Mansi

Yesterday, with a sad and heavy heart, we lost our sweet girl, Mansi.
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Mansi had been unwell for a while. Last October/November we took her to the vet because she was definitely not herself. She was hiding up in Paxlet’s room, not wanting to eat nor play, her fur looked unkempt and she had been vomiting several times a day. After many vet trips, cortisone pills, antibiotics and finally a trip to a specialist vet we learned that Mansi had Feline Immune-mediated Hemolytic Anemia (IMHA). Basically, her immune system was destroying its own red blood cells. The vet couldn’t find a reason why this was happening because in cats this is usually a secondary illness to something else, such as cancer, FIV (cat AIDS), leukemia, etc. But there wasn’t anything showing in Mansi’s blood, xrays or ultrasounds. Until yesterday.

After a few weeks of Mansi seeming to be mostly like her old self, sleeping ON Mr Siili, wanting to play a bit and eating, Mansi just wasn’t being herself. She stumbled on a very easy jump the night before, she hadn’t been eating her evening snack for the last few days, she was hiding again and then in the morning when Tadbit crawled over to Mansi she only moved a foot away. That’s unheard of for our girl kitty. Generally, as soon as Tadbit comes near, Mansi is in the other room. Or at least up high out of Tadbit’s reach.

Tadbit and I spent the rest of the day at the vet’s office, home for a short time and then back. I should have followed my gut more and woken Paxlet from his nap and then forced Mr Siili to come with us to the vet that last time. I had warned Mr Siili it wasn’t looking good, but we both sort of though that we’d be able to bring Mansi home for the rest of the weekend and go to our regular vet appointment on Monday like scheduled. But when Tadbit and I arrived, the vet said that there was nothing practical we could do to save Mansi. She had felt something in Mansi’ abdomen and an x-ray and ultrasound revealed  2 hard masses. Also, one of her lymph nodes in her next was swollen (even I could feel that). Mansi needed fluids and medications just to keep her going. We would have had to transfer her to another vet office that would be able to take care of her the rest of the weekend and even then there was no guarantee all would be ok. Mansi wouldn’t have come home for the last weekend. So, Tadbit and I sat there with Mansi while they gave her medication to drift off to sleep and never wake up.

The staff at the veterinary clinic were wonderful. I could see they were sad too. They were kind, helpful and caring. (Although, one would think/hope that when you lose a pet you’d get some sort of discount on the final bill.) I was given a couple of hugs, which really did help, even if I don’t generally like hugs from strangers.

I know it was the best thing for Mansi. She isn’t suffering. But it still sucks majorly.
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#MicroblogMonday – Spring grass

Isn’t spring supposed to be here already?! You wouldn’t know that here. We’ve had rain off and on the last few days, which isn’t bad as it helps all the snow melt. But today it is sleeting (räntä)! I’m ready for more warmth.

Two and a half weeks ago we planted some grass seeds, that just didn’t really come up. After a second planting of grass seeds, we finally have grass!

This was 4 days ago:
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These are from a few minutes ago:

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The little matchbox is where the chickies go to sleep at night. Paxlet puts them in there at night. Then in the morning he puts them back in the grass.

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This little creature is a hedgehog that Paxlet made at daycare last week. I think it, the hedgehog, is having a bit of hair/spike problem from a cat (or two) taste testing it.

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Although this has nothing to do with spring or grass, it was too cute to pass up. Mansi-cat desperately wanted to play with Paxlet and be fwiends (that’s not a typo). Paxlet on the other hand didn’t want to be tickled by her tail, nor did he want Mansi sitting/laying on his legos!

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MicroblogMonday For more microposts, go visit Mel’s post at Stirrup Queens.

How are cats and toddlers alike?

1. They both like boxes.

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Mansi in Paxlet’s empty toy box.

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Paxlet in our recycle paper box. He found the box, dragged it out into the middle of the room and played in it. Several times.

2. Anything new in the house has to be checked out.

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Paxlet’s old car seat got brought into the house at some point and this is where he played until it was taken out again.

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“What’s this? Something that didn’t exist in “my” house before!?,” Ponders Mansi

3. They want to be front and center of attention.

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Rusty photo bombs my artistic photo attempt.

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Reading the newspaper alone is not possible. Not that it ever has been possible with cats in the house, but with a baby/toddler it is even less of a possibility.
This has got to be one of the funnest things to do: stop momma from reading the ads.

4. All are small, in varying degrees.

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Trying out momma’s shoes for size. (This was many months ago.)

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Mansi and Paxlet at the cat scratching post.

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Earlier this year’s winter shot.
The winter outfit was decently big then, now it might not fit when winter actually arives.

5. They don’t clean their own litter box/diapers.
Sorry, no pictures of this!

6. If there is a small space, they have to go into it. (Whether they fit or not.)

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Under the coffee table was a favorite spot for some time, I think until he continually started bumping his head.

7. And sometimes, they just need a snuggle!

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Mr Siili and Paxlet (many months ago).

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Rusty _just_ tollerating Mansi.
Mansi loving the kitty-pile and snuggly-warm-closeness of big brother cat and human.

 

Massage and movie day

Mr Siili stayed home from work today so I could get a massage. And then since he was staying home, I asked if I could also go see the Hobbit (3D) with a friend in the evening.

The massage has happened. I went to a sports school where they also learn massage, so my 45 minute massage only cost 15€! It was a nice massage and the guy did his job well. But, even though it was relaxing, I still worried about how things were going at home. I got home just after 2 hours (I did have time to read* on the bus there and back) and both dad and baby were doing fine and no tears.

Now this evening comes the big test: Hobbit is 2 hours and 50 minutes long! Plus, time needed to get there and home, meaning I’ll be gone 4,5 – 5 hours total. Ack! I can only hope there isn’t too much in the way of tears, on Paxlet’s part and frustration on Mr Siili’s part.

Wish us luck.

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Mansi on our wood stove. Shared with you just because.

*Harry Potter has just been announced as the 4th candidate for the Triwizard Tournament.

40 weeks aka Where’s Paxlet?

I’ll tell you where Paxlet is, right where he’s been for the last 39 other weeks. And it doesn’t look like he has any plan of coming out soon. Sure, I’ve been having a lot of Braxton Hick contractions this past week, but that’s about it. I’m sure I’m not even feeling half of them, as I only notice some of them by feeling my tummy and realizing it is ‘hard’. I know he’ll come out in his own time, but I’m now at the point that he has made great use of my uterus for 40 weeks and I’d like him to now come out.

Also, I know today is Tuesday, but as I pointed out last week, the 21st of August is the official due date according to the doctors, hospital and government (where I’m getting my maternity pay). Because of this, I decided to give my weekly update today instead of tomorrow. I’m also sort of hoping maybe this will bring the real contractions on and I’ll be in the hospital soon delivering my little one.

Total Weight Loss/Gain: At the neuvola appointment today, I’m up another kilo or so, most likely because of swelling. I’m at 88,1 kilos.

Stretch marks:
There was about 3 minutes this week when I thought I had 2 stretch mark lines, one on each side of my tummy. I say 3 minutes only, because that is how long it took me to waddle up the stairs and look in the full length mirror after Mr Siili mentioned the marks. It turns out they are not stretch marks, but scars from my laparoscopic surgery 2,5 years ago, to diagnose and remove the endometrisos I have.

Sleep: Still sleeping well, when I sleep. Although, the last few nights I have been having major dreams and nightmares.

Movement:
As usual, Paxlet moves like a wiggle worm. I’ve tried to take pictures of how lopsided he makes my tummy, but they just don’t show up well. (See?) Basically the right half of my tummy is much larger and harder than the empty left half.

Gender: It’s a boy!!
Symptoms:
Swelling is still my worst symptom. Having said that, I know I have it pretty easy, but I still don’t like my fingers hurting like this.

I have noticed that if I don’t drink enough water (like yesterday) I feel queasy and have a bad headache.

What I look forward to:
I truly look forward to finding out what real labor contractions are like. And after that, I look forward to having Paxlet in my arms and finally deciding on a name by which we will call him.

Moods:
I’m just trucking right along. I even sort of got Mr Siili to agree that I haven’t been that moody or horrible during this entire pregnancy and right now is no different. Sure I’ve had my moments, but who doesn’t?!

Milestones:
Paxlet is the size of a watermelon! Is there anything else bigger for Paxlet to be compared to?

My little boy has taken full use of my uterus! That’s pretty amazing, especially since I’ve read about so many babies coming too early in the IF community.

Medical concerns:
The neuvola nurse and midwife student didn’t see much of anything today to make them concerned. My hemoglobin did finally fall to below 100 (it was at 99 today), but the nurse said there wasn’t much to be done right now this close to delivery. So, I’ll just continue to take the iron supplement like I have been and hope I don’t bleed too much during delivery.

Also, as today is Paxlet’s due date, the nevola nurse and midwife student will be sending a letter to the hospital to inform them of my/our status. If I still don’t arrive at the hospital within the next 10 days or so in labor, the hospital will send me a letter informing me when to come in to get this started manually. I really hope Paxlet decides to come on his own before then.

Misc:
This sight still cracks me up after all this time. Mansi is such a goofball, but she is our goofball that fits quite well into our family.

Does anyone have any suggestions to help get labor started? I vacuumed our entire house yesterday (ouch) and nothing more than a lot of BH. I’ve taken short walks. I will see if I can tempt Mr Siili for some “between the sheets” time, but after the major failure from a couple of weeks ago, I’m not sure it will work.

This week’s bump pictures can be seen in the Paxlet Pictures tab.
 I actually managed to remember a 39 week picture. Let’s see if I can remember to get today’s taken this evening.

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Pregnancy brain

No, not pregnancy on the brain, but pregnancy brain! I try not to blame many things on hormones (like PMS) as much as I can, but really, sometimes things are just too coincidental and funny to not be blamed on hormones.

Last night I was so tired that I had already crawled into bed and completely forgotten about Paxlet pictures by the time Mr Siili got home. So, the pictures weren’t taken until this evening and they are now ready to be viewed.

Today at work a lady started chatting with me asking me questions about a banking issue for the unit I work with. I replied to her and asked a few questions of my own. And then I remembered that during our morning coffee break we (with our entire group, but instigated by her) had talked about earthquakes, how they are measured and what is the difference between Richter and magnitude. So I quickly Googled it and started copying and pasting some of the more interesting parts of the page I found. She ignored this bit of chat and continued to ask a couple of things about her issue and then said she’d get back to me after lunch.

It was only a couple of hours later, when I realized that the person who had started chatting with me was Niina something-hill (not our team) and not Nina somethingdifferent-hill (our team). I had been rambling on about a subject to someone who had no clue what I was talking about! And she didn’t even say anything. Although, to find out later, she hadn’t even read those bits until I mentioned my goof up to her, as she was so focused on her issue. She said I’m not the only one who has done this. Man, I was so embarrassed, but I still told Nina from our team what I had done. I could hear her laughing across the room and she told me I had good reason to have lapses in my thinking. This isn’t the first time I’ve done this since being pregnant, although the other time was with 2 different Heidi’s.

 
I have my chiropractor appointment tomorrow at 16:30. I’m so freakin’ excited! Mr Siili helped me find the chiro (from the phone book and the first one on the list) just over 13 years ago when I was visiting here for 3 months. The guy spoke great English, listens to me when I say something doesn’t feel quite right after an adjustment and takes a second look and understands my owl-like (or some even say exorcist) neck. I’ve only ever gone to one other chiropractor here in Finland and I left there in worse pain than when I had gone in. I hope to not have to look for a new one for many years to come. 
Through pictures on the desk, I’ve watched my chiropractor’s two boys grow from itty bitty babies to the young boy and almost teen that they are now. I’m kind of excited to be able to finally go to him and be pregnant myself. Someone who has “known” me my entire Finnish existence and he gets to see another side of me. I’m also excited to see how chiro treatments are different, if at all, now that I’m pregnant and can’t really comfortably lay on my tummy.
 
But the greatest thing is, I know my neck and lower back will feel much better after the treatment. I love my chiro!
A couple of pictures that I just couldn’t resist sharing to end this post.
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Why I starved my cats for 12 hours for nothing (and more good stuff)

It’s Friday and it couldn’t have arrived fast enough! Thankfully next week will only be a 4 day week as we have Long Friday (pitkäperjantai) off from work. It will also be a 4 day weekend as we also have the Monday after Easter (2. pääsiäispäivä) free from work, which means another short week the following week.

Seeing that Easter is near, it means spring is on it’s way and snow is melting. And now that the snow is melting, I need to switch to summer tires on my car again. But, my summer tires are so old and one of them won’t even old air pressure, I need new ones. So, I called my FIL today and asked if he’d help me again get new tires. He said it wouldn’t be a problem as he needs some for himself and one of his daughters. This means that Mr Siili and I will most likely be going to his parents house for Easter weekend so I can change the tires. Yes, that’s right, I will be changing the tires! The men will just make sure the tires are on tight.

As I mentioned a couple of times earlier this week, Rusty has been acting a bit old. He is 12 years old/young after all, but I’m not ready for him to be old-old. Just to ease my mind, I decided I should take him and Mansi to the vet to have a check up. During the call to make the appointment, I explained the symptoms and age of Rusty to the vet andshe suggested some blood tests to check if everything was ok. In order to get the best results, the cats shouldn’t eat for some time beforehand. So, I took their food away at midnight and our appointment was at 10:45 am today. Rusty woke up every couple of hours, went to check if his food was back and then came back to the bedroom to whine let me know that his food still wasn’t there. Then I would pick him up and he’s sleep for another while before repeating the process again, all night long. Needless to say, between my getting up to go pee and his alerting me to the food situation (or lack thereof), I didn’t sleep too well.

I got the cats to the vet and Mansi has a bit of plaque, but other than that she checked out just fine. She was complimented on her beautiful and shiny coat. Rusty also has a bit of plaque and some pink-er gums, but no action is needed just yet and we can just watch it for now. They asked me about his pee and poo habits along with his water intake, etc. I told them that I hadn’t seen any change in any of that lately. It’s just that he’s been acting a bit ‘old’. The vets mentioned dementia and that’s what has stuck in my mind most. So, because he doesn’t seem to be having any of the major indicators of something wrong, I decided not to get his blood tested. Yeah, I know! I tortured my cats for almost 12 hours all for nothing!

I did get them some more fibre-rich food, and we’ll see if that has any effect on them. But mainly we’ll just continue to watch Rusty and see how he is. There is a product (I’ll have to look at the brochure when I get home) that the vets suggested we give to Rusty in order to help with fighting dementia. But as I said, we’ll wait and see a bit longer on how things play out. I just really want my cats to be ok. Rusty truly is my baby and a mamma’s boy!

To make this day even better, I got some great news from work. Starting next month, there will be an increase in pay for everyone, which stemmed from the union strike and resulting negotiations last year. I personally will also be getting a small merit raise, based on my skills, performance during the last year, etc. There will also be a “one time bonus” for people. (Not quite sure if it is some people or all.) And!! April is the month when bonuses are given out based on last year’s targets and profitability of the company. There couldn’t be better timing for all of this! This will definitely make things nicer when thinking about buying some Paxlet stuff and also for our new house we’ll be moving into soon.

And now, 20 minutes left at work, so I had probably get a couple of things wrapped up so I can go home and enjoy the kitties’ and Mr Siili’s company.