my friend dreena and her husband mike welcomed a son, riley graham, into the world last friday morning. we went over for a visit tonight and were amazed at just how small newborns are (and at how quickly we forgot), so fragile and wee. cohen came along for the visit and seemed much more interested in the "it's a boy" helium balloon than the micro human. his interest perked momentarily when i was holding riley, but i think that was more just confusion than anything.

for those of you that don't know, cohen is going to be a big brother come april. if tonight is any indication all we will need to do is keep him constantly supplied with helium balloons and he should be more than up to the challenge! all kidding aside, i think he is going to do great, i think we all will, just one step at a time. seeing riley tonight reminded me of all the amazing things we have to look forward to once again. it feels really great.

here is one more up close shot, apparently this is riley's favourite pose i like to call it "the cell phone negotiator".

riley graham elliston


a chip off the old block?

today was my first flex day in what seemed like forever. usually i get every second wednesday off and just work a little longer the other nine days, but at the beginning of the semester we have flex black outs which means no days off to play in the sun with cohen. i was excited to finally have the day to ourselves again and wow did we make the most of it.

we started off ambitiously with a trip planned out to UBC to do some swimming and visit with some of my co-workers. it would be our first swim since the municipal strike began months ago, ubc aquatic center being one of the only pools around not run by the city. we left at 9:20, a time i thought would be tolerable for the express bus that runs the 35 minutes out to the university. i was mistaken. we stood and waited as bus after bus after bus (make that 25 buses, honestly) went by that were full to capacity. it was 9:52 when a driver finally took pity on us and made room to allow us on. i couldn't believe it was still so busy at that time...sigh. i was nervous about the belly aching that such a long ride might create (especially with so many people) but i was wrong, he was great with big smiles and quiet contemplation the whole way. so we swam and we visited, which meant he mostly charmed and entertained large circles of crowds. it was nice to bring him out to work, i think the last time we went he was only 6 months old.

the ride home was easier to achieve and he slept the whole time. in fact, he continued to sleep for quite some time after we got home, hunched over in his stroller. eventually i decided to take him back out (still asleep) to go and see my friend dreena's new house. cohen woke up about half way there, which made him ready to explore all four floors (!) of house once we got there. he doesn't get much opportunity for stairs so he had fun climbing them one by one, as well as playing with the bouncy chair in the soon to be nursery. the house was beautiful and so big! i couldn't imagine having so much space, it would be a dream come true.

after exploring, the three of us decided to walk to seb's for lunch. cohen and i shared banana bread french toast which i must say was even better than it sounds. in fact, we had to stare each other down for the last couple of bites, me being the sucker i am gave in. i am sure he ate more than i did. then we went walking for an hour in the sun (including a quick stop at the salvation army where cohen got a very cute new shirt) and finally came home to start dinner sometime around 5. such a good day.

tonight wasn't as great though. cohen has a bad habit of standing in the tub. he likes to turn the tap on and off and pull the shower lever up. we are always trying to get him to sit down, but trying is not the same as doing and as i have mentioned he is strong willed. so tonight while he was being defiant and standing, he slipped and hit his face on the side of the tub chipping his front tooth. he didn't cry for long and it looks like it is minor enough that it didn't cause nerve damage, but we won't know for sure until tomorrow. it just reconfirms that we need to be more careful with him. it is so hard to know where the line is between freedom and danger at this age. i worry that next will be a broken arm or worse, he just has no fear. so now to add to the possible scar on his forehead he also has a chipped front tooth. good grief.


the worst of times

it looks like i have may have spoken too soon. it started on tuesday night when he threw up his dinner all over the place and then went on to have a 39 degree fever. it didn't compute with me at first, we were thinking flu maybe? it was on wednesday morning when the fever was still there and his eyes were as droopy as his limbs that i realized, it was the MMR shot. the statistics are there, a certain percentage of kids (around 20%) will see a fever reaction 7-10 days after the shot. marko stayed home with him for the day and they relaxed, we hoped that would be enough.

thursday morning he still wasn't himself though and so i elected to stay home. i am glad i did, his temperature was up and down all day, he wasn't really interested in food, slept 3.5 hours for his morning nap and then had two bouts of diarrhea. he was a grouchy melting down mess all day, but by the evening he seemed to have come back around and was acting himself. we thought we were in the clear.

this morning we woke up once again to a fever only this time it was accompanied by the rash you can see here. it is another side effect, this time prevalent in around 5% of kids who get immunized. they show signs of the illness itself. so cohen has little red measles like bumps all over his face, chest, and back and only this evening have they spread to his legs. there is a patch on his forehead where he keeps scratching and so it is raw. i feel so bad for the little pooper, he just isn't acting himself, so many fits and tears and so much frustration (from both of us).

i hope it passes soon and that all is ok in the end. i'm sure it will be. right?


a spoon full of sugar helps

so today was the first day of school. i mention this because as many of you know i work at a university, in fact i work in the enrollment office of a university, which means this time of the yeah is a bit chaotic. the buses are overcrowded, the line ups for lunch are long and loud, everywhere you turn there are students. it was a busy day for me on the phone, call after call, question after question, it should have been enough to keep me distracted, but it wasn't. all day my mind kept thinking about how today was immunization day for cohen. we were late with his one year shots due to some scheduling mixups and so tonight was the night he was going in for his dreaded mmr shot. i say dreaded because once, many months ago, i did an internet search about immunizations, and the stories that the mmr shot brought out in people were terrifying to say the least. i quickly turned off the computer back then and vowed to never think of it again. it was always there though, in the back of my mind. so today there was a lump in my throat, not just because he was going to have to get it, the terrifying shot, but also because i wouldn't be there with him, i would be still be at work finishing my 10.5 hour day.

i pestered marko online all day confirming that he had all the details, which shots we were getting, which we were declining (chicken pox), what to do if there was a reaction, how he could contact me. i was a paranoid mess. eventually i took some deep breaths, talked myself off the ledge, and made the end of day trek home.

when i got here i found the two of them laughing away at something on the floor without a care in the world. marko could tell i was still worried and shook his head, what was i so worried about anyway? turns out he only cried for a moment and he was completely fine the minute it was done. there was no reaction, no sense of abandonment that his mom wasn't there, no fever or fatigue. he didn't even flinch when i touched his prick point, but instead swatted my hand away and carried on his merry way as if to say, geez mom, you need to relax. i think he's right, now that it's over maybe i will.


what a way to make a living

summer is winding down and the kids are heading back to school so it seems only apt that i head back here to the blog. so many things have happened in the space between then and now. cohen had his first (but i am certain not last) run in with a sharp edge. this time it was the space smack between his eyes that took the brunt of the wooden train impact. thankfully there weren't any stitches and word has it very little crying even, (he was with his nanny) but you can still see it almost a month later so we will see if there is a scar. Since then there have been dozens of bruises and scrapes on legs and arms and chins. not one to be knocked down by pain he is always on the go.
this is fun!
we went to the pne a couple of weekends ago and much to my surprise cohen was completely overwhelmed by the experience. he is constantly surprising me in that way. it was not unlike that time he was terrified of grass, only this time grass was petting zoo animals and large crowds clapping in unison. it is the strangest things that trigger fear in him. for instance, there is this scene in an episode of caillou we sometimes let him watch where a real elephant (as opposed to a cartoon) is shown eating an apple. it completely terrifies him, he covers his eyes and turns away in tears. is it because the apple is red? the trunk is so long? the elephant drools too much? who knows, but apparently he does not like superdogs, petting zoos or elephants eating apples. jumping off the bed without holding on though? no problem.