A Climbing Wall For Our Mountain Goat

You're going to think we're crazy but we've built a small climbing wall for our one-year-old.  Okay, so Rudy's one and a half now but we actually built this wall for her months ago when she was still crawling!  Let me provide some background so you can see that we conceived this idea in a very sane way.  Here goes...

Rudy loves to climb.  Don't blame me; She gets it from Corey!  There is something unsettling about a baby who can not yet walk but will climb on to the back of the couch and then attempt to get her foot up on the window sill before being pulled down by terrified parents.  It was in trying to keep her safe and direct her to safe activities that I came up with the idea for a climbing wall.  Corey amended it by suggesting a more horizontal, rather than vertical climb and our idea was born.

Corey knew that we would affix plywood to the wall and anchor the climbing holds (purchased on ebay) into the plywood for extra support.  I decided to paint an abstract mountain range on to the plywood.  We ended up choosing the three lighter greys from the photo below:  (lightest to darkest) Sherwin Williams "Icy Avalanche", "Modernist Gray", and "Perpetual Gray"

Over the course of a few nights, we prepared the plywood.

We measured the angles and "drew" our mountain range in tape.  Corey affixed it to the wall along the studs using a laser level (7) and we filled in the holes (8) before touching up the paint.

We used photoshop (10) to plan the positions of the holds.

We sorted the holds, since some were better for stepping on and others made better hand grips!  Each one was anchored deep into the wall through the plywood.

We eventually added a different type of hold as well, which was easier for Rudy to step on with shoes.  

For months, Rudy was indifferent but she loves her climbing wall now!  It's good exercise (especially on a rainy day) and it gives her a lot of confidence!  You should see her tackle the climbing wall at our local park!

Today, Corey was making dinner while I was at work.  He popped his head into the family room to check on Rudy and she had started climbing the wall on her own!  He snapped a pic to send me because we are both so proud!

This has to be one of my favourite DIYs!


My Crazy Cat Story

Those of you who know me in person, probably already know about my crazy cat story from last week.  If not, you can read about it below.  I don't know if it's the sheer ridiculousness of the scenario, or the fact that my clients actually bought the house, but something about this story seems to have entertained everyone who's heard it.  I thought I'd share it here:

*If you click on the comment icon under each post, you can read all the comments from my social media account of this incident.

So now my client and I are continuing treatment (a series of vaccinations) over the next couple of weeks but it looks like we are in the clear.  Rabies in humans is rare but lethal, and it has been a frightening and bizarre weekend but it's over now and we can resume normal life.

After a few days of being a little skittish around my own kitty, I am now over my fear.  Cricket is an amazing cat and is developing a great friendship with the dogs and especially with Rudy.  I thought I'd share some of my favourite photos of Rudy with her special kitty.

Final Update:


Mother's Day

Happy mother's day out there to all the moms, step-moms, foster moms, grandmothers, mentors, aunties, guardians and moms of fur babies!  It's my second Mother's Day as a mom (to a human child) and what an incredible journey it has been so far!  When they say that becoming a parent is like having your heart walk around outside of your body, they are right!  I'm as proud and joyful of Rudy's triumphs as if they were my own, and I feel the sting of her pain even more sharply than my own.  Motherhood has given me both the greatest courage and the greatest vulnerability of my life.

To those who celebrate Mother's Day: Are you doing anything special?  This is my busy time of year so we probably won't do much.  I am working all day and both my mother and mother-in-law understand the deal and know we'll make plans when I slow down a little.

Right now, all my non-work time goes to my family and that means spending time with Corey and Rudy.  Life with a toddler can be so overwhelming and Corey and I have felt like we've been treading water lately.  Sometimes I think of the other parents who either parent alone or face far more difficult challenges than we do and my heart aches for them.  I marvel at how strong some people are.

Last year, Corey gave me a sweet pair of earrings for my first Mother's Day.  This year, I truly feel as though I have everything I need so I asked him to help another mother in my honour.  Corey's donation helped to fund outings and craft supplies at SickKids in order to help a child who is in hospital show appreciation for their mother and spend some quality time with them today.  I know how much I looked forward to the Mother's Day craft that Rudy brought home from school on Friday and it was the sweetest gift to know that someone who is fighting a much harder motherhood battle may have a chance at a "normal" Mother's Day thanks to Corey's gift.

Finally, today I am thankful for the amazing little girl who made me a mom.  She is rough and tumble but also sweet and sharing.  She has a fantastic sense of humour and adventure.  She is far more fearless than I ever was and she has made the past year and a half so SO joyful!

For past Mother's Day posts, check out this one and this one.


Leaky Roof

Of course it would happen on a crazy busy day.  I had showings all evening and I was late to meet with some colleagues, my back hurt from sleeping funny and it was raining and damp and cold.  It was a chicken soup day and I was stressed about Corey getting stuck in traffic and being late to get Rudy and thinking about mile long list of things to do when I noticed a wet spot on the bed.

My first thought was that the cat was protesting his new litter and had peed on the bed.  Then I noticed with measured horror the drip, drip dripping that indicated an active leak.  Right.  Above.  OUR BED.  Ugh!

I love owning a home and, for us, the many joys of home ownership far outweigh the costs but eventually, the piper has to be paid.  We had done some necessary but "boring" renovations and updates when we first moved in, but we had since focused on spending our money where we would see a big impact.  I know they're necessary, but I hate paying for renos that I don't notice!  That sounded silly now that I've written it down and can go back to read it.  Obviously, we need a roof!  Without a roof, we're essentially living outside... which I'm sure would be far less romantic than it sounds!

We first noticed a small leak last winter while we had friends over for a games night.  It was a particularly bad storm and we only had a leak in the family room addition (which has no attic) so it didn't worry us much.  We considered it a warning and vowed to get the job done after tax time.  The puddle on the bed was far less subtle and we knew we needed to move fast!

It was expensive but worthwhile.  Bask in the beauty that is our new roof and ignore the old siding and gutters!

Pro Tips: 
  • We're saving the receipts as proof to show our buyers when we eventually list our house for sale!
  • We made sure our roofers had proper insurance.
  • We spoke to neighbours on both sides to tell them before the work was done and we double checked that our roofers picked up all the nails so that didn't need to worry about flat tires... or ouchy paws. ;)

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