Saturday, August 27, 2011

Sweetest thing ever...

Alright all you Mamas out there... try and top this one!

Kirstin comes out of her room at 9:40pm. I say, "Why are you out of bed?"

Kirstin: "I need to look out the window."

Me: "Why do you need to look out the window?"

Kirstin: "I need to see a wishing star."

Me: "Why do you need to see a wishing star?"

Kirstin: "I need to make a wish."

Alright. I'll play along. We go to her window and look out the window. I say the poem (starlight, star bright...). She repeats it verse for verse. I say, "Okay, make your wish now."

She says...

"I wish I had my teddy bear!"

Friday, August 5, 2011

New fur babies!

I dropped a lot of hints this year as to what I wanted for my birthday. First I said that I wanted a bike. But then I fixed up Cory's old one and it works good enough for the speed at which our family bike rides go. So then I said I wanted a composter. Cory vetoed that one. He said, "There's no way I'm giving you a container to hold garbage for your birthday!" So then I threw out the idea of getting a pet. And he liked it. So I sweetened the deal. I said, "If we get a cat (or two), I will not expect anything else at all!"

Faced with the prospect of not having to take the children gift shopping, my husband heartily agreed! Yay! How could he not. He's a cat man at heart. He's just been wary of having any type of pets since our last one passed away. He even turned down a free aquarium because "fish die too often." But if you see him around animals, you know that he really loves to have them around.

Free kittens are a dime a dozen (well, actually they're "nothing a dozen", but that doesn't have the same ring to it). Our last three cats were freebies. This time, though, we thought we'd explore our options first before jumping at one of the many freecyle posts offering up kittens to good homes. We also decided that we wanted two cats. Back in 2000 when we brought our beloved Percy home, we lasted 2 weeks as a one-cat family. As much as we snuggled and played with him, it wasn't quite enough. He was crazy. And needy. And lonely (especially in the middle of the night). When we went back and picked up his sister, Shelley, he suddenly had a 24/7 playmate and he became the sweetest, gentlest little fellow. Three months later stumbled across Dinah and the three kittens became fast friends.

So, for us, two cats is the way to go.

So, on August 2nd (our adoption day) we loaded the kids in the car and drove to the city "just to look" - ha! Our first stop took us to Petland. What an amazing store that was! Animals everywhere (including a rat at the till... ugh). We really enjoyed that place. They had two white kittens and three orange kittens. I was quite taken with all of them. Until I learned that at this pet store chain the cost to adopt is $248 each.

Umm... seriously?

Yes, but that includes the coupon for the spay or neuter.

Okay, thanks, we'll keep looking.

Freecycle was looking pretty good at this point...

Our second stop was Total Pet. They had three little black fuzzball kittens. So cute! And the cost to adopt there was $70 each. Much more reasonable. It included first shots but NOT the spay/neuter voucher, so that would be an expense to save for for the next three months.

Our third stop, the one we saved for last on purpose, was to the local SPCA. Before they let us see any cats we had to fill out an application.

But we're just looking.

Sorry, that's the rule.

Okay, here's all our personal info.

I guess that's to weed out the window shoppers from the serious potential adoptive parents. After I'd filled the application out, we were allowed to go into the room and mingle with the pets. So we did. We petted them all. We let the children play with them all. We watched how they interacted together. We noted which ones came up to us and which ones completely ignored us. We watched to see which one shyed away from the kids (none!) We voted on favourites. It was truly a fun family decision. And we walked out of there with two older kittens, a 6-month-old black one that had been abandoned by her previous owner, and a 5-month-old orange tabby that had been picked up as a stray.

The cost to adopt a cat from the SPCA - $95 each. This includes a vet check-up and shots --- and the spay/neuter operation, which is done before new parents are allowed to take the pets home. So, cost-wise, adopting from SPCA is the best way to go all around. Not that I want to put a monetary value on a family member. The better bonus, the SPCA is a wonderful organization with altruistic goals, so we feel good about our decision to put our support there and teach our children that there are better places to obtain pets than pet stores. And how wonderful it feels to have given these two sweethearts a permanent home and family that will adore them.

***



This is Lily. She loves to sleep during the day and run around the house at night sounding like a stampede. I think she jumped on my forehead last night around 4am. She's fully litterboxed trained and she loves being purred. She's very happy to play with the children.




And this is Sophie. She's a big snuggler. She's also very quick to explore the house. She spends far too much time on the kitchen table that I care to admit. She's hard to see in the dark and on the couch so we have to be careful not to step or sit on her. She's also fully litter-box trained. She has already decided that my bed is a good place for her to sleep. She, too, loves to engage in a good game of tag in the middle of the night. For someone so tiny, she sure makes a lot of noise tearing around the house.



And this is the two of them, sisters from different parentage, but friends by fate. It's hard to get a photo that shows both of them well. So far, when they're together their backs are to me --- or they're moving at light speed. Happy Birthday to me!!! The gift that keeps on giving. So much fun having kittens again!




(Maybe next year I can sell Cory on a puppy...)

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

The Freeman Family 3rd Annual Camping Trip

Well, this year's trip was WET, WET, WET! It started raining at 9:30pm Friday night and it stopped raining at 4:00pm Saturday. Seriously. I timed it! Thankfully, we had canopies for the picnic tables, rain capes for the kids, and board games to while away the hours. Sunday was marginally better, raining with scattered patches of blue sky.

Still... no campfire ban this year and no sunburns, so there were definite pluses to the weather.
Our campsite...

Kirstin and Taylor deep in conversation...

Connor, undeterred by the damp...

Qwirkle! Definitely a popular game. Kind of like scrabble... kind of not.

Yatzee Jr., Mickey Mouse style!

What happens when you leave your baby alone with Grandpa...

Aunty Lindsay, Dmitri, and their new baby, "Blue" (Kirstin - "That's a silly name, she's not blue!")

Uncle Mark and their newest recruit. Mark's been raising RCMP pups for the last two years. This is their third, "Dave". We're rooting for him!

See, no campfire ban!

When the adults use up all the table space with their board games, the kids have to improvise!


Hmm... that one didn't post very large, did it?


And now, just a few cute shots of some cousins.


Too cold to swim, but wading is an option!




And Sunday night... a double rainbow. A promise that maybe August will be sunnier! :)


And now... back to the laundry! :)