Monday, July 28, 2008

Postcards From Oliver's Journey Home...

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Postcards From The Apex...

Where to begin.

Denial is a pretty powerful state of mind. You don't realize, as much as you tell yourself otherwise, that there are just some things you can't accept. It's time I start.

I'm sitting here, looking at an absolutely beautiful baby boy who only months ago was feared he would never get a chance to hear our voices or see our faces, yet I'm overcome with emotion - some of which is hope, but the majority is utter anguish.

There are some moments in time that I will never forget. One of which was the birth of Gordon, and the range of emotions that accompanied - from the exhilaration of going to the hospital, to the overwhelming sense of fear as a result of seeing the look of panic on our Doctor's face when she realized Gord was breach with a cord hanging down.

Another moment carved into my soul with pure and raw realism was April 1st of this year, days following my last post.

I was in a surprisingly good mood while Kim was being put through a series of ultrasounds. We were part of a prenatal screening clinic which would help determine the cause of the mysterious calcifications spotted throughout the abdomen of our little one. Having been told only days earlier to 'enjoy the weekend', I truly believed we had nothing to fear. I even found myself looking at the other mothers in the waiting room and feeling a sense of wholesome/well meant pity as their babies must have something wrong - as I 'knew' we were there merely as a precautionary follow up.

We had gone for lunch as we had several hours to wait before speaking with the panel of specialists. Beeper in hand (as they were going to page us when we were due up) we even crossed paths with our family physician as we left the restaurant. Kim exchanged hugs and tears of relief as the worst had been feared days earlier.

Within the hour, we were called in to a room with a panel of doctors sitting across from us. Files in hand and awkward introductions out of the way, one doctor, female, mid thirties, took the lead. She began by reviewing what we already knew - mentioned to us by a doctor in an earlier ultrasound that morning. Calcifications were found on the liver and throughout the abdomen, likely caused by a minuscule tare in the bowel which caused irritation and ultimately the calcium deposits to form.

She continued... "what (the doctor this morning) didn't mention to you was a likely cause of the tare..." my heart jumped and the solemn eyes of the fellow doctors looked away as my eyes darted around the room... "this is typically found in babies with, ugh-hem, Cystic Fibrosis. Do either of you have reason to suspect Cystic Fibrosis...?"

"Cystic Fibrosis"

"Cystic Fibrosis"

"Cystic Fibrosis"

The two words that have haunted me for years leading up to this very moment.

I was completely blindsided. Though I knew.*

I just knew.**

My world changed in that moment. I have not and never will be the same.


* There is no such thing as coincidence. Things not only happen for a reason, but if we are willing, we can use happenstance for what it's intended for - a warning of things to come, a guide to help us prepare for the events in our lives that will define who we are and the path with which our lives will follow.

** Years earlier, while working on a more humane way to extract DNA from mice, Kim was working on a technique which would use hair follicles in preparation for a PCR. A colleague of hers was working on a Cystic Fibrosis project and inquired if the same technique could be used on her Delta F508 primers (most common genetic mutation of CF). Kim didn't see why not and hair samples were collected from all the lab mates and used to test the technique. An odd thing resulted. Kim's sample was a little different from the others. When Kim inquired (knowing in her heart what the result meant), she was told in the most informal of ways that she was a carrier of Cystic Fibrosis.

It was also at this time we had recently become pregnant and had a miscarriage. I couldn't help but think this was somehow related (even if not directly, but indirectly as I saw this as an opportunity to further explore CF and the possibility I too was a carrier. Things happen for a reason.). Shortly thereafter, we again became pregnant, this time with Gord. Cystic Fibrosis was on my mind constantly, even though I had not been tested.

When Gord was born, I recall feeling slightly embarrassed at the short time interval between his birth and the moment I first asked our Doctor about any possibility of CF. Minutes. I had followed Gord while Kim was getting stitched, and as he was getting weighed for the first time, I brought up CF. Our doctor dismissed my concerns and stated we would tackle that bridge if and when any symptoms presented themselves. (For the next two plus years I was constantly tasting Gord's skin (for saltiness) and worrying every time he coughed. Over time the worry lessened, but always remained, only to peak again when I least expected.).

Gord was born in early December. Three weeks later I started my new/current job. My first week on the job was attending the sales conference in San Diego. The conference consisted of attending short sessions on the various subjects/texts I would represent. My first day, first session, 8am was Organic Chemistry. The session began with the presenters stating that for this textbook, the established author was donating his royalties to charity... The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. I recall having to take several deep breaths and hard swallows. There is no such thing as coincidence.

I sat through a 15 minute video demonstration on the devastating affects of CF and the importance for continuing research in this area. Again, first day, first session. You bet your ass I sold this book like no other.

A series of other 'coincidences' resulted from this, but too tangential to delve into now...

These incidents, be them distinct nodes in my life line, are so vivid in my mind that it gives me chills to think of them. (Kim has her share of them as well.)

Not even a week prior to our ultrasound that got us in to this situation, I was channel surfing and came across a documentary. What I remember was seeing a child running/playing in a field as I moved along to the next channel. Something caught my attention and insisted I revisit it. It was, of course, a documentary on Cystic Fibrosis and the lives of those affected. I 'knew' I needed to watch it. I learned more from that documentary than I have in the years leading up to it. Good or bad, I became educated.


... "this is typically found in babies with Cystic Fibrosis. Do either of you have a reason to suspect Cystic Fibrosis...?"

I snapped back following the flood of indicative 'memories' that had rushed through my being. We tripped over our words as Kim and l turned to each other and shared a look that I will not even try to explain. We knew.

We explained Kim's situation and their humbled faces confirmed their 'diagnosis' without saying a word. They sent us both for blood work to determine if we were both in fact carriers.

The 'coincidences' continued, for the most part, in our favour.

A colleague and friend who I had recently been working more closely with was informed of our situation the following day. His wife as it may, was the nurse in charge of the Cystic Fibrosis Clinic here in London. She helped answer some of our immediate questions and concerns.

It was going to be several weeks before we received our official test results which was going to determine my carrier status. In that time, I can't begin to explain the range of emotions I experienced. The most profound of which came the second night following our day at the clinic.

I couldn't sleep. I was a chronic case of the Kubler-Ross model... with the exception of acceptance. I found myself one moment stirring with frustration and anger that this was happening to us and within the same breath losing control at the thought of both our children potentially having the disorder.

What had hit me so hard was that this was not simply a diagnosis which affected the pregnancy, but something that had much larger consequences. I couldn't help but think of Gord, the little man we had come to know and love somehow now affected by this and finding out that he may only have a decade or two left in his life. It killed me. Moreover, not only could Gord be affected, but this put the brakes on our family 'plan' of having more children. We went from having two 'healthy' children with plans on having at least one more, possibly two, to now having to deal with a life threatening disorder that could have Kim and I alone and childless in a decade.

What had comforted me only hours earlier now enraged me. I had learned the life expectancy of those with CF had increased from 3 years old 40 years ago, to 37 years old today. This initially gave me hope and relief that we would not lose our 'baby'. That night I couldn't help but realize the consequences of this. 37 years old!! What kind of life is that??!! 37 years! I contrasted that with our recent retirement plans discussion only days earlier where we had mapped out our future and realized that instead of enjoying the lives we had taken years to build together, we would be burying our child (or children).

My mood started to turn around when days later Gord's sweat test revealed he did not have CF. Moreover, the ultrasounds that Kim was going in for inititally every few days showed improvement - the fluid in the abdomen was lessening and there were no additional calcifications. The baby's condition was stable.

As the weeks progressed, getting closer to obtaining my genetic screening results, we had began to accept what we felt was an inevitable conclusion. Or so we thought.

May 1st, first day of Cystic Fibrosis Awareness Month, we got the call that confirmed our fears. Both Kim and I were carriers of Delta F508. A 1 in 625 chance.

I was at a work event talking with customers when Kim called. Her tone and the whimper in her voice told me what she had called for long before the words left her mouth. Another moment that has been etched into my psyche. In my attempts to inform my colleagues that I would have to be leaving I got cornered by a customer who began telling me her problems and needs... straight out of an acid trip, her words were chinese to me. I cut her off mid sentence, babbled a sentence or two that attempted to convey my utter lack of interest in what she was talking about (in the most professional of ways, actually no, I just didn't care) and walked out. Flustered doesn't begin to explain those 3 minutes.

Again I say, denial is pretty powerful state of mind. As much as we tried to prepare ourselves for that call, we just weren't prepared. It took some time to come to terms with the news, but with May being CF Awareness Month, we saw this a great opportunity to do SOMETHING. I, as do most men, like to fix things, and it drove me mad that I was utterly helpless. I saw the upcoming Great Strides for a Cure Walk as my way of helping. We put all our energy in to raising funds for that walk (not to mention a sizeable donation by ourselves in a vain/naive attempt to feel like we could buy our happiness back). I don't think people understand how important that Walk was to us. It gave us an opportunity to grieve and come to terms with what we were dealt by physically doing something. It also allowed us to receive support from those around us in a way that avoided straight up sentiments of condolences.

As the weeks again passed, we tried once again to accept the finality of this diagnosis. However... in the back of our minds that 1 in 4 held us back. (See, the statistical genetics behind it says that there is only a 1 in 4 chance that any child of two carriers will end up with CF. If you don't get it, just trust me.) Though we ultimately face the 1 in 4, our odds were much greater as our child showed symptoms in utero. Meconium Peritonitis (the calcifications in the abdomen) are an indication of CF, though not strictly dependent of CF. All said and done, while the odds were heavily stacked in CF's corner, there was an underdog chance that it was just a coincidence.

But, there is no such thing as coincidence.

In the weeks leading up to Kim's due date, we had met routinely with Pediatricians and NeoNatal Intensive Care medical practitioners who were more focused on the blockage then the chance of CF. Our concern changed gears from CF and we began fearing the complications of any potential bowel obstruction. The result of such a blockage would mean surgery along with a variety of other outcomes.

All the while, we kept 'preparing' ourselves to meet our baby, our baby with Cystic Fibrosis.

On July 8th, Kim delivered Oliver Armand, naturally as she had hoped. She was able to share the precious first minutes of Oliver's life with him in her arms, chest to chest. All the while the NICU was lurking in the shadows, waiting to take our boy away.

We were relieved to see Oliver pass some meconium, a positive indication that there may not be a blockage. Nonetheless, the NICU needed to run their tests as we were not out of the woods yet. We were also weeks away from an official diagnosis of Cystic Fibrosis.

I have plenty to say about what has happened between the day Oliver was born and today, but it pales in comparison to what we have been through up to then and why I wrote this in the first place. That story will come.

I'm writing this first and foremost for selfish reasons. To help me deal with what I'm going through. So far, I've accomplished that even though I have yet to write about the culmination of all these events and what they were preparing me for.

As I've stated several times so far, denial is a pretty powerful state of mind. Both Kim and I somehow managed to convince ourselves, as hard as we tried not to, that the test results were going to come back negative. Though we never admitted it to each other.

Perhaps it was a result of all the good news we had been receiving since the day he was born. He had no blockage, he had no reason for surgery, he was even gaining weight. I wouldn't admit it, but I couldn't accept it, though the signs were there and presenting themselves more and more each day.

I found myself tasting his skin more each day, thinking the previous salty lick was all in my head. His stools, becoming greasier and greasier and more foul smelling was easily explainable as 'normal'. His congestion, sneezes and wheezing, while common in plenty of non CF babies, was explained as just that.

Though I told the everyone around me that I had accepted it long ago, I hadn't. But I do now - I have no choice. It kills me. It. Kills. Me.

...Or maybe I don't "accept" it, cause at this VERY moment I want to punch a hole in the fucking wall (as I wipe the tears from my eyes). Deal with that K-Ross.



Ughhhh, so yes, today we got the call confirming Oliver has Cystic Fibrosis.

I didn't know how to deal with the news. I had convinced myself for so long that I 'knew' he had it, that I almost had myself fooled. Not knowing how to feel, I went into auto pilot (and for all I know, I'm still there)... I tried to convince Kim of all the reasons we have NOT to be sad and then spread the word to family and friends that were waiting to hear. I put the best positive spin on the 'update' emaiI I could (in what I now feel was an attempt to convince myself I'm ok with it all), all the while screaming inside. I then called the wife of my co-worker (CF Nurse) again in an attempt to 'fix this'', and made the necessary connections to get Oliver's appointment at the CF clinic as soon as possible (which will likely be next Wednesday).

Gord was great at keeping my mind as far as possible from having to deal with it all. That little man... is... just, amazing.

Gord's bedtime approached and the sinking feeling (I can't explain it any other way) became more and more distracting until I just needed to write.

And so I began...

Friday, March 28, 2008

Postcards From That Knot In My Stomach...

So, if I recall correctly, I used to write for very therapeutic reasons as it seemed to help deal with unfortunate or difficult situations (all the while keeping the out of towners and nosey neighbours up to speed with life in londontown). Perhaps I should try that again.

Ok, where to begin...

As most know we are expecting a younger sibling for Gordo on July 15th making Kim 24 weeks today. Well 4 or so weeks ago was the big 20 week ultrasound and we were quite excited. The day came and we were happy to see that all the fingers and toes added up. We took our picture of baby-in-progress and sent it out into the virtual world.

The next day (a friday), I take the call from the Doctors office claiming they have the results from the ultrasound and ask for Kim to call in. She states it's no emergency and if she doesn't call back 'today', it's no big deal - all is ok. Phew. I pass it along to Kim and she plans to call on Monday.

Well, Monday rolls around and completely out of left field I get a call from Kim who is obviously crying on the other end... "I just called the doctors office and they want to do another ultrasound on the baby's heart"... Ugh.

Like any other situation where Kim is teetering on the brink of a complete loss of emotional control, I suppress everything and kick it into "Problem Solver" mode. We call the doctors office back and they inform us it is simply a request to take another look as they did not obtain a satisfactory image in the initial U/S. We rationalize it as them being efficient in their work with a strong inclination to be thorough in their examinations. While we felt confident things were going to be ok, we decided not to tell any family members that we were recalled for a second look. No sense putting everyone else through the ringer if we didn't have any certainties. For the next 3 weeks awaiting the U/S take 2, we don't vocalize/bring up the possibilities that there could actually be something wrong with our baby's heart. That is until we get to the ultrasound appointment and were given the requisition form detailing the initial request - "Recall patient - Examine 4 chamber heart in 3 to 4 weeks". Ugh.

This was last night.

Moments later Kim is called back to begin the U/S. I waited an eternity as happy mothers/fathers to be walked past gleaming from their recent experience of seeing their 'healthy' baby on the U/S monitor. My stomach is putting the finishing touches on a triple salchow when I am called back to participate in the viewing. I quickly ask if the technician can put my mind at ease and comment on the cardio situation. She chirply replies with a reassuring tone that the initial report simply states they didn't get a good look and they needed a do-over. Yay!

Kim and I came home basking in our relief that our little one is safe and sound.

This morning was Kim's monthly appointment with Dr. S but unfortunately the results from last night were not going to be in until later this morning. Nonetheless, she reiterated the old adage that U/S recalls are common and they simply needed a better look. She said she would call when the results came in.

I dropped Kim off at work and came home to a scheduled day of conference calls, 2 reports and an appointment mid day. One conference call down and half way through my first report I get a call from Dr S.

- Hi Steve, it's Dr. S.

Hi, how are you?

- Is Kim around?

No, you can try her on her cell phone...

- Oh, well, maybe it's best I tell you so you can tell Kim.

(cue the vertigo zoom as my stomach drops)

Ok... ...

- They noticed a problem in last nights U/S that was not there in the first one. There is fluid in the baby's abdomen and they don't know why. They also noticed an enlarged ventricle and the technician is quite concerned. I'm scheduling Kim for an immediate appointment for a series of tests at the /bla bla bla/...

I stumbled over the words in my head as I try desperately to gain control of the spinning... "how, what, huh" I'm stunned. It is utterly amazing how much you can love something/someone so much without having a tangible form of contact... my baby is sick?

Before I know it I am in the car on my way to see Kim with the unfortunate duty of breaking the news. I know this alone time will be my only opportunity to explore my own emotional response to the situation so I get my money's worth.

I parked the car and set out looking for Kim eventually catching up with her in her lab, alone. It didn't take much for her quirky smile to flatten and the chirp in her voice to fade as she realized something wasn't right. It could have been the shaking of my voice or shaking of my legs for that matter that clued her in, but seconds later I am explaining the situation.

...I don't need to document how she reacted...

A half hour later the Dr.'s office called with details on a series of appointments with the first one taking place at 12:30. We jumped in the car and headed down to the hospital.

While waiting for this newest U/S I couldn't help but prepare myself for a wide range of outcomes, most notably the worst case scenarios.

We were finally called in for the 45 minute cardio-specific ultrasound and then asked to come back at 3:30 to speak with the Cardiologist who will interpret the data.

Following an afternoon of trying to deal with the gravity of the situation, we ultimately accepted that there was going to be some form of unsettling news told to us when we eventually sat down with the Doctor. However, I did find myself spattering positive rhetoric throughout the day claiming at some points, "our baby's heart is fine!".

I love being right.

That being said, immediately following the doctor informing us that our baby has a perfectly developed heart with no problems, the "but" precariously hung off his lips.

He continued to tell us how the mistakenly recorded 'enlarged ventricle' was in fact a build up of calcium on the liver. This was in turn causing some fluid in the abdomen. This is being caused most likely as a result of an infection and is a more recent ailment.

...this is the part that gives me the goosebumps...

He stated that the original ultrasound showed no record of this and the calcium build up is something that has happened in the last 3 weeks.

So, had they been able to get a clear picture in the 20 week appointment, there would have been no appointment 4 weeks later and this problem would have progressed to an unimaginable outcome.

Nonetheless, we are still facing the fact that our baby is not well. We have a full day of tests scheduled for Tuesday. The doctor's leading theory is that Kim most likely came into contact with a virus of sorts which was passed to the baby. Fifth disease/Parvovirus B19 has not been ruled out. Kim was sent for one last U/S after the chat with the doctor to check for any development of severe anemia in the baby which could result (in 5% of infected prego's). Everything was normal, so we were told to enjoy our weekend and come back Tuesday.

It's amazing to think that had we been informed of the actual problem from the get go, we would be devastated. However after spending 3 weeks believing there was a more serious heart problem, the reality of it all seems quite manageable. We are very relieved to know that the heart is fine and the problem is found in one of the few organs that have regenerative properties.

So, it's been a hell of a day and I can't help but ask myself why we (parents) put ourselves through this. These damn kids of ours will never understand how much we love them...

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Postcards From A Visit...

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Postcards From The Bandwagon...

Ok, so it helped last year in my attempts to become one with my "inner blogger", so perhaps I'll try again...

Let's see, Gord has been quite the toddler lately. While he has been a little under the weather, I'm not one to make excuses for my child. He definitely knows what he wants and when he wants it.

On a somewhat related note - perhaps only other parents can understand this, but it is quite the feeling to experience that bond between you the parent, and your child. That warm, indescribable feeling that overcomes you when they call your name and put their arms out for a hug that plays out in slow motion... it is also quite the feeling to have your child deny your very existence and shriek in horror at the thought of you coming near them. Although you don't have to be a parent to completely understand that one... anyone that has been around Gord at one point or another has come to experience that feeling... the feeling of utter rejection... the feeling of having your heart ripped from your chest, still beating and shared among a pack of fat giggling squirrels (at least that is how I understand it would feel to have your heart ripped out and eaten by a pack of fat giggling squirrels).

Yes, Gord has been a little 'sensitive' at various times over the last few weeks, but I think we will keep him for a little while longer and see how it plays out.

Otherwise, things are swell. Now that Halloween is over, I can start thinking about Christmas without feeling dirty all over. I'm not sure why, but I've decided to jump into the deep end nice and early this year for Christmas. Perhaps it's because Gord will be old enough to enjoy it, or because we don't have to travel this year, or I simply want the rest of the world to catch up to my overly positive mood of late... but I'm looking forward to the whole festive season.

Me, mood, positive? Can't explain that either. It's not like I've been super annoying happy guy, but I just feel at ease. It's a rare thing that I'm happy with my job and frankly, lately I have nothing to complain about. I've got a few things on the go and I'm enjoying my time lately.

But, egh, enough about that...

I just got off the phone (actually hung up on as my phone went dead in the middle of our chat) with some friends of ours who are hiking/volunteering their way through Central America...

View Larger Map

I'm quite jealous.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Postcards From Halloween...

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Postcards From Parenting... 21st Century Style

So this is Gord (moments ago)... in the basement watching Hi5... and that is me... upstairs eating dinner.

I like webcams.

I certainly earned my 'Bestest Daddy In The World' mug.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Postcards From The Wedding...

What started out as a little clip experiment turned into a full fledged video montage... damn you iMovie and all your funness.

5 hours later, here is a little something from my sis-in-law's wedding this past weekend:

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Postcards From The Street...

Gord's favourite Sesame Street Clip...

Friday, September 14, 2007

Postcards From The Summer of 2007...

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Postcards From A Kid on Christmas Eve... Warning: Super Nerd Alert

So, about a month ago, hmm, actually, I'll back it up a little further...

Throughout the last year or so, I've not only been bombarded by the 'Hi I'm a Mac, and I'm a PC" commercials, but I've also been exposed to a few owners of Mac's who have nothing but great things to say about their alternatives to a PC. It ever so slightly opened my mind to the possibilities (as I've always had the notion that I would find the Mac clumsy and awkward after years of PC exposure). Somewhere along the line (as Vista was emerging on the market) my Bro-in-law Dave was on the hunt for a new computer. One of his options was a Mac. This allowed for some serious conversation regarding

AGH - doorbell...

(I was writing this to kill some time, but my 'present' just arrived. I'll have to pick this up a little later... Oh, I'm excited, in a very nerdy way).

...8 Hours Later...

Ok, so several months back, yaddi yaddi, Dave planted the seed that grew its roots in my head and would keep me thinking a Mac would be my next computer. Unfortunately (for him that is, haha), he settled for a PC laptop with Vista.

A few months went by and August rolls around. I was stumbling around the internet and happened to come across the new iMac which was introduced earlier that week. It was a chance meeting and in a moment of nerdy weakness, I fell in love. I spent several hours that night going through all the promo material for not only Macs, the iMac, but also the brand new iLife suite introduced the same day. I was sold.

I was intending to purchase it before taking off for my sales conference, however I wanted to be here when it arrived so I held off - planning to purchase it when I got back the following week.

Well, if you read my last post, it ended with an unfortunate series of events that left us saying goodbye to The Dude, and over $2000 less in our bank account... the bank account that was intending to pay for an iMac.

Unfortunate indeed.

However, as my usual luck would have it (touch wood), Karma reared it's sexy, righteous head and one of my little opportunities came around and I was back in the iMac business. (Actually, Karma be damned, I worked, and AM working my butt off for this little pay-day).

So, on Sunday Sept 2nd at 11:12 pm I placed my order. Actually, I was about to place my order when I needed to hold off so I could grab my credit card for that stooopid 3 digit security code on the back. Being the lazy s.o.b. I am, I waited and continued to surf around the Mac website. Lucky again for me, I noticed they have an 'educational' promotion. If you are in any way involved with a University you got a few hundred bucks off and a FREE iPod. (More on the iPod in a moment). So with Kim being the Lab Tech she is at UWO, we qualified. Sweet.

So, on Sunday Sept 2nd at 11:21, I officially placed my order!

Ok, so I am what marketers refer to as a 'laggard' or a 'late adopter'. How long have iPods been around? Like 26 years or something?! Anyways, for some reason I saw an iPod as not only one of the key contributors to the degradation of our society, but also, something I didn't really have any use for. But as soon as I was able to get one for free, society be damned! And I couldn't stop thinking about how many amazing uses I was going have for it.

Tangent: I've been wanting to get out running for sometime now and the iPod was the final push I needed. Solitude... sweet sweaty musical solitude...

I was watching my order very closely anxiously waiting for my products to ship. Tuesday morning, I notice my iPod has left the factory. China mind you, but still it was on it's way. Moments later when reading up on my Google News, 'Apple' jumped off the page. Cool, I thought, I am now an Apple customer... but what does it say? "Apple in an astonishing move dropped prices on bla bla iphone, bla bla, iPOD and upgraded it's models, bla bla".

Mother Fucking Shit.

I wait 28 years to get an iPod, and not even 36 hours after I place my order, my BRAND NEW iPod is now $60 cheaper and obsolete. (While technically the iPod is free, I still had to pay taxes on it). But OBSOLETE. Ugh. I, along with almost every other new Apple customer was on the phone with customer service for quite some time over the next 2 days (always on hold so I never got to speak with anyone prior to the delivery).

When it did arrived, I backhanded myself across the face for waiting this long to get one. I love it.

I did get in touch with customer service yesterday and demanded I speak with Steve Jobs personally so that something can be done about this atrocity of my iPod being out of date before I took it out of the case. He wept and begged for my forgiveness, and I let him off the hook by refunding the $60 to my credit card. (Not sure how this is going to affect the mail-in-rebate, so I may have that $60 in my pocket at the end of the day. However, Karma may come back and bite me in the ass and I may have voided my rebate eligibility.)

So, I may not have video on my iPod, or be able to scroll through album covers, but I'm happy nonetheless. It made me long for my undelivered iMac all the more.

I spent night after night this week going over Mac tutorials and reading anything I can Mac related to quench my thirst. To my chagrin however I noticed last night (way later than I ever should have), that the brand new Mac operating system, Tiger, is coming out NEXT MONTH.

Once again, fist waving in air, I cursed you new technology.

As it turns out, its only $120 bucks, so no biggy. This will give me a chance to get used to how a Mac works and it will be something new to look forward to.

So, yes, in case you couldn't tell from the opening of this postcard, today was the day I was expecting the big delivery. It is everything I cracked it up to be. I've been busy transferring music and pictures and movies over to the new unit from the work laptop. (All the while juggling my real day job and all it's glorious duties).

I took a bit of a break from it all when the boy and wife came home.

Tangent: Gord, after being sick for the last few days was much better today. He was so friggen cute tonight. Ate his dinner without a fuss, didn't whine for Hi-5 (too much) and had a lot of fun playing anything and everything.

Since it was my night to bath and bed the little bugger I figured I would give Kim a little time exploring the Mac, while I would then be forced to finish this bastard. She has been muddling her way around the Mac for the last few hours while I have been banished to my laptop... stupid PC laptop.

So, in short, get a Mac... then we can do the super cool video conferencing that comes standard on all machines.


Sunday, September 09, 2007

Postcards From The Pool... the CRAZY Pool...

Ok, what the hell... Crazy.

But for real... pick up the damn baby already!

Monday, August 27, 2007

Postcards From The Summer Of George, er Gord...

Ok, I'll start off by trying NOT to state the obvious lack of blogging. So far, I seem to suck at that almost as much as I do at keeping up to date on my blog. Ok, now I'm just a complete failure.

Now that that is out of the way, I'll take a walk down the lane that is Summer of 2007... which should explain why it's taken this long for an update... (actually, I am probably going to leave out all the T.V watching and stumbling I have been doing, which is the missing link as to why it has taken this long to get a postcard written).

So, I'm going to fly through most of the summer, and probably try and use a bunch of filler and visual aids, which should get me through, so here I go...

Well, we finally got the back splash done and finished painting the dining room and kitchen:

We spent Canada Day (plus a week) up in the 'ol hometown:

(Perhaps I should mention this was when Gord began his compulsive obsession with Hi-5...)

Gord also got his first 'official' haircut (as me with scissors technically doesn't count):

My folks were here quite a bit throughout the summer as they got ready to move in across the street. Also, my buddy Ryan who was getting married this summer (who has spent the last two years WAY up north teaching) spent a good month or so in town so Kim and I got to see him a whole lot. In late July I got the two other dudes from our highschool band down for a weekend. It was great being able to embarrass Ryan by introducing his fiance with some of the old videos from back in the day. After anticipating this weekend for several months, I ended up spending most of Saturday curled up in bed nursing a hangover... really sucked. Damn you red wine! But at least we got to get some jamming in.

The weekend following the 'reunion', Kim and I were off for our first official vacation since Gordo came on the scene. My folks were once again at our place and watched Gord for our trip to Northern Michigan.

Our night in Traverse City... mmm tasty Traverse City.

I did get a nasty burn on our beach day... what's the point of a beach umbrella if it doesn't block out THE SUN??

The Golf was awesome! Absolutely amazing views throughout the course...

We also got some kayaking in... Very nice. Very hot. Very long.
The highlight of course... the big flat screen TV at the foot of the jacuzzi tub... mmm Big Brother Jacuzzi time...

But of course we spent a good amount of time missing the boy, so we were very anxious to get home to see him.

We had planned on going camping immediately following this trip, however we were so wiped that we gave up on the idea. All is well, Kim ended up going back to work. I got to enjoy some quiet hometime to myself - finally, my TUESDAY & THURSDAY! (See, the way I look at it, while Kim was off, I was still working all summer, mind you mostly from home, but I would still be juggling work AND Gord duties. On Tuesday and Thursday when Gord was in daycare, Kim would have the days to herself, while I would be technically working. I really wanted to know when my TUESDAY & THURSDAY was going to happen, and I finally got it the week I was on holidays while Kim and Gord were at work/daycare.)

The following week, it was back to work for me, and in full force. It was my summer sales meeting up in the Muskoka's at Deerhurst Resort. It's hard trying to get Kim to understand that YES, I'm going to a 'resort', YES, the food is free, YES, booze is all free and there are 'social events' every night that we are encouraged to attend... but it is still work. This honestly was the least enjoyable conference I have been to so far. Partly due to the fact that the older Gord gets the more I miss him, and partly due to the phone call I got Monday night (the second night).

Apparently The Dude (our cat) had been acting strange the whole day and really starting to act oddly. Lot's of loud meowing and a few near vomits. Kim called me and suggested that she will probably be taking him to the Vet. Unfortunately it the only one open was an after hours clinic. I encouraged her not to spend more than $200 (thinking it was a flu or nothing non-life threatening). An hour later while I was at one of the 'social functions', Kim calls me in hysterics and informs me The Dude has a urinary tract blockage and is in so much pain that they either need to put him down immediately, or operate. The operation isn't cheap obviously but when forced to decide how much you pets life is worthy, it's a hard call to make. Let's just say the IMAC I was just about to buy is now on hold. Of course we operate, but the whole ordeal isn't over as there is no guarantees that he will pull through.

Kim unfortunately had to play transporter for the remainder of the week as she needed to bring The Dude to and from different clinics for the night/day. When I got home on Thursday, Kim was going to be picking him up for the last time. We were told that he was stabilizing and all looked good that morning. However, when Kim went to pick him up, she was told that he took a turn for the worse and was still not passing urine on his own.

It was a very solemn night as we could tell The Dude was not healthy. At times he would crawl into a dark corner in the laundry room behind the washer and dryer and hide away - a sure sign that he thought he was dying. We actually spent some time offering our goodbyes to the poor little Dude, however when we woke in the morning we were happy to see him up and about.

We took him back for some follow up at the clinic (who I must say absolutely LOVED him. They offered so much service at no charge and could tell for whatever reason, they really cared for The Dude). That night, it appeared he was starting to recover.

That night also happened to be our 5 year wedding anniversary! We had a pretty low key night with some chinese takeout and watching our wedding videos.

The next day however The Dude still wasn't passing fluids. Though he was more lively, he wasn't making anything happen in the litter box. Not a good sign. Sure enough when I brought him in on Sunday morning, the Vet presented the new options. She found a new blockage due to scar tissue resulting from the catheter that was inserted following his surgery earlier in the week. Our options were dropping another 2 grand on more operations or the one thing we were dreading all week. Unfortunately we had to opt for the latter.

I got to spend a few minutes alone with the little cat which made me realize how much I actually cared for him. When we first got him three and a half years ago, he was all we had. We loved him and I many a times cradled him as practice for the baby that was on the way. But when that baby did come, there were days that passed when I barely even pet him. Lately even there were times when I felt only frustration for his shedding, meowing, constant seeking of affection etc, however that morning, all I could think of was how much I wanted him around. I got to hold his head up and keep him calm as the Vet injected the anesthetic which ultimately passed him on.

I brought him home and we buried him in the backyard. Kim bought some flowers and we made a little garden out of it. Poor Dude. I miss him.

That was last week. Not much else has happened since then... So, till next time.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Postcards from a very frozen over hell...

Damn you Facebook!!!!!

Sorry, I will post again... I promise.

Hmm... I may be posting again sooner vs later.