Monday, March 30, 2009

We have nice saxophone music....

The hospital called me last Friday to tell me to come in for my MRI on March 30th instead of April 30th. My instructions were to not eat or drink for 4 hours before and wear nothing metal - no zippers, jewelery, glasses etc. I had to take out my upper ear barbell that has been in for years. They asked if I had metal shrapnel in my eyes .. huh? How about a pacemaker? An IUD? Plates in my head?

I passed all those tests. The hardest part was finding clothes with zero metal. Even most of my jogging pants have metal eyelets for the drawstring. Bras have metal clasps and underwires. I almost had to resort to wearing pajamas, which I realize would have put me right in fashion if I were between 13-25 years old.

The MRI scanner is very very noisy. The give you a headset for ear protection and then the prep nurse asks what sort of music you want playing.

"None, thank you."

"You can have any local radio station."

"I'm okay, thanks."

"We have nice saxophone music."

"No thanks."

"You're sure?"

"Yes, I'll just listen to the magnets thump. Thanks."

The rolling table glides me into the the machine. I feel like a giant hot dog. The first session lasts only 4 minutes and the table glides me back out.

The technician says, "Hey, you didn't get any music. What type of music do you want playing?"

"None, thank you."

"We have nice saxophone music......"

Then they inject a solution into my IV, which is causing my hand to throb, because the nurse missed my vein upon insertion. This solution paralyzes my bowels temporarily. And I'm glided back inside my giant hot dog bun. One must lay perfectly still for these tests but the solution has caused my bowels (or something) to spasm a bit and I lay there feeling like I am involuntarily suppressing a cough as my stomach lurches. This quickly passed and I closed my eyes and pretended I was in a tanning bed for the remaining time. I nearly fell asleep amid the horrendous noises that sound like a reciprocating saw is about to come through the walls.

I am glided out one more time to be injected with dye so different tissues show on the exam. I imaging its course through my veins and envision pretty colours filling my cells. Okay, so I can get a little dramatic - it's my creative genes exercising themselves.

And about an hour after I entered the hospital I walked out in search of the nearest Tim Horton drive through.

I have an appointment with my doctor next Tuesday for the results.

Friday, March 27, 2009

A New Pair of Shoes Goes a Long Way in Fighting Cancer.

I bought new running shoes. This was not just a whim purchase, nor "another pair for the collection." I needed them. No, really I did.

I am by no means in danger of having to go barefoot or anything, but I really didn't have any decent walking shoes. Why would I - I rarely walk anywhere. But I will be walking a lot on the weekend of May 9-10. That's when our team, The Pink Panters, will be panting our way around the track as we participate in the Relay for Life 24 hour walk to raise funds and awareness for cancer research.

Barbee, our fearless captain, has led the way by holding a raffle to raise funds. The grand prize is a fabulous quilt constructed as a joint effort between herself and my mom.

There has been great support in the family and the community for this raffle and in the end it should raise a nice little sum of money for the cancer society. However this sum of money will be submitted in Barbee's name (as it should be) and the rest of the team members must find a way to raise their own funds.

I have thought of a few creative ways to gather support. But as time draws near and there is less than 6 weeks until the relay I will resort to the old tried-and-true means of fundraising: begging.

And so, if you feel so inclined to support me in my drive to raise funds, you can do so by clicking on my online official begging site:

Relay for Life

It is really easy and secure to donate online with a credit card and you will immediately be emailed a tax receipt. However if you are uncomfortable doing that, I certainly can take your money in person. I will even drive to your house to get it. (Fine print: some exclusions apply - for example, Jennifer I am not coming to Texas to get your ten dollars)

You can use the link above to check out who is officially on the team, and you can even join if you want. We are hoping that people will come to Masich Place Stadium to support us and maybe take a turn walking. I'll even let you push Xander in the stroller. AND you can justify a new pair of shoes.

We are gonna party for 24 hours in the name of cancer research I hope you'll join us.

I was going to take a picture of the new shoes, but alas it appears my camera has vanished in the night. It probably went home in Xander's diaper bag or carseat last night. :)

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

It's like being paid to shop in your own home.

About once a year my closet needs an overhaul. I say it needs it "once a year" but I probably only do it every second year.

I don't have a dresser, my ever talented husband built me a closet organizer with floor to ceiling shelving. On the shelving are two Superstore green buckets - one for socks and underwear and another for lingerie, swimsuits, belts, and other small stuff that accumulates.

When I've first finished overhauling, everything is totally organized in great little stacks - T-shirts, long sleeves, sweatshirts, dress pants, jeans, etc etc. By the time the next overhaul rolls around it's pretty much a jumbled mess. It's a crap shoot as to what I wear when I reach into the dark closet while Alb is still sleeping. I reach in and ... ahh, something denim. And something fleece.... hopefully they match. And hopefully it's not a pair of jeans and a pair of sweat pants.

I've been saying I'm gonna do an overhaul for a few weeks now. Finally today I decided as soon as I rolled out of bed I'd just sweep everything to the floor and then I've no choice but to get it done.

As all the piles tumbled to the floor, naturally they got churned over and all the stuff on the bottom ended up on the top of the pile. It was awesome! I found at least four shirts I forgot I had ... and they still fit! It was like shopping for free in my own home.

I sat and sorted through things making a discard pile larger than the keeper piles. Last I dumped the sock bucket. And I hit the jackpot! There laying on top of the churned over pile of socks and underwear was a hundred dollar bill. A real one. A brown piece of legal tender! As well there were 2 twenty dollar bills and 2 fives, for a total of one hundred and fifty bucks. I have absolutely no idea how long, or why it was there.

What a bonus ... I have a clean closet, a bunch of seemingly new clothes and a pocket full of cash.

Monday, March 23, 2009

What I really meant....

I offended my daughter-in-law the other day.

She has had bronchitis since Xander was born. And typical of first time Moms, she sleeps with her arm dangling into the bassinet so she can wake up every half hour and check to see if baby is breathing. Hence, she is not getting well and she is just exhausted all day.

Perhaps I came across as a little harsh when I said, "Quit waking up to check on him. If he's dead, he'll still be dead in the morning. You might as well sleep while you can."

Okay, I know it sounds awful for a Granny to say that, and if anyone knows babies can die, it's me. But the fact is, you can be doing everything right and tragedy can still occur. And we all know of cases where the parents have done just about everything wrong, and the baby survives just fine.

Of course I cannot undo my harsh approach but perhaps she'll understand what I really meant was what Jesus said in Matthew 6:27, " Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life."
And science has proved that just the opposite is true - worrying actually takes hours off your life.

And perhaps she'll glean from it that my intentions were that she should just relax and enjoy her time with her newborn and take full advantage of every opportunity to rest. No one has ever looked back on their life and wished they worried more, stressed more, slept less or spent less time enjoying their family.

Friday, March 20, 2009

One more for the collection.

Some people collect shoes. Some collect stamps, others collect guitars.

Albert came home from the guitar shop the other day and told me how much Mark ticked him off. He then gave me a passionate description of this new Godin (prounounced Go Dan) guitar that Mark had brought in.

He was hardly through the first sentence and I had an overwhelming feeling that Albert was supposed to have this guitar. He hadn't even told me the price yet - which was practically free when compared to his other guitars. I decided on the spot that I would go buy it the next day.

However, later that evening when he gave the same passionate description to Jim, Jim decided he'd go look at it for himself because Jim actually needs a new guitar.

I thought, "Okay, cool. Maybe it's Jimmy that's supposed to have the guitar. Saves me some money."

Turns out that Jimmy wasn't in love with the guitar as much as Albert.

On Monday I decided I'd take a lunch break from work and run get this instrument of beauty to surprise my husband with.

I almost never leave the store for a break. As I pulled out of the parking lot, I cut in front of a black truck that swerved at me. What are the chances that I would sneak away from work to surprise my hubby and he is on the road in front of me! The look of guilt on my face told him I was doing more than just going for Roll-up-the-Rims.

I left the guitar laying on the bed and returned to work. Of course he was thrilled, but he wasn't as convinced as I that this was the one. Apparently he'd seen another guitar in the shop that peaked his interest, although he hadn't actually played it nor inquired about the price.

So the next day he went to visit Mark and make a decision. I can't remember the factors that made him decided he indeed didn't want the guitar in the store - besides the fact the price tag was about 4 times as big.

Frankly, I'm glad that was his decision, because I felt so strongly that he was supposed to have the red guitar that I had already decided that if he returned it to trade for the other one, I was going back the next day to re-buy it.

I'm sure that would have given them something to talk about for a while at the music store.

Anyway, here it is:

The Godin 5th Avenue Kingpin in all it's glory.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Perhaps it's "other things."

I went for my ovarian ultra sound results with my new doctor the other day. And as I suspected, he's pretty much the polar opposite of my previous doctor. Last year when my doctor told me there was a lump in my breast he was quick to point out that it was probably nothing - 87% of breast lumps are benign cysts, but we'd pursue the issue just in case.

This week as the new guy is going over the radiologist's report, he informs me the radiologist is requesting I go for an MRI.

"The wall of your enlarged ovary is very thick. And that is an indicator of cancer" ... pause... "and other things," he added almost as an afterthought as if to soften the statement.

Now, I'm not stupid. I know that I am being tested for ovarian cancer - that's why I went in the first place. But still, I can't help but imagine how my previous doctor would have put it. He'd have described in detail any of the "other things" it could be and tell me we'll get an MRI done to rule out cancer.

I guess when English isn't your first language perhaps you cut to the point to save words.

Either way, my MRI appointment is April 30. Kinda makes me wonder how long it would take to get in if they didn't suspect a life threatening illness.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

When visions don't materialize the way your mind sees them...

I found this great picture online and decided I wanted one like it of Xander. Fortunately for me I know people. Smart people. People who know how to knit. Thanks Molly!

I kidnapped Xander for a couple of hours this afternoon so his mommy could nap. Okay that was a feeble excuse. I'm glad she was able to nap and all that, but I took him so I could have him all to myself for a couple of hours.

I hauled out my black velvet cape for a back drop and set up the scene.

Xander doesn't care too much for being naked so I tucked him into his little knit womb with just a diaper on and cuddled him to get him settled. Then I whipped the diaper off. Only to realize it was pooped! I wiped most of it off with the diaper and left him laying in his little womb on the blanket on the velvet cape on the floor while I ran for a warm cloth and things to clean him up.

I returned to find that he'd peed all over the knit bunting bag and himself and the cape. I snapped a couple of quick pics. Somehow they are not quite as professional looking as the image I'd stolen from the internet.

By this time baby was wet and cold and crying. I grabbed the nearest blanket from his car seat and wrapped him up to snuggle him and warm him up. As I headed towards the bedroom, where the diaper bag was, he let go with the biggest poop the young child has produced in his two weeks of life.

As it was oozing through the blanket onto my hand I scrambled around to haul out the baby bathtub, towel and other necessary accessories. I knew there was no sense removing the blanket until I was ready to dunk him.

Of course it leaked through onto his towels and I had to start over finding more. I wiped most of it off with the already poo-stained blanket and set him into the water.

Xander doesn't care too much for water yet. And when he opened his mouth to scream, his nubby (soother, pacifer - whatever term you use) fell into the water. Water that had chunks of poo floating in it. I could not plug it back into his mouth without first sterilizing it, so I had to let him howl.

I managed to get him all clean and dry and smelling so yummy like newborns do. And I flopped into the recliner with Xander snuggled into a blanket, and I took a look around me. I had wet and dirty clothes and diapers spread across my bed, all over the living room floor and through to the kitchen where there was a pile of pooped-on blankets sitting next to the full bathtub sitting on the counter beside all the bottles of Johnson's baby lotion and bath stuff.

And life is good.

I'll try again with the photo shoot tomorrow - after I do laundry.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Tineke shoots Xander

Here's a few of the pictures from Xander's photo shoot with Northern Persona. He was only 5 days old but was a great subject for Tineke. He was naked for nearly an hour and didn't even pee on anyone!

There are more posted on Facebook.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Holy baby clothes, Batman .... a mountain of blessing.

Xander's baby shower was almost overwhelming for his poor mommy. About 40 women attended the shower. And it seems no one gives just one item of clothing any more. Of course it was a given that Brandi, my Mom, Connie and I would get carried away with an abundance of gifts, but everyone was so generous. It was a great blessing for Ken and Jade and Xander.

Truly, I am going to have to get creative if I'm going to be able to keep up my spending habits. Their small house is going to need an addition before long.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Have a seat.

We have fantastic living room furniture -very nice black leather theatre seating. The problem is, that means there is only seating for 4 plus the computer chair in the room. The seating is comfy and great for watching TV, but not so conducive to visiting when you are all lined up in a row.

I decided about a month ago to wall mount the TV and place a small loveseat facing the chairs. So meanwhile I've been on the lookout for something suitable. I decided I'd add some texture to the room by going with a fabric loveseat with a bit of pattern, not a floral or anything, but maybe a tweed or a small stripe or something. I planned to avoid red, just in case I want to change things up in the future.

We have company coming this weekend so I decided today that I'd better get serious and go out and get some more seating. Here's what I came home with:

Yup, it's leather. It's a solid colour. It's red. And it's not a loveseat. It's everything I wasn't looking for. So much for changing it up.

Okay, due high demand, I've added other angles of the room:

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

A-hem ... Mr Weatherman......

I've always said the defining moment of when a person is considered an old person is determined by the autumn time change. The year that time change becomes "Yay! An extra hour of sleep" instead of "Yay! I can stay out for an extra hour" you are officially old.

Of course the Spring ahead time change to Daylight Savings Time just sucks for everyone. But I must admit I love DST. Personally I think the entire world should just get together and decide that Daylight Savings Time will become Standard time and we'll have none of this messing around with losing an hours sleep.

I love the fact that it's not quite so bright early in the morning. And I love the fact that the sun is shining when I get off work at 6. It always gives me hope and reassurance that summer is on its way. However I think perhaps someone should remind the weatherman that it is the friggin' middle of March for pity sake!

This is what we woke up to in Prince George this morning. It looks beautiful out the window, but step outside and it bites you.

Monday, March 9, 2009

That really sucks.

Tuesday I go for my follow up testing on my ovaries.

The results will be forwarded to my oncologist and my new GP, who has taken over for my recently retired doctor. I'm really not looking forward to establishing a relationship with a new doctor after 21 years of sporadic visits to the same doctor. Generally, I knew what kind of response to expect from my doctor ... it often entailed "leave it alone - you'll grow out of it."

I'm not sure what kind of response I'll get from the new guy when I tell him I don't care whether or not there's cancer in my ovaries - I want them taken out and thrown away. I'm pretty certain that I won't be needing them anymore. Especially now that I know my children can produce perfect babies.

Of course, putting myself on a waiting list for a hysterectomy will mean taking myself off the passenger list of the West Jet flight to Newfoundland this summer. That really sucks.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

A picture is worth a thousand words.

A couple of months ago Tineke (Northern Persona Photography) offered a winter special on photo shoots. She had done such a fantastic job with the wedding pictures I thought that would make a great birthday present for Jade, who's birthday was yesterday, March 6.

So I booked her for March 8th, assuming the baby would be 2 or 3 weeks old. Yeah, yeah, you know what assuming does....

When Tuesday the 3rd rolled around and there was still no baby I was thinking I'd probably have to postpone the shoot. But alas he showed up that day and so we are forging ahead with baby Xander's first photography sitting. We'll just have to be discrete and make sure his belly button raisin and his as yet uncircumcised maleness doesn't show.

Tineke has such a good creative eye when it comes to photography. I'm quite excited to see what she comes up with. Meanwhile you can check out the Canon point-and-shoot shots as posted on Facebook.

Baby Xander's Facebook Album

Friday, March 6, 2009

All our love ... and most of Granny's money.

... that's how Albert signed the card on the flowers he had sent up to the hospital for Ken, Jade and baby Xander. They just love Albert at Grower Direct and I'm sure they plagiarize his notes often.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009


Baby Xander arrived on March 3, 2009 at 9:55pm weighing 7lb 11oz and 22" long. He is just perfect. Jade did a fantastic job in labour ... drug free. And I'm far too exhausted to tell you more than that.

Monday, March 2, 2009

'scuse me, wanna see my baby?

I've never been one to carry a wallet full of photos, even when my kids were babies. We've always had a good camera and taken lots of pictures, I just don't pack 'em with me.

It's been just over 10 years since we got our first digital camera, and I've rarely even had our photos printed since that time. I have stacks of cds in my desk that house the fragile digital remnants of our family memories.

Finding digital pictures of a particular event is slightly less time consuming and marginally more organized than digging through the mandarin orange box, heaped in no particular order, full of printed photos from previous decades.

Even as a very proud Granny, I cannot fathom myself packing a brag book full of photos. For one thing, most of my purses are hardly large enough to pack a cellphone, debit card and piece of gum - life's 3 necessities.

Enter micro-technology:

Yes, my Baby X slideshow will be with me wherever I go, as long as I have my car keys with me. Now, if the kid would just show up, I could fill the digital memory with more than just images of momma's belly.

Consider Yourself Reminded.

Ten years. It's been 10 years today since I was branded with that title that no-one ever wants to wear. That is until you receive it. ...