Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Wordless Wednesday - The Pussy Cat and the Parrot

To see more Wordless Wednesday posts visit my other blog CoconutPalmDesigns or go to Wordless Wednesday.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Exhaustion Has Set In

When I decided to hand raise Mia's remain two puppies I knew it was going to mean being woken in the middle of the night for feedings but after just three days and three nights I am completely wiped. I don't know how I am going to manage to keep doing this for the next however many weeks before they start eating on their own. I did read online though that after a few weeks, two I think it was, they might start sleeping through the middle of the night feeding. I live in hope!

It doesn't help that Matthew and I are continuing with out nightly battles for sleep. Friday night/Saturday morning the puppies woke me at 3:30. I fed them and went back to sleep only to have Matthew wake me at 4 a.m. That was the end of sleep for that night.

They are really cute though. (I have pictures but I'll have to post them tomorrow since I haven't downloaded them yet.) My mother named the larger one Brutus and I named the smaller one Monster. I have every intention of selling them once they are old enough but I figured I had to call them something in the mean time.

Well, I am going to go to bed and try to get a few hours of sleep before we start again.

Cheers :-)
- Rainforest Mommy

Thursday, June 24, 2010


It's been a good and a bad week. I posted that Sadie, my mastiff cross, had six puppies on Monday. All six are doing well and getting big and fat.

Mia, my rottweiler, also had six puppies. Hers were born on Wednesday. Three girls and three boys. By Wednesday night, one of them was dead. As of this posting, she is down to only two still alive.

Mia came to me by way of my brother. His other female kept beating up on her and she was spending all her time at my house. She'd only go home in time for dinner and even then not always. Finally, I just bought her. I felt so sorry for her because she was always covered in cuts. She is much happier here, I think.

She's never been an overly healthy dog, though. Every single thing going by catches her. First it was a swarm of bees. The poor girl was nearly stung to death but we pulled through. Then it was ants. We kept spraying for them but somehow they just kept coming back and attacking her feet. It took about a week but we finally got rid of them. It took another week for her poor feet to heal. Then it was fleas, then fleas again and right now we are at the beginning of another flea attack. I tried everything on the market to get rid of them and in the end soap and water was the best thing. And no matter how much I feed her or what I feed her she cannot put on weight and keep it on.

This is Mia's second litter. The first time she looked like she was going to have one or two puppies and she ended up having ten. Within days all ten were dead. I waited over a year and really tried to build her up before breeding her again. This time she looked good. She was a good size and everything went smoothly but in the end she's just not a good mother. She doesn't seem to be taking care of them. They are dirty and when I try to get her to clean them she just turns her head. She lays still and lets them eat though and has stayed with them except for dinnertime.

I won't be breeding her again after this. Tomorrow, if any of them are still alive, I'm going to get a baby bottle and some puppy milk and try raising them myself.

Cheers :-)
- Rainforest Mommy

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Wordless Wednesday - Don't Ask... I Just Like The Composition

To see more Wordless Wednesday posts visit my other blog CoconutPalmDesigns or go to Wordless Wednesday.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

New Loves

Yesterday, one of my dogs, Sadie, had six puppies. I didn't think one of them was going to still be alive this morning because he seemed very weak and she didn't seem interested in him but he's still there this morning. We'll see.

Sadie is a mastiff crossed with mutt. She looks like a mastiff and has the temperament of one but she's small. I think out of all my dogs I love her the best but that's likely because she is the calmest of the lot. She rarely barks. She doesn't jump and bounce at dinner time. And she tends to lay still and watch the world go by. A casual observer would think she is the dog least likely to cause trouble if they walked into my yard. That is so not the case.

When someone comes into the yard she is the one I grab first because she truly believes no one should be allowed to get near me. One night, some time ago, the police came out in the middle of the night - there was someone walking around on the property setting off all the dogs so we called the police. I went outside and while my other dogs circled the police car so no one could get out of it, Sadie sat by my side with this almost inaudible growl and a look that said, "I dare you to get near my person."

On a side note: Matthew has a new word... dis. I think he picked it up from his cousin but for the last two days he has walked around saying, dis, dis, dis, and pointing at things. It's very cute.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

City Girl Meets Rainforest

I'm a city girl. I love the hustle and bustle of living in a large, metropolitan, city. Toronto was a great place to live, to play, to work. I spent uncountable hours wandering around the Royal Ontario Museum and the Art Gallery of Ontario. One of my favorite things to do was walk down to the lake front near High Park, walk, or rollerblade, along the Martin Goodman Trail to The Beaches on the east side of the city. I did that often. Life was good and full and fun.

Now, I live in a rainforest. There are no museums, no art galleries, no coffee houses, no trail that connects a whole city. How is it I came to live here, you may be wondering?

Seven years ago, my mother and brothers were looking at islands to move to from Jamaica. I commented that if they moved to another island I would never move there. One of my mother's dreams is to have her three children and our families living close to her. My mother told my brother to start looking at mainland instead of an island. The catch though was that that mainland had to be in the Caribbean. And one last requirement for everyone involved was the country had to be English speaking.

Plans were made for the rest of the family to visit here for a week but I wasn't initially included because my mother said I was never really going to leave Canada anyway. I had no intention of ever leaving Canada, she was right, but I was itching to go on vacation and what's better than a vacation that someone else is paying for?

My first impression when I got off the plane was, "No way in hell was I moving here." We drove practically the entire country in that week and my impression remained the same, nice country, can't wait to go home. That is until we drove west. We started climbing the hills, things turned green and lush and someone using my voice and mouth piped up, "Oh. This could work." No one in the car was more shocked than I to hear those words come out of my mouth.

Anyway, the vacation ended and everyone went home. That was in May 2003. By the last week of August I was here. I absolutely hated every breath I took the first year. I promised my mother I'd stay for one year and then I'd go home. But, when the first year ended I didn't leave. During the second year we bought our land and got out of town living. Things improved drastically within days. Now my nearest neighbor is half a mile away. The only artificial lights I see at night are the sensor lights on our houses and the flame from the oil refinery about twelve miles away.

I love the nights here. There are more stars in the sky than anyone could ever count. The night music as that of crickets and frogs. When there is a full moon, I can see everything inside and out and when there is no moon, it's as black as pitch. Some nights I go outside just to stare at the heavens and wonder at the hugeness of the universe.

There is a peace here that I can't explain. My life has changed. I have changed. Maybe I'm no longer the "city girl" I proclaim myself to be. Now my days are filled with a laughing, bouncing, little boy. Lots of dogs. Every kind of animal. Painting, networking and marketing online. Planting and waiting for rain.

Life is good and full and fun.

Cheers :-)
- Rainforest Mommy

Thursday, June 17, 2010


A bit delayed but here are the doctor's answers to Matthew's three issues.

1. Matthew's sleep patterns are pretty normal for a two year old since he usually gets between 7 and 10 hours of sleep a day the doctor isn't worried. He says because Matthew has been doing this wake up in the middle of the night thing for so long it's now what he considers normal. His suggestion is to move Matthew's bedtime to 9 p.m. instead of 7 p.m. to hopefully have him so exhausted he'll sleep through the night or at least sleep through the times I want to be asleep. He called it "sleep starving".

At least he didn't prescribe Benadryl, chamomile tea, Ovaltine, or sleeping pills.

2. This doctor, too, has decided Matthew's leg pains are growing pains. The doctor asked if there were other symptoms like swelling, fever, weight loss, etc. I answered no to everything on his list so he's determined it's growing pains and the only thing to do is massage them with Bengay. And if the pain gets too bad to give him Tylenol.

3. The doctor says because Matthew listens and can follow two and three step instructions, for example, go over there, get the green shoes and bring them to me, he, the doctor, is not worried about the lack of speech. He says language is more than just talking. He thinks the talking will come eventually. He also thought Matthew might be autistic but once he examined him he ruled that out completely because Matthew engaged with him well and had good eye contact and did what the doctor asked easily, i.e. lay down, open your mouth, etc. (I was particularly impressed with this diagnosis because I hadn't even mentioned the word autism and in the past with some of the other doctors if I didn't question something specifically it wouldn't be brought up at all.)

The doctor does want Matthew to have a hearing test because he says maybe he's not hearing all the levels of sound which is why he's not repeating them. If I say to Matthew "say moo like the cow" he repeats boo. However, there are NO doctors here who can administer a hearing test so we will have to continue to wait until I can get him a passport so I can take him out of the country.

There is an outside chance, however, that a doctor is coming here in September/October/November, somewhere around there, to do hearing tests on infants. The doctor says if I still haven't gotten Matthew's papers by then he'll try and get Matthew on the list to be seen by this other doctor.

As an added bonus of this pretty awesome doctor visit, the doctor also charted Matthew's weight, height and head size and Matthew is sitting firmly on the 50% line for all three. According to the doctor, I am doing something right because Matthew is so perfectly healthy. Yeah for me! And even bigger yeah for Matthew!

All in all, I am pretty relieved!

Cheers :-)
- Rainforest Mommy

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Wordless Wednesday - Early Morning Fog

To see more Wordless Wednesday posts visit my other blog CoconutPalmDesigns or go to Wordless Wednesday.

Sunday, June 13, 2010


Tomorrow I am taking Matthew to a new pediatrician in the city. Well, he's not a new pediatrician really, just new to us. He used to work in Jamaica where he delivered two of my nieces and my brother and cousin think he is just the greatest thing in the world.

I am hoping he can shed some light on a few issues Matthew has.

1. Matthew doesn't sleep. He's never been a good sleeper. As an infant I'd lay him down for a nap and an hour later he would still be laying there staring at the ceiling. More recently, he sleeps in five hour stretches. So, I put him down for the night at 7 p.m. and by midnight he's up again. He'll stay up for two and a half hours or more before finally settling back down and sleeping for another five hours. This has made for some very cranky days and nights.

Some nights he drops right off to sleep and other's he'll bounce for anywhere from one to three hours before finally allowing himself to go to sleep. And he'll purposely shake himself awake over and over again. I've tried everything. He has the same bedtime routine, the alarm goes off at the same time every morning, he rarely gets sugar and when he does it's usually at lunch or before so he has lots of time to burn off the energy. I've tried to get him to sleep with the lights on, the lights off, TV or other noise maker on but not where he can see it, or as silent as it's possible to be with eleven dogs and living in a rainforest. I've tried totally bundled up and barely anything on. Fan on. Fan off. I think you get the idea. Nothing works. When Matthew decides he's not going to sleep he just won't.

I've taken him to other doctors and their solutions were, give him Benadryl. That didn't work, it only made him more hyper. Give him chamomile tea. That didn't work, he only fussed over drinking his milk. Give him Ovaltine. Well, I didn't try that. And if all of the above doesn't work we can try child strength barbiturates. Gee... um... thanks but... um... no. I am not going to give my two year old child strength sleeping pills. The Benadryl was bad enough and I only broke down and tried that after nearly a month of not sleeping. Those were the days before the five hour stretches where he'd sleep until just after I went to bed and then he'd be up for the rest of the night. After over a month of getting one and two hours of sleep a night I was almost willing to try anything.

So, we are going to see what the doctor thinks.

2. Matthew often wakes up crying and tells me his legs hurt. Now, Matthew is a hypochondriac. This is a fact. An ant bite a month later is still worthy of being commiserated over, according to him. Often, I don't think his legs are hurting and I'll rub them for literally two swipes of my hand, ask him if they feel better and he'll tell me yes and sometimes he'll settle back into sleep. More often that's it, he's up. Sometimes though, I think they really are hurting him and only massaging them for upwards of fifteen minutes will settle him down. I don't mind massaging them but there has to be something more that can be done so they don't hurt him in the first place.

Again, I took him to the doctor and asked if he thought it might be restless leg syndrome. The immediate answer was, "No, it's just his muscles after he's had a busy day." Okay, I can buy that, I guess, but wouldn't it be better to examine him before coming to that conclusion?

3. Matthew doesn't speak. He's nearly two and a half and it's only in the last month that he's started saying "mama" and "mom". He also says, "yeah" but as I don't say that and no one he's around says it I am thinking it's his version of "yes".

I wasn't/am not particularly worried about this for a number of reasons. a) Matthew has done nothing early except sit up. (See number one for the reason to early sitting. Don't want to sleep, then let's sit.) b) He has said words in the past. Three examples: He called me "mama" just before his first birthday. He said "webra" while looking at a zebra shortly after that. He's copied his cousin and said "da" when my brother walked in the house. c) He has exceptional hearing and will get excited about the airplane or helicopter he hears coming thirty seconds before I, or anyone around us, hear it coming. He can also distinguish between the helicopter and the airplane and if I tell him the wrong one is coming he gives me a look like I should know better. d) Not that is really has anything to do with speech but it's one of the senses, he has amazing eyesight. He once pointed to a dead beetle, laying on it's back, with it's brown belly up, on the brown wooden floor... in the dark.

But, Matthew does communicate. He has a number of signs he does, water, please, thank you and then there are the points and grunts.

Anyway, I am partially freaking out that the doctor is going to tell me something horrible is wrong with him and partially totally calm.

We've been here before, my boy and me, and it turned out fine the first time, but that is a post for another day.

Cheers :-)
- Rainforest Mommy

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Spinning Out Of Control

Wow! This week just spun right out of control. It started out okay, a little busier than I'd like with activities not in my self-imposed schedule. Running errands Monday, grooming the horses Tuesday, spraying for ticks and fleas and giving heartworm and wormer medicine to the horses and dogs on Wednesday. But in all of that I still managed to get some marketing done, post on my blogs, do some designing, etc.

Matthew had his first horse ride on Tuesday. (Although this picture was taken Wednesday.)

And then everything got crazy. Thursday my mother asked me to go with her to the cayes to help do some of her work. Matthew and I had a good time. We got to drive a golf cart, the main mode of transport on the cayes, we had croissants for breakfast and a turkey, avocado, cranberry, wrap for lunch. We finished work and had some time before we had to catch the water taxi back to the mainland so Matthew played at the beach for a few hours. He had a blast but this little monkey of mine would turn anything into a truck. He knelt in front of a beach chair, piled sand on it and then used a coke bottle to push the sand off. By time we got home we were both totally exhausted.

My little sand baby.

Friday I spent the entire day designing a Personalized Name Sign for a customer. I was so engrossed I didn't even check my email until after ten that night. I live and breath by my emails so that's really saying something.

Today, we took five bunnies to town to give away. They were born while my mother was away and I kinda forgot all about taking them to sell when they were ready. By today they were too big to sell, as people usually only want little ones. It took about 5 minutes to find people to take them. One person even wanted to have the cage they were in. After that we ran some errands and had bar-b-cue chicken for lunch.

Fur baby.

I'm really glad the week is over but this coming week is shaping up to be even crazier. So much for tranquility in the rainforest.

Cheers :-)
- Rainforest Mommy

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Wordless Wednesday - A Trip To The Zoo

To see more Wordless Wednesday posts please click here.

Cheers :-)
- Rainforest Mommy

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

He Dances

I am sitting here working. Marketing. Which I am not very good at but I keep trying. Matthew is listening to his music player. He stands in front of me and presses the buttons. The music comes on. He starts to dance. He laughs as he dances. He practices jumping as part of his dance. His laughter is infectious and I laugh. I pause in my work to just watch him.

He is splendid!

I am happy!

Cheers :-)
- Rainforest Mommy

Monday, June 7, 2010

A New, HATED, Reality

Paulette (Auntie P)

April 19th was one of the saddest, hardest, days of my life. April 19th is the day my wonderful, beautiful, amazing, Aunt passed from this world to go and be with her God.

I hadn't seen Auntie P in about five years but I spoke to her on the phone and often shouted messages to her while she and my mother were speaking. Usually, my shout would be, "Hi, Auntie P!" And in the distance, I'd hear her reply, "Hi, Darling!" I think the only time she didn't call me Darling was when she was angry at me, which thankfully wasn't often.

Before my mother moved here and I would visit Jamaica, wherever I saw Auntie P, the office, her house, Church, etc., I'd say to her, "Auntie P, I need a hug." And no matter what she was doing she'd immediately stop and give me a hug. And boy oh boy, did she know how to give a good hug. I miss those hugs now.

Paulette, Nadine

March 15th, Auntie P was diagnosed with cancer. By the beginning of April the family was being called home to say goodbye. After a lot of hassles and headaches, I finally had no choice but to leave Matthew with the babysitters here because I was unable to get him a passport. I arrived in Jamaica on April 16th. I spoke to her. I told her how much I love her. She gave me one last hug. I like to think she waited for me to get there. And surrounded by her husband, her children, my mother, two friends of the family and myself, she left us at 9:55 pm on April 19, 2010.

My cousins have been troupers. Their "North Star" is gone and they are fighting a good fight. So when I read or hear people telling them stupid things like, "Be a big girl!" or "You have to be strong!" I want to just slap those people. To steal a line from one of my cousins, why should [they] be strong when [they aren't]?

I think sometimes people don't know what to say so they say stupid things but sometimes people are just stupid, too. If your heart is shattered into a million pieces then you have the right to cry and scream and rage. That is your right. If your heart feels like it will never mend and breaking a few plates is going to help, then go smash them into dust. If your world has been turned upside down and shaken and the only thing that is going to help is to tell the world to F off, then do it.

And when nothing else is working and you don't think anyone understands, then go outside and rage at God. He has broad shoulders, He can handle it and most importantly He will understand.

I miss you, Auntie P!

I HATE this new reality!

My heart breaks daily for all the time we won't get to spend together, for the fact that she will never meet my son and for all the years I will have to wait before I can finally say again, "Auntie P, I need a hug."

Please, readers, go and hug someone you love right now and tell them you love them because one day it will be too late.

Cheers :-)
- Rainforest Mommy

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Does It Really Matter?

I've been stewing all weekend about a comment my brother made on Saturday. According to him, Matthew should have been a girl.

Why would a loving brother say something like that about his nephew AND his Godson, you ask?

Simply, because I prefer Matthew's hair to be cut in a bowl cut style.

Matthew's hair is dead straight. It grows in a twirl around the crown of his head. It's super thick. And as far as I am concerned the style suits him.

This is how I comb it when it's wet.

And this is what it does the second it dries.

Last night, as I sat here stewing I did a little research. It would seem the bowl cut has been around forever and in-numerous parents have bestowed their offspring with this style. My brother has been making comments about Matthew's hair all along and it doesn't matter to him that many people have said, "My father/brother/son/uncle/nephew/friend had that same haircut when he was Matthew's age. It's a typical, classic, little boy hairstyle."

Matthew is two years old. Does it really matter what hairstyle he has at this point in life? Is he going to be scarred for life because I prefer to leave his hair a little long? Will he grow up and hate me for doing this to him?

To all three questions, I am going to have to answer no. And at the end of the day, I like it and isn't that what matters most right now?

So I say, to everyone who doesn't like my choices for my son, it is just too bad for you!

Has anyone said anything to you recently that you just need to get off your chest? Tell me here!

Cheers :-)
- Rainforest Mommy

Friday, June 4, 2010

Friday Night Blues

It's Friday night and here I sit, on my bed, with my laptop in my lap, writing a post for my blog. Does anyone see a problem with this? Could it be that I am home on yet another Friday night? Alone! Well Matthew's here but he's supposed to be sleeping. I hear him shifting around so I think he's likely up but that's par for the course with us. The whole Matthew and sleep or non-sleep, as the case usually is, is another post though.

So here's the current problem, the way I see it. I live part way between two towns. The closest of those towns is at least a 20 minute drive. So, say I take Matthew to the babysitter, get all dressed up, drive the 20 minutes to the town, then what? There is nothing to do unless I am into the bar scene which I'm not and have never been.

I could drive 30 minutes or so the other direction, get to the other town and again, go sit in a bar. But suppose I was feeling very adventurous. I could drive an hour to a large city where I could go to a movie but who wants to spend two hours driving to see a two hour movie? That could make for a long night and a really late one. I imagine there must be other things to do in the city on a Friday night but really it would work out too expensive, with the babysitter (and an overnight stay at that), gas and whatever it was I did.

Oh well, it's a good thing Matthew, the farm, and all the animals tired me out during the day. It's 10:30 pm and I am ready to go to sleep. Tomorrow is another day and my mother is coming home after being in Jamaica for two months!

Matthew and I can't wait to see her!

Cheers :-)
- Rainforest Mommy

Thursday, June 3, 2010

A Change In Plans

Todays post was going to be about my history and how I came to be living in a rainforest but I since it's exactly that, history, it'll keep for another post, another day.

Instead I'm going to share some sad news. The beautiful, long awaited for filly from yesterday's Wordless Wednesday post, died yesterday afternoon. She was born Tuesday morning.

Arizona came to us already pregnant. I was dying to see this foal. To get to know it. And most importantly to let my son get to know it. My mother, Matthew and I often went down to the pasture to just talk to the horses. To take them a treat and scratch their ears and rub Ari's belly. And the worst part is that my mother is in Jamaica until Saturday so she didn't even get to see the baby.

I suppose if she was going to die it's better that it happened right away rather than after we all fell in love with her but still it's a dashed hope.

Rest in peace, sweet girl!

Cheers :-)
- Rainforest Mommy

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Wordless Wednesday: The Newest Member of the Family

Cheers :-)
- Rainforest Mommy