fingers crossed we settle on a wedding date soon too!.