Along with writing emails to their family members, the girls have used their spring break to start hobbies in videography. Check out one of their video creations… Starring our cocker spaniel Maggie, our Cairn Terrier Laughlin, our Irish wolfhound Tully, and our rescue cats Vega and Haatim!
27 Mar 2015 Leave a comment
23 Mar 2015 Leave a comment
Jason and I decided that this year was going to be about us. So like 20-something’s in tank tops, we are flying to Las Vegas the May long weekend for the biggest music festival in the world.
Last year, we poured all our energy into getting the clinic off the ground. Anything we had leftover, time or money wise, was spent on trying not to neglect our children. Our holiday savings were spent on going to Ethiopia with the girls, and our rare moments of free time were at family camp or family outings.
You can only ignore your spouse / business partner so long, so this year, we are trying to focus back on each other. We’ve been going on a few dates, and Jason’s been bringing me flowers (once, even without a reminder from the kids!)
I wanted to try to see Ed Sheeran this year… So love love his music… But I couldn’t get tickets to his Canadian concerts. Then I had this wild and crazy idea. Why shouldn’t we go to a huge festival, and see Ed Sheeran, as well as many of our other favourite contemporary artists? Much to my astonishment, Jason agreed. So in May, we are flying to Vegas for the two day long marathon festival of Rock in Rio!
Vegas is probably my least favourite city in North America. Seriously, I can’t stand the flashing lights, smoking and infernal clatter of slot machines. BUT… We are staying at a non-smoking, no gambling hotel. The concert is outside for two days. And it is just so dang cheap to get there.
We are poor as church mice at the moment, but we used Jason’s birthday money for the majority of the concert tickets, and points from our business Visa card to book the flights and hotel. Woo hoo! The only costs will be food, booze and souvenirs for the girls. And the beer hat with straws that criss cross his head for Jason.
Check out the lineup!
Ed Sheeran, of course. His song below is so romantic… I am already planning on molesting my husband in public while we sway in the sweaty crowd together. Yes, you can look forward tot that, honey.
But the big kicker for me, the most fabulous of all! Is BRUNO MARS, baby!! Yeah!! I can’t wait to see him and his band.
Jason’s favourite of the lineup is Sam Smith…
But there are also Jesse J, who is AMAZING,
John Legend, that amazing crooner,
And even Taylor Swift (I could scoff, but the truth is I’ll be bopping along…)
It’ll be a blast.
My daughters would be insanely jealous, except apparently going to their Auntie and Uncle’s house for the weekend is on par with a monstrous concert. You have a bit to live up to, Ena and M!
Now all I have to do is find a house sitter for my Tully baby and the rest of the crew. Anyone want to babysit a 80lb puppy??
09 Mar 2015 2 Comments
Feeling whimsical today… Appreciating this beautiful spring weather, and all I have to be thankful for…
05 Mar 2015 Leave a comment
The original Africa Sleeps braid balm… and still, our best selling product! Made with local beeswax, organic, fairtrade shea butter and organic sweet almond and apricot kernel oils, it has just the right grip for braiding your child’s hair. Plus, it nourishes the hair and scalp while the style is in! Sometimes, the simple solutions are the best.
In March and April, get 30% off braid balms with the SPRINGBRAIDS coupon. Happy shopping! And thanks for supporting our family business.
Isn’t that a darling picture of Sugar and Spice? They were only 3.5…
25 Feb 2015 1 Comment
It's now been exactly a month since we brought home our new baby Irish Wolfhound, Tully. Boy has he grown! He's going from 26 pounds up to 50 pounds. Yes… That's doubling his weight, and doubling his size. All in a month. Everything is giant sized with a giant baby.
It's been fascinating watching him grow at such a quick pace, and getting to know him better as his personality develops. Tully means “gentle” in Gaelic, and that's exactly what he is. He's loving, fun, always up for an adventure, and exceedingly gentle and calm. For a puppy, anyway.
Raising a giant baby has had its unique challenges in unique situations. Everything is bigger!
Most puppies sleep, eat, play, and poop. And Tully is the same… Just everything is Tully sized!
“Little brother,” as I refer to him in relation to our cairn terrier Laughlin, needs some serious physical space. In preparation for his coming, we emptied out my office in the kitchen, and moved it into my workshop. We replaced the office with a leather futon, which we got from some kind people, secondhand. I say kind, because we got it for $60, delivered!
For the first week or so, we kept it up as a sofa, but it became obvious that Tully's legs outgrew the seat.
So we flattened it out, and now it is Tully's main haunt. Tully has three naps a day, and thankfully, mostly sleeps through the night. His naps are either on the sofa, if he puts himself down, or in his crate, which is in my workshop.
So Sugar and I made him a new crate mat out of camping phone. Yes, I own a pet store, and I can assure you that they do not make crate mats, 4 inches thick, readily available. So it was easier for us to just make one. Completely Sound of Music, as we made it out of old curtains.
His favourite place to sleep, however, is the back of the station wagon. He loves going on trips, even if it is doing errands around town. He'll spend hours in the back of the car, perfectly happily. But it is starting to be spring here… So we have to work more on the crate training so that we can leave him not only in the car, the clinic, and the backyard… But his crate inside as well.
Tully eats four times a day. Most puppies eat three times a day… But quickly growing giant puppies need to eat even more often. So four times a day I measure out his kibble and his homemade food, add probiotics, fish oil, and digestive enzymes, and grow the puppy a little bit more. Interestingly, most large breed puppy foods, however properly balanced for dogs who will be 50 to 100 pounds, have too high of calcium percentage for puppies that will be, er, 160 pounds, like Tully.
So we give him two thirds of his calories through a balanced kibble, that has a good calcium/phosphorus ratio and other vitamins and minerals, and one third of his calories through homemade food. I make up a batch every week or so of homemade goodness… We have no shortage of fresh fruits and vegetables in the Okanagan, even at this time of the year. I mix them up with eggs from the backyard, and other proteins such as an old bison roast from the freezer or some leftover roast turkey. I plunk ingredients into a nutritional calculator and calculate how many portions the recipe makes, so that I can add to his diet each day, without growing him too quickly.
But Tully grow so fast, twice a week I have to adjust how much he is feeding. You can do the math… He's grown between 6 to 7 pounds every week! Jason says there are two reasons now why I can't be hit by a bus. He would never be able to do the girls' hair, and he would never be able to figure out Tully's diet.
Tully loves to play… He fetches wonderfully, and loves to play tug as well. He has his own little collection of toys, and love stuffies as much as our old dog Hamish did. He also likes the prints around in the yard… It's somewhat earth rumbling when he jumps about, and comical, as he looks like a young cold with his gangly legs. Unfortunately, Tully has decided that he is a digger. Dang it. I've been warned against this, and know I will likely have volcano craters in my backyard in the future. Interestingly, Laughlin doesn't like his yard being dug up, though. So every hole that Tully makes, Laughlin pees in it to deter him from it next time.
Just like other puppies, Tully occasionally mouths and play bites. It's Tully sized though!
So his mouth easily fits my arm or the girls' legs. Whenever they wear a new set of leggings, he gives it a try… But the girls are really good at stopping, yelling “NO!” And then the other one running for his bunny to distract him. Luckily, even his bites are gentle.
This Friday, he is going to grade 3 for the first time! The kids are doing measurement in school, so I figured out a worksheet and the grade three kids are going to measure him once a month for four months. His tail, the circumference of his chest, his height, is weight… everything grows so dramatically, it will be fun for them to compare over a short period of time.
Totally has also been out to the pharmacy, back-and-forth to the clinic, and a little walks. He gets very tired if he walks more than three blocks… Seriously! The tires out easily, but everywhere he goes, people know him, call out his name, and stop to give him a pet. I'm teaching him to sit every time he meet someone, so that when he's older he won't accidentally knock anyone over.
Oh and the last thing puppies do… Tully has to go outside after every meal, after every time playing, and after every nap. If you do the math, that's at least 12 times a day. Wow! What a lot of work. I did forget how much care and attention a new baby takes… And I have to say that the number of times he goes outside is giant sized as well. But he's doing super well with his host training, so I anticipate he will be pretty bomb proof within the next month. Thank goodness I am around most of the time to be shuttling him in and outside.
He has grown 8 lbs since then.
13 Feb 2015 3 Comments
This is the fourth year that Sugar and Spice have been in Girl Guides… Two years in Sparks, and now they are nearing the end of the second year of Brownies. They are super excited about going into Guides next year, too.
The girls love camping, and it’s great experience for them to be away from home, by themselves, for a clue of nights. They learn to pack and live with whatever they took with them, self-sooth and comfort others at night, make new friends, and keep track of their stuff. Never mind the making bedrolls and crafts… These are such good life skills for eight year olds!
Sometimes the girls aren’t fond of all the activities they do at meetings, but they still want to go every week. For the most part, they are engaged and feel very welcome. It’s also great that we have a nicely diverse Brownies group including a good handful of little brown-skinned girls. We are blessed with a great leader who knows what she is doing. So this year, the girls have put together backpacks for people experiencing homelessness, sung Christmas carols at retirement homes, shared food from their own cultures, brought their pets, and this week, had a Valentine’s princess party where they learned and practiced table manners.
If you are looking for a wonderful, non-religious, community serving organization for your daughter, I’d highly encourage you to check out Girl Guides or Girl Scouts in your own neighbourhood!