Posts

Showing posts from 2010

Happy New Year-in-Review.

Image
I held off writing our annual Christmas family update letter until New Year's Eve this year. Okay, I didn't exactly "hold off" like I had a great urge that was hard to restrain or something. It was more like I procrastinated a long as I could and if I don't do it today, it won't get done.

I'm fairly certain all our family and friend's lives would carry on quite smoothly without this annual onslaught of information, and truth be told, I do it for myself as much as anything.  It's sort of a forced inventory checklist in which one can't help but count their blessings. And it's interesting to go back a few years later and read them.

The early part of 2010 felt sort of like a "getting back to normal" period. I was back to work after a number of months off having a hysterectomy, which declared my ovaries cancer free. (Yay God) And Jason, our boarder moved into his own place. This left us once again as cat-free empty nesters. Of cours…

Is this normal?

Image
I know I gave birth 4 times plus I raised my nephew for most of his young childhood, I should know what's average for achievement and growth milestones. But still, I find myself watching Xander and frequently asking, "Is this normal?"
Yesterday I brought him home for an hour after church, before I had to head off to work. I pulled his boots off and one of his socks stayed inside a boot. I set him down and chased him off to find PaPa - one sock on, one sock off - he was only here for a short while, what did it matter. He got to the living room and decided that this one sock business was just too wierd so he pulled the other one off. Nothing too abnormal about that. Except that he didn't just throw his sock on the floor and climb up on PaPa like I would assume a "normal" child would, he carried it back to the door and tucked it into the boot that didn't have a sock stuck in it. Is this normal? (OCD comes to mind)
Then there is the nativity set. Last year I…

When you are a boy, you are a boy.

Image
Potty training is never fun, however sometimes it's funny.

To aid in keeping the wee child occupied while sitting waiting for "the big poop" to appear or for him to "put the pee-pee in the potty" our bathroom has become a bit of an entertainment centre. There is a stack of books on the back of the toilet. There is a bucket full of rolls of dollar store stickers. My bathroom wall/cabinet/floor/toilet are dotted with stickers. There is a duck shaped flashlight on the vanity that Xander will shine on various things and name them as he sits doing his business. (Kind of a more high tech game of I Spy)
The other day he got off the potty to get a new book from the back of the toilet. In doing so, he knocked some stickers onto the floor between the toilet and tub. Xander goes around to the far side of the toilet and crouches to get the stickers - his bare butt sticks up in the air as he lowers his head towards the floor.
He immediately stands up and runs towards me, ex…

Whose idea was it anyway??

Image
Don't get me wrong. I could not be more thankful that Jed receives a disability pension and that we received a grant to turn our basement into a suite for him. And I take responsibility for designing the layout of the suite. And I had a vision of the front entrance addition before I had even viewed the inside of this house we live in. However, I question the sanity of the decisions that made the front entrance Jed's entrance.

You would not believe the number of times the voices in my head repeat the words of his social worker Beth Q, when the plans were in the works for his suite and consequential semi-independence. "It's his home and if he chooses to paper the walls with Disney posters and live with waist deep laundry, and have cats ruling the roost and eat hot dogs 6 days a week, so be it. He's an adult. It's his home." Looking back, it's like she was freakishly prophetic. And the concept is right. However...

I don't think she was thinking abou…

Remember when Sunday was called "A day of rest?"

At 7:52AM  I glance at the clock. I groan but then console myself with "I can lay here for another 20 minutes, church doesn't start until 9:15"   Then at 8:16  "Enough already!" I firmly reprimand myself. "Just get your butt outta bed- you've got 35 minutes to shower, get dressed and out the door."

I roll over and grab my iPhone, and with bleary eyes I check Facebook to see if the kids are online - if Xander's up and ready I'll skip the shower and go pick him up for church instead. No kids online.
I glimpse out the window at the -25 weather as I head to the shower. I groan again and think, "I should just crawl back into bed - I could get almost 3 more hours before I work at noon."

But I press on, thankful there is always coffee ready at church before the service because I don't have time to make any.

By the time I get dressed and paint my eyelashes and other important stuff like that, it's 8:55- the time I normally am wal…

Avalina, Jesus, Elliott, Zeke & Quinn - Ahhh, baby fest!

Image
Yesterday was a busy day. It started off with a family breakfast with Granny, PaPa and Xander and his parents. I was puttering in the kitchen getting the coffee on when I heard a wee knock at the back door at 8:45am.
"Hell-oooo. Hell-ooo-ooo." I call out in a not-quite-singing-not-quite-baby-talk kinda voice as I head towards the door. Of course my eyes are pointing down to about 25 inches up from the floor, where I expect to see Xander's chubby little cheeks, as I open the door with a big smile on my face. Which was immediately replaced with a sheepish grin as I gaze into the knees of Troy, our drywaller, who has arrived to work on our new bathroom. I slammed the door in his face.
Poor guy didn't quite know how to respond as I reopened the door with a, "Hmmmmpft! You're not Xander!"
After breakfast I was off to the church to decorate and set up for our fundraiser-dessert night-silent auction. My afternoon was filled with a baby shower for little Avalin…

I am not afraid of spiders.

Public speaking is an irrational fear for me - like a spider fear for many others. Imagine someone with a spider fear knowing there is a tarantula running free on the table but sitting down to eat anyway. It takes that kinda guts and fortitude for me to stand up before a room full of people and make a speech.

But alas, I did it and I survived to tell the story.

I was asked to share my story of baby Ben's death at a community memorial service for people who have lost a baby - whether prebirth, during birth or in infancy. It was held in the small chapel on the cemetery grounds. (I have lived here for 34 years and did not know there was a chapel on the cemetery grounds.)

Of course I cannot share my story of Ben's death without including my story of Jed who was conceived on very same day - Remembrance Day November 11, 1985. And of how we unknowingly let God name Jedediah because it means Beloved of God. We didn't know the story of2 Samuel 12 until Jed was a few months old.

The show must go on...

Image
I'm not a cliche fan. But some just ring true. Take for example "People come into your life for a reason, a season or a lifetime". And some people fit all three - my friend Patti is one. I could list a number of reasons why we just clicked. And for a season I would have listed her as my closest friend. We've drifted a bit, but I know that I can always count on her being a lifetime friend.

Our husband's were born within weeks of each other. We've talked for years about doing something incredible for their 50th birthdays - travelling to Newfoundland, taking a tropical vacation, having a big bash etc etc.

And then 50 closes in. And reality sets in. They had a quiet family celebration for Ken while we were away on Vancouver Island. I described Alb's simple party in a previous post.

But we did use their respective birthdays as an excuse to go for dinner and attend a CD release concert for our good friend Maureen. Maureen and I have always joked that the mor…

Fifty years - Months to organize it. A minute to win it.

Image
We been trying for over a year to organize a dinner party with a few guys (and their wives) who work with Albert. It gets complicated trying to fit it into all the different work shifts and complex life schedules. We did have it all planned out in May but Jed ended up in the hospital and that was the end of partying for a bit.
Finally last Thursday seemed an opportune time to try again.
Now, normally when Alb wants to have a BBQ or dinner party he simply says, "We should have so-and-so over for dinner." And voila! It all comes together. But this time he did the date-setting, confirming with guests, suggestion of menu items, etc. Yes, I still had to shop and cook but I'm okay with that - and trust me, so were the guests. On October 25th, 1960 my mother-in-law gave birth to an amazing man. Well, he wasn't a man at the time and probably wasn't all that amazing in the moment, but he's turned into one over these fifty years of life. But one of his most endearing qu…

OMG and LOL

I was gonna blog a nice sentimental "Happy Thanksgiving" piece about living a life of thankfulness and all the things we have to be grateful for. But alas something funnier came up.  :)  Whew!

It amazes me how often during Sunday morning church someone's cellphone will ring. I love it when you get to hear a freakin' amazing ringtone like "Who Let the Dogs Out?" or "Do You Think I'm Sexy?" at the most inopportune time.

I was in a meeting one time where the speaker totally just humorously worked into the beginning of her speech a little exercise where she had everyone shut off their ringers ... this should be routine training in bible college.

But alas, just to cover my butt, I recently changed my ringtone to "Where is my Cell Phone?" a little ditty by the Veggie Tales (a nice Christian cartoon) originally called "Where is my hairbrush?" This morning, during Thanksgiving Service, I forgot to shut off my ringer. ... but ser…

Size matters.

Image
I was trying to impress upon my mother how amazing the iPhone is. You can get your email, do your facebooking, surf the internet, google an address etc etc (you can even make phone calls)  All with this 2x5 inch piece of wonder technology. She kinda burst my bubble a bit when she pointed out, "We have just finally gotten computer monitors to a decent 24" size - why on earth would you want to do all that stuff on a 2" screen."
Of course it's not the size that excites me, it's the mobility. As matter of fact the size of the screen and letters was a bit of an awakening for me. I was always proud of my top-notch vision in a family of glasses-wearers. But alas I  have come to realize my good vision was due in part to the large size of computers and TVs. Cuz trying to read my messages, especially in the morning, poses a bit of a challenge on the iPhone. 
I had to cave and get me some drugstore readers. WOW! I'm shocked at how failing my eyesight really is.  I …

An App a day keeps the frustration at bay.

I used to love learning. I always loved school (not necessarily "going to school" but the learning part) and doing puzzles and things like that. But I have a fairly short stick-with-it-even-when-it-is-difficult-to-grasp attention span - hence I never went on to become a famous researcher able to save the world or anything like that. I tend to lean more to the creative side where you can just make stuff up as you go along and pretend that's what you intended.

I loved learning about computers and all that entailed back in the late 80's and the 90's. Besides actually learning about computers, I loved that they assisted you in learning other stuff - click a button to search or view and voila the information I required is at hand. Editing written stuff became a snap. I've long since given up reading books. On those occasions when I'm doing a group study or something I find it frustrating being unable to click on "find" and "search".

Even …

Key events of a Tuesday.

Tuesdays are usually Gummy Bear Song day - Xander spends the day with Granny while Mommy goes to work.

I opened the door yesterday morning to his little knock and he stood there at his full 27 (or whatever) inches holding up Mommy's car key towards me saying, "Key. Key. Key." One syllable words are good. While his comprehension and understanding are great, verbally... let's just say he's a boy. He hasn't mastered too many 2 syllable words yet. Apple is "ap" and PaPa is "Pop" etc.

He did his usual routine - shoes off, run check out his guitar, pull a few books off the shelf, turn on the TV in the spare room, open the goldfish cracker cupboard, lift the lid and check out his potty... all while toting the car key. He was not keen on giving it up when Mommy had to leave so I grabbed my key off the counter and offered to trade him. He gladly accepted, kissed Mommy goodbye and set about his business.

It was a while later before I really paid …

When I'm up I can't get down.

I've always been a bit of a Great Big Sea fan. And yesterday while I was out shopping I couldn't help but reminded of this song - one of their biggest hits:
"When I'm Up (I Can't Get Down)"
I am the fountain of affection

I'm the instrument of joy

And to keep the good times rolling

I'm the boy, I'm the boy,

You know the world could be our oyster,

You just put your trust in me,

Cause we'll keep the good times rolling

Wait and see, wait and see....oh wait and see!



His exhaltation, a sweet disintegration.

A few discolorations, then it comes along

up is why he chooses, the kisses and the bruises

There ain't nothing he refuses, then it comes along

It comes along, and I am lifted, I am lifted, I am lifted!


When I'm up I can't get down

Can't get down, can't get level

When I'm up I can't get down

Get my feet back on the ground

When I'm up I can't get down

Can't get down, can't get level

When I'm up I can&…

Xander Salamander.

Image
Tomorrow Xander will be 18 months old. Being marginally biased, I have to say he is a very clever little boy. And cute. Definitely cute. And well behaved.

I credit God and good genes for all these attributes. Before he was even born, I prayed that the child would be born healthy, but my real request was that he would be kind and smart. God has honoured this and thrown in cute and well behaved as well.
He loves computers. (He'll replay the Gummy Bear song 30 times in a row if you let him.)

He is definitely cute.

He loves rubber ducks. He has many, but there are two whose beaks are slightly different than the others, and he has always favoured them. We call them Fat Lips and Skinny Lips. He will gladly share his ducky collection with you, but Fat Lips and Skinny Lips, not so much.

He loves doing crafts. Here he's designing a mug for Daddy's birthday.

And did I mention he was cute. Definitely cute.

While he is a long way from being "potty trained" by sixteen months he…

Weather, wasps and weeds.

Image
As far as weather goes, we've had a record breaking fantastic summer here in PG. Even back in May and June when the rest of the province (including the Okanagan, where we were stationed while Jed was in hospital) got rain nearly every day.
Of course good weather leads to forest fires, smokey air, and campfire bans with million-dollar fines.
Thankfully our portable fire pit remained legal. Camping is just not the same when you sit in a circle and stare at nothing.




Then last week we got our first rain of the summer and the fire ban was lifted. This meant the wasp colony living under Jed's sidewalk could be dealt with. The had burrowed a huge tunnel right under the cement. This of course was my reason for not weeding the flower beds.
Jed dressed in combat gear and filled in the mouth to the tunnel with sand... only his father forgot to tell him to wait until AFTER dark so the wasps would all be inside. I looked out the window just before dusk and there was a massive cloud of was…

165!! Holy Bleep, Batman!

Alb and I will be attending the wedding of Tineke and Len on September 23rd. Including the bride and groom, there will be 11 people in attendance. Not only are we attending, but Albert will be officiating the ceremony. This is very cool as he has never done such a thing before.

They were here last night going over the wedding details.

"Oh yeah," they casually mention. "Even though the location is called a park, it's really more like a hiking trail."

And then, as if it's a non-issue, she adds, "You may want to arrive a little bit early; there are one hundred and sixty five stairs leading up to the location."

 ONE HUNDRED AND SIXTY FIVE!! Holy bleep!

Well that gives me three weeks to cram in some cardio. Not only do we have to be able to actually make it up the hill, each person there is required to make a speech. I fear I'll barely be upright, much less able to make an eloquent speech.

I stood at the top of my stairs to the basement and did…

My upcoming tropical vacation.

Image
I know I've had a lot of time off work in the past two years, but I told my husband I needed a tropical vacation on an island that has nothing to do with cancer clinics and operating rooms. The solution: I get a 2-week vacation away from Tropical Pool & Spa (my employer) on Vancouver Island. Technically that's a "Tropical vacation" and it's on an island. Hey, I'll take what I can get.
Our ocean side cabin is booked in Ucluelet and our hotel in Victoria is in place as is the Washington/Schultz B&B.  Jim and Barbee will be on Salt Spring Island about the same time and they are going to join us for 4 days in the cabin.
My first thoughts were that I just wanted to lounge around in the sand, drink wine and watch the waves crash in. And I still plan for that to consume much of my time. However I decided we should also do something active. Something out of the ordinary. Something show-stopper. Something to talk about when we get home.
I did some research and…

iResisted. iPondered. iCaved.

Image
Back in May I dragged my hubby off to the mall to check into getting iPhones. After spending rediculous amounts of time in line-ups and in discussions with both Bell and Telus reps I decided I really couldn't justify them. I really don't use the cellphone I have all that much, and I was off work at the time while Jed was in the hospital.

"We can't afford them. Who knows how long I'm gonna end up being off work." I told my husband as we left the mall. And in a totally unplanned act of impulse we drove directly from the phone store to the Kia dealer and bought my brand new Soul. Okay, I admit financial prowess was never one of my strengths.

Then over the course of the summer, everywhere I turned, something else was pointing to the usefulness of having a smart phone. I began to realize "phone" really has nothing to do with it - people don't TALK on these things! As a matter of fact they use them to AVOID talking ... now we're talkin' my l…

Here I am!

Here I am!

You probably would not believe the number of times I have logged into this site and sat and stared at a blank blog in the past 6 weeks thinking, "Nothing is funny," then closing the window and walking away.

I recall saying during past discussions centered around blogging that every event in life is a potential story - it's all in the telling. Even with my slack-ass blog entries in the last few months, I'm still getting an average of 25-30 hits per day on the site. This shocks, amazes and shames me.  And so here I go with yet another attempt to become consistent at exercising my exhibitionism while allowing you to practice your voyeurism...

The Jetta finally sold on Tuesday. I say "finally" like I'd been trying hard for months to get rid of it, when in fact I did nothing more than throw an ad in the free Buy-and-Sell and post an album on Facebook about a month ago.

I got enough for it to make me happy - although I sold it cheap enough that t…

My Soul is Synced

I know I've mentioned it here before that drivers talking on phones, especially in parking lots, is one of my pet peeves. I was quite happy when I learned our province was going to be counted among those who outlaw such activity.

Enter Bluetooth.

As a side note, being somewhat of an etymologist, I had to find out where the heck the word bluetooth came from:
Bluetooth was named after Harald Bluetooth, the tenth century king of Denmark and Norway. He is known for uniting warring tribes of Denmark and Norway. Bluetooth technology was invented in Denmark and like the king, the technology is intended to unite several devices such as Mobiles, Computers.My new Kia Soul came with built-in Bluetooth. This is a good thing, since even though drivers talking on the phone is one of my pet peeves, it's other drivers talking on the phone that bothers me and I'm occasionally guilty of such action.

My first encounter with having to answer an incoming call had me scrambling to find the …

Bringin' back the 80s.

It was one of those "what were you thinking" moments. I seem to be getting them with increasing regularity. I often blame it on the drugs. It's probably just the natural aging process. While I am not a "senior" like my husband, I am edging closer and I seem to be caught in that period where I'll do something that definitely qualifies me as old - but then I realize it.

Sometimes I can catch myself in time to rectify the situation. Take for example a while ago I was clothes shopping and I actually held in my hand a pair of elastic waist pants. I know! Thank God the senior moment passed before I followed through.

Other times I don't catch myself quite so quickly. Take for example last week when I got home and looked in the mirror after making a last minute appointment to get a perm. I know! What was I thinking?

I think I was thinking about the last time I had a perm, 20 years ago when my hair was all one length and half way down my back. But somehow when…

Funny. But hey, it's money.

I've always said age is just a number - however somehow it just seems funnier when it's someone elses number.

We received our home insurance renewal notice while we were away in Kelowna. It had gone up a bit and came with the usual explanation of inflation and the cost of doing business.

Then the other day I got a phone call from our insurance agent.

"Don't pay the invoice you received in the mail," she said. "I've just realized Albert qualifies for a senior's discount this year. Your premiums will be less."

After I caught my breath and changed my pants after peeing them I laughed so hard, I thanked her. "Fifty" doesn't sound all that funny to me, but "senior"? Now THATs funny!

But hey, it saved me nearly a hundred bucks.

We now return to our real life...

Ok, this is where we pick up and carry on like six weeks of my life didn't just vanish into thin air ...

I may or may not blog more about Jed's adventures with lung cancer. Truly there were moments of hilarity amongst the stress, shock and seriousness but for now I don't feel like recalling the details. But ask me about the catheter sometime...

**Update**

We had a video conference with Dr Humer from Kelowna this morning. There was talk of discharging Jed today however, Dr Humer has requested he stay in hospital here until Saturday when he will be flown to Kelowna.
Monday he will be put under general anesthetic for another bronchoscope. They will take a larger biopsy and try to inflate the lung a bit so they can get a better idea of how far into the lung tissue the tumour is. The bulb part of the tumour appears to be about an inch and half or so. It is located right where the bronchial tube enters the lung and is blocking air from entering.

The top lobe of the lung looks pretty good but they cannot tell the condition of the lower portion because it is collapsed. They are still fairly certain it is benign but the official results have not come back from pathology yet.
Dr Humer thinks that he'll likely have the surgery close to the end of next week. however, they won't decide that for sure until after they do the bronchoscope. …

K-town here we come. Sometime. Maybe.

Image
It's looking more and more like Jed's surgical destination will be Kelowna. However, they tell me that nothing is set in stone until his plane leaves the ground.

Tomorrow (Thursday) morning at 8:30 we have a video conference with a thoracic surgical team from Kelowna. This is essentially the doctor/patient office visit done 21st century style. Jed is not too thrilled that his mother and sister are going to attend the event. But as you know life isn't always a bucket of thrills.

Hopefully after this meeting we will have a few more details like the size of the tumour, the expected length of hospital stay, and most importantly a departure time. But for now we know he won't be leaving before tomorrow morning so I can relax a bit and quite worrying about missing a phone call.

Jed is doing pretty good. He has had his IV removed because he is no longer receiving intravenous antibiotics and he is staying hydrated. He was not too impressed with no longer having an IV pole to d…

Size doesn't matter. Stat or fact?

Image
Do not put your faith in what statistics say until you have carefully considered what they do not say.
~William W. Watt


By Thursday morning, Jed had gotten over his flu symptoms (throwing up and diarrhea) but still had an uncontrollable fever and his daily chest x-rays showed that he was not responding to the IV antibiotics. They called in Dr Hamar who is an infection specialist. He figured there should have been a marked improvement in lung function after 4 days on IV and suspected maybe Jed had inhaled vomit or something so he ordered a bronchoscope be done.

Jed had to fast Friday morning and about noon he was wheeled to the ambulatory care unit where normal procedure is to receive a mild sedation that will have the patient sleep for about 5 minutes while they put a camera down the throat and into the lungs for a good visual inspection.

Staying true to form, Jed refused to go to sleep so they gave him a second sedation. He still refused to sleep. An anesthetist was called in to put…