you're just like crosstown traffic, so hard to get through to you

a strange thing happened today (and you know it is going to be good if it starts like that). it has been awhile since i complained about the bus system in town. back when i used to commute everyday it was a topic which presented itself with regularity but these days there has been no need. other than the boy, it has been the greatest thing about being on maternity, well that and the taking afternoon naps. however, lately i have been feeling grumpy about it again. twice last week i was waiting for the bus with cohen in our new bus friendly stroller when it came and it was so packed i would have had to fight my way on and so i chose instead to walk the 40 minutes home. it wasn't even rush hour, but instead the middle of the day. it has gotten out of hand, this bus to rider ratio. still, i can't complain, i mean i have all the time in the world really and so what if i walk and maybe stop for a leisurely afternoon coffee in the process. it pails in comparison to those days of urgency, lateness to work or an important meeting, frantic as another full bus chooses not to stop to let people on. so i stay quiet and take it in stride.

then today happens. i was waiting for the express going east. i was meeting someone and from my watch was right on time. i got to the stop where more than a dozen people were waiting, which is never a good sign as it most definitely means the bus is going to be packed, so it came as no surprise when it finally showed up and it was in fact crowded. so i hedged my bets that the next one would be right behind it with less people and my hedging paid off when not two minutes later another arrived. this is good right? well, not exactly. the spot on the bus designated for strollers was vacant and there weren't too many people standing so i started to wheel myself onto the bus when the driver puts up his hand and says "sorry i can't take you!". my immediate thought was that i misunderstood him so i looked with confusion and asked "pardon?", "look mam please don't make this about me and you, it isn't about me and you, it is about transit, take it up with them". strange...right? so i back off and say quietly, almost embarrased, "but i don't understand you have room and i already let one bus go by" to which he politely acknowledged me with "well you can come on if you want to but i am very full and it will be an enormous inconvenience to everyone". seriously.

i am not one to fight in public unless i am incredibly drunk and even then it better be a good reason so i let it slide, but as fate would have it some of my fellow passengers couldn't bear to let it go. there were three women at the front faster than i could comprehend the situation and they were yelling, screaming really and names were being named, names i would really rather my infant son not here. i was off the bus by now and i peacefully said to one of the women, "please it is ok, i will just take the next bus, if he feels so strongly about it then it's fine". she wasn't even listening to me by this point, she was wagging her finger, smoke billowing out of her ears, this was about something far greater than just me to her, there was wrong to be righted. so i stood and i watched and i waited. another bus had come along by this point, but i couldn't even get on it because in order to be at the stop the other had to move. it was a situation to be sure. so finally the door shut and the yelling continued as they drove off.

was it worth it? i bet that is what the driver was asking himself as he endured the frustration. i hope his answer was "maybe i should have just let her on", but probably he is just a jackass and doesn't care. life is full of them.


from the dark end of the street, to the bright side of the road

well another weekend has come and gone. we managed to get the gate up for the kitchen but only after cohen tipped over galena's water dish three times. he is incredibly fast when he has something to accomplish. we still haven't secured the bookshelves but i think we have a little while before that will be a serious concern. he isn't pulling himself up yet (except for once mysteriously pulling himself up in atticus' crib...maybe it was a fluke? *crossing fingers) so pulling things down is on hold.

we also took a trip out to ubc. periodically there are blanket emails that go out advertising staff and faculty housing on campus. in the past we have perused the website and talked about it briefly but it has never gone any farther. last week saw another email though and once again the topic came up. it would be nice to have a two bedroom and all that green space, could you imagine? a place to maybe put a sandbox or at the very least a blanket for some outside time, no homeless people picking up my baby, hardly any crime and the price? more than reasonable it seems. marko had never really been out to campus, other than a few brief trips for work, none of which involved exploring in any way, so we decided to trek out and have a look around.

this building is the one we covet the most. it is building "a" and all of the units are two floors. the one in the picture is an end unit that is two bedroom two bathroom and the one i think we would like the most. this building is pretty tough to get in though, with only eleven units. the other buildings were nice enough and the location was amazing but when we looked in the window of a unit that we knew was vacant we couldn't help but be disappointed by just how ordinary they were. the carpets were the colour of a raw potato and the walls too milky for my liking. the kitchens were uninspiring, albeit clean and newish but the rooms themselves seemed unbearably small. of course there are different floor plans and perhaps even different fixtures but the one we peeked in at seemed like such a compromise to us. it is tough when you live in an apartment as nice as the one we currently inhabit. if we were honest we would admit that we got lucky with this one and resign ourselves to the fact that we will have to step down when we leave, but i am not sure we are ready to make that move yet. the jury is still out on ubc i think.

today found us lazy and lounging most of the day which was nice. it was misty and cold out and we were just as happy to stay in our pajamas and play. i would like to say we slept but it would be a lie. despite being here and lazy all day cohen slept remarkably little. he is going through a transition right now, i don't know if it is a growth spurt, a slow recovery from his recent illnesses, or he is simply too excited about exploring his new mobility, but he has grown an allergy to slumber. it is an effort to get him to take the plunge into dreamland and often it becomes fruitless not twenty minutes later. i imagine him dreaming and in his dream he realizes he allowed himself to fall asleep at which point he wakes up screaming in a cold sweat. he has determination, that is for sure. tonight, in a moment of desperation (although lets call it genius) i thought of plugging in one of our mp3 players to the speakers in the bedroom and pumping out some classical, low and soothing and with a little luck sleep inducing, music. so far so good. we have made it past the two hour mark. i will let you know how it all works out.


four green & speckled frogs sat on a speckled log eating the most delicious bugs

things are changing pretty fast around here. yesterday it was finger foods and today it was all about movement, mostly in the direction of things he shouldn't be moving towards. there has been a lot of up on hands and knees, or hands and toes and there were even some moments of one arm in front of the other but the legs would always give. he was frustrated to be sure and would whine as he tried and tried again. we knew it was close and so we bought the tethers to secure the bookshelf and the thing that stops the door knob from turning so that we wouldn't find him eating litter one day. of course we haven't installed any of it, we still had time. but then today as i was putting in laundry i looked back into the living room and there he was six feet from where i had left him not seconds before, his face inches away from his stroller wheel, his tongue out and reaching with delightful anticipation. how did he get there so fast, i thought.

so i watched him closer and throughout the day he continued the trend. he made it to the couch and half way into the kitchen, under the table and into the foyer. sometimes painstakingly slow and other times with lightning speed. it appeared that offering up the chance to touch something he knew he shouldn't be touching elicited the fastest response. his arms made grand swooping motions as he placed them further in front, propelling his legs to do the same. it looked a little like swimming only without water or finesse.

so this afternoon i took more seriously to the task of finding a gate to block off the kitchen. it is the one intrusive thing we have decided to do. i don't want to have to worry about cat food choking or spare bits of food lying in wait on the floor. all of the chemicals can be housed there and for now i won't have to worry about fridges and stoves and garbage cans. the shelves will get tethered, and small objects moved to higher homes. we will get ready for this, the next stage in growing up and then we will sit back and cheer him on as he moves and learns and grows, every day getting one step closer to the person he will one day be.


the more we get together the happier we'll be

i played raffi for cohen for the first time yesterday afternoon and it was great. it was great because i remembered the words to every song as soon as they started despite not having heard them for more than twenty years, and it was great the way it brought me back to five years old running up the block, alive with anticipation, to my friend scott workman's house where i knew we would listen to his records and dance with abandonment all afternoon, but mostly it was great because as soon as the song began cohen got it, without prompting he gently started to rock to the beat and a smile as big as a baby beluga beamed from his face. through the green speckled frogs and down to the peanut butter and jam sandwich, he loved it and i loved it, both then and now. it was such an unexpected moment and so far one of the best ones we have had. delightful indeed.

this evening i decided to try him out with some finger foods for the first time. i searched around for recommendations, more than a little nervous at the prospect of choking, and the answer was almost unanimous, baby mum mums (which made me laugh because they remind me much too much of birdy num nums). i was a nervous wreck when i gave them to him. he hesitantly put it in his mouth and then quickly chomped off a large bit. i winced my eyes shut and held my breath and prayed silently as he gummed the thing. then i opened my eyes and saw him perfectly content, the piece swallowed and him swooping in for another bite. i winced through the next four bites and then i started to let go a little. by the end of the package i had come to the realization that choking on these "instantly dissolve in your mouth" snacks might be a tough feat. still, i think i will wince for awhile yet. it has always been in my nature to worry. i have tried, through the years, to break down the worry, to look it in the face, but there is nothing quite like raising a child to make the worry return full throttle. i am keeping it in check. i can do this, right?

cohen started making this clicking sound with his tongue today so i thought i would tape it as we haven't had any new videos in awhile, what i got was something even better. here he is proving that the it is true, babies his age put everything in their mouths.


i've always been intrigued by the letter "Q".

so i am reading stanley park by timothy taylor and so far i am really enjoying it. i wasn't sure at first, it seemed...well maybe too polished. i am not sure that is the right word but something wasn't right with me and it. over a few dozen pages i became engaged though. i am quite liking getting interested in a book. i haven't tried in awhile, spending most of my reading time attempting to stay up to date with my harpers subscription or reading short stories. i will keep you posted on how it turns out. i suspect that some of my readers have read it, what did you think?

in other review news i have been meaning to mention a movie that we saw a couple of weeks back now. it was this and it was great, despite looking like something that would have serious potential to put you to sleep. we were glued to our seat and couldn't believe just how interesting the whole thing was. maybe that just makes us complete nerds, which would come to no surprise to anyone.

wait, what was the point of this post again? oh yeah that's right, not much. any good movies/books you've seen/read lately that you want to share?

all the dreams i've dreamed are true and all the starry skies, inside me, when i'm next to you

i could write some lengthy post about all of the things that have happened in the last two days (and there has been a lot) but instead i will play one of those games where there is a list of movies and a list of actors and you have to match the correct movie in the list to the correct actor and then afterwards you look at the bottom of the page for the answers (which are written upside down), only in this case it will be events, not movies and photographs, not actors. there will be no answers. it sounds fun, i know. ok, maybe not, but it is my way of saving on words and banking on photographs. some of them are cute so it should be clear sailing.

here goes:

1. not sucking, but sucking on his new sippy cup
2. meeting my father for the first time (still not sure about the word grandpa and it's possible inclusion in cohen's vocabulary, it's a work in progress...i think?)
3. getting together and licking plastic with his buddy atticus...the great toy battle continues.
4. eating raw fruits and lightly cooked veggies in his new baby safe feeder (which i must say is one of the best buys i have made yet, he loves it and i love to watch him loving it, what could be better?)
5. meeting his uncle milan for the first time and schooling him on the true meaning of the word cute.
6. hanging out in his highchair posing for the camera (as always)

for more cute pictures you can always check out my flickr account.


good night, sleep tight and...

today went so much better than expected. we were in and out at the hospital. they were incredibly busy and there was some concern by the nurse to have cohen exposed to all the germs for yet another day so she called the pediatrician right away. he came and spoke to us in the waiting area so no need for a room. it turns out cohen does have an infection but a very minor one. still we were sent home with a prescription for antibiotics and will be getting a call as to when to come in for the ultrasound. if that turns out ok then it will be clear sailing. everyone expects that it will. best of all cohen has been fever free since friday and the fussing has disappeared.

tomorrow marko's brother milan is here for a visit. he lives in new york and will be meeting cohen for the first time so we are all getting excited about his visit. hopefully i will get out the camera a little more this week so that i can get some new stuff to share on flickr. this photo was taken tonight just before bed, as you can see he wasn't exactly sleepy. he is still chatting to himself in the crib as we speak. i wonder what it is he talks about in there? it won't be long now before i know the answer to that and many of the other mysteries that are cohen. for now i will listen to the babble.


we be illin'

sometimes when it rains it pours, thankfully though most times it just trickles. this week though i needed a very large umbrella and even then the rain leaked through.

on friday cohen still had the fever and i hadn't heard back from my doctor with the lab results so i phoned and sure enough the indication was a urinary tract infection. i naively thought this would mean a course of antibiotics orally and perhaps a follow up. if he was a year older i would have been right but given his age it meant a trip to the emergency at children's hospital. to be fair it isn't quite as dramatic as that, it wasn't an "oh my god" emergency. you see, there is a pediatric call group that works out of the hospital and it was one of them that we needed to see. i thought, again wrongly, that having someone expecting us and only using the er as a vessel to communicate with that party would mean that i wouldn't have to wait for hours. yesterday i got to the hospital at 12:30. we finally went home at 7:30. it wasn't such a great day.

the bottom line is that we don't know for sure yet if he does or doesn't have the infection. we drew blood for testing and inserted a catheter (not so much fun for cohen) to get a clean sample (as the previously tested sample could have been contaminated) and then we began a course of antibiotics intravenously (just in case, as it is important to start aggressive treatment as soon as possible). it took five attempts, two nurses and nearly fifteen minutes of screaming from cohen to get the iv in. i had to leave the room after about three. you may think you are tough but that, well that was a true test of strength and i just didn't have it in me.

then we were told to come back today and that it would be quicker, that there would be test results and we would know the further course of action and that likely he would have more antibiotics. so we went and again we waited, nearly four hours, in the waiting room before being taken in to a room and told that the lab wasn't back, his iv had fallen out (they send us home with it at night so that it could be reused) but that he could take some medicine orally that would produce the same results (ummm what!?!? he suffered through all that for NO REASON?) and that we have to come back and do it all tomorrow. when i asked why it took so long again today the nurse sheepishly replied that there was a "mixup" with our chart but that tomorrow would be better. i wish i could get that in writing. in the end todays total time tally was five hours.

so how has cohen been through all of this? so much better than i would have ever imagined possible. the nurses were all calling him a flirt, which is a tall order when they are poking and prodding him non-stop. and despite having to sit and do almost nothing for hours at a time he hasn't complained or thrown a fit once. he doesn't seem sick and if i didn't know he had been having a fever i would swear there was a mistake. i know it sounds like i am complaining a lot but i don't mean to. i wish we didn't have to endure the frustration but i never forget how lucky we are to have him, all of him, even his sickness.

so tomorrow we will find out more and if it is a uti then we will give a third course of medicine and then we will schedule an ultrasound to make sure everything is in good working order with cohen's insides. we will also need to follow up with the pediatrician (thankfully in his office) a few times over the next month to make sure it isn't coming back. hopefully, like galena, this was a one time thing and next week it will be a piece of our past.

this hasn't been such a great start to the year. i hope that means the rest of it is going to be perfect, although as long as i have my family then how could it be anything but?


on the mend

things are looking up for galena. a few hours after coming home last night she took her first bite of food and it wasn't long after that when she started grooming herself again. she isn't quite back at 100% but things seems to be working right with her again and so it is only a matter of time.

i wasn't sure where to go when this problem arose, having not been to a regular vet in vancouver with her. there is a place practically in the basement of our building, but i once had a neighbour tell me that they were very expensive so i was hesitant. i contemplated a few others but the commute seemed overwhelming so i decided to call the place close by and see what variety of reception i received on the phone. turns out they couldn't have been nicer or more informative and before the call was through i knew that i wanted her there no matter the cost. and what was the cost? well i don't think it was higher than other places, in fact it came in lower than i expected and they were upfront and honest about what to expect from the beginning. i wish i didn't have to take her anywhere but it is nice to know that the one so close to me is so great.

in other finding cohen news, i have now completed three pages of the scrapbook which means i am 10% done! my goal in the beginning was 3-4 pages a week. i managed it this week but i am not sure if it will last. i am having fun though. in the end, when it is done, i will scan the pages and make a slide show so that you can all see my handiwork. at three pages a week i guess that puts me sometime in march. yikes...what have i gotten myself in to?


we visited the vet this morning and he felt an obstruction in her abdomen so we did some x-rays and it turns out she is seriously constipated, which is likely a direct result of me switching her food, and the only way to correct it is anesthetic and a colon irrigation which she is scheduled to have done in the next hour or so. she will then be on two kinds of medication for a little while. so i am poorer, much poorer but provided she does okay with the anesthetic she is going to be okay.

and a big thank you to marita for looking after cohen for me while i took galena to the clinic. it was very kind of you to help me out and it means a lot.


here beneath the weight of this i'm wishing that

the good news of the day is that cohen's urine collection went off without a hitch, in fact this morning he chose to go pee just as i was putting the silly u-shaped bag on him, thereby allowing for a quick and sufficient sample.

the bad news is that galena is sick. i wish i could tell you that it is some general malaise of the common variety that she is going to recover fully from but i don't think that is the case. i think this is pretty serious and i am not sure what to do. yesterday she threw up a few time late in the day which isn't totally uncommon and it just made me watch her more but today, well today she has thrown up seventeen times and counting and she has stopped eating or drinking which means she is pretty dehydrated. still she is walking around the apartment and i managed to make her purr tonight. i don't want to take her to the 24 hour clinic only because i have had some really bad experiences there and i know that they will just charge me an arm and a leg and not really tell me anything other than that i need to go to a clinic in the morning.

right now she is under my bed sleeping, a place she is not traditionally allowed to go. i have heard enough stories of cats crawling under beds to die to know that this isn't a good sign. i will keep an eye on her and in the morning i will take her in. it isn't so easy to do that anymore, what with a cat and a baby and no car but i will try and manage it.

if i ever needed a miracle now is the time. please let me wake up and have her be okay.


when your lips first smiled at me, i was captured instantly

cohen has been feeling a little under the weather, or at least i think he has although i have no true confirmation of such a thing. i imagine that if he could talk he would say something like "mom, i feel like crap, do you think we could lie in the pull out couch all day and watch episodes of some trashy tv show you like while i cuddle into the little spot between your arm and your chest? please?". i of course would say yes because that sounds like possibly the best day ever.

it started about a week ago with a warm forehead and then confirmation from the small underarm device that he in fact was warm, but not too warm. low grade they say. not worried. the next day was the same, so to be sure things were being measured correctly i went out and purchased a new thermometer. this one made claims of giving me the answer in "five seconds!" but it turned out to be much closer to eleven and a half which still makes it about three hundred* seconds faster than what we had. this new device confirmed what the old device had already taught us. the boy is sick.

there were no signs of sick though, no hacking, no snot, no malaise nor despondency. mostly just smiles and giggles and heat. so we watched and we waited, chalking it up to probable teething. over the next couple of days though we saw it spike, the warm that is, and we saw him agitated and in pain (or at least i think he was) and so we gave some tylenol and some hugs and things continued on. his temperature would fluctuate from normal to high in no seeming pattern.

which brings us to today, which is day seven of fever in some form or another, and my thinking that maybe the waiting isn't what's called for. maybe he loves pain and really has some raging infection that he has no intention of complaining about. so off to the doctor we went. turns out the ears are fine but the prolonged low grade fever is not, well not completely anyway. but she had no answer. maybe a uti (which we are collecting urine to test for) or maybe just a virus that he is fighting off. or maybe he is just too hot to handle. either way he only seems mildly upset about it and if he wants to be all needy and cuddly for a couple of days, well who am i to argue with that? now i just have to decide which trashy tv is most fitting to the occasion...

*may be a slight exaggeration


don't worry, be scrappy

i have been saying for years that i will make a scrapbook one day (and yes i realize that saying so makes me a certain kind of person, you know one of those scrapbookers, wait no not even more of a wannabe scrapbooker, but that is ok. i accept that. besides, don't tell me any of you are surprised anyway). i think the first one i had committed to mentally was for our wedding, but in that case i never even got as far as printing the photographs (although i do have several things saved from the ceremony/reception that i may one day use in one). so naturally, following the path that came before it, when i became pregnant i said that i would document and scrapbook it all one day. now, looking back at those pictures just hurts my back and makes me feel so glad that i am no longer as big as a rhinoceros. so maybe they will get printed and stuck in an envelope to remember, but they won't go into a scrapbook. which brings us to now and to cohen. as we move out of the first six months i have a renewed interest in the craft and as a result i have

a. bought an album (30 pages)
b. bought paper/ribbon/embellishment/glue stick and other such necessities
c. printed 118 photographs (way more than i need...i think?!?)
d. cleaned the kitchen table for a workspace
e. accepted that i am a complete nerd

so let the scrapbooking begin. i am taking bets on how many pages i complete before i give up on the whole damn thing...any wagers?


nothing changes on new year's day

well slowly things have started returning to normal around here. this holiday season made me realize just how tough all the celebrating is on kids. sure us adults have to entertain and shop and organize and try our best to live up to some completely unrealistic expectation but kids, well they have it the worst of all. luckily there was no sugar to worry about this year but in a few years when that becomes a factor...well i can only imagine how tough that is going to be. as it is, this year saw cohen up much later than he is accustomed and in environments unfamiliar being tossed from waiting arm to waiting arm. don't get me wrong, he loved it, but it messed with him a little and only tonight, after almost a week of trying was he able to go to sleep before eleven. he adhered to a strict routine before the chaos, always in bed and asleep by eight and up once, sometimes twice, for milk. the last week or so has seen him asleep at midnight and up five and six times. thank goodness i don't have work to go to these days, as him and i have been napping our days away. tonight he was asleep at nine and has been slumbering ever since. i hope i didn't just jinx that.

the wind is blowing something fierce out tonight. i am finding it a little unsettling. i think that someone on a floor above me has gone out and left a window open as it keeps slamming open and close, that combined with the whirling noise that is ominously sounding in the alcove outside our window and i am feeling a little spooked. it doesn't help that the lights have flickered a few times now. i have the candles out just in case. it has made me wonder what it feels like to live in florida and to know that a hurricane is coming, to see that kind of wind and to maybe even see the storm as it makes it's way towards you. thank goodness i don't know first hand what that is like. i don't think i would care much for the experience.

so it is a new year. i saw my mom the other day and she asked, does it feel like a new year to you? i didn't have to think long before responding no. i guess it mostly just feels the same. i am not sure i put much stock in the notion that we can wake up on the first and feel renewed somehow. as for resolutions? i never really thought about it much, but if i was to come up with three right now i suppose they would be

1. water my plants more often, they are nice to me so i really should be nicer to them
2. pay more attention to galena, i swore i wouldn't fall in to the ignoring the house pet after baby trap but here i am and it is what it is, unfortunately.
3. always remember to parent by instinct and not by the book, this includes my constant need to second guess myself

not very exciting i am afraid. i suppose i could say lose more weight or drink more water or eat more vegetables, all the things we would all say, but i do my best and i would rather accept my faults and work with them then try and change everything anyway.

2006 brought with it hope and joy and renewal, i can only hope that this year is half as good as the last.