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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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....

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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.

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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.


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.

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