Saturday, September 29, 2007

Storrie Saturday

Here are the instructions that DJ gave his little brother on Monday just as they were entering their respective classrooms at Preschool:

DJ: Anderson, we had fun at our days off. Did you have fun?
Ander: Yes. I go Pepe and Nana's house. I go to play park. I play at the beach.
DJ: Be sure to tell your teacher Karen and Jeanie all about your fun days. They like hearing about stuff like that.

During the elementary school open house DJ kept head locking Anderson and lifting him up 3 inches and proudly claiming to all his teachers and new classmates," This is MY Anderson. He is my brother".
Every day we ask DJ how school went. We ask open ended and specific questions in hopes that he will open up and give us some insight into his day. Alas, it is futile. IT IS ALL A SECRET. Yep, our son is attending the only top secret, covert elementary school in the city!
On Tuesday I had a series of errands to do, so after we walked DJ to the bus stop Madigan, Ander and I walked to the coffee shop, the bank, the grocery store and our last stop before the play park was the College. ( I am taking a night course and wanted to update my file to reflect my married name). When we walked into the College, Ander's mouth dropped and he exclaimed, " What a big big school Mommy! Hold my hand so you do not get lost!".

Then, as we were weaving our way to the far end of the campus, Ander relaxed a bit and started to sing. You see, at Preschool when the students change classrooms they sing the Hallway Song. So, here we are walking the corridors of this fine academic establishment and Ander, at the top of his lungs is singing, " Walk our friends down the hall, down the hall. We walk our friends down the hall, down the hall. We waaaaaaaallk our friends down the hall, be careful not to fall, we walk our friends down the hall, down the hall." It was hilarious to see the faces of all the teenagers turning and smirking at us. Anderson had a few of them in hysterics.

Friday, September 28, 2007

My Sweet Husband

***** Reader discretion is advised due to TMIP (Too Much Information Post) Many, especially squirmy FATHERS, may find the preceding post a bit graphic.*****

I have the sweetest husband in the world. His thoughtfulness and his love for me seems to have no boundaries and I am so lucky to have him in my life.

Why this public adorning of praise of love???? Well... Diet Coke With Lime, 2-Bite Brownies and a Chocolate Bar. YepDiet Coke With Lime, 2-Bite Brownies and a Chocolate Bar....this afternoon, while putting away the dishes, I discovered this little stash of heaven.

Now, I am in the process of trying to loose my baby pounds. I have been trying to eat healthy and get more exercise. So, why am I so touched and mushy about finding a few items from my banned list? Why did I not get angry and loudly voice my concern that my darling husband is sabotaging my efforts? The reason is simple....Aunt Flo....good old Aunt Flo *.

Let me set the stage for this wonderful act of kindness. Since January 2003, Aunt Flo has visited only 5 times due to back-to-back-to-back pregnancies. And early this week, she made her second appearance since Madigan was born in February.

I can remember feeling awful during Aunt Flo's monthly visits when I was younger - but NOTHING compares to how I have felt these last two visits. Dare I say that Aunt Flo is certainly not a welcomed guest at my household. Her visits have left me cranky, irritable, emotional, crampy, short tempered, bloated, and down right loony. I simply HATE Aunt Flo and would love to get rid of her!

This is my humble opinion - my husband has another take on the situation. He welcomes Aunt Flo's monthly visits. In fact, every 20-something days he keeps inquiring about her anticipated arrival and on the 26th day he sighs a sigh of relief and then in a noble manner, accepts all the baggage Aunt Flo brings into our household. And after three nights of me complaining that we have no chocolate in the house...he smuggles the banned substance into our house...what a guy!

Here is the ironic part of the situation...while having my c-section for Madigan, we took steps to prevent any additional chapters from being added to the Storrie Triology. So, David's relief each month is a bit amusing. Just goes to show you what walking the Lunatic Fringe can do to your senses!

While I thank the heavens for such an understanding and wonderful husband - David thanks the heavens for Aunt Flo!

* Aunt Flow, a reference to having your period.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

A rose by any other name...

A dear friend of mine is expecting her baby any day now, and they do not have a name chosen yet. Her and her husband have been at odds for 9 months. I am trying to be empathetic to her, but I have to admit, naming our 3 children was quite easy.

DJ is named after his father, who is named after his father. Easy.

Anderson was named after his great grandmother. Her maiden name was Anderson.

Madigan was named after her grandmother. Her maiden name was Madigan.

But, now that I think about it, naming a a child is a big responsibility. A delicate selection process that must take so many factors into consideration.

Firstly, both parents need to be in agreement with the name - this can be surprisingly difficult! When a good friend of mine was choosing a name her husband rejects almost every girl name she suggested since they all reminded him of past girlfriends!

Then there are those who either want or detest ethnic sounding names. This can lead to conflict or even surprise - a friend of mine vowed to not use an ethnic name - boy, were we all shocked when the baby is named after a Greek Goddess and the middle name chosen is of German descent.

You also need to be aware of the initials for each name give. We almost gave our second child the monogram GAS! Friends of ours threw caution to the wind and their child has the initials BAD!

Fourthly, you need to think of all nick-names or variations of the given name that may be used to tease the child. You also need to think of how names will be shortened. For example, if you are not fond of Bill or Will, then William may not be the name for your bundle of joy. When I speak or write about my husband or when I converse with him, I am probably the only person on the face of the earth that calls him David. If given the choice, I prefer David over Dave. He actually gets a kick out of me calling him David, since no one else does!

Nick-names are a strange entity onto their own. They are a very important name dynamic. I remember when DJ was only a few weeks old and we took him out to a restaurant. The waiter, a young kid asked what the baby's name was, and upon hearing it, commented, "WOW, cool name, he will love it in High School!"

Anderson has three main nick-names: Ander, Ander-Pander Bear and Mezzo. We much prefer Ander to Andy. Mezzo is short for Mezzanine - since Anderson is the Second Storrie child. That one started as soon as we found out we were expecting! At first DJ could not pronounce Anderson and he lovingly called him "SanSon".

Madigan has been given the nick-names Maddie, Mags, Girlie and Little Jane. At times I even call her Maggie, and a small part of me wishes we would have started that nick-name before she was born, instead of Maddie. When she was first born Ander referred to her as "Mad-Man".

Nick names are a sign of affection. Sometimes the nick-name is given, and sometimes the person seems to "grow" into a name. And most nick-names have a story behind them...or in our case, a Storrie!

Then there are the arguments for and against new-age, strange and different names. Celebrities sure have led the pack with names a bit different. Parents also need to remember that the child, their friends and teachers need to be able to pronounce and spell the name. Wacky pronunciations and spellings should be discouraged!

David and I were lucky to come to agreement so easy - and IMHO choose wonderful, strong, meaningful names. But now, I can understand the trouble some new parents may face in naming their child. So, caution to my 5 girlfriends and family members currently expecting new arrivals. Think long and hard over your name selection. And heck, Laura is a good name for a girl.

Sunday, September 23, 2007


It seems that a baby's life is simply a series of milestones: holds up head, sits, crawls, walks, talks, etc. As a first time parent, I was constantly checking the baby books to determine if our child's milestones are occurring at the correct times. My "What to Expect in the First Year" book has ear-marks at the start of each chapter and each page is very worn and the entire book has been thumbed through. I would quickly glance over the 'what your child should be able to do" section, quickly read over the 'what your child may possibly be able to do" section, and then carefully study the 'what your child might possibly be able to do" section.

Our eldest child was an early bloomer in terms of milestones. Actually, at times he appeared to be a freak of nature! Sitting on his own at 3 months, rolling over before 4 months, combat crawling at 4 months (and a day!), cruising furniture at 7 months (and 4 days), balancing on his own and letting go of said furniture at 7 months (and 14 days) and taking his first steps at 9 months and confidently walking by 10 months. Freak!

Boy, did we have issues with his early milestone achievements. Firstly, we got kicked out of Baby and Me Yoga. The course description indicated it was ideal for Moms and babies up to 6 months...the fine print said, "non-mobile" babies. We were expelled after only 1 class as my combat crawler would attempt to visit other babies laying peacefully below their posing moms.

The second issue we had was a bit more serious. We caused tensions and comparisons for other baby-mommy units - especially at play groups. I will never forget a mom watching DJ crawl around, then ask me his birth date...only to discover her child was actually 19 days older than DJ. Then she started to interrogate me: WOW, sitting up already (or crawling or cruising, or doing algebra),eh?? What exactly are you doing to encourage this behaviour? Her body language and attitude was as if I had some secret I was keeping from her!

I hate it when parents compare children. Every child is different and it is wrong to compare them with others.

Unfortunately, we fell into the habit of comparing milestones accomplishment dates between DJ and Anderson. I guess it is normal to do that - especially when there is less than a year between them. It was easy to remember DJ's milestones, especially since he was our first and given the fact that most had just occurred!

We never fretted over seeing Ander meet DJ's dates. But we did use DJ's dates as a bench mark. Anderson quickly proved he would do everything at his own time, and always fell into the normal category.

But the truth be told, we were anxious for Anderson to hit all his milestones. It was challenging caring for two little ones so close in age. And the sooner he hit certain milestones, the more he could interact with his big brother and take some stresses off me! But we never pushed and we always celebrated his own personal development journey.

I have always been very grateful that DJ walked so early. Could you imagine lugging a 1 month old and a 12 month old around in the snow and cold weather? It would have been hell. At least DJ was steady on his feet and would hold onto my hand or the bucket seat when we walked from the car to play group.

It is a very different frame of mind that I am enjoying Madigan's milestones. With each, I experience a small whiff of melancholy, and usually say a quick prayer that she does not rush. I need to enjoy and totally take in each stage she passes. She is my last baby - I want to enjoy, savour and totally appreciate each of her milestones. And a little part of me wants her to remain my little baby girl forever!!!

DJ was our "adorable freak", Anderson was our "in my own time cowboy" and Madigan is just establishing her milestone character (I am hoping she is my slow and steady princess!)

At first we watched Madigan very quickly master sitting up on her own...and the play group integration by other moms started right away. She started combat crawling fairly early and has done that for awhile. Mags is just starting to crawl properly. I am very happy for this - not because it is a milestone, but because she is much slower a proper crawler than a combat crawler. I hope this will stretch out this milestone and allow me to properly admire and soak it all in. But I must admit, she is growing up too fast. She is no longer a newborn, and I fear i will blink and I will be watching my little girl walk down the aisle!

When and how each of the Storrie Trilogy has mastered the normal baby milestones is as different as each of their personalities. Each to be admired, praised and championed.

Saturday, September 22, 2007


What an amazing night! Andrea ROCKED the house ---- all night long!

Click HERE to find out more!!!!

Storrie Saturday

Well, we made it through another week with lots of laughter and love. We are starting to get into our groove in terms of walking to pre-school, walking to the bus stop and all the new challenges of our school schedules.

Both boys are adapting very well to school and preschool. Anderson now arrives at pre-school, hangs up his hat and bag and bounds off - often forgetting a big hug and kiss for mom. DJ is so grown up, climbing up the stairs onto his school bus, with a nonchalant wave back to us! Being snubbed at good-byes makes me both sad and proud!

Last Friday at 3:20 I received a call from DJ's teacher. She was having trouble convincing DJ to keep his gym stuff and change of clothes at school for the weekend. I tried to convince him to follow the rules, but he was adamant he had to bring the clothes home. Reason #1, he likes those clothes. Reason #2, the dragons may get them. (long story, but apparently there are dragons in the school at night to protect the classrooms and they can get a bit rowdy!)

So, contrary to the rules, DJ came home with all his belongings. So, last weekend we bought him all new items that are only for school and are dragon resistant.

I am happy to announce that this Friday, DJ came home and his belongings remained at school.

The boys and I were playing in the front room and having a blast. But after a bit the boys started to have a disagreement in terms of how to set up the train set. In frustration, DJ tossed in the towel by saying to Anderson, "You are such an Anderson!"

I could not help but giggle. I asked my eldest what that meant and he replied," Look at him Mommy, he is looking and acting like Anderson do!"

...and I got to admit, he certainly was!

Friday, September 21, 2007

Love-Hate Relationship

I am having a love-hate relationship with my new daily routine and schedule.

What I love:
- Walking to pre-school in the mornings and belting out tunes with the boys
- Having Anderson give me a distracted hug and kiss goodbye while eyeing the toys and his new friends
- The walk home pushing the stroller. Mags and I take a long route and I am really enjoying the exercise
- The one hour I have to accomplish something - anything. I am focusing on laundry, dishes and tidying up - I am becoming a speed-queen domestic Goddess!
- The one hour I have to play, giggle and cuddle with Madigan exclusively
- Attempting to cart home beautiful artwork still dripping with paint
- Watching DJ bound onto the bus for afternoon Junior Kindergarten
- Spending one-on-one time with Anderson in the afternoon during quiet time
- Afternoon time to complete my French course homework and blog a bit
- That the boys retire extremely easy in the evenings and I can have extra time with my wonderful husband

What I hate:
- Hearing me say, " Hurry up boys, come on, stop diddle daddling, we are going to be late for pre-school"
- Hearing me say, "Hurry up boys, come on, we gotta get home to eat lunch and get to the bus stop"
- Hearing me say, "Hurry up boys, come on, we gotta get moving, DJ is going to miss his bus"
- Hearing me say, "Wake up Mags, we gotta go meet DJ's bus"
- Hearing me say, "Hurry up Anderson, come on, we gotta get to the bus stop to pick up DJ"

My new schedule is very time oriented. Gone are the days when we could be flexible and creative in how we spent our days. I had to buy a new wrist watch that has 3 alarms: one to remind me to go pick up boys at pre-school, one to start getting ready to walk to the bus stop after lunch, and one to leave to meet DJ after school. It is very hectic and at times a bit isolating. Gone are the days of play dates where the kids played (or slept) while the mommies chatted and bonded.

But that said, the kids are at such a wonderful ages. I see them learning and growing every day. I am getting one-on-one time with each child and establishing a close, loving bond with each of my three wonderful kids. They wow and astonish me every single day. I count my blessings that I can be home with them.

This is why I would not change my wrist watch beeping life for anything!

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Call Made for Maddie - Update

CHEO just called and Madigan will have her follow-up ultrasound on November 12.

Any positive vibes that can be sent our way would be appreciated.

Thanks in advance my dear friends!

PS - I am hopeful that the ultrasound will distinguish between cysts and mega clumps of sand in her belly!!!!!

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Politically Correct - or not!

On October 10th Ontario residents will go to the poll to vote in the provincial elections. Coming from a very active politically-inclined family, I am one of the first to preach the importance of voting and that every vote counts. But I am not one to ram my political beliefs down the throats of anyone who will listen.

That said...

I have decided to back Jim Watson, the Liberal candidate in my riding. I agree with many of his platform promises and agenda items and I also value the experience and personal character he brings to the table. What I do not agree with is his campaign slogan!


Whatever happened to striving to be the best? To presenting yourself as the BEST candidate for the job?

I do not want a good MPP - I want a GREAT MPP to represent me at Queen's Park.

Why is Mr. Watson under-selling himself? Check out his track record! He is an ideal candidate and in my opinion, much better than just good.

Has being politically correct taken a huge step into the right of self promotion and candidacy in politics? Have we, as a society decided that being good is good enough? Should we as voters settle for good? And what is the difference between good and great?

Good God! Canadian Politics can be so lame and wishy-washy. In comparison to all the American smear campaigns, I can see Mr. Watson smearing his opponents image by claiming that Conservative candidate Mike Patton would make a mediocre MPP!

Mr. Watson, stand up, be proud and toot your horn, win votes, and boldly represent this great community of Ottawa-West Nepean as a GREAT MPP.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Celebrating a Life

We have lived in our house for almost 4 years. It is a wonderful little neighbourhood, we really like living here. There are two main types of households - there are the home owners who were the original owners from 38 years ago, and then the new, young family households.

Right from the beginning our next door neighbours made us feel welcomed. Donnie and Lois-Anne are elderly sisters. Since before we moved in Donnie's health had been failing.

She died yesterday.

She had been house-ridden. Lois-Anne took care of her sister in the big house they shared.

We did not really know Donnie very well. We introduced ourselves when we moved in. After the birth of each child we would make a short visit. Our Trick or Treat Route always started at Donnie and Lois-Anne's house. Every Christmas we would exchange small gifts - the boys would make cookies or crafts and in return would receive a new stuffed animal.

The boys love visiting with the sisters. Whenever they see Lois-Anne in her drive they have to go chat with her and always ask how Donnie is doing. They have also become friends with Donnie's daily care giver. Waving at her when she arrives each day and chatting her ear off if they ever cornered her in the driveway.

I am saddened by Donnie's passing. My sympathies and love go to Lois-Anne who cared so wonderfully for her frail sister. I am sure that Donnie is at peace and now in a better place.

I am not struggling to accept Donnie's passing - I am struggling with new realization that I cannot shield my children from heartache. I am struggling with the fact that as life goes on there will challenges, and painful times for my sweethearts. Right now life is all play and fun.

As a mother, I pray and hope that I can always find the words and the ways to comfort them and help them make sense of life situations, like death. I know that I cannot protect them from all the emotional & physical bumps and bruises they may encounter on their journey of life.

This afternoon DJ and Ander were playing in the yard when family started to arrive to pay their respects. They kept waving, introducing themselves and asking if Lois-Anne is coming out to play. I smiled apologetically and ushered them to the side yard away from the commotion.

DJ asked if Lois-Anne and Donnie were having a party. I replied that they were having a family gathering for Donnie. To that, he said, "We should make them cookies and give them a plate of yummy cookies to help celebrate Donnie". I smiled , hugged him and totally agreed.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Storrie Saturday!

This will be a new feature to my blog. I am going to document funny, cute and looney stories about the Trilogy and post them each Saturday. Funny mishaps, cute situations and even embarrassing happenings on the fringe.

We all know that childhood favorite. Well, Anderson has created his own version that he sings walking towards DJ's bus stop each afternoon. "the wheels on DJ's Bus go round and round all to big boy school" It is the cutest thing to hear as we walk.

While at the park this week I was pushing each of the kids on the swing. DJ's swing began slowing down and he shouted out, " Mom, push me quick, I am running out of air".

Pepe came over to help put together the new-to-us swing set. What a monster of a job. Pepe was putting in the last screw and realized he needed a washer. So he went inside to raid our tool box. Anderson was playing in the play room and asked," Whatcha doing Pepe?" Pepe responded, "Looking for a washer". Anderson quickly produced a washcloth and replied proudly,"Here's a washer Pepe."

Early Identification Is Key

Early identification is always key. Once a problem has been identified it is much easier to deal with it in a prompt and effective way. This is especially true at school. Everyone hates labels, but once a teacher or school staff member identifies a trouble maker, immediate action should be taken to ensure the trouble maker is disciplined.

This afternoon will be DJ's second day of school...and already I have gotten a call from the office.


Nope, it is not DJ, it is ME!

I broke the golden rule of busing yesterday afternoon. I waited for DJ at an "un-assigned bus stop". And boy, did I hear about it from the school secretary. (Did you know that there are 14 different forms and pieces of paperwork related to bus stops??)

You see, the bus picks DJ up at the corner of Epworth and Indian - a 3 minute walk from our house. He is the only child to get on the bus each afternoon at that stop. His route home is slightly different since all the big kids are on the bus. It does stop at the corner of Epworth and Indian, but the stop before that stop is at Canter and Suffolk. Now this stop is 3.5 minutes of a walk from our house -- but it has the WOW factor working for it. You see the stop is right at the driveway of the Mercer's house. What is so great about the Mercer Family? Well, they have 5 kids ranging in age from 2 to 14. Their driveway has become the kid drop-in of the street. Lots of toys, lots of fun, and Mrs. Mercer even brings out snacks. My boys love walking over and playing hockey, playing chase or just hanging out with the other kids - and I enjoy the chats I have with the mom. So, it only made sense for me to change DJ's stop.

So, I called the transportation office and spoke to a nice lady and informed her I would drop off at the first stop and pick up at the second stop. She informed me that was fine and to call the school before 3:30 tomorrow.

Before I had a chance to call this morning ( I was in the middle of play-school drop off for Anderson)my cell rings. It is the school office. I was informed that it is OK, but that I should have contacted the school. The safety of my child is in question here! I should have called in late August if I wanted changes...blah, blah, blah.

Now, I totally respect her position. And I was going to call after play-school drop off. I never meant to cause any problems. But as she went on and on about the work I have just caused her and how I should have called weeks ago...all I could think of is that little mark beside the Storrie name. Are we now identified as that problem family? Having grown up in a teacher-household I realize the importance and true value of the office staff. They are the glue that binds the school - always be on their good side.

Yeek - not a good start to the school year...hope DJ is not impacted by our tarnished name!

Thursday, September 13, 2007

First Day of School

Today was DJ's first day of school.

He was very excited and informed us that he did not want us to miss him. He told each of us that he would be having too much fun learning to miss us and that we should not miss him. Easier said then done for us!

We hope his enthusiasm continues through his academic career!

Simply click the notebook page to advance the photos.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Stories (or Storries) From the Fringe

DJ and Anderson were helping Pepe collect the recycling box. When they arrived at the end of the driveway Anderson looked very perturbed. He and DJ helped lug the box back to the house. Upon arrival, he threw his arms in the air and proclaimed to Nana: "We got the bicycle box, but someone stole all Pepe's paper".
Madigan was fussy and I was busy making dinner, so I asked DJ to entertain her. I told him to tell her a nice story. So, my 3.5 year old cleared his throat and began his story," A long, long time ago, when I was a little boy, I met a princess..."
Pepe and Nana recently introduced the boys to T-Ball. Pepe demonstrated how to swing the bat and run the bases and then let each boy take a turn. Their true personalities sure came out!

DJ carefully watched Pepe, then walked up to the T-Ball stand. He held the bat like Pepe showed him, and slowly moved the bat to the ball, then pulled it back, then slowly to the ball and slowly back again. He continued this a handful of times until he felt comfortable and then swung and hit the ball. Pepe and Nana cheered as he ran the bases.

Anderson, on the other hand, grabbed the bat, marched into position with his game face on, and swung as hard as he could and made very sold contact with the ball. He took off running to first base. Pepe and Nana cheered and yelled, "HOME RUN!" Anderson, heading towards second stopped, glanced at his grandparents, then took off running...around the house, all the time shouting, "I hit the ball. I run to my home".
Madigan is being slowly introduced to solid food. She is now 7 months and has tried carrots, peas, corn, sweet potato, zucchini, melon, apple, banana, blue berries, pear, rice noodles, chicken and mum mum biscuits....and - her new favorite - PICKLES. We gave her a pickle and she sat sucking and smacking on it. She loved it.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Brought to you by the colour ORANGE-EN

DJ has never really been that child who throws tantrums. We usually never get to the point where he gets so frustrated that he drops to the floor and screams and cries...but lately DJ has been having complete melt downs over the colour ORANGE...or as DJ calls it ORANGE-EN.

DJ will only eat orange-en peppers or use the orange-en plate, dish or cup. In fact, he will only eat items that have orange-en peppers mixed in. How delicious does raisin bran cereal with orange-en pepper sound first thing in the morning? Or perhaps you would prefer a peanut butter sandwich with lunch meat and orange-en pepper only served on an orange-en plate? (he grossed me out by just adding the lunch meat!)

He is driving us nuts with his infatuation with the colour orange-en and all things orange-en. But I guess, this too is only a phase and he will out grow it! And heck, he is at least getting his vegetable allotment for the day!

Well, I am off to the dollar store to buy new crayons - it appears all the orange-en ones are used up....did I mention he will only colour with the colour orange-en?!?!?!?!?

+++ my template will not show links unless you move your mouse under the words in that child is a clip of a famous toddler tantrum for your review!

Call Made for Maddie

This morning at 8:02 am, I made the call to CHEO to book Madigan's ultrasound. We will know shortly when her appointment will be.

Please keep her in your prayers and thoughts.

Please cross your fingers, and all other extremities, that her tests come back OK and no further surgery is required. THANK YOU IN ADVANCE.

Also, I have received some very supportive emails from my blogging friends asking more about our CHEO experiences. Here is a nice article we did for a CHEO awareness campaign.

Saturday, September 8, 2007

Requisition - on hold

It sits in my wallet - between my VISA card and my Petro-Points card. It is just a piece of paper. But, every time I go through my wallet, I see it, I finger past it and my heart stops for a moment.

This yellow piece of paper is a requisition for Madigan's ultrasound follow up. It is dated August 1, 2007. All I have to do is call up the Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario (CHEO) and make the appointment. But I cannot.

It is not that I am worried that the ultrasound will detect another tumor in my little girl. It is not that I fear she will need more surgery. In fact, I am quite confident that she is doing great. But I am still not able to make that call.

I still remember Dr. Chou calling us out of the surgery waiting room. Announcing that Maddie's surgery had went well - but also informing us that the dermoid tumor in her belly had engrossed her left ovary and had torn off the left fallopian tube. They could not save the ovary or the fallopian tube. It seemed so surreal to ask a surgeon if your 2 month old daughter would be able to have children. But Dr. Chou assured us that even with one overy, her ability to conceive would not be compromised. Then she added the kicker...another cyst had been found on the right ovary. They attempted to secure the right fallopian tube, but could not. Therefore, she would need to be monitored. Thus, the follow-up ultrasound.

I have a very good feeling that the cyst was simply a hormonal cyst - many infant girls are born with them...and they shrink on their own. But the only way to know is to have the ultrasound done.

I know I need to make that phone call. But I cannot.

Madigan is in no pain. She is thriving and growing. Should I hold off making that call? If I am certain all is OK, then why not get the silly ultrasound done and be done with it all. But I cannot make that phone call.

I have a love-hate relationship with CHEO. Very understandable coming from a mother whose first born was saved at that hospital. Very understandable coming from a mother who lived in NICU for almost a month. Very understandable coming from a mother who during a pregnancy ultrasound found out her unborn baby had a "sizable" tumor. Very understandable coming from a mother who had to hand two infant babies to strangers and place their lives in the hands of those strangers.

But perhaps, because of those reasons, I need to call. Part of being a mom, is protecting your babies. And I can only protect my baby Mags if I know her real medical condition. I need to make that call...and I will.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

That Mommy Moment

David and I were told we had a sleepy, but healthy baby. Go home and work on nursing and it would all be OK...but it was not.

The situation did not improve. The baby remained sleepy and our anxiety, tension, stress and level of fear all sky rocketed. Our baby was not waking up to feed. He was sleepy, so sleepy.

The watch alarm would go off, David would try to wake baby up - doing everything from undressing, tickling, cold water on toes, and the "doll" hold. Nothing worked. While David worked at stirring the sleeping baby, I would pump and set up the supplemental feeding kit and get ready to feed. David would bring the sleepy baby to me and I would struggle to get him to latch. Frustrating. Heart breaking. Stressful.

Upon declaring defeat I would "finger feed" the sleepy baby, only to have him vomit that precious milky gold. David would be off in the kitchen sterilizing the pump stuff and getting the bottles ready. Exhausted, we would take baby and lay him in his bassinet, then collapse on the couch and just as we would drift off, the watch alarm would go off. David would shuffle off to go wake up baby for his next feeding. Frustrating. Heart breaking. Stressful.

After 98 hours of pure hell, we trusted our instincts and rushed our newborn baby to the Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario (CHEO).

We just knew something was not right. Our nine day old baby was not well.

CHEO was amazing. They whisked us into a large, sterilized, fluorescent lit examination room. They knew something was not right.

The commotion around this little seven pound baby was terrifying, yet calming. The room buzzed with organized chaos as vitals were taken and questions asked. I stood at the head of the gurney, stroking the baby's little head, as professionals attempted to "get a line". Frustrating. Heart breaking. Stressful.

Then a nurse placed her hand on my hand, leaned forward and in a gentle, but firm voice said, "Mommy, he needs you to be strong. Hold him and comfort him. He needs you".

I moved to the side of the bed, picked up my baby, my David Joseph. I cradled DJ. I rocked DJ. I held DJ close. And as DJ settled in my hold, I had my first Mommy Moment.

Loving. Calming. Grounding. I realized then and there that I was a Mommy. That DJ was mine to love, protect and comfort. And I vowed to do just that.


This post was inspired by a post by Liz at Mom- 101. Her post about having, or rather, wanting a Mommy Moment is superb. Thank you Liz. Love your blog!

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

First Day of School Family Mantra

The first day of school seems to include multiple rituals or traditions. These vary from family to family and from house to house. To our family, the first day of school meant new shoes, the traditional photo leaving the house, and the reciting of the first day of school mantra.

Our family mantra started over thirty-three years ago at a dinner party of sorts. I was about five or six years old. We were all seated at the dinner table as my parents were hosting a fellow school teacher who worked at my father's school. And here is how the now famous dinner table conversation proceeded:

Dinner Guest (young elementary school teacher): So, Laura how was your day?

Laura: Fine.

Dinner Guest: What did you learn in school today?

Laura: Nothing.

Dinner Guest: Oh, come on now Laura, you must have learned something. Think hard. Tell us at least one thing you learned today.

SILENCE....extended silence...pressure now on while all eyes on grade one Laura.

Laura (taking a deep breath) : Well, um, I guess I learned something...When we were in story circle Mark, with the long hair, burped and we all laughed. Mrs. Hunt told us is was not polite to burp in class. So, I learnded not to burp in class.

Then, when we were working on our math paper, Mark, with the long hair farted and we all laughed. Mrs. Hunt was not happy and told us it was not polite to fart in class. So, I learnded not to fart in school.

Then, during art class, Mark, with the long hair, broke his crayon and he yelled, "FU*$". Mrs. Hunt got really mad and told us that it is not polite to say "FU*$" in school.

So, I guess today in school I learnded you should never burp, fart or say "FU*$" in school. Can I be excused now?????


Yep - this conversation has become a family legend. From that day forward, as we left for our first day of school my mother could be heard reminding my father, my brother and myself:


So, on Wednesday, when we attend DJ's intake interview with his Junior Kindergarten teacher, I plan to continue our first day of school family mantra and teach my school-going cutie the three key lessons of school - like any good mom should!

Side bar: I wonder what ever happened to Mark, with the long hair...heck, wonder what ever happened to Mark, with the short hair!

Monday, September 3, 2007

DJ's School Bus

We have been prepping both DJ and Anderson on our up-coming school and pre-school schedules.

DJ seems to understand, but true to his character is more reserved.

Anderson on the other hand is driving us close to the lunatic fringe (in a good way!) Every time he sees a yellow school bus he yells out, "Dere's DJ's School Bus!"

So now, trips with Anderson include loud recognition of every Scoop, Rollie, Lofty, Garbage Truck and DJ Buses on the road!

Sunday, September 2, 2007

Superman and Super Friends

Today I bought tickets to Andrea Sims-Karp's CD release party. Before I went on maternity leave I worked with Andrea. She is a co-worker, fellow-blogger and friend. Over the last year she has been working very hard to release her first solo album, Sleeper.

Here are 4 reasons why I am super excited for September 22:

1) I am super excited to have a date night with my hubby,
2) I am super excited to see and hear Andrea preform - she is AMAZING!
3) I am super excited to visit and catch up with my co-workers,
4) I am super excited to participate in a dream-come true story.

All this "super-ness" got me thinking about Superman. Yep. Andrea Sims-Karp's music got me thinking about Superman.

I can remember watching Superman for the first time. I loved that movie. But, I have always wondered why people did not recognize the mild-mannered Clark Kent as the world-saving, tight-wearing super hero. Did horned-rim glasses and a kerfuffled suit really hide his true identity? How could people work with him day in and day out, but never caught on that he was a super hero?

Now that I am an adult, living in the "real" world - I TOTALLY get it!

Within the office - or at the baby play date, for that matter - people do not always show all facets of their personality.

You see, for months, I never knew Andrea was a musician. I saw her only as a friendly media-analyst and fellow civil-servant. Many mornings (she started at 6AM) she looked a bit tired, but always very pleasant and would answer any of my questions. During work functions and events I learned that she has a great, if not quirky, sense of humour that I can really appreciate! Just before I left for mat leave I discovered she is also a very talented, banjo-strumming, sweet-voiced, folk-musician.

Funny, how you can work beside someone and never know one of their hidden talents, or not so-hidden talents for that matter. As humans we are so complex, so multi-faceted, so multi-talented. We all have different talents, passions and desires. And by getting to know people and sharing ourselves with others, we can learn and experience so much more in life. New doors of opportunity open when we open up to new and interesting people.

Before I had my children, my life evolved around the hi-tech industry, soccer and rugby. Most of my friends came from those three aspects of my life. I led a very great life and had great friends. But after kids I got thrown into a new world - the new parent world. Suddenly, I began meeting people that did not share my same profession or career path, nor did they necessarily play any sports. Instead, they brought a whole new pot-pourie of experiences, talents, passions and callings. I began meeting people I would have never got the chance to meet in my pre-kids life.

Just last week I met a gal who is an actuary. We had a super chat about breastfeeding, car seats and baby slings. Me, who is challenged to remember my bank card PIN and who could not predict a probable event even while it smacked me between the eyes - carried a wonderful conversation with an actuary. Wonder what the odds are that we continue a mommy-relationship?

And it does not stop there. I have met some wonderful moms (and dads) - people I now consider my closest friends - and all because of having a baby. A common connection. A whole different "pool" of friends.

I met one mommy when DJ was only 4 months old - we frequented a weekly play group. Our children are now turning 4 and we continue to meet on a weekly basis. She is a super friend. We now scrapbook together, lean on each other for support and even our kids have developed a super friendship.

I have become mommy-friends with a very interesting mommy who I would have never crossed paths with if I did not frequent the Andrew Fleck morning play group. She has become a wonderful friend. Believe it or not, it was through this super friend that I found out about an employment opportunity...that lead to me working the morning shift at the media centre...which meant working with Andrea...which lead to me buy a ticket for her CD release party, which lead me to get super excited and to write this post...

No matter how hectic life gets in the office, or between play dates or other mommy duties, take a moment and make a new friend, and discover their super, hidden talent or may be super-surprised.