Friday, February 29, 2008

Make-Work Project

My father has been semi-retired for 7 years. He was a high school teacher for 34 years and then supply-taught for 7 years. This is the first year that he has not taught at all.
All my life I have admired my parents' relationship with each other. They get along great. Enjoy each other's company. They have lots of fun together. Life for them is great...well, it was while my father was casually working. Not so much now.
Let's see if I can explain in terms us moms can understand. I think it is hard to clean or cook with 3 little ones under foot...I figure that is how my mother feels when my father is around all day long. He is underfoot.
So, my mom gives him projects to do. You see, my dad is an excellent woodworker. He can make toys, shelves, tables, just about anything. In fact, when they moved into their new house, my parents moved in as soon as the structure was built and together, they finished the entire house. They did everything from laying the flooring to making the vanities to painting.
I can always tell when my mom has had enough of my father following her around and disrupting her well-planned day. My dad is sent to his work room and he makes something. A bench for the outside, a wooden reindeer, a soup box, a candle holder, a plant stand, salad tongs.... oh the list goes on. All of it beautiful stuff.
So, on Wednesday when I was talking to my mom on our daily call, she asked (read: begged) me to think of a project for my dad. He was driving her crazy!
Trying to think of a make-work project, I looked down at my feet and saw millions of toy train tracks all over my play room floor.
Eureka! My dad could build the kids a train table. What a great idea! It would solve our scattered train set issue AND be a large enough project to keep my dad busy for a while.
Well...I must say, I am totally pleased with the mom, not so much.
Why? Well, the project was assigned late Wednesday. Plans finalized Thursday morning after my father's curling match...and well, it is done...all done. Less than 24 hours later, my mother is looking for a new project for my dad!

My dad testing that it can stand the "weight of time" and if toy bins can fit underneath.

The finished product. Ready to be painted!

Isn't it awesome? I love it. Today's make work project is for my dad to sand, prime and paint it!

So, if you have any furniture or toys or anything you need done, feel free to ask! I am sure my mother will appreciate it! But, keep in mind shipping costs!!!!!

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Here in demonstrates

Here in demonstrates that I am getting old.

Back in the late 1980's I was going to university, playing varsity soccer, working, and well, partying. Seems pretty normal, run of the mill university life. But there was a twist. I worked for my family business at the city market. This meant that when I was not traveling to weekend soccer games, I was expected to be at work on Saturday morning at 4:30...yep, 4:30 in the morning.

Not sure if any of you played varsity sports, but the training and game commitment was pretty brutal. And it was almost as important as the parties. And at times, both those trumped school work! So, my life was pretty busy.

On Friday evenings when we did not have a game the next day, the men's soccer team threw the most amazing beer-fests. And being a team-player, I attended...and I partied. Even though I knew I would have to work at 4:30 in the morning...approximately two hours after I would stuble out of the party.

Here is how I handled drive and walk-in cooler sleep.

Yep. After the party I would cab it to the city market and go sleep in the cooler. Did I mention the family business was eggs and poultry?!?!?!?! Yep, I would crawl onto the boxes of frozen chicken parts and sleep off my hangover!

Those were the days!

Jump forward to 2008. I have the best job in the world (I think I mention that every-other post!) that allows me to work in my field, and get to stay home with my kids full time. I work as a Media Analyst for the Federal Government of Canada. My work hours are 4am to 8am. I love it! But it is challenging having such a long day since when I get home my hubby leaves for his job and I look after our three munchkins.

Well, my office has no walk-in cooler, nor do I attend beer-fests any more. So my coping techniques have changed. Here in demonstrates that I am getting old.

Now, at 7:30 pm, I relinquish all child duties to my hubby and I retire for the night. I usually blog a bit, watch a bit of TV, do my French homework or read...and I usually have the light out by 8:30 pm! Let me tell you, 3:00 am comes early now!

I must be getting old!!!!

Monday, February 25, 2008

Broken Hearts and Parking Spots

DJ and I ran out to do a bit of grocery shopping. On our way into the store we saw a man leap (yes, leap) out of his car and run (yes, run) into the store. He left his car running and his female companion in the car. She was puffing away on a cigarette finicking with the radio.

Nothing really out of the ordinary...till you saw where and how they parked. He had backed into the spot...well, actually he had backed into two spots. The car was not a large car, but he still managed to back it diagonally across the line. But worse than taking up two spots, he was taking up two handicapped spots! I looked at his dash board and on his license plate: no handicapped sticker or permit.

DJ and I carried on. We bought our groceries and came out to find the same car idling in the handicap spots. Disgusting. Polluting our air and burning gas for nothing and parked in two handicapped spots.

A car then turned into the lane and slowed down and the elderly driver and I looked at each other and then both looked at the gal sitting there smoking, singing along to some heavy metal song. The elderly driver then noticed a spot about 6 spots up the row. His elderly passenger had pointed it out. As he drove by I noticed his handicap parking permit.

So, without thinking, I walked up to the idling, smoking, air polluting, head-banging, gal and motioned for her to roll down her window.

With all the politeness I could muster I asked, "Excuse me, it looks like you are taking up two handicapped spots, anyway you could straighten out your car, an elderly couple with a handicap parking permit could really use the second spot?"

I did not yell. I was not bitchy. I did not insist she move out of the spot. I only suggested she straighten up her car and allow "another" deserving car park next to her.

She rolled her eyes. Threw out her cigarette butt and rolled up the window.

I grunted under my breath and bit my tongue since my young DJ was beside me.

DJ looked at me and said, "Mommy why won't she fix her car?" I replied that I did not know. And DJ, smart little man, said, "Mommy she should really move her car, someone who has broken legs could park beside her and share the spot". I agreed. Then DJ said, "Are her legs broken?" I told my son that I did not know. And he said, "She is acting mean, maybe her heart is broken?"

Sunday, February 24, 2008

February 22

For most people February 22 was like any other day. Same old. Same old.

But in our family that date holds a very special meaning. When growing up, that day was my mom's special day. My dad always gave her a present of two little angel figurines. When I was little I was sad for my mom on that day. Sad for her loss. As I got older I used that day to reflect on how my life, our lives, could have been based on that day in 1970. Now, as a mother, my heart aches a little more each year, on that date.

On February 22, 1970 my mother gave birth to twin boys. They did not survive.

Now, as a mother, I understand my parents' grief a little more. A grief that remains in your heart forever. I can only imagine how all-encompassing my parents' grief and agony must have been those many years ago. I can only imagine how difficult it must have been to deal with such a loss. I can only imagine the courage it took to go on. I can only imagine the strength it took to continue to care for me - I was only 10 months old when the Twins were born.

Life had to go on. It did. It had to. But I can only imagine the pain, hurt, sadness and grief.

Now, as a mother I feel an even closer bond to my mother. I am certain that the pain of loosing a child must be the most terrible pain ever possible. Now, as a mother, I can understand why February 22 is such a special day for our family.

Today, I wonder.

I wonder how my parents coped at the time. I wonder how they comforted each other. It is beyond my comprehension what you could do or what you could say, when you and your wife/husband have lost two small babies. I wonder how they picked up the pieces. I wonder if they took comfort in seeing me grow and thrive. I wonder how their sadness never over-took their lives. I wonder how they got out of bed every day following the tragedy.

I wonder how different our family would have been if the Twins had survived. I wonder how crazy life would have been with three kids less than a year apart. I wonder how it would have been to have two brothers only 10 months younger than me. I wonder what the Twins would have been like in terms of looks, personality and character. I wonder if I would be a different person had they survived. I wonder if my parents would have parented differently had there been three of us. I wonder how the teenage years would have been like. I wonder what my relationship would have been with both of the Twins.

I wonder.

I wonder why some parents have to go through such a terrible tragedy. I wonder where they find the strength. I wonder how I would handle such a loss.

My heart goes out to my mother and my father. My heart goes out to any parent who has lost a child.

I wonder if my love, support and words of encouragement can help lessen the pain and grief. I wonder and I hope.

A bell is not a bell until your ring it.
A song is not a until you sing it.
Love in your heart, was not put there to stay.
Love is not love till you give it away.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Fun Friday!

Well, I would love to sit and write a fun Friday post...lots of great material this week. And I would love to sit and read through the 69 posts Google Reader has captured for me - I am sure I would be entertained for hours! And I would love to spread bloggy love and leave comments on all 69 posts....but....Je dois étudier mon français. J'aurai un examen samedi et je ne suis pas prêt! Donc, à bientôt!

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Asleep on the Job!

Well, I have almost made it through my first week back to work. I am surviving the 3am alarm. I am getting to work on time. Getting home in time for David to get to work on time. Then spending the day with my three little ones. We have kept up with all our swim lessons, playgroups and activities. Though, I must admit, it is a long day. I get up at 3am, work till 8am, look after the kids till 630pm and in bed by 8pm, asleep by 9pm. All, in all, the new routine is working....well, there was one little incident at Canadian Tire.

I dropped the boys off at playschool and the baby girl and I ran to Canadian Tire to get a few things. The main reason for the trip was to get some house keys cut. Well, the customer service was pretty crappy. I ended up waiting along side a very nice gentleman looking for a specific piece to fix his toilet and saw the clearance paint section next to the key cutting machine. We struck up a conversation. Chatted about the bitter cold weather, the Ottawa Senators, paint colours, all kinds of little chit chat things. Finally my keys were ready. I tossed them into the cart and bid farewell to my new friend, grabbed the shopping cart and started to make my way to the cash. When, I hear, " ummmmm, you took my is your cart....with your daughter in it!"

Yep....mother of the year, I am not!

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

The Backyardigans Live - EXCELLENT!

My boys LOVE the Backyardigans. It is a Canadian cartoon that plays on Treehouse and NickJr. DJ and Anderson just love them...they are a bunch of friends who have EXCELLENT adventures in their backyards. Two years ago DJ and Anderson talked me into making them Pablo and Tyrone costumes for Halloween.

DJ as Tyrone the Moose
Anderson as Pablo the Penguin

So, when I heard the LIVE SHOW was coming to town...well, with lightening speed I got us row L tickets. Believe it or not, the show sold out in 9 minutes!!!!! The boys were so excited. They even insisted on wearing their old Halloween costumes. Unfortunately, only the heads still fit them, somewhat, at that!

The boys clutching their tickets!

What an EXCELLENT afternoon with my boys at the theatre. We had a blast. The boys were on the edge of their seats cheering on the characters and following the directions and dancing. It was so fun to watch my boys react to what they saw on stage.

The show was EXCELLENT! The boys were EXCELLENT!!! The whole afternoon bonding with my boys was EXCELLENT!!!!

Hey! Is that Pablo and Tyrone or DJ and Anderson??!!??!!

Hey....speaking of EXCELLENT, I got an EXCELLENT award from an EXCELLENT blogging friend, TheVasquez3 . You gotta check out her blog - lots of photos and fun family stories. It is EXCELLENT! I am so happy to be sent some EXCELLENT bloggy goodness.

As with tradition, I would like to pass this wonderful award to some EXCELLENT blogging friends.

Kathryn over at Seeking Sanity has an EXCELLENT blog. I love her EXCELLENT music that compliments her most EXCELLENT style of capturing life with three young children. I can sure relate to her...and so will you!

Kellen over at On theUpside has an EXCELLENT blog too. Her writing style pulls me in every time, her sense of humour makes my day and she makes me feel like I am right in the middle of all the action. EXCELLENT!

You know, I have been reading about 45 different blogs on a regular basis. They are all EXCELLENT in their own unique ways. Plus, I so appreciate all your support -especially during the recent challenges I have written about. I so appreciate all your EXCELLENT comments and support. Therefore, I am giving you all this award!! All of you, my blogging buddies really make me feel part of an EXCELLENT community of friends. Thank you. You all deserve this award more than me!

Be sure to spread the bloggy love!

Monday, February 18, 2008

DAMN YOU Celine Dion!

Today was my first day back to work after 379 days of maternity leave.

DAMN YOU Celine Dion!

We are very lucky in Canada to have a whole year off as maternity and paternity leave. I feel exceptionally lucky. You see, I never returned to my hi-tech marketing career after my first son was born. I could not. The main reason was that my passion now rested with my family and not with marketing and communication programs for software. I did not care if someone bought WordPerfect. But, I did care that I was there for my child...well, then it became children. I had my second son before my maternity leave ended! Then I could not see myself going back since daycare for two infants is so expensive...but mainly, I really enjoyed being a stay-at-home mom. Actually, I love it! And still do.

But, when my boys were 27 and 38 months old I hit the jackpot! A dear friend I met at playgroup found out about an interesting job with the federal government. It was the job I originally came to Ottawa for fifteen years earlier! I interviewed, and got it. And loved it. I became a media analyst for the federal government. My hours allow me to keep being a stay-at-home mom and have a "career". I work 4 am - yep, in the morning - till 8 am. No daycare required. It is perfect. And, it is kind of cool to think that I get paid to watch the news and read the newspapers and tell the Prime Minister of Canada and his staff all about it! I love my job!

DAMN YOU Celine Dion!

When I became pregnant with our little girl I was acutally sad about leaving my job. My contract was set to finish February 2, 2007 and my due date was February 27. So, I just figured I would not get renewed and that would be it. I was sad. I loved my job! But then my managers gave me the best baby gift ever! They extended my contract to March 31, 2008! This meant I could take the entire year off for maternity leave, come back to a guaranteed job and be assured all the benefits of a government job. But to me, the best was the fact that I got to keep my job. I could continue to have the best of both worlds.

DAMN YOU Celine Dion!

The year off has flown by. So much has happened in that year off from work. Madigan was born. She had her surgery & recovered. She learned to sit, crawl, jibber gabber, clap, wave, give kisses, eat real food, cruise the furniture, walk, and laugh. She went from being a little helpless babe to being able to let her wishes be known, and being able to interact& play with her big brothers. During the year away from work we participated in swimming lessons, play groups, countless outings & adventures. We had tons of fun. So much has gone on in the last year. Madigan has learned so much and grown so much in that one year. It is amazing!

Today was my first day back to the grind. I was a bit nervous. A year is a long, long time. So much can go on in a year!

DAMN YOU Celine Dion!

Then I sat down with my two co-workers to review my responsibilities and go over all my early morning tasks. We reviewed all the technology we use to clip, edit and save news clips. We went over documenting and comparison reports. I even got caught up on all the office politics and gossip.

And in less than 10 minutes, I was more than prepared to jump back into my media analyst role.
10 minutes.

DAMN YOU Celine Dion!

Now, I cannot seem to get this frigging song out of my head! It was funny at first...but damn annoying now!!! is all coming back to me now! It is amazing how so much can change in a year and how little can change in one year!

DAMN YOU Celine Dion!

Well, better run, and go set my alarm clock for 3 AM since I am thinking of it now...YEEEK 3 am is going to come quickly!!!

Middle Name Game

My great friend and scrapbooking and card stamping pal Karen tagged me many moons ago for this fun Middle Name Game.

But, before you read my take on this meme - please go visit Karen's awesome blog called The Dailey Stamper. You should see the cards and scrapbooking pages this girl makes. She is my idol!
These are the rules:

You must post the rules before you give your answers.
You must list one fact about yourself for each letter of your middle name.
Each fact must begin with that letter.
If you don't have a middle name, just use your maiden name.
At the end of your post, you need to tag one person for each letter of your middle name.

Here goes:

L is for LOONEY .... why else would I reside on the Lunatic Fringe! Having 3 kids in 37 months will do that to you!!!!

O is for OPTIMISTIC ... I always try to look on the positive side of things and I try not to complain too much.

U is for UNEXPECTED ... I never expected my life to be as wonderful as it is now. I have an amazing husband and three great kids and life is great. I never expected to love being a wife and mother as much as I do. I am one lucky gal!

I is for INDECISIVE ... When dining out, I have a reputation of being very indecisive. I fear order envy!

S is for SENSITIVE ... I am a sensitive, emotional person and I wear my heart on my sleeve. Unfortunately, at times, I am overly sensitive to what others think of me: I like people to like me!

E is for ENERGETIC ... I like to keep busy. I work part time from 4AM to 8AM on weekdays. I am a stay-at-home-mom with my 4, 3 and 1 year old. I find time to play soccer, go to boot camp, scrapbook and blog. I do at least one outing a day with my kids - swimming, climbing gym, walks, music lessons, play group - something. And I love it all!

OK. Now I am suppose to tag 6 people...but I have a better idea!!! Over the past few weeks a few LAURAs have been visiting my blog and leaving wonderful comments. So, I would like to tag anyone with the first name Laura, including:

Laura from That Grrl
Laura from A Day in the Life of a Mom of Six to first day back to work after a year off for maternity leave...wish me luck!

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Scrolling Saturdays - Politically Correct - or not!

Gather up your favorite archived post, dust it off and repost it!! It's that easy!

Thank you to the hostesses of this meme, Manners and Moxie and SuchSimplePleasures.

The American election process really intrigues me. It is very different than the Canadian process. For many reasons Canadians are interested in both the process and the results of all the Primaries.
For Scrolling Saturday this week, here is a piece I wrote on the provincial election that took place. It is not a post extra-ordinaraire, but it is a cute post that illustrates a key difference in the Canadian and American take on politics. This was first posted on my blog Tuesday, September 18, 2007. I hope you enjoy it!

Oh, and if you are interested, Mr. Watson won!

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.

Friday, February 15, 2008

What is he into, then?

Anderson turned three in December. He has been a bit slow on the toilet learning. But my philosophy is that he has to be ready...and I have to be ready too! No use trying if we are not all ready! So, we have not pushed the issue. I figure, save those with medical issues, most eight year olds are toilet trained. He will get it! Sooner or later. Please, sooner, than later!

So, we have been trying a bit harder lately.

Anderson gets it. You place him on the toliet and he goes - every time! Each morning he wakes up and is completely dry. But he refuses to tell us when he has to go potty. Thus, we are going through less diapers, but I am doing tons of laundry.

As we are rushing to get ready to meet DJ's bus this afternoon. I tell Anderson he has to try the potty. He says no. I inform him he has to try before we go...and he replies, "Mom, I'm just not into it right now!"


The Language of Love

Every Valentine's day I think back to my first Valentine's day with the wonderful man who would become my husband.
Back then, newly courting, DINK*, Valentines meant wonderful (read expensive), romantic dinners, with drinks, kisses, hand-holding and dreamy glances into each other's eyes. A cute stuffed, plush pal was always accompanied by chocolates and flowers!

Well, on that wonderful Valentine's eve in 2000, after a simply wonderful evening, I snuggled up to the most wonderful guy in the world and whispered, "I love you so very much!"

In response David hugged me tighter and replied,"Bear".

Yep, you read that right. BEAR.

I was a bit confused, then I remembered the stuffed, plush bear David had presented me earlier that evening. This enormous plush bear was holding a heart that read, "I love you!"

I smiled and felt all warm inside, and said,"Bear" right back.

Ever since, when David and I want to say, "I love you", we simply say "Bear". It is our language of love.
Do you have a special language of love with your love?

*Double income, no kids!

Thursday, February 14, 2008

I'd be game for that!

Soccer has always been a big part of my life. As a kid I played on a travel team and got to go all over Canada, and the USA to play in tournaments. In university I played on the varsity team and had a blast. Over the years I got to make great friends and play a game I love.

I never really imagined I would find true love on the soccer pitch.

Back in July of 2000 I was playing in my regular two summer soccer leagues. One Saturday morning a friend invited me to play soccer on her work co-ed team. They were risking a default since their girl players were unavailable. I thought it would be fun and so I accepted her offer. That one soccer game changed my life!

One of the defenders and I hit it off. So, when I was asked to play again the next week, I agreed, hoping that David would be there as well.

After a few games, it became apparent that there was a connection between the tall, blond, shy defender! My girlfriends on the team worked with him and knew he was not seeing anyone. They kept saying that they would hook us up...but never did.

So, one day, after a cold, rainy game I found the courage to ask him out.

I ran up to him on the way to the parking lot and I asked if he had a sec. Right away he commented on my play and how well I played. I blushed, then began my, now infamous, monologue:

"Thanks, well, um, I did not really want to talk about soccer actually. You see, Rue, Sherri-Lynne and Cara have been saying that we have alot in common and that we should, like, you know, get to know each other. They keep saying they will set us up, but, um, they are all talk and, well. no action. So, I guess I figured I would take matters in my own hands. So, um, keeping with the soccer theme, um, well, if you would like to get to know me off the soccer pitch, I'd be game for that!"

David looked at me. Smiled, and said, "Sure..."

And before he could say anything else, I ran off to my car. I was so excited. Too excited. I forgot to make arrangements for our first date!

We had a wonderful first date. So wonderful, that I was late to pick up my soccer friend to go to an out-of-town tournament. I was suppose to pick her up at 930PM and I did not get there till after 11PM! And then for the 90 minute drive to our lodging, I talked her ear off -reliving every second of the date.

Then, my last sentence to her was, "You know, I think he is the one."

The next day, at the out-of-town soccer tournament while I was relaxing between games, I looked up to see David walking over. I thought I was dreaming. He had driven all the way to Perth to watch me play! It was wonderful!

We have been together ever since. And each and every day I love him more.

Happy Valentine's Day everyone!

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Private Ceremony

Last Friday morning my dear friend Danuta passed away. In November she had been diagnosed with cancer. Needless to say I was in shock when I heard of her diagnosis and again, when I heard that she had passed away. It all happened so quickly.

I met Danuta just over eight years ago. We became immediate friends. We were both on a mission: the mission of helping our mutual friend deal with the illness of her young child, and his tragic passing. We became a team. Together we coordinated transportation for our friend to the hospital to see her son. Together we orchestrated visiting schedules, dinners, distractions and everything in between. Together we helped in any way we could. In all the tragedy, confusion and chaos we became friends.

Over the years our contact was sporadic and usually by chance. At the mall. At the grocery store. Danuta worked at the Early Years Centre that I brought my kids to every week. When she was in the office we would sit and chat and catch up. When she heard that my first son was in serious condition at the NICU she offered to help in any way. When she heard we had a second son less than a year latter, she enthusiastically offered to babysit for a date night. When she heard our daughter needed surgery she prayed. Usually, when we met up we would just chat and laugh and reminisce. I was always so happy to run into Danuta.

When I heard she was sick I was shocked. One afternoon I saw a little tea mug with the word believe scrawled across. I bought some soothing tea packets and wrapped them up together and headed to the hospital. Danuta had told everyone no visitors and I accepted that. So, my intention was to simply drop my little gift off at the nurses station and be on my way. In fact, I even brought my four year old son with me thinking it would take but a minute to drop of the gift and card. When the nurse saw me and DJ she said we should visit. So we were brought to her room. Danuta looked tired and thin. But boy, did she smile when she saw me. There was no awkwardness. Instead we just chatted. Like old friends. Like war veterans. We had traveled this path once before. Together.

Danuta commented on our family photo I enclosed in the card and then she took a few moments to read my card. I had chosen a card of hope and of encouragement. Inside, I scrawled the word believe - just like on the tea mug. And then I listed everything I hoped that Danuta believed in. Tomorrow. Life. God. Friends. Medicine. Doctors. Family. Hope. Yourself. Sunsets. Stormy days. Peaceful breezes. Love. Happiness. I think I wrote about thirty-five items. I believed in them all, and I hoped she did too. Danuta smiled, she grasped the mug to her heart and, with a tear in her eye and a lump in her throat replied, " Yes Laura, I do believe. Thank you."

That was the last time I saw Danuta.

I believe she is in a better place. I believe that she is at peace. I believe that she led a wonderful life and touched so many people. I believe I will never forget Danuta. I believe this world is a better place because of her. I believe I am very lucky, honoured and privileged to have known Danuta.

Sadly, her obituary indicated that her service would be a private ceremony. Family only.

I believe her family has the right to morn how they see fit. I believe her family must make the arrangements that best meet their needs and best meet Danuta's wishes.

But, I am sad. I believe in celebrating life, but I also think I need closure. Being able to participate in a burial ritual or ceremony would help me find closure and peace.

I am not family. I cannot attend. I guess I need to simply continue to believe. Believe in Danuta. Believe in life. Believe that Danuta will always be with me, in my thoughts, and in myprayers and that she will be up in God's kingdom watching over me - helping me to believe.

Wordless Wednesday - Hitting the Slopes!

DJ's First Ski Lesson

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Celebrating Life

This weekend is all about celebrating life.

We are having Madigan's first birthday party this afternoon. It is very hard to believe that she is one year old! Time has flown by.

It seems like just yesterday we were surprised, nervous, anxious, bewildered, excited and a bit shell-shocked that we were going to welcome a third baby into our family.

It seems like just yesterday we were told the sad news that our unborn baby had a large tumor in her belly.

It seems like just yesterday my waters broke, four weeks early, and we sat in the hospital waiting for seven hours before they could do the c-section.

It seems like just yesterday I held my princess for the first time.

It seems like just yesterday that we brought our little baby girl home.

It seems like just yesterday that Madigan made it through surgery with flying colours and that the doctors successively removed the enormous dermoid tumor.

It seems like just yesterday that the doctors confirmed that the tumor was not cancerous.

It seems like just yesterday Madigan smiled for the first time, laughed for the first time, sat up, crawled, cruised, stole a toy from one of her big brothers, clapped her hands, squealed at the cat, waved hello/bye-bye, hugged, and offered kisses all for the first time.

Mags is a special, funny, strong-willed, loving little babe. She is growing up so fast.

Today we celebrate Madigan's life and all it will bloom into and all the experiences she has had, and will have.

Sadly, today I also celebrate two more lives.

In November I found out a dear friend of mine was diagnosed with leukemia. It was a shock. I saw her just before Christmas. She looked tired, but she was optimistic, and ready to fight for her life. Danuta passed away this week. I am sad. I will miss her. She was such a wonderful, caring, supportive, vibrant, quirky lady. She and I became friends with a very special connection eight years ago. And while both our lives were hectic and very separate from each other, when we ran into each other at the mall, at the community centre or grocery store, we always stood and talked for a long, long time. Today, I celebrate her life and how much she touched me and many others.

Sadly, today I also celebrate my mother's cousin Paddy Madigan. I did not know him very well as he is in my mother's extended family. But I morn for his family, his three young daughters. How terrible it must be to come home from school and find your father unresponsive. How terrible it must be to have just lost your mother a few years ago, and now your father. Cousin Paddy was looking forward to walking two of his three daughters down the aisle this summer. How sad that he will not be there on his daughters' special day. How sad for my mom's cousin Susie, she lost her father a year ago this week, and now her brother. She is desperately trying to comfort her nieces and family. My heart goes out to all of them.

I am trying my best not to be sad. Paddy and Danuta lived wonderful lives, full lives, loving and happy lives. Madigan's whole life is ahead of her and I hope and pray that she has as wonderful of a life as Paddy and Danuta.

Madiginnie-Ginnie, I love you with all my heart, happy birthday sweetheart.

Danuta and Paddy, you will be missed. You were and are loved. I am sad for myself, and all the other people you both touched during your short lives. May you both be at peace in God's hands.
My google-reader is almost at double digits. I am so sorry that I am behind in posting and behind in reading all your wonderful blogs. I am too busy celebrating life...but once things slow down a bit, I promise to catch up. I miss you all!

If Annabelle is reading this...please know that I will contact you early this week. I am so happy we have connected. Hugs to Chloe.

Sunday, February 3, 2008

100th post!

Well, you asked, and I answered!

As is customary, I am posting 100 things about me since this is my 100th post.

Thank you everyone who posed questions....some were easy, some were hard, some were a bit odd and some where challenging...and all were fun!

Please excuse spelling mistakes as spell check is not working and I am too tired to double check and edit!

Here we go!

Heidi from Family Adventure asked:

1) What made you decide to start a blog?
Well, I have always kept a journal and this seemed like a natural extension of my personal journal. Plus, I wanted an easy and fun forum to share Trilogy stories with family and friends. I found my friend Andrea's blog and it knd of snowballed from there!

Sadly, some days blogging is my only interaction with adults! And I need adult interaction!

2) Does your family know of/read your blog?
Yes. I know my mom reads it on a regular basis - she even left a comment on my Christmas post! (YIPPPEEEEE) I have told other family members, but since no one leaves comment (hint hint, nudge, nudge, wink, wink) I am not sure who exactly reads it! I am pretty sure my hubby reads it (David, if you are reading this, meet me in the bedroom for a evening of fun as soon as the Trilogy is down for the night!) I think David enjoys most of my posts. I know that he told his friends about my blog. And whenever anything out of the ordinary happens, David will roll his eyes and say, "you're going to blog about that, aren't you?"

Emily from Wheels on the bus asked:
3) What makes you feel especially sassy?

hmmmmm....sassy, me???? Well actually I like saying "Sasss-ssssy" and that word makes me giggle! hmmmmmm.... I love feeling sexy and sassy with a new haircut...unfortunately, my Dorothy Hamill cut does not make me feel sassy!

Laura from That Grrl asked:
4) What does your blog design/ template say about you?
That I like green and lack resources for a cool layout and I am a bit boring! (note to self, revamp blog layout ASAP!)

5) What is your favourite colour and what was the last day you wore it?
I do like green and as I type this I have on a nice green top!

6) If you were given a $1000 (just for being you) how would you spend it?
I'm only worth $1000 - sheeeesh! I think I would hire one of those organizational gurus to organize my house....and whatever is left over (if anything) I would buy scrapbooking materials!

7) Where would you go if you could take a month long trip (all expenses paid) anywhere in the world?
In 1999 I took a month off and camped through six countries in Africa. It was amazing and life-changing. Before I met my hubby I was planning my next hiking and camping trip through Asia. So, I think I would make that dream happen!

8) Do you like your name? I'm a Laura too.
Oh yes! I love my name. I was named after my Great Grandmother. She was a firecracker!

Funny story is that my Grandmother told my Grandfather, and everyone in her town, that my name was Heidi. To this day, when I visit, someone will ask if I am Heidi. It was not until 36 years after my birth that my grandfather shared the story behind my name change. Apprently, my Grandmother did not think that my Grandfather would appreciate having a grand daughter named after his mother-in-law!!! So, she made up a name!

I am glad my name is not David!

Vasquez3 would like to know:

9)What are the things you really like about yourself?

I like that I am usually happy, outgoing and friendly. I also like that I like to laugh and that I can offer a shoulder to cry on when someone is in need.

10)What are some things you would like to change about yourself?
I wish, oh how I wish that I did not procrastinate - I am terrible about getting mail out in time. I would also like to get a bit less lazy when it comes to keeping a clean, organized house.

11) What is your favorite all time movie?
This is tough. LOVE Breakfast Club. LOVE The Red Violin. LOVE the Rocky series!

12) What do you do for fun?
When I am not blogging I am either playing soccer or golf or scrapbooking!

13) If you could have any career what would it be?
Professional athlete - soccer or golf

14) What is your favorite vacation destination?
hmmmmmm still looking to discover a favorite destination. I plan on visiting lots of exotic and wonderful places in order to figure this out!

15) What 3 things (not people) would you want with you if on a deserted island?
-My scrapbooks
-The complete works of Bryce Courtenay
-Life supply of licerice

16,17,18) Do you do anything regularly to pamper yourself? If yes what? If no why not?
Twice a year I go on a scrapbooking weekend get-away and it is the best! I am not into pedicures or manicures or the such...but I do routinely espcape with a long, hot, bubbly bubble bath!

Kelly from Don Mills Diva had this inquiry:

19) If you could live anywhere in the world where would it be?
Still trying to figure that out! Sorry my answer is so lame!

Barry Summy would like to know:
20) Where was your best vacation?
I travelled through Africa, visiting 6 different countries. I hiked and camped the entire month except for one hotel night in Zanzibar. This trip was life changing for me and I hope to blog about it one day.

Laura from A Day in the Life of a Mom of Six asked:
21) How did you meet your husband?
We met on a soccer pitch - the Nortel Co-ed Parti Soccer League. (a very cute story that I plan on sharing Feb 14th!)

22) What do you want to do when you grow up?
Foreign Diplomat or a engineer/designer of prothestic limbs

23) What are some things you would NEVER change about yourself?
That I am outgoing, caring and hardworking.

Kathryn from Seeking Sanity wants to know:
24) What is your favorite thing about yourself?
I love being a mom!

25) Your least favorite?
As mentioned before, I procrastinate and am not very good at keeping my house cleaned and organized!

A Bun's Life asked:
26) Do you have family nearby or a great babysitter that helps out with the children so you and your hubby can go out on dates and spend time alone with each other?
When my second son turned 2 my parents moved to be closer to us. Up to that point immediate family was about a 5 hour drive away. Now they are 55 minutes door-to-door! They will not babysit for an evening...but better than that, every couple of weeks they will take to boys so David and I can spend a weekend doing what we want or what we need to do. We also have a great 16 year old we met at church. She adores all 3 kids and has even babysat all three.We are very lucky to have my parents near by and a great babysitter!

27) What did you do before blogging to help maintain your sanity with 3 small children?
The fact that we have 3 little ones so close together may hint towards an "activity" that helps! Let's call it quality time with my hubby! I also play soccer in a fairly competitive league. This is an amazing outlet for me. I also scrapbook, read, do needle point and cross stitch. All of which helps me keep my sanity!

28) Were your parents good role models for you to follow in how you want to parent your children?
My parents are amazing role models - in their relationship, in how they live their daily lives and how they reared me. My father is a retired high school teacher and a wonderful and caring man. My mom balanced life, career and family. She is my best friend - we talk at least once a day, every day! In addition, I have a great mother-in-law and father-in-law. They are very caring and loving people.

29) Do your children eat their vegetables? :)
Usually...especially if it is "trees" or peas and in DJ's case orange peppers!

30) How old were you when you officially were living on your own completely independent of your parents?
This is acutally difficult to say. I went away to University, but lived with my Grandmother for two years to help look after her. And after a freak volleyball accident, I went home for a summer to recover. So, technically, I would say 20.

Tara from If Mom Says OK wants to know:
31) Is there any topic you won't blog about?
hmmmmm...I do not think I would blog negatively about anyone in my family - immediate or extended. Some topics are best discussed in private.

Mrs. Schmity from It's A Schmitty Life had these 5 questions:
32) What do you like most about being a mom?
Too many things to list. I love watching and seeing my kids grow and learn. It is amazing. I love seeing my hubby interact and connect with the kids. I love giving my love and being loved. I love the smiles, giggles and hugs and kisses.

33) What do you like the least about being a mom?
The pressure I put on myself to be perfect. The expectations placed on all moms. Seeing my children hurt in anyway.

34) How do you and your hubby spend special time?
We love to ski, golf and hike. Date nights usually include dinner, movie and a trip to Chapters. Occassionaly we will play euchure or snuggle up to a good movie.

35) Do you have a group of friends that you can fall back on when times get rough?
Yes. I have a wonderful circle of friends.

36) What do you do for yourself to relax?
As stated before, I am big into soccer, scrapbooking and other hobbies.

Melissa from Hope for the Hopeless asked:
37) Would you rather be Paris Hilton or Britney Spears?
Good Lord, which is the lesser of two evils????? Britney's recent activiteis scare me, especially since young children are involved. So, by default, I want to be a ditzy, rich, spoiled millionaire!

38) What is your favorite room in your house?
The room that currently has the least amount of toys spewed around!

39) If you could change one thing in your life what would it be?
Increase our disposible income

40) If you could go back in time and change one decision you've made what would it be?
There was one night in 1998 that I really regret...but I am over him, errr I mean it!

41) Do you pick your nose?
I choose my friends, and yes, I pick my nose! EWWWW how disgusting!!!

Karen at Snips & Snails & Puppy Dog Tails asked:
42) If you could spend a day with a male and female movie star, who would you chose?
Alan Alda

43)What makes you laugh out loud?
My kids!

44) Do you sing out loud when you are in the car alone?
Hell ya! Rock on Baby!!!

45) What's the best present (material) that you have gotten?
After DJ was born my hubby gave me the most wonderful pendent and necklace. I wore it everyday from December 10, 2003 to April 22 2007. I was in a conference centre and Madigan was colicky and cranky, she must have broken the necklace. I am sooooo sad I lost that wonderful gift.

Erin over at Life in the Nuthouse asked:
46 & 47) What I want to know is why you live where you do and where would you live if you could live anywhere?
I moved to Ottawa Ontario Canada after university. I was a Canadian Studies major with hopes of landing a job in the Foreign Diplomatic core.

My husband comes from Vancouver Island, British Columbia. I love that in the winter we can ski in the morning and golf in the afternoon and play soccer in the type of place!

Alf over at I Shot a Man in Reno asked"
48) If you were burried in a mountain of food and had to eat your way out of it, what food would you be burried in?
Licrice and sour candy with the occassional chocolate bar and bag of jalepeno kettle chips!

Amanda inquired:
49) If you could reasonably have either an elephant or a giraffe as a pet, which would you choose?
I've seen and stepped in elephant dung... I am leaning towards a giraffe, though even that is a long stretch!

50) What does you favorite shirt look like?
I do not really have a favorite - though I have been wearing a comfy purple v-neck long-sleave cotton job I bought on boxing day for $3.99!!!

WHEW! half way done...anyone still reading????

Pregnantly Plump wanted to know:
51) Who do you root for, Wile. E. Coyote, or the Roadrunner? (You can substitute Bugs Bunny and Elmer Fudd or Tom and Jerry, whichever one you watched as a child.)
Wile. E. Coyote all the way!

Heck, I even dreamed of working at the ACME Company to help create better stuff for him!

That's Life v 2.0 asked the following 5 questions:
52) Are you and optimist or a pessimist?

53) Have you ever met anyone who is famous?
Tom Cochran, Corey Hart

54) What cities have you lived in?
In Ontario: Windsor, Tecumseh, Port Lampton, Guelph, back to Windsor, Hamilton (for one summer) and then Ottawa. I also did two French exchanges to La Pocatiere Quebec.

55) Can you wiggle your ears?

56) What side of the bed do you sleep on?
When you are standing and facing the bed, my spot is on the right.

57) What was your first job?
My first salary job was working with 900 numbers...I should blog about those days!

Jenni at Just Chicken Feed wants to know:
58) Go back 10 years, are you where you thought you would be?
I am where I hoped I would be...but, not where I thought I would be. I had broken off a 7 year relationship and was very worried I would never find my Mr. Right.

59) Where will you be in 10 more?
I hope to still be as happy and blessed as I am right now - with 3 healthy and wonderful kids, a fabulous hubby. I hope by then I can still have a wonderful balance between work and family. Perhaps by then I will be working full time, not just part time.

60) What do you eat on your pizza?
My favorite pizza is at Pub Italia: artichoch hearts, black olives and feta with sundried tomatoe!

Slouching Mom at Slouching Past 40 wants to know:
61) Salty snacks or sugary ones?

Usually sugary snacks with salty ones coming into play once a month!

62) What's your favorite decadent food?
I love a good chocolate cake...a real good decadent chocolate cake.

Janet over at Three and Holding inquired:
63 & 64) What is was the best date you have ever been on? What was the worst?
The first date with my hubby...I did not want it to end. I told my girlfriend that evening I would marry David...and I did!

My worst date was through a dating service. The guy had the personality of a dead fish.

Jenlo at Thinks By Me asked the question I get so often!
65) Did you meticulously plan to have your [kids] so close together or was the timing a big & crazy surprise (albeit a good surprise, of course)?!
Well, with Anderson, we did not take any precautions. We wanted the second child to be close, but we never thought he would arrive less than a year from the first. We were shocked when we found out we were 13 weeks pregnant!

Madigan ws a total surprise. We were told that due to delivery complications, that it was not safe for me to carry another baby. But, Madigan was meant to be! She beat all birth control thrown at her!

We are so happy that the kids are so close. It is fun, exciting and great!

Krissy at Firecracker Mom! asked:

66) What do you do for an escape?

This is a repeating theme...funny, us moms sure need a means to escape and like, you, I am interested in finding out how others escape and find balance. I am very lucky to have balance in my life - and that comes from having a wondrful and supporting hubby who ensures I get blogging, soccer, scrapbooking and me time!

Tot's Mom at Mom.Dad.Chat asked:
67) What is your favorite color?

68) Were you a popular girl at school?
My father taught at my high-school...boys were a bit intimidated by that! Plus, I was more of a well-rounded gal. I had friends from many different clicks and groups. Plus, I was very busy with my athletic endevours.

Forgetfulone asked:
69) How long have you been blogging?
My first post was on Monday August 13, 2007.

70) What is your favorite blog, other than yours?
That is unfair...there are so many out there...they are all great! I love this blogging community!

71) Where do you go to get mom advice?
A bit from friends, family, Dr. Sears, and all my new blogging friends!

Mighty Morphin' Mama asked these mighty questions:
72) How many siblings do you have and where do you fall?
I have one younger brother.

74) Does your birth order affect how you parent? ie. If you are the oldest, do you find you favour your oldest or are particularily hard on them?
I do not think so. My hubby, on the other hand is the eldest and I think it influences how he deals with our eldest son.

My hubby has just asked:
75) Are you done your blogging question-thingy yet and coming to bed soon???
Nope - but I am over 75% there!

Nissa from Nissa's niceties asked:
76) What's your favorite vice?
I had three kids in 37 months....pretty oblivous! heee heee! giggle giggle! blush blush!

Kristan from See Ya Tuesday asked:
77) Name one piece of advice that you always give to people.
Trust your instincts!

78) Name one that you always hear and could live without.
She has gotta learn, just let her cry it out!

Amy at A Family Story wants to know:
79 & 80) Who's your favorite Disney princess and why?
This past Christmas I went to see Enchanted with my niece, sisters-in-law and mother-in-law. I loved the princess in that movie.

Shay at Speilmoms Ramblings aksed:
81) Would you have more babies if you could?
Oh yes! But, unfortunately, cannot.

82 & 83) When you were little, what did you want to be when you grew up? Are you doing that?
When I was really little I wanted to join the circus and do the flying trapeze... and today, at times, I feel like I am doing that! Doing a high wire balancing act, while juggling a million balls and clowning around!

84) What do you do to get some 'me' time?
Apparently, I become a saddist and ask people to send me 100 questions! Whew, almost done!

Soaring Student wants to know:
85 & 86) What colour was your bedroom when you were a child? Why?
As a little gal I had pink - my mom did it! As a teenager I had an awesome room that was a bunt pumpkin colour with dark wood and a splash of white and blue in the drapes. It was an amazing room!

87) Gilligan or the Professor?
Little Buddy all the way!

88) What were you doing when the Space Shuttle Challenger disintegrated?
I was packing for a 3 month French exchange program. My Grandmother was visitng and she was helping me pack.

89 & 90) Which housework task do you find the most enjoyable? Disgusting?
I usually enjoy folding laundry. I hate washing the floors and I find cleaning the toliet disgusting (4 yr old, 3 yr old little boys...enough said!)

mscooter44 asked:
91) What were the pros and cons of going to school where your dad was a teacher?
I loved it! My dad and I are close, so it was great. Best part was that I knew most of the teachers personally...and even had blackmail material from parties hosted at my house! Bad thing is that most guys would not date a teacher's daughter! And you could not really skip classes!

92)Do you worry about what the world will be like for your children?
Every sure can be scarey out there. I hope that I can help my kids learn and grow into mature, caring, loving, smart adults who are able to tackle anything the world throws them.

93) How many children did you plan on having?
We knew we wanted 2, but had not really planned after that. Madigan was a very pleasant surprise and we are blessed to have her in our lives, and that the pregnancy and delivery were not as high risk as doctors had predicted.

94) What is the one thing you DO NOT want to pass on to your kids?
I hate that I can get a bit moody at times. I hope they are a bit more level headed.

95) Do you type without looking at the keys?
sone og the tome!

96) Do you allow your kids watch TV?
Yes. Not much, usually when I go make supper - the bewitching hour before Daddy gets home.

97)Did you or would you go to a high school reunion?
I missed my 20th reunion since I had just had a baby. With Facebook I have hooked up with some old higher school, so, maybe I will make an effort to go to the next one!

98) What would you want your high school friends to know about you now?
That I am happy.

99) Do you judge people who use bad grammar?

I like it when people write and speak good. But, on blogs I think it is ok to just write. At work, it irks me to no end when people do not double check their work.

DM Tuff asked:
100) If money was not an issue what causes would you support?

Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario, Heart Institute, CNIB, Diabetes, Olympics, Special Olympics and Nelson House Woman's Shelter

WHEW!!!!! 100 questions...I did it....we did it!

Thanks to everyone who submitted questions.

I so enjoy blogging. Expressing myself, meeting new people, sharing experieinces. I am a true blogging addict.

Now onto post 101!


Well, I am almost at 100 posts. WOW! I can hardly believe that!

I heard through the blog-vine that you are suppose to post 100 things about you when you hit 100. Hmmm....not sure if I have think of 100 things about me.

Then, I saw a neat meme floating around.

How about YOU, my wonderful blog friends, ask me questions and I will answer them. Here is the catch - I need 100 questions!

OK, fire away!

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Scrolling Saturday - Stay in School Speech

Time for another Scrolling Saturday post. (Boy, the week flew by!)

Click HERE to learn more about Scrolling Saturdays. Better yet, dig out that old post, give it another chance for some blog-loving!
Well, keeping with my SCHOOL theme for Scrolling Saturdays, I hope you enjoy this repost from October 25, 2007. OK - gotta run to my French course. Au revoir!

Stay in School Speech

Is it ever too early to start giving the "Stay in School" speech? I do not think so...especially after walking DJ to the bus stop yesterday.

Here is the conversation I had with my son, the Junior-Kindergarten Attendee:

DJ: WOW mom, I like all the leaves. They are pretty colours. Why do they change colours in the Fall?

ME: Well, the tree knows that winter is coming and some leaves do not like the cold, so when the summer sun is not helping them stay green, they start to change colour and then they fall to the ground.

DJ: Oh. Cool. So, leaves fall so we know it is fall. What is that man doing?

ME: He is fixing his ditch drainage pipe. Maybe some dirt got into it and he needs to clear it out.

DJ: Oh. Cool. Look at the plane in the sky mom. How does it stay up there?

ME: The pilot knows how strong the engine needs to be and the right angle for the wings and the plane stays up with aerodynamics - or something like that.

DJ: Oh. Cool. Boy mom, you are really smart.

ME: Thanks DJ. You will get very smart too the longer you go to school. It is important to keep in school and learn all kinds of cool stuff.

DJ: Mom, I think kindergarten is enough for me. If I ever need to know anything, I can just ask my smart mommy. I have him fooled or what!

Friday, February 1, 2008


February is heart month. I never knew this before I had my son David Joseph. But now, February is a special month... a special time to remember my son has a very special heart.

DJ was born with Left Isomerism with Polysplenia. It is a strange heterotaxy syndrome that impacts where internal organs are placed. Simply put, DJ's body tried to create two left sides, instead of a right and a left side.

DJ is very lucky, while he has many anomalies regarding his spleen, intestines, lungs, stomach, and heart, most are congenitively corrected. Which means that they are different in size, location and function, but they are working well enough not to be a problem.

The major causes of mortality and morbidity in the heterotaxy syndromes are undoubtedly the cardiac malformations that typically occur in these conditions. In one large retrospective review from Canada, the 1-year mortality rate was 32% and the 15-year mortality rate was 49%.
We have been very lucky. While DJ's heart is very different, and should technically not work as well as it does, he has never had a heart surgery. (knock on wood) In the future, he may need a pacemaker - but for now, he is doing great.

Here is an image of a "ordinary" heart beside an picture of DJ's heart that the heart specialist gave us when he was 21 days old. I have stitched them together so that you can compare the differences.

Click image to enlarge

Here is the list of DJ's heart anomalies:

Dextrocardia - this means that his heart is in the right-side of his chest.

Transposition of the Great Arteries - DJ has cognitively corrected TGA, this means that while the main arteries have switched, they are functioning on their own and no medical intervention is required.

Pulmonary Stenosis - this means that he has a heart murmur where a section of the pulmonary valve is blocked.

Interruption of the Inferior Vena Cava with Azygos Continuation - with DJ, the large vein that carries de-oxygenated blood from the lower half of the body into the heart is completely blocked. Technically, his heart should not work, and he should have passed in utero, but the azygos vein took over the function of the IVC. Incredible!

We like to tell DJ that his heart is perfectly imperfect! He is truly a very special medical miracle. It is rare to have this syndrome, but it is more rare to be so healthy, strong and cognitively corrected.

In the past few months I have written a little bit on DJ's medical condition, on how his uniqueness as impacted our lives and how I experienced my first Mommy Moment in the ER when he was just 9 days old.

I am not sure I will ever tire of writing about his medical condition. My fascination is partly due to the fact that I need a means to understand all the medical terms. Each entry allows me a reason to do more research. My fascination also allows me to raise awareness of congenital heart defects. My fascination also allows me to remind myself that while DJ is healthy and strong, I need to be prepared for anything. And finally, my fascination allows me to expel my energy in a positive way, instead of sadly dwelling on the many sad stories I hear about on a regular basis. I have become on-line friends with many other families who have children impacted by heterotaxy syndromes and very rarely do their stories have the hope, blessing and wonderful prognosis as DJ. Just last week a young girl, just 2 weeks older than DJ, died waiting for a heart and lung transplant due to having right isomerism. My heart goes out to every family faced with any congenital heart defect.

February is heart month. I hope with all my heart, that some of you reading this, or even just one other person reading this blog, will decide to donate any amount of money to the Heart Institute of Canada or to any foundation or charity that deals with heart defects or heart disease.

To my dear DJ, i HEART u with all my heart.