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
Sent on the TELUS Mobility network with BlackBerry

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
Sent on the TELUS Mobility network with BlackBerry

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
Sent on the TELUS Mobility network with BlackBerry

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


 
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