Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Double Hair Whorl

Just curious if anyone out there has heard about the Double Hair Whorl... What you ask? I have learned that people either have a single whorl (clockwise or counter clockwise) or a double whorl (both clockwise or one in each direction). We just noticed that Sophie has the double, one in each direction. I thought nothing about it (and still don't think much of it), but if you google this, there is lots of loose correlations of the double hair whorl to all kinds of things including left-handedness, smart, stubborn, just about everything actually.

Anyway, thought it was pretty funny and now I look at the back of the head of any child I see.

Anyone out there have one of these as well?

Thanks for reading

John

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Birth class reunion

During our pregnancy Angie and I attended a birth and delivery class (I guess Sophie attended as well, haha). We took the class mostly for me so that I know what to expect during the big day. The class was actually pretty good, something like 5 weeks in a row, 3 hours at a time. In the class were other couples just like us going through this for the first time. Every couple was having a baby around the same time (late fall) and everyone had their babies safely which was great.

The instructor suggested that we should all get together a few months after the last baby is born. I didn't really think that this would happen, but everyone got together earlier this year. We missed it since Sophie was sick with RSV, but the group decided to do it again a few weeks ago and everyone was able to attend. It was actually pretty great to see everyone. Angie and I are sometimes a little shy of these types of events, but we went and had a great time. So the 6 babies, 3 boys and 3 girls all had a great time and it was also nice to see all the parents doing well. Here are some pictures that will make you smile from the event.


Sophie in the middle of the action (in white dress)

looking a little sleepy on this one

Thanks for reading everyone

John

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Baptism Part 2

So after the church part of the baptism was over, we all worked our way back to Natalia's house. Some walked, most drove. Since it was just around the corner angle, Sophie, Angie and I walked back from the church, baby needed to sleep anyway and she loves to sleep on the walks. I also had some additional responsibilities that day apart from being the godfather. Barbara needed help getting into the house because of her disability so I was going to help setup the ramp for her to get into the house with. (by the way if you don't know about her story you can read about it here ). I had doubts whether Barbara was going to be able to get into the house and unfortunately the entrance was just not accessible for Barbara to join us. I felt bad about it, but I know Barbara wouldn't want to hear it.

So inside the house the party was in full swing, hard to tell how many people came out, but quite a number, like 50 or so, I would say at the peak. Natalia knows how to throw a good party so there was plenty of food and the wine was flowing too. It was a great atmosphere. There were people that know Natalia, Martin, some of my friends, my parents friends, literally from all sides. Here is one of my favorite moments of the whole party. As I mentioned in the previous post, we had some special guests including the 3 daughters of the woman that donated her lungs and as a result of which Natalia got a second chance..... So during the party my father who is charming, loves to talk to everyone and who didn't know about our special guests asks one of the daughters how she knows Natalia. Just making conversation. Natalia quickly explained and there was a bit of crying all around. Simply incredible in my opinion.

Ladies, if you are reading, I just can't express how sorry I am for your mother's passing, but I am so happy that you were able to come and see what your mother's gift did. I have been thinking about it a lot lately and if others could see what has happened here, the whole Organ Donation thing would look a whole lot different. Thank you from the entire family. Thank you for coming to Scarlett's baptism and we hope to see you at future events.

John

No time to write.... Let's start with baptism part 1

But I have lots to write about, just really busy lately, Sophie, family, work, enjoying the summer weather. Where to start, I guess I will start with Scarlett's baptism. That was almost two weeks ago. Ok, so as always, Natalia knows how to throw a good party and the baptism was one of those for sure. Since i am scarlett's godfather, i had a serious role to play that day and was a bit worried about holding scarlettcfor the actual procedure. (Scarlett doesn't care for me holding her right now, so I had a vision of a complete breakdown in church, but Scarlett was perfect). The church part was well attended with lots of family friends and a few special guest including Barbara Turnbull and her great friend Dini Petty (yes, that Dini Petty) and the three daughters of the woman that saved Natalia's life by donating her lungs (more on this in a second). Ever since the newspaper coverage of Natalia's journey, I have got to know Barbara a bit and she has quickly become one of my favorite people. You can just tell that she gets IT, and her continuing coverage of other transplant stories is going to save many many lives in the future and hopefully one day stories like Natalia's are just that, stories, and people just won't believe that in 2010 you could die waiting for a transplant. Anyway, i am so glad that you were able to attend and see how much things have changed in just 7 months. Simply incredible and I still really don't believe it.

Here is a few pictures from the baptism.

The whole team including scarlett, the parents and godparents

one of my favorite Angie pictures ever. love it, she might disagree.

Part 2 is next (the party at the house)

Thanks for reading.

John

Friday, June 25, 2010

Exciting new discoveries

I try to keep up on recent discoveries in the areas of organ transplantation. I think the future of it is fixing organs before they are transplanted and also the creation of artificial organs such as lungs or hearts. I thought this link was pretty cool, the idea that you can grow an organ or implant a bio-mechanical device in someone is amazing to me.

http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSTRE65N5AF20100624

But these ideas are needed since there just doesn't seem to be enough organs to go around.

John

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Gagging

Hello all, something funny that we have noticed with sophie and the foods she likes and dislikes. Overall she really likes the foods we mash up using the Magic Bullet (awesome little blender by the way). We have been introducing the foods one by one, banana, apple, pear, sweet potato, carrots, etc, etc. Each of them was about the same, a few funny faces at the beginning and soon after you can actually see that she likes them. The only exceptions to this have been the green veggies, peas and green beans. Not only will our little sophie not eat them, she gags on them. It is quite funny to be honest, her reaction is so serious. I am not sure that I don't feel the same way about mashed peas or pea soup so maybe she gets this from me.

Also, we had Scarlett's baptism last weekend where I was the godfather (gulp). It went well, will provide full report and some great pictures from the event and the party at Natalia's house afterwards.

As always, thanks for reading.

John

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Monday, June 14, 2010

Waving

A few days ago I thought I spotted Sophie waving, but it seemed a little early or maybe not a full wave. But we spotted it again this morning and she waved at a lady at walmart. Wow, are things changing fast. I am on daily tooth patrol, they are there, just waiting to make an appearance one of these mornings. She is really feeling them we think, she is biting anything you give her and going nuts on it. She must be in some discomfort for sure and we really hope that the teeth come in quickly.

Here is a recent picture, little pumpkin is growing up fast. Pretty cool time to be Sophie right now.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Things I love about My daughter

1) the giggles. I love coming home from work grabbing her and kissing her belly as she giggles like crazy. She can't stop laughing. She now can see it coming and start smiling when I come near.

2) that people keep asking how old HE is. She is pretty much always wearing pink but it makes me laugh every time.

3) bath time. We have been doing bath time in the big tub since Sophie has been just over a month old. Every day except two (or maybe three nights) we play together in the big tub. We splash, play with toys and it keeps getting better and better. We are also starting our "swimming lessons" in a few weeks which will be awesome

4) that she got my eating and sleeping genes. Meaning she loves to sleep and eat like her daddy :). Maybe I should move that up higher in the list

5) Regularly pooping during the dinnner feed. She now works very for each poo. It is quite an event each time. I feed her cereal around 6:30 and soon after the show begins

6) general cuteness. She is pretty darn cute and smiles quite a bit

And overall that she likes her daddy. It is very cool to come home each nite with my two girls waiting for me. Life really is pretty flawless right now.

Thanks for reading

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Teeth have been spotted...

Still in the gums, but you can see the two top ones. Just waiting to pop out and I am sure create all kinds of havoc that we are not ready for. I noticed them when I pulled back her upper lip, because I can kind of feel them when feeding her with the spoon. Angie didn't believe me but I think she is now. I just can't believe it, stuff is coming up pretty quickly now. I am sure we will wake up one of these mornings and there will be a tooth. Haha.

Apart from that exciting news, all is well here. We had a nice weaken again and completely wore ourselves out. We go on these marathon walks multiple times a day that leave me broken. Angie tells me she does it every day and laughs at my inability to keep up. Haha, I need to up my walking mileage :)

John

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Date Night

A little bit late writing about this, but better late than never. So on the saturday of the may long weekend Angie and I had our first date nite since Sophie was born. Hard to believe, but we haven't had a nite on our own in over 6 months (not complaining). One of my university friends had his wedding at the university of Toronto (hart house). It was a really great venue for a wedding, but we forgot our camera so really I can't share with you how great we looked :) Mario and Amanda looked great too, and I am so glad that we got invited. But back to our first nite away from Sophie. We are lucky that we could have angie's mom help out that nite. Everything went great, Sophie ate and let grandma put her to bed without too much trouble so we were able to enjoy the evening and not worry too much. We did get periodic blackberry messages letting us know that all was under control (very proud of grandma for using the blackberry too).

Also these days we are trying to do more stuff out there in the real world with our pumpkin and a few days ago we took Sophie with us for dinner out. It went great, she had a good time looking around at all the action in the resturant. So all is well here and thanks for reading.

John

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Nice day at TGH

Not that i don't think nicely of the Toronto General Hospital (TGH), but today was a really nice day there. A while back, i said that i would feel "normal" when i haven't been at TGH for 6 months. Well, today felt like that day. I was there not too long ago, but it felt like a lifetime ago to be honest. This morning I helped Natalia with her bronchoscopy (6 month appointments). We met nice and early in the am and the day went vary smoothly. Actually nothing to write about. We waited, Nat had the bronch, we waited a bit more and we left. Natalia wasn't nervous at all (and neither was I).

Normal, it really felt that way today. I also ran into a great friend of mine Paula at TGH (who i will write about in the near future since she really is responsible for everything - will explain) and she even said that it must feel like a lifetime ago. It sure did feel that way today.

Go sis Go.

John

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Hatley baby clothes


Natalia has shown me the way in a bunch of things in life. The latest is a line of very very cute baby clothes from a company called Hatley. For any of my American readers, this is very Canadian. I must explain here. I live in Toronto, which is a huge city that can be compared with any huge city in North America. So no igloos, polar bears or mounties here. BUT, i am very much a Canadian and love my Canadian nature and wildlife. I think this Hatley company knows that many Canadians feel this way so they have designed a bunch of clothes for adults and babies. Here is some pictures of the cutest baby outfits that we got for Sophie and they have become some of our favorites.



Monday, May 31, 2010

Duck.... first word.... unlikely

Funny little story, so tonite during Sophie's bathtime, I was signing to her (believe me it isn't good, she is the only one that would smile at me singing). I was singing 6 little ducks that i once knew.... She is following along, i say duck and she repeats it. duck. Haha, angie didn't hear it, but it was pretty clear to me. Duck. Could that be the first word, if so i bet you that is kind of strange. I will keep a lookout for the next "first word". I am going with mama.

John

Sleeping changed overnight

People say that at Sophie's age, 6 months, things change literally overnight. And it really is true. Sophie has always been a good sleeper, and she still is (knock on wood), but ever since she learned how to roll over consistently (and likes to do it), sleeping has been a bit more of a challenge. She no longer can be succesfully swadled since she just unwraps herself and when she is unwrapped she just goes side to side or end up on her stomach. she hasn't slept on her tummy yet, but I am guessing we will find her that way one of these mornings. I find all this uneasy, it was nice and simple before, we swaddled her, she slept on her back. Now she trashes around wants to pull everything into the crib with her. Any advice out there? What types of blankets should we use?

I haven't worried about her sleeping like this since she was about 2 weeks old. I used to think that I will never be able to go to sleep (due to worrying), but that passed and I guess this will too.

Anyway, thanks for reading, but any advice is always appreciated.

John
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Friday, May 28, 2010

Sitting up and rolling over

Once in a while angie makes a comment about my blog. I know she reads it, but usually doesn't comment about it a lot. A few days ago she said, how come you haven't blogged about the sitting up and rolling over, she has been doing those for a long time now. So, yes, little Sophie can now sit on her own while playing with an occasional fall if she gets distracted. She can also roll over but is not very eager to do so. She likes hanging out in the almost rolled over postion, but rarely completes the move (from her back to front). She has to be really motivated when reaching for something. Like a toy. So basically now, when we put her on the ground she rolls from side to side, depending on what viewing angle she wants.

Anyway all is good here. We are enjoying the crazy hot weather in southern ontario after our winter hibernation.

Thanks for reading
John
Sent on the TELUS Mobility network with BlackBerry

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Fishing Trip

At the end of last week I went on my annual fishing trip. I love my fishing and i basically now go fishing one day a month every month, but the annual fishing trip has been going on for basically 10 years. My fishing group consists of a good group of guys, who love to get away and spend a few days trying to catch a fish or two. In the past, these trips were way more elaborate (and longer), involved flying in to remote locations, but now since everyone has a newborn or two, the trips are shorter. Trust me though, when i say that we are not complaining. The trips are a tradition and we are trying to keep them going in any capacity we can. It has been about 10 years and i look forward to going for many years to come. This year's trip took us back up to the French River area since we had such a great time last year. The trip was perfect, i was only able to go on thursday and friday, but it was so great to spend a few days just casting and chatting with great friends. It is important to keep things going in my opinion, but as life and priorities change things like fishing trips need to adjust.

So instead of talking about how great the fishing was and all the "monsters" we cought, I would like to thank our significant others for letting us go. Thanks Angie, I love that you let me go and continue this tradition. Thanks, it really means a lot honey. Love you.

John

Monday, May 24, 2010

Natalia, 6 months post tx


Wow, time certainly flies for sure. I really can't believe that it has been 6 months since Natalia had her transplant and Sophie was born (within a week). To me it seems like a lifetime ago, and in reality Natalia was in the hospital still in early january so it has only been about 5 months. So I would like to write a quick note about all this and celebrate this milestone.
I am very proud of you sis, you battled all of last year to get to the transplant and you certainly battled after you had it (this part i was not ready for) and to see you these days taking care of Scarlett and leading a normal life is really cool to see. I really don't have that much to say except again that I am very very proud and love you very much. Many years of good health sis.

Here is some pictures that Natalia posted on facebook.

4 weeks post


5 weeks post (at Toronto General Hospital)

7 weeks post



2 months post


9 weeks post

9 weeks post


5 months post


6 months post (and i can't do that)

Long Weekend with great weather


Hello all, we had a fantastic long weekend here in southern ontario. The weather was incredible, perfect actually, sunny, no wind, not a cloud in the sky. I took a few days off thursday and friday and went fishing with my fishing friends and came home friday nite ready to spend the long weekend with my girls. We spent a huge part of the weekend outside, walked and walked and walked. Actually on sunday we walked about 15k+ (you can tell we are runners). But the weather was so nice, that we just couldn't be inside. The big highlight of one of the walks is that we put Sophie in a swing for the first time. Nothing crazy, just put her in there and swung a little, she liked it, little tentative at first, but we got a few good laughs out of it. Here is a nice pic or two that captures the moment.



The next day, we took both the girls swimming. We wanted to get Sophie and Scarlett in the pool and this was the first chance we got. We went to the club that Natalia and Martin belong to and tested out the waters. Overall, it went well, there were lots of kids splashing around and both the girls handled it well. Here are some pics from a really great day. Can't wait to see them grow up together starting with some cottage time this summer. Can't wait.



Hope you all had a great long weekend and as always, thanks for reading.

John

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Projectile vomit

It finally happened. I for one believed that babies and kids throw up, but projectile vomit seemed like a myth to me. How could a little baby vomit across a room, cover someone completely... Thought it was one of those stories that mothers tell us all. Well I have seen the light. On wednesday nite a few of my friends came over and were there as we were putting Sophie down at 8pm. All seemed normal, until Angie picked Sophie up and our little pumpkin began to vomit all over her. She covered Angie and a good portion of the floor. I couldn't believe how much there was and easily it just came out. Sophie didn't seem to mind too much and went back to sleep minutes after. We were a little stunned since it was our first. How often does this happen?

Oh well, I now believe.

John
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Thursday, May 13, 2010

6 months today

So princess is now 6 months old (just catching up on my blogging after a busy week). 6 months, half way through the first year. It has gone by very fast i must say. Everything is going well, we really can't complain. Just today Angie said that she is now like a little person, no longer just a baby at all. The doctor was very happy with everything and we are now working out the new food schedule and starting to introduce new foods. All pretty exciting. Here is some pictures of the half birthday girl.



Sitting with daddy. (who is looking scruffy and tired)

tummy time

all smiles for the camera



i love this one, Angie keeps taking pictures of her next to her first outfit, that outfit was huge on her , we had to roll up the sleeves. I guess they do grow :)

Thanks for reading.
John

6 month appointment

So we had the 6 month doctor's appointment and all is well. Our doctor is very happy with her progress and she is doing great with her weight and height so we are very very happy. We also had the last of the shots which are always a little traumatic, but Sophie handled it well and Angie stayed true to self and looked the other way while i held Sophie during the shots. Our nurse always says that the second shot is very painful and it always raises my blood pressure a bit. So we are all clear now to eat all kinds of food and we have started with some banana for this week. Hard to gauge how much she likes it and how much she is actually getting, but she makes some funny funny faces while eating it. Here is a picture that makes me laugh. Beth, you are right, cover everything in plastic for the next decade.




Thanks for reading
John

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

6 month appt tomorrow

Just a quick note, tomorrow we have our 6 month check up. I literally can't believe this. It seems like she was born yesterday. 6 months. Wow. So we have a set of shots, so I get to hold her down while Angie looks the other way. After this, no more shots for 6 months (i think). She has a bit of a cold right now (congested) so that's good that our dr. (who we both like very much) will have a closer look at her. I really enjoy going to these appointments. I haven't missed a scheduled appointment yet and don't intend to. Will report tomorrow.

Thanks for reading.

John

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Meagan's Walk

Today was a really nice day. Angie's first mother day and I think the day was a special one. In the morning, Sophie and I presented our gifts which included two nice cards and a gift card to Banana Republic. We were told to not buy any gifts, but we didn't think that mommy really meant it so we bought the gift anyway. After the morning nap, we went downtown to take part in Meagan's Walk. It is an annual event organized by one of my coworkers who lost his daughter to brain cancer 10 years ago. I have always wanted to go, but never did make it out, mostly since I didn't have any kids myself so I thought I would have felt awkward. Anyway, the event is a huge fundraiser and it keeps growing and growing and I would encourage anyone to take part in the future. Basically, quite a simple idea, 5km walk to Toronto's famous Sick Kids Hospital where the crowd surrounds the building holding hands and "hugs" the hospital. Today was a cold day, I would say unusually cold (especially this year), but it didn't stop people from coming out. Thousands of people came out with their kids, strollers and easily hugged the building. I must say i found it pretty emotional, I had tears in my eyes. I knew I would cry, but it really hit me. You could see the kids on the inside with their parents and just thinking about our last few years (or the last 20 years) and the time we spent at sick kids. That hospital has a special place in my life and Angie's as well since she had heart surgery there as a child. So we stood in the cold, held hands with strangers that stood next to us. At one point the women to my left asked me who I was walking for and I said nobody, really couldn't speak since i was quite emotional at the time. Sorry for that, the actual answer is: all the kids in that hospital now. I wish those kids could be somewhere else and weren't sick, but if you are sick, there literally isn't a better children's hospital anywhere.

Pretty cool way to spend a day, and very very well done by the Bebenek family.

Here is some links to the Meagan's Walk and Sick Kids hospital.

Thanks for reading.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Sitting, finding her feet and more

Hello all, new stuff is happening here every day now. Literally during the last week there has been lots of progress, our little baby sophie is changing every day. First came the sitting up. We have been sitting her during playtime (while holding her) for some time, but she was very very wobbly. And now you sit her down and as loing as there are no serious distractions to her left or right she will sit like that for a very long time.

We are not seeing a whole lot of progress on the rolling over, she is basically there, but doesn't seem very interested in completing the roll over. She gets to her side and stops. Oh well, i am sure one day we will go and get her from her nap and she will be on her belly looking up at us.

Also, on thursday this week she found her feet. Now she just grabs them and plays with them and based on what i saw with Scarlett, those feet are going in her mouth in another week. Ha ha. I find all of this very amusing. It is incredible to think about the speed of the baby's development at this age, every time she wakes up from a nap, she has learned something new. Me on the other hand, i feel like every time i wake up i feel a little bit older and a little bit slower.... Maybe there is only so much smarts out there at any given time and it is slowly transferring from me to her.

Thanks for reading.

High Chair Update with picture

So a week of using the highchair has gone by and overall Sophie seems to be ok with it. She sits in it for the cereal feeding and in the evening with us as we have dinner. So far so good. Here is a picture during one of those feeds that i miss during the week.



She really is growing up fast.

John

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

New High Chair

Hello folks,

little bit of an update, the cereal feeding is going well. We are not exactly sure how much Sophie is eating, but we are certainly trying to give her the cereal. To go along with the feeding, we got a fancy new high chair based on Natalia's recommendation. It is a pretty fancy chair and it fits the rest of the decor. Here is a picture to the chair, and that's not Sophie, but picture of her in the chair coming very soon (with cereal all over her face). Very excited to eat with our little one.






Thanks for reading.

John

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Sophie's first real food

Yesterday was our official start to feeding Sophie real food. We gave her the Milupa cereal. Quite a little production, first we fed her normal bottle, than sat her down, put on a nice bib and started to give her the cereal. She has never been fed with a spoon, so most of the food going in was coming back out. I am guessing that is quite normal. She made a few interesting faces, but generally she was fairly ok with the whole thing. Our plan is to do this once a day for a week and after increase to twice a day. At some point I am guessing we also start giving some other mushed up fruit. All of it very exciting to be honest. She is getting bigger and bigger, and more demanding each day. She needs serious entertainment now and gets bored with stuff quite quickly. I can't believe she is almost 6 months now. Time flies when you are having fun I guess. Will post an updated picture or two shortly. We got some great shots in the last month or two.

Thanks for reading
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Friday, April 30, 2010

Business Trip - back...

Actually have been back for since late tuesday nite, but the rest of the week has been crazy so I didn't have any time to write at all. Business trips just plain suck. I used to not mind them, but now I just don't care for them at all. Let me give you a brief description of how my monday and tuesday went.

Monday
1) wake up at 4am, at airport by 5am
2) stand is security for an hour
3) have a short breakfast, get on plane at 7am
4) fly to atlanta, 2hrs
5) wait in atlanta
6) fly to tallehasse, get in around 12
7) check into hotel, meet coworkers and get a quick bite to eat (sandwich and coffee)
8) work on presentation till 7pm
9) have dinner
10) work on presentation from about 8:30 till 11pm, go to bed

Tuesday
1) wake up at 6am
2) breakfast at 6:30am
3) practice presentation for the client from 7am till 1pm
4) deliver presentation 1:30 till 3pm
5) go to airport 4pm
6) fly to atlanta at 4:30pm
7) wait for flight to toronto for 4 hours
8) fly to toronto and get in at 12:30am wednesday

Not a nice way to spend 2 days. It was needed, but business travel is not at all what some think of it. anyway, enough complaining. Onward.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Trout Opening Weekend

4th saturday in April is traditionally the opening for trout fishing in southern ontario. I love my fishing, but river fishing for trout is pretty difficult and I can't say that I am exactly good at it. This spring has been a weird one, very little snow this year and a warm spring meant low water conditions and fish that most likely did their migration a month early. That's not an excuse why I didn't catch any fish, there were essentially no fish to be cought. It was still nice to head up north with some friends and enjoy a cold morning in the great outdoors, get a little break from the city. BUT, I wish we saw and cought some fish, that is always better for sure. Next time.

John
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First Business Trip

This morning is a big day for my little family, it is the first day that I am away over-nite. I am in Tallehasse, Florida for a presentation at one of our clients. I used to travel for business quite frequently in my now 12 years at IBI, but literally haven't gone anywhere in the last few years and not a single trip last year. With everything going on last year with Natalia, and Angie being pregnant, I just couldn't even think about it. Professionally I didn't really have to do it so it worked out.

So this is my first trip, I am anxious to be away from my girls for the first time. Only one nite away, but two long days and I will miss my little life back home. Miss Sophie's smiles and laughs and I am sure when I get back she will be doing something new that I haven't seen. I used to actually enjoy travelling and being away from home, but I think that part of me is gone. I love my life, my girls and don't want to miss time with them.

One nite, two long days.

John
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Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Bike Lanes

Ok, not exactly my usual type of topic (i.e, Sophie, CF, Transplant), nope. This time I am going to write about my experience with Bike Lanes in Toronto. As you know, i depend on my bicycle (it is a nice fancy one) to get to work. I say depend, but really it is a choice that i love and wouldn't trade for anything and love cruising down the lakeshore while the other commuters are sitting in cars stuck in traffic. The city of Toronto has in the last few years made a big effort to improve the cycling infrastructure in city. Examples of this are, some bike paths like the Martin Goodman Trail are now plowed and salted in the winter and literally what feels like lots and lots of new bike paths. All of it is really great, it seems like biking is thought about and talked about at the municipal level which really is great. BUT....

There are some things going on right now that are not making it any easier on cyclists. On many streets these new bike lanes act like nice pick-up / drop-off locations or cab stands. This actually makes it quite dangerous for cyclists, doors opening, cars pulling in and out. NOT GOOD. As a cyclist you want to be on the right hand side and shouldn't have to go around these cars. So city folks, if you are going to build these lanes, you also have to enforce the parking in them.

Next, in the winter months, the bike lanes act as a place where the plows dump the snow, again, i understand that only a few people will bike all year round, but this again is a huge barrier for all cyclists.

And last, there are some plans in the works now to convert lanes from major arterial streets like Jarvis and University into spring/summer bike lanes. This I really don't get. Why would a cyclist really want to be there in the middle of all the cars if there are great alternatives (with existing biking infrastructure) parallel to these major roads.

But most of all, if you see a cyclist or a group of us, give us some room and we promise not to yell and swear back at the drivers. Promise :)

Thanks for reading.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Cherry Hill, I think...

Hello all, "my write every day" got derailed a bit, some nice weather and a busy work schedule did the trick. But we had a nice weekend here in Toronto, weather was great, so Angie and I decided to spend time outside and on Sunday afternoon we went to High Park in Toronto. For those of you that are not from Toronto, it is a great public space, not exactly Central Park, but nothing is. Here is a link to information about the park. Basically it is a big chunk of land in Toronto's West End, about 6-7km from downtown. The link says that the park is about 400 hectares.

The park is very dear to both Angie and I and hopefully Sophie loves it as much as we do when she gets older. We both have done a lot of running and biking and High Park is a great place to do it. Anyway..... enough about our love of the park. In the spring the park comes back to life and one of the places is Cherry Hill (that's what we call it anyway). The Cherry trees (I hope that's what they are) bloom and it is quite spectacular. I have made a point to go see it every year so we went this year. Never have either of us seen the park so busy. There were people everywhere (see the pictures below) mostly from our Asian community. Have a look at the pictures there even was a Geisha girl (i have not figured this out). It was actually nice to see our park visited by so many people. It is arguably the best public space in the city and so many days it is quite empty. Anyway, a few pics of all of us and the trees.





Friday, April 16, 2010

Cleared to eat solid food.

So we have been cleared (by our doctor) to give Sophie solid food (cereal). We are quite excited and will be starting shortly. Any advice folks?

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

5 months

I know I said I would write every day, still fully my intent, but a bit of a heavy workload lately has caused me to miss a day or two or three. So, Sophie is now 5 months olds. Really hard to believe to be honest, it seems literally like yesterday "when we got her". I love that expression, I am sure Angie doesn't feel like she was delivered to us :)

So 5 months, lots of new stuff every day, smiling and laughing is on all the time and also so is "razzing" - I have never heard of the word until angie told me. She goes through phases of doing lots of "talking" and at times she doesn't "say" very much. Things change quite frequently now. The biggest changes are in her stability when sitting and her hand-eye coordination, she reaches for things, is able to judge the distance, grab and pass objects between her hands. Cool to watch.

Our bath times are still continuing every nite, sophie and I in the big tub playing with her toys. She loves it and now looks excited as angie passes her to me. All really incredible and adorable. So really, we can't complain in any way, our little pumpkin is doing great and we enjoy every minute of it. There are times that I still don't believe that I have a daughter and still can't believe she will walk, talk, etc, etc, etc. That is still crazy to me.

Oh yeah and Scarlett (Nat's baby) just started saying dada.

Thanks for reading

John
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Saturday, April 10, 2010

Baby Types, i am curious

Now i don't actually remember, how Angie and I came across the Baby Whisperer book, but I am very glad we did. I think Natalia had a copy. We have been using the methods in there right from the beginning and we basically believe they work quite well. So I have re-read the part about the different types of babies. I looked at this well before Sophie was born, but have not read about them since and when reading it before Sophie, I didn't think very much of it. Not sure what i think of it now, but would like to find out from you guys about your experience with it.

So here it is, the book introduces five broad temperament types as: Angel, Textbook, Touchy, Spirited and Grumpy.

Angel
  • adapts to environment and whatever changes you throw her way.
  • rarely cries
  • no terrible twos
  • easy-going and even tempered
  • it doesn't take much to distract or calm when upset
  • few meltdowns
  • good sleeper
  • adapts easily to big-girl bed
  • social, smiling and everyone
  • takes things in stride
Textbook
  • has reached every milestone like clockwork
  • no trouble reading the child's cues
  • for the most part a mellow temperament (but has cranky periods)
  • easy to soothe and reassure
  • goes with the flow when things are introduced slowly
  • takes average time to fall asleep
  • not frightened by other kids
Touchy (15 % of children)
  • ultrasensitive from the beginning
  • high-strung and excitable
  • flinches at noises
  • cries often for no apparent reason
  • room has to be warm enough or dark enough to sleep
  • hard to fall back asleep
  • things have to be introduced slowly and gradually
  • shy of strangers as a baby
  • tends to clutch to mother
  • as a toddler bashful, fearful and cautious
  • great at puzzles and games that require concentration
  • tend to be good students
Spirited (15% of children)
  • aggressive and vocal
  • loud screams to get attention
  • in social situations, jumps right into the action
  • wants the other kids toys
  • never a good sleeper
  • good eater but can't stay at the table for long
  • climbs incessantly and heedlessly
  • throws fits when parents don't give him what he wants
  • challenging to parent
  • born leaders, explorers, entrepreneurs, fearless
Grumpy
  • got a chip on their shoulder
  • hard to make smile
  • dressing and diapering a challenge
  • hates being swaddled
  • feeding difficult all along
  • impatient if things are not right
  • quirky eater
  • social if wants to be but holds back to assess situation first
  • old soul (as if she has been here before and not happy about being back)
  • prefers to play on her own
  • good at maintaining own boundaries
  • can't push them
  • very independent as adults
So those are the categories, funny reading it again, but I really do think that babies start out and we all end up different as adults with different temperaments so I guess it makes sense.

On the side I am putting up a poll (and you can select multiple types), lets see what the results show.

Thanks for reading.

John

Yelling & Screaming

I think we have now entered the yelling & screaming stage. Sophie is overall is a pretty quiet baby, but in the last week or so she has found her voice a bit. She just yells at you, sometimes to get your attention and sometimes to show that she is not happy. Still kind of cute, but i am guessing that I will not think it is cute in another week or so. Haha, I am sure there is plenty more yelling to come. Scarlett (Natalia's baby), she loves to yell. Oh yeah, and Scarlett got her first tooth. No pictures, but if Natalia shares it with me, i certainly will post it. No teeth for us yet, but we are certain she is teething. So many things that I am just so unprepared for including teeth, crawling, walking, talking, talking back.

Anyway, hope you all are having a great weekend.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Laughing Baby

Ok, got some good laughing on video. Disregard the stupid hiccup noises that Angie and I had to make.... Pretty cute i must say. Sorry I took this long to do this and will try to provide more videos in the future.

video

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Easter Weekend

I hope you all had a nice long weekend. The weather here in Toronto was awesome, so literally the whole city was outside and for once we had a nice long weekend. Last year literally every long weekend had terrible weather so it was a nice change.

It was so nice to spend 3 days with my girls even though Saturday was the busiest day ever.... for me, and i am sure you will all tell me, it wasn't that busy of a day. here is the run-down.

wake up at 6:30 (ok, maybe closer to 7) get up and go and drop off the car to get the snow tires removed. this is one of those Canadian things where we have special tires for winter driving. So i dropped off the tired for 7:30 and walked back from the shop.

get on my bike (this is by choice, i don't want anyone thinking that i had to bike somewhere) and go to a pharmacy about 15 kms away to fill a prescription for Sophie (acid reflux they say)

come back after my glorious bike ride and go for a walk with Angie and Sophie for groceries. Oh yeah, before which Angie points out that the fridge is really not working.

come back from walk and pick up car, now around noon and all go together to pick up the medication. another walk over there.

come home and attempt to fix the fridge, and to my shock after about an hour or so discover the problem and fix it. for those that know me, i am an "engineer", notice the quotes, went to school for it, but pretty much useless as far as fixing things around the house.

make dinner, cleanup after the fridge fixing

8:30pm, ready for bed. hold off till about 10.

John

Lamaze toys - Sammy

Ok, Sammy the centipede is by far Sophie's fave. From the very first time she saw him she was in love. She would just lie there in the crib and stare at him. A little bit about Sammy, he is about the length of a baby, 60 cm or so. He plays music, has the standard Lamaze colours and these green legs to grab onto.

I can't express how much she likes him, you put him in the crib with her and she is totally in love.

10 out of 10 in my book, a must buy.

John

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Lamaze toys - Flutter Bug

Ok, here is flutter bug. I didn't think he was all that special, but Angie has told me and i quote "he buys me 30 minutes a day". He is pretty useful. He has that white clip at the top, so you can bring him with you and clip him onto the stroller or the chair and you are not picking him up from the floor every 2 mins (one of the best features). he also vibrates (Sophie, hasn't been able to get that going yet, but when she does it will be another bunch of free minutes). She also loves to stare at his eyes. All the Lamaze toys have these very big black eyes that she just stares at. There is probably a fleet of child psychologists and scientists designing every little part of these toys.

Anyway, next up is Sophie's personal favorite (by far) - Sammie.

John


Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Natalia on CityLine

Even though she is not blogging anymore, i am writing when she does important things. Today Natalia was on City Line which is a local Toronto talk / info show. She was on at 9am and 2pm. Here is a link to the interview she gave. The full interview is not yet available, i will update when i get that link.

Enjoy.


PS - looking good sis.

Lamaze toys - Trotter

Ok, here is Trotter, another pretty damn good toy. If you notice, he is a horse with every part of him in a different Lamaze pattern (more on the genius of these patterns in future posts). He makes 3 sounds, neighing, galloping and shuddering. By the way, i could never name the sounds a horse makes, but it can all be found here. Sophie loves him, especially the pattern on his butt.

The downside to Trotter is that he is very very sensitive, you look at him wrong and he makes a sound, so do not touch him if the baby is asleep. He is personally one of my favorites for sure. Good for many years to come.

Score: 8 out of 10.

Next the Flutter Bug.

John


Lamaze toys - Polly

For those of you that know me, you will laugh when i get so impressed with a company especially a baby company. That's mostly because i think there is so much junk out there as far as baby stuff goes and it is easy to get all wrapped up in it and shop like crazy for toys that your child will use twice. BUT, these Lamaze toys seem to work. We have a bunch of them that were mostly gifts from our friends. Here is a few of them that Sophie really loves.

So to the left is what we call "Polly the Peacock", not the official name, but that's what we call it. This thing does absolutely everything. He has a mirror, all kinds of patterns, some of the fabric crinkles, some is soft. He sits on the back of the feeding chair and Sophie stares at him while she gets burped. Loves him. He was one of her first toys and she wasn't impressed with him at first, but now he is for sure earning his keep. Ranking 8 out of 10.

Next Trotter.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Goodbye Eva

Sad day today, (Eva, 65 red roses) passed away today while waiting for her lungs. That statement really saddens me. It shouldn't be this way. Last year we came so so so close to losing Natalia mostly because of a lack of organs. I know anyone that reads this blog understands that this is a very solvable problem. Just so sad and unnecessary. I wish her peace and hope that wherever she is, she breathes easy.

John

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Laughing laughing laughing

Still a bit sad about Natalia not blogging anymore, really miss checking it each day.... Don't worry sis, i will survive.

On our front, all is going great. Just today as our baby smiles and now laughs at everything I told Angie that i cannot recall a happier time for me. Life is really good right now and when our little Sophie just laughs and smiles at everything so are we. I am sure all of the readers with kids will recall this stage with a lot of great memories. 4 months old and just smiling and laughing, i love it. Seriously my heart literally melts when she starts laughing when you kiss her belly, her arm, her neck. I hope it stays like this for a while!!!! I will be capturing this on video and posting, it is way too cute not to.

Also i want to mention that i saw a very very good documentary called "The Cove". It won an Oscar this year and it is for sure a must see. Little tough to watch at times. Angie is a vegetarian and every day i am a little bit closer to it. ... Something to think about.

thanks for reading.

John

Monday, March 22, 2010

Back at TGH.

So today I was back at TGH for the first time in a while to help Natalia with the removal of a filter they put in to prevent clots. I never actually heard her say that she had one of these, but I always think it is good news when doctors want to remove installed medical equipment. I met natalia at the hospital and we had a really nice time while we waited. We talked about the girls and also talked about how crazy last year was. One day sis, we won't have this conversation, but it is probably still too soon. We shed some tears, but in general we were just happy to be in the spot we were.

The actual procedure went well, they were able to remove the filter and after another hour or two I drove Natalia home. To be honest, as far as the last year goes, pretty uneventful day at TGH and that is pretty much all any of us ever wants. Also Natalia shared the news with me today that she won't be writing the blog anymore. I was kind of surprised, but also not really. Completely understand what it was for and it has ran its course. I have no doubt though that all of us will hear from Natalia again and I consider myself not just her brother but also an avid follower of her blog.

It also saddens me, that Natalia had to deal with some of the things she did, the comments, the judgements. Since I was heavily involved in going public with the story (out of desperation for getting the word out about organ donation) I also feel like I should respond to it. Natalia said it well enough, if you don't understand why we went public and you in some way think that we did it for publicity, well, you are just missing the point completlely. We simply did it to get the word out, get the conversation started and move the cause along. I think that part for sure was accomplished. Natalia's transplant story was one of the most read stories done by the Toronto Star, and that is for a reason. People connect with it because they feel like it could be them or their child, that is in this situation. And that is the way we should think of it, it wasn't about Natalia, but about a few thousand Canadians who are waiting for organs and hopying and praying that they come. Some like Natalia get lucky and the organ arrives, but many (a quarter) are not so lucky. All of us, Natalia, Martin. Me and the rest of our family wish that everyone should get a chance at a new life. That simple, give people a chance to live, and organ donation can provide that chance to thousands in Canada.

Ok. Onward.

John

PS - I will make periodic updates about Natalia on the blog.
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Sunday, March 21, 2010

Toronto Star... again

Well done Barbara, bringing the Transplant Story full circle. This will give me plenty of topics to write about, lots and lots to discuss here. I know i have said this many times to her, but thank you Michelle for making the toughest decision anyone should ever have to make.

Finding Hope in a mother's death.

As always I would say say go buy the Toronto Star (sunday) in print, nice pictures.

John

Friday, March 19, 2010

Red Lip + other cute things

Hey guys, something cute that I have wanted to write about, but just haven't got to it. My daughter Sophie has this fascinating thing that she does, when she concentrates on something like a toy, her upper lip goes all red. It was quite apparent a month or two back, now I don't quite see it as much. It makes angie and I laugh each time, she is concentrating so so hard..... Funny rabbit.

She is also now really starting to laugh, she has been smiling all over the place for some time, but now she is laughing. She laughs when being held, at funny faces, and at the same parts of the songs we sing to her (mcdonald, she loves that). I love to see her smile like that, it is cute, but mostly because it is such an honest smile. She is so happy at that time, whether it is her favorite toy (a lamaze centipede), seeing herself in the mirror, laughing at songs or whatever else, it is so genuine and pure. How do you keep it that way? I am guessing every parent dreams that their child stays as lovable, loving or cute as a 4 month old, but in time it changes. So far I have loved every part of this 4 months, my back hurts (but this is not a complaint) and I literally cannot believe that I got so lucky having the family I have. Pretty cool.

Anyway, not sure how I got from Red Lip to this, but if you decide you will write every day (and take 10 minutes to do so), not everything will be poetic.

Chat soon.
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Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Scarlett, 8 months old today

Today is a special day, 8 months ago, my niece Scarlett (Natalia's daughter) was born. It seems like ages ago, but it in some ways it also feels like yesterday. It has been a crazy crazy 8 months, but since that has been pretty well documented at this point I won't go into it. I was also very excited about Natalia and Martin having a kid, and was so glad when they found an amazing surrogate in Beth to carry Scarlett for them. I don't exactly remember who called me, but basically Angie and I got the call in the evening that Beth was on her way down to Toronto and that the baby is coming. I thought we should go to the hospital, but I was told to go to sleep and we will be kept updated. In the morning, I didn't go to work, but met my mom and natalia at the hospital, but there wasn't a whole lot of progress on the baby front so my mom, angie and I went to lunch. Things started to progress a bit later and we were back at Mount Sinai.

It's funny, now that I am thinking about it, the details seems quite sketchy, but in short Beth was getting closer and closer, BUT, Natalia needed some of her meds so mom and I went to her house to pick them up and.... you guessed it, when we were there the baby was born. Angie who at the time was already quite pregnant herself missed seeing Scarlett be born my a minute or two. She decided to leave the room when the pushing got a little more serious. Angie and I still laugh at the fact that she was basically right there for the birth and saw the baby soon after Natalia and Martin. It was incredible to see Natalia and Martin with their little one after all they had to go through.

From that day I have got to watch Scarlett grow and grow and start becoming a child (she really no longer seems like a baby to me). I love her very much and she really likes her uncle, she looks at me in a special way (I can tell). So Scarlett, keep growing, enjoy your month birthday and I can't wait to see you and Sophie become girls and women.

John

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Incredible Day Outside.... Winter is done.

Today was one of those days that i love here in Toronto.... The winter is finally over, not that this was really a winter at all, literally no snow at all and a few cold days. Today, was a record temperature for March 16th of 19 degrees C. Incredible, i knew the day was going to be great when i got out on the bike at 7am for my morning commute and could tell that i was very very overdressed. We live in the west-end of the city and i have about 11km to work (door to door) mostly over the Martin Goodman Trail. It is a really enjoyable part of my day. I love my bikes and nothing is quite like a bike ride. Angie and i have met through the whole running, biking, triathlon crowd so we have missed being active.

But it was the way home that was really great, i biked out from the office shortly after 5 and Angie took Sophie for a walk along the trail and we met along the way. It really was great. Our plan is that we will do that every chance we get since we love being outside and want Sophie to love it too. So today was really cool, meeting my girls on our first walk. One of many after work meetings.

You guessed it, we are the people that are getting the running stroller and that thing you attach to the bike to pull the kid. I really hope she likes the outdoors :)

Chat soon folks and let me know which running, biking toys you have bought and liked.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Appt was good.

So we actually had a really good dr. appointment with Sophie today. All is good, her weight and her height are great and she is where she should be. We are very very happy about it. We also had the 4 month shots, but since we are now pros (2nd time) and since I have seen a needle or two delivered in my life, we handled it well.... I held the baby, angie turned around and didn't look and the nurse delivered the shots. The nurse always says that the second one really hurts and you can tell that she might be right, sophie hardly noticed the first one, but she did some nice crying on the second one.

My favorite part is that Angie as part of her lab work has taken lots of blood and bone marrows I think, but she was an incredibly cute mom today and turned around for the festivities. So overall, it was cool and hopefully things stay great and we go back for more at 6 months.

Thanks for reading everyone. Now I need to come up with some new and exciting topics, and I for sure will take any requests. For those that know me, you know I have an opnion or two....

John
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Dr. Appointment

Up early for our 4 month dr. appoinment this morning. That means the second round of vaccinations. I am sure it will go great, she was great about it last time, almost no crying at all, but I am guessing it gets worse the older they are.

That's it for now, will report after we get our report card from our doctor.

John
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Sunday, March 14, 2010

4 months.... with photo

You guys are completely right, what's a post about a baby without a picture of the baby. Here she is. looking quite cute if i may say... A few words to explain this one... You might notice she is wearing a camouflage dress, a good friend of mine JR saw it at Bass Pro and bought it (since i like to fish). This terrifies Angie a bit, but she was a good sport and put Sophie with her animals. Haha. Still laughing at this... I am guessing the only time she will wear the camo outfit (probably for the best).


This one here is a bit more traditional, but not nearly as funny.

Chat soon.

John

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Sophie is 4 months today

So day 1 of my blog everyday thing is today.... So far so good. Actually, it's not that I don't have stuff to write about, I feel like I always do, but the topics may vary greatly so maybe the blog will switch its focus a bit. We will see. I am guessing there might be some very short and very boring posts coming as early as tomorrow.

But today, I have stuff to write about. Sophie is now 4 months old and somewhere around 15 poulds. I also think she is quite long, but I don't have any exact data on this, but she seems tall and since both angie and I are tall, this is not very surprising. She is now in a stage that I adore, she is smiley and laughing and into her toys and listens and concentrates when we read to her. It is incredibly cute. Her hair is starting to come in all very blond and the current redish blond hair she has is fading away. She also found her hands and her mouth and she grabs for everything and puts it in her mouth. Very cute.

Her "talking" is getting funnier and funnier and she is making more and more sounds every day.
On the sleep front all is really good which we are thrilled about, we are now using some of these pick up and put down techniques and teaching her how to go to sleep on her own and to my total surprise it is really working. It is not taking us very long to ger her down and she is sleeping through most of the nite (down around 8 and making it to about 5). We love that right now, but we know this could change on a dime so we are enjoying it while it lasts.

That's it for now and I will be writing about something tomorrow, no idea what that will be, but there will be one tomorrow.

Thanks for reading.
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Friday, March 12, 2010

Blog every day.....

Since I am terrible at writing regularly, I am commiting to writing every day. I always have things I have found interesting and questions I have, so from now on, I am writing a short blog every day. In the evening.

Hope you are all well.

John
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Friday, February 26, 2010

Poo out the back, a question.

Hello all, before I go out there and try to redesign diapers, I thought I would ask all of you first. So my wonderfull daughter who is now like 3 and half months old, has poos that go out the back of the diaper almost every time. It was funny at first, but there is only so many times a day you can wash everything.

We have tried different types of diapers and sizes, without any luck, any thoughts?

Hope you are all well.

John
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Sunday, February 14, 2010

My olympic dissapointment so far...

I love sports, mostly participating, but generally love competing and spending time with people that feel the same way about sports and what they mean to us. For me the olympics are an incredible human story. People dedicating their lives to the pursuit of a single goal for a single day in the distant future. Most of these athletes work their butts off and never see the fame and riches of their professional counterparts. You can see the pride and the effort during the olympics in a way that doesn't quite show up in the Superbowl, Stanley cup or the NBA championship (the world cup of soccer comes close).

The opening ceremony of the Olympics is the beginning of the games and it should showcase the country as well as the Olympic ideals and overall I think it was a very nice ceremony, not over the top.... very Canadian. Except one thing for me. During the week leading up to the Olympics there was a lot of speculation who would light the Olympic flame and most people were saying the it would be Wayne Gretzky, our hockey hero. Not a bad choice at all, since he is a great sportsman, father and a role model for athletes from all sports, but in my opinion another Canadian Terry Fox should have been chosen. It isn't my idea at all, and there were some rumors that a hologram of Terry Fox would light the torch. For those of you that are not Canadian you can read about Terry Fox here, but in short, Terry Fox was an incredible young man that decided to run across Canada to raise money and awareness for cancer. He did all on one leg since he lost his right leg to cancer a few years ago. He started on Canada's Atlantic coast in Newfoundland and ran all the way to Thunderbay, Ontario. That is a distance of over 5400 kms while averaging a marathon a day (42km). He had to abandon the run due to his cancer coming back into his lungs after 143 days. His goal was to collect a dollar from every single canadian which he did (24 Million at the time). Sadly he died next June at the age of 23. His foundation has raised over 500 million dollars for cancer research.

To me, Terry Fox is one of those people that makes me very very proud to be Canadian. In my opinion, it is hard to name the Canadian that defines the Olympic spirit more than he does and I was very very excited about his possible inclusion in the Vancouver Games. It would have been great and even Terry Fox's mother Betty thinks that he should have been included in this article. Anyway, it was a nice ceremony, but it could have been spectacular.

John

3 months old

I apologize for my inconsistent writing lately. I always want to write a post, but than something comes up and all of a sudden I haven't written in a few weeks. Will be better, I promise.

So Sohpie just turned 3 months old yesterday which is just incredible to me. It in a lot of ways seems a lot longer than that, but I am guessing most of that has to do with everything that was happening right around her birth. It's funny how incredible all that seems now. Waiting for sophie to be born and Natalia fighting for her life at St. Mikes. It seemed like a crazy race and I was really hoping that Natalia gets to meet her niece. I never lost hope, but the idea of witnessing Sophie be born while Natalia was on a ventilator across the street seems completely out of this world to me now. I am so glad how it all turned out and like Natalia said many times during 2009, "things are really coming together".
And things have really come together, everyone is doing well and adjusting to their new lives, Natalia to her new incredible lungs, being a full-time mom again and Angie and I being parents to our little pumpkin. I must say, it has been an incredible 3 months and Scarlett and Sophie woint believe us when we tell them about it one day. So November 13th and a week later Nov 21st are very very special dates and I look forward to celebrating both of those in the future. I have a number of pictures to post of all of us and will add them to the blog in the near future. Thanks for reading.

John

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Thursday, February 4, 2010

Ok... I lost

It really looks like everyone thinks that Sophie looks like Angie. I totally agree and couldn't be more thrilled by that. Very few men should really want their daughter to look like them and not their significant other :) just saying, most of us are not pretty enough for that.

Anyway, not much to report over here, we seem to have recovered from our illness and sophie is now 13 pounds and will be 3 months in not too long. Time flies when you are having fun, but it really seems a lot longer than 3 months to be honest (not in a bad way).

I have some big blog posts in the works about Natalia's surgeon Dr. K and a few other things so sorry for the lack of writing. My goal is shorter and more frequent posts.

Chat soon.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Who does Sophie look like?

We really can't figure it out at all. When she was born, i could see me (without the nose, thank god). Now it is not so easy so we are asking you out there. Here is a picture of each of us and please vote in the poll to the right.



Beautiful Angie

Beautiful Sophie

Me...

Thanks. I am laughing as i did this so lets hope it amuses you guys as well.

John

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Sick pumpkin

So over the last week or so, all 3 of us have managed to get sick, it started with some coughing and moved on to full on sick. Yesterday we took Sophie to the doctor since it just wasn't going away on its own and the doctor said her lungs were congested. We got some inhalers for her which we started immediately. It was tough seeing our little girl struggling and coughing and sneezing, so it was great to see the meds start working so quickly. Angie and I are big believers in our healthcare system (since angie works in it and I have seen it save natalia) so we didn't have any objections to the medicine. She had to get sick at some point so I am glad that we are working our way out of our first bout. To be honest, Sophie was actually really great through the whole thing, it was us that were really worried for her, but I guess that is our role :). So all is well, we are on the mend and hoping to be back at full strength very soon.

John
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Cute things my daugher does.

So Sophie has now entered a new stage, she is more and more alert and every day she is doing more and more cute things. I am sure all the mothers out there will read this and wonder why I am surprised at all these things, but prior to having a child I really didn't spend a lot of time thinking about childhood development, so everyday is just full of surprises for me.

1) Loves her vowels right now and works incredible hard to mimic them... A, E, I, O, U.... It makes me laugh just thinking about how hard she tries and her A and E are world class :).

2) She very recently has found out that yelling or screaming is a lot of fun, very new. She just yells stuff out and not because she wants to cry at all.

3) Sneezing and farting / pooing at the same time, this is for sure one of my personal favorites especially when the poo goes out at a high velocity and escapes at the back of the diaper and up her back.... Good times!!!!

4) When we walk down the stairs holding her, she makes this cute noise and tucks in her knees, as if she was worried about falling. It is very cute, with each step down she tucks the knees right in. Haha.

5) Bathtime, we have a great time with the bath. It wasn't her personal favorite early on, and she is still quite scheptical when getting in, but now we usually can get a lot of smiles out during each bathtime. She now smiles when she splashes the water with her hand.

Angie always said that she loves babies from 3 to 6 months and I am starting to see why. Every day is something new and it almost seems like we are seeing her communicate with us. Pretty amazing.

John
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Thursday, January 14, 2010

Congested Sophie

so we had a great day at the doctor's yesterday and despite the 2 needles sophie got in her thighs, it was a pretty uneventfull day. We gave her the recommended infant tylenol which kept her pretty much out of it for the day. In the evening she was her usual self, but it almost seems like she developed a bit of a cough and is quite congested. I am sure this is totally unrelated to the actual shot. So today I worked from home and we spent the day trying to clear her nose to help her breathe a bit easier. She sounds really terrible, but the snot is moving now so hopefully she will be better shortly. (I am sure she will).

John

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Wednesday, January 13, 2010

2 month appointment

So today sophie is 2 months old and we have a dr. Appointment. Big day today, first set of shots. It all went well, baby is doing fine and there was a quick shot in each thigh. More difficult on angie and I than sophie. She cried a bit and went to sleep for the car ride home, so overall it was better than I expected. That's it, let's see how it goes for the rest of the day and hopefully she doesn't get a fever or a lot of swelling from the needles.

Can't believe she is 2 months old, but in some way it seems like she has been with us for a lot longer than that (not forever), but longer than 2 months. I keep making angie laugh when I say, remember when we got her.... She is not a puppy john :). Anyway, all is well over here.

John
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Friday, January 8, 2010

CBC Part 4

Quick update, for any of you that missed it, Mark Kelley's show did the 4th segment on Natalia and her segment. This one says it all.... Coming home.

CBC On a Mission, Part 4

John

Update

A little while since I wrote, but things have been quite busy, but really settling down. As you all know natalia was discharged from TGH and is now home. CBC who has been an incredible voice for the organ donation cause did a spectacular job in their latest segment. Easily me favorite part is the interview with natalia's surgeon dr. K. He really summed up what all the media coverage was all about, a spotlight and a human face to the unbelievable things organ donation can do. He also spoke of the problem it is in Canada and our lagging behind most developed nations. Like he said, we are so extremely good at transplantation (in his case arguably the best in the world), but not as good at making the organs available and that is a true shame. I bet his team would love to have the "problem" of having too many lungs and not enough recipients, but that simply is not the reality right now. Our family fully plans to continue this fight for others that are waiting and we will need your help and there will be plenty of ways to get involved.

So that's it for now, Natalia is home, adjusting to what must feel like a new life without waking up in a hospital bed. Go sis Go !!!!!

John
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Sunday, January 3, 2010

Pumping question

I have a question for all the parents out there and it has to do with breast feeding an more specifically with pumping breast milk. Angie and I have tried this and it works (kind of). Let me explain, we can pump milk and we get some, and sophie gladly east from the bottle.... So far so good. But we can't pump enough to get ahead in any way so basically we pump and it is gone the same day.... So we are not sure what the point of it is. We were thinking that we could pump and build up a little bit of milk inventory (let's say enough for a few feeds) and give angie a break for a feed or two and I can feed. But we don't seem to be able to achieve that. Are we doing something wrong or missing the point of it?

Any help would be great.

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January fishing

So continuing my once a month fishing thing going with a trip to the niagara whirlpool. This time went with my good friend Mario (The Healthy Butcher). Didn't really look at the weather forecast, I knew it was going to be cold but didn't know it was going to be snowing like crazy. We left at 5:30am and got there before the sun came up and it was really snowing. There was no snow in st. Catherine's but as we went up the mountain it was really coming down. There was one other crazy guy from barrie there by himself so we didn't feel completly crazy. Didn't catch anything, but had a great time and how many people can say that they fished in January and every month since april. Anyway, as usual a great time, but I would really like to catch a fish on the niagara one day. Someone help me with this please (usually not this bad at fishing). February I am thinking a 2 day trip on lake nippissing or simcoe, some ice fishing to mix it up :)

Till next time.
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