Monday, April 30, 2007
As the Smudge photos begin slow down somewhat, I found time to put together this montage or composite of Smudge's first day. It's the way that I have done our photo albums for the past few years, but I am extremely behind right now — about a year as a matter of fact. That scares me a lot because we'll be going away for three weeks in June, so there will probably be another few thousand to process. Sigh.
In case you were wondering, today was not a good day for the little Smudge. Her tummy was upset. It's hard to understand how that happens on straight body milk, but it surely does. It's tough both on the little one and on Mom. However, these days shall pass and fade a little: just not entirely. Impossible.
Sunday, April 29, 2007
I was so pleased to finally be able to help Thesha out a little. Last night I fell sound asleep at eight o'clock or so, but when I came to around 1:30, I decided to head over to rock the baby if need be. Poor Smudge had not had a great time the previous night, and, of course, that means that Thesha didn't either. In the event, I got over there just after two o'clock, just in time for rocking duty because Smudge was just finishing up a post-midnight snack.
She was a bit fussy for a while, but the old fella was able to keep her pretty calm through those spells, and then she rested quite well for the next few hours. Mom stumbled out of bed around six o'clock to find Smudge and Grampa still rocking and enjoying ourselves. It really pleased me to help Mom get a good night's rest. Frequently, due to silly sleep patterns, I am available at night, but lately I've been tired and crashing early and deeply — just when poor Mom could use a wee bit of assistance. However, it worked out well last night, especially since Theboy had taken the early shift. As a result, Thesha pretty well got the traditional eight hours, as did I because when I got home, I tumbled for almost another four hours.
The odd thing is that, at least to some extent, I can do that sort of thing (rock for hours) without getting too bored. My mind wanders about the universe as it will, and the time goes fairly quickly or at least more quickly than many would imagine ... although keeping the aches and pains at bay from being relatively immobile can make it stretch out a bit. It makes me think of going to high school where the administrators determined that the best punishment was to enforce forty minutes of strict silence after school. Not that I got all that many detentions, but I had my share, and, when I did, they didn't bother me too much. In fact, they were usually over before I knew it.
So, my propensity to wool gather does work for me on occasion, and, should we ever meet, kindly overlook the faraway gaze that overcomes me from time to time. It's just the way it is and not to be taken personally.
Friday, April 27, 2007
... or Here's Looking at You, Gramps
We're slowing down on the photos but managed to take a few for her weekiversary yesterday. She didn't have the greatest night or day but by late afternoon, she had mostly settled. This was taken in the evening as we watched the Sens get by the Devils in what turned out to be close game.
One reason that we have taken so many pictures, aside from the fact that we are completely smitten, is that we know that babies change so very quickly in these early days. She sure couldn't open her eyes and focus like this a week ago and probably not even one day ago.
Thursday, April 26, 2007
Yes indeedy: this is a six cartridge printer, but when I examined the contents this morning, there were only four cartridges. So, in order to get this printer set up, it will be necessary for me to expend more carbon-based fuel to drive back into town today. Sigh. Maybe I should buy more offsets — which would offset the good deal on the printer. Just kidding about buying offsets, eh?
So, back to the main plot. The word on the truck caused me to start singing — an old song, a song from elementary school, a song that I doubt if I've heard since. It doesn't matter what the song was or is; it's just that I started to sing it, and I'm not sure why because I've seen that same sign any number of times without reverting to music. The point, however, is that in the odd functioning of my tiny little mind, the singing triggered yet another memory — a memory of the time my class was entered in a music festival.
Our class took a commuter train into downtown Montreal. We sang our piece and scattered. Yes, we scattered to find our own ways home. Maybe the rest of the group stuck together, I don't know; but, I do know that I and my friends went off to do our own thing. We were in grade eight — only grade eight, mind you (but we felt ever so grown up) — and yet we children scattered to the winds in the heart of a big city.
When I apply today's standards, I am almost appalled, for children being permitted to roam the city on their own simply wouldn't happen now and would be considered scandalous if it did. There would be an investigation, and teachers' heads would roll — off the chopping block!. But nobody batted an eye back then. It seemed normal and acceptable, and we managed.
I sometimes wonder if the pendulum has swung a little too wildly. Maybe we coddle the kids a little too much? Maybe we're over-protective? But now that I have a granddaughter (you just knew that I would mention her, didn't you?), I guess I will join the throngs of over-indulgent, over-protective adults. Times have changed after all.
On the way over, I had mentioned to Cuppa that I wanted to give rocking a real try to see if I was still up to it. When our own kids were babies, I did a fair amount of rocking and quite enjoyed it. It was a great bonding time. I know it's not all that common in men, but I really enjoy babies, perhaps because we're on similar intellectual wavelengths. Anyway, I rocked the kid for about an hour and a half with good success yesterday.
But there is a difference between rocking my grandchild now and rocking my own children back then. Then, I could rock at length without getting stiff and sore in multiple locations. Then, I could rock at length without my bladder screaming for relief. Now? Well, I guess I've given it away, eh?
Meanwhile, I am experiencing other grandpa problems. For example: I was at great pains to figure out how I was dating my pictures. When I contemplated things in a fog last night, it seemed like I was a day out. In the method that I had been using, yesterday was day 7 and today would be day 8. But she's a week old today, so she's seven days old. It took me a while to sort it: yesterday was the seventh day of her life, but she is seven days old today. I can explain, but I won't bother because you're probably a lot brighter than I am and such concepts don't muddle your brains like they do mine.
Update: Cuppa just called, and it was another long, hard night for Thesha. Even now, the kid is awake and restless, but they're trying to hold her at bay and let Mom get a little bit or rest.
Wednesday, April 25, 2007
Anyway, in an effort to redeem my little oversight, I bought Mother Earth a very small present today. Yes, I did. I went to Offsetters and purchased just that — carbon offsets for our impending trip to Vancouver. Apparently, thirty dollars will purchase enough offsets to pay back the carbon that will be used by Cuppa and me when we fly out west in June. The idea of carbon offsets is to support projects that will help to save a similar amount of carbon usage elsewhere so that one's flight becomes carbon neutral. Of course, if you wish, you could purchase enough offsets to make your whole life carbon neutral — theoretically, at least. I don't think I'm ready to go that far, but it feels right to me to spend a trifle more on top of the bundle that I'll be spending on our rather major vacation, it being, by definition, frivolous and discretionary after all
Offsetters has a flight calculator to tell you how much carbon your trip will consume and how much money it would cost to purchase the appropriate amount of offsets to supposedly render your trip carbon neutral. Whether the calculator or the whole concept for that matter is right or wrong, I don't know for sure, but the program is supported by Westjet, the airline with which we will fly, so I have some faith. Sometimes, you have to have a little faith. Sometimes, you have to make an effort to do something, no matter how insignificant it seems. Air travel expends an awful lot of carbon, and since, to repeat myself, it's mostly frivolous or discretionary spending, it feels right and good to me to make an effort.
This whole discussion about Climate Change is not new to me. Although it may seem faddish to some, environmental issues became part of our topics of examination twenty years ago when geography teachers introduced a course called World Issues. The thrust of the course was to examine certain current topics of concern and not just environmental issues. We would study concerns, such as Population Growth, for example, from various points of view and from there try to determine where we stood, whether there was a problem or not.
Most issues, such as population growth, were multi-faceted, but I could never find too much to suggest that climate change wasn't occurring or that it was a good thing. Even twenty years ago, a scientific consensus was emerging. The evidence was and is that, overall, the climate is warming and that it is the result of human activities. Graphs and statistics depict a commensurate rise in temperatures and carbon emissions in the past several hundred years.
Oh yes, on an unseasonably cold day, silly people will shake their heads giggle about global warming. But, of course, warming is only a part of it, and that's why we are now tending to refer to the phenomenon as climate change rather than global warming. As the atmosphere continues to change, there will be erratic weather and climatic surprises and not just constant heat. Even twenty years ago, scientists were predicting more climatic disasters such as hurricanes and famines and so on. The evidence since then informs us that they were spot on.
It's sad that it's taken twenty years for the issue to take hold, but I find it even sadder that there are those who still refuse to take it seriously. A few of the devout (not all or even most, let be hasten to add), for example, seem to think that if God is in control we really shouldn't fuss and worry. Probably these same people don't leave other problems with the divine while they do nothing, however. They give to the poor, for example, and seek medical intervention when they're sick. Well, our beautiful planet is feeling a little queasy these days, and it's up to all of us to do just a little bit to help her out. I don't suppose that the buying of carbon offsets will ever be a huge part of the solution, but, although I'm a few days late, at least I've done something for Earth Day, and it's not such a terrible feeling.
Saturday, April 21, 2007
Sometimes the little things in life really bite. Yes, there's all the joy of Smudge, but when I tried to print some pics, I found that my printer had taken a turn for the worse. It did this once before, but much finagling got it working (more or less) up until now, but now I'm done with with it, I tell ya. Done.
It would be somewhat cheaper to order a new head (for the printer, silly, not for me), but an extra hundred bucks or so would buy me a new machine with newer technology, so that's probably what I'll do. Reluctantly.
Meanwhile, remind me to stop kicking the wall. Not only does it smart more than a tad, but I'm also not being a good role model for my young granddaughter. I've got to start watching myself. Eh?
I decided to grab and post this photo while Cuppa is napping. I just want one, after all, but once Cuppa rises, she'll probably find it difficult to stop at a half dozen, and this one might be one of them. As you can see, little Smudge has quite a head of hair — which isn't at all fair if you ask me. I could use some of those hairs myself. In fact, I have been somewhat mortified to see in these recent pictures how thin my hair is even on the sides. I hadn't realized that, and I'm not happy about it.
Back to the important one, however: all she does is sleep while we're there, no matter who is holding her — usually grandma. She makes cute little faces when she passes gas ... or ahem whatever. She'll probably come home tomorrow, so for Mom and Dad's sake let's hope the passivity continues for a while longer.
We'll all be glad to have Smudge home, however, because for whatever reason, hospitals make me tired ... and Cuppa too apparently. While it's much better now than sitting in a sick room, it still tends to drain my energy somewhat. All of the adults should be happier and more comfortable once they get home, especially Maw who surely will sleep better when she's out of the hubbub of the maternity ward. Hopefully, Smudge will be happy at home too. I sure hope so because she'll be stuck there for a long time.
Update: I just checked Cuppa's camera and couldn't resist posting this photo too.
Thursday, April 19, 2007
We did return in the afternoon for several hours and held Smudge at length. She was very content to be passed among eager arms at great length. Truth be told, she barely stirred despite our attempts to rouse her and have her feed. However, in the womb, her most active time was in the evening, so she could be howling in protest right now for all I know — another grandparental benefit.
Cuppa and I both felt ourselves to be in a time warp today. When we were becoming parents, we were forced to gown and mask before contact, and we almost had to make an appointment to even see the children. Now, they are plunked right into your arms sans both gowns and masks, and we were able to enjoy Smudge just as much as our little but filled-to-overflowing hearts desired.
This is a small hospital with only one four-bed room for new Moms. It was full today; all were delivered by the same doctor although there are three in town. All were girls. It should be noted that he is going on Caribbean vacation Friday — seriously!
Meanwhile, permit me to show these two photos from this afternoon. I was willing to wait but when Cuppa demanded six more for her blog, I thought I should grab a couple while I could. That's another change since our days — digital cameras, computers and internet to facilitate sharing so much so easily.
Smudge arrived like a freight train this morning shortly after six o'clock. Yesterday, she started also like a freight train — real slow — but once she built up momentum, she barrelled right through. The story is that there was minimal activity around 4AM but that baby was bearing down the tracks by 6 o'clock. In fact, the nurses were frantic to slow the train down while the doctor ran red lights in his attempt to make it to the station on time.
All is well. Toes and fingers are all present and accounted for, and lungs work wondrously well, a fact to which the whole of the maternity ward can attest. Mother is a wee bit worn after two restive nights and after projecting an 8lb 6oz daughter (see proof below) into this world out but should mend well in fairly short order. Grampa is also recovering nicely under the kindly auspices of an extra large coffee and two extra strength Tylenol, not to mention a Diet Coke, donut, and breakfast sandwich (bacon and egg).
Addition photos on Brown Betty Brew.
Wednesday, April 18, 2007
Thesha went in for inducement this morning, and was told to go out for a walkabout for a while to help things along. We met up at Tim's for coffee and a breakfast sandwich before sauntering around the small downtown (believe it or not, the photo was taken just in back of the downtown). Cuppa took this picture on our walk. Then Thesha returned to the hospital for further evaluation, and we came home. Nothing much was happening when we parted except that the weather had just changed. The sun emerged; the wind seemed to abate somewhat; and, miraculously, we hit double digits. It's actually nice out, springlike — like it's supposed to be at this time of year. Perhaps it's a good sign, a harbinger.
Speaking of good signs, we passed the following on our amble. When we went by again about fifteen minutes later, it was finished and said: "This wall will come down." Maybe that's significant too. I just hope that the next part wasn't true, however, for it added a date: April 21. Ugh!
Tuesday, April 17, 2007
I recalled standing at front of the church, a fairly large one, and reciting that very same list: Genesis through Revelation. It seems to me to have been a challenge that was brought up in Sunday School when I was about eight years old, so I did it. One other girl also recited that day, and one boy and girl, slightly younger, recited the New Testament only.
I'm not sure why only two (or four) of us out of maybe a few dozen kids completed the task because I don't recall finding it at all difficult. My memory informs me that we had been given a keyring with 66 coloured cards attached, one for each book. No doubt, the cards were to be a memory aid, but I rather doubt that I used them much. I guess I didn't need to because I don't think it was difficult for me to learn and memorize things back then.
Oddly enough, as I recall it now, I also don't think it was difficult for me to get up in front of everyone. It seems to me that I just did it without fuss, muss or bother. Being onstage has never bothered this introvert too much although speaking up in certain situations might. I know; I'm strange.
There is absolutely no point to this post: no moral or lesson. It's just a meaningless memory that has now been recorded for however long Google keeps it in storage, which could be a long, long time, I suppose.
Saturday, April 14, 2007
... or, Look Maw No Hands
Last night found old AC in the ER as a result of attempting to therapize his left hand, the one that has tendinitis in the fingers as a result of the old fool trying to learn to play the violin when he should have been content to rock gently into his dotage ... instead of going off his rocker in his dotage.
Although not terribly clever, months after his fiddle fingers flared up, old AC finally saw the wisdom of laying the instrument aside for the time being and of seeking medical advice. That resulted in the old fella visiting the friendly physiotherapist twice this week. AC and Therapist are becoming fast friends as this is the third condition for which he has sought her help in 18 months. AC appreciates that she helps ameliorate his pain and suffering, and she appreciates the new addition to her house that his frequent afflictions have financed.
One of Therapist's strategies was to advise AC to apply alternate hot and cold packs to his fingers. It's not her fault really because she doesn't yet understand that AC is an accident waiting to happen. And as it so happens, when he heated the thermal pack in the microwave last night, behold it did split and ooze the hot stuff.
Unfortunately, he did not realize that this breakage and seepage had occurred until he found his hand, his good hand mind you, beginning to burn alarmingly. And that's how AC came to find himself in the ER. The following photo shows him with both hand attended to, the burnt hand all gauzed up and the tendinitis hand in the splint that he is supposed to wear at night.
You wouldn't call AC a handyman at the best of times, and you sure wouldn't now as he has no hands with which to work. TG for voice recognition technologies that enable him to continue to blog. (Just kidding; the preponderance of pain abated in the middle of the night, and the bandages came off this morning.)
Thursday, April 12, 2007
But we did do it right yesterday. Knowing that snow was on its way, I took some crocus pictures and posted them earlier today, and Cuppa and I also managed to get on only our second short bike ride of the season. As for today, you've already seen the view outside my den window as it appeared this morning. Enough of this, say I! In my refusal to be daunted, however, I offer several more crocus pictures below.
Yesterday, we made hay while the sun shone; today we munched on yesterday's harvest.
Wednesday, April 11, 2007
With Smudge's appearance imminent, the doctor wanted a final ultrasound to check things out. The result say that she is 7.5 pounds and well positioned. Doesn't she seem to be pouting though? Maybe she doesn't like the attention. "Let me sleep, will ya?"
Tuesday, April 10, 2007
Well, we're all different. Some people don't exactly seem to have a plethora of interests, but a lot of things interest me. Although I am mediocre in most pursuits that I put my hand to, I, nevertheless, enjoy the exploration. For the most part, these were not things that I planned to do when I first retired. Oh, I did have some ideas. Some I pursued; some I have yet to take up; some I may never follow up on because interests and goals do tend to alter over time. The point is that although I may not know what they are yet there are many, many interesting things awaiting me out there.
I continue to wonder why Diane cannot fathom what she will ever do with her time when she does hang 'em up because I can't seem to find the time to do everything that I'd like to do. I can testify that retirement has been a wonderful experience for me. In many ways, these are the best days of life, the most appreciated perhaps, which may be the same thing.
Monday, April 09, 2007
I thought of the T-shirt on the right, probably because I had recently noticed it in my closet. In the days when Cuppa was passionate about painting watercolors, she had the idea of printing up T-shirts. I suspect that we, the family, were each to wear one should she have an Open House at some point. She never did as injuries forced an early retirement from this pursuit.
It was never worn, not only because of her early retirement but because it simply didn't turn out very well as the home done printing job was always very dull and faded, even more so than it looks to be in this photo. Ten years or so later, this never-worn shirt remains in my closet. For some strange reason, it even came across province with us eighteen months ago, and after dragging it out for this photo, I will put it back so that I can scratch my head over it in another three years or whatever.
I was surprised, however, to find this other forgotten T-shirt with it celebrating Wayne Gretzy's retirement. Made at the behest of the newspaper in his hometown where his parents still live or did at the time, a friend from the same town gave it to me. I seem to recall wearing it as a pyjama top from time to time but not lately. I'll also put it back where I found it, and I still don't quite know why.
I presume you'll find the list of Fun Monday participants at A Family Story. I think I'm the token male in the crowd although I was originally introduced to the group by Eric at The Electronic Firefly.
Sunday, April 08, 2007
Saturday, April 07, 2007
I don't know about the discontent part, but I'll go along with lack of interest ... and boredom. Yes, AC is suffering from ennui.
Although it's strange to blog about not wanting to blog, I don't want to. I'm doing it because I can't sleep again and am at a loss because I don't want to read either or watch TV or do anything else that ordinary people might do. I've been that way for a few days now. It's not like me, but it is my present reality.
It's too much effort to blog or do any of the other things that I usually like doing: taking pictures, posting them on Flickr, experimenting with Photoshop. I don't want to exercise or practise choir numbers or read books (I have read three lately) or watch television or write emails. And I can't fiddle because I'm trying to rehabilitate my arthritic fingers, an effort which is not exactly paying off. It's not that I want to not do any of these things;it's simply that I can't be bothered to do any of them if that makes any sense.
We have plans to go to the west coast to visit Althegal and Powerpuff in June. I opened a travel book tonight. Could care less. Am not excited. The trip seems too much bother. Don't even want to go right about now.
Maybe I'm in a holding pattern, waiting for certain shoes to drop. Waiting for spring (it snowed again tonight for crying out loud) and the things that we do when it comes: gardening, cycling, soaking up sunlight and breathing the freshness. Maybe I'm waiting for Smudge to make her grand entry into the world as we know it. Maybe when those changes occur, interest in life will be re-kindled. I hope.
Meanwhile, Ennui is my companion, even though I don't like her very much. I'm tired, but it would be futile to try to sleep just yet (it's only 12:30, you see). It was just a half hour or so ago that I got up after an exasperating attempt and woke Cuppa in the process. She wanted to know what all of the swearing was about. But I was just cussing at my new mistress: Ennui. It's a pretty French name, but she's an ugly, old biddy let me tell ya.
Tuesday, April 03, 2007
Monday, April 02, 2007
I usually miss out on Fun Mondays, bit I sometimes see their notices posted in blogs that I visit. This week I saw, via Ms Cellania, that the theme was to be Vintage Clothing, and I thought to look for my old university jacket. I had kept it for a very long time but figured that I had finally tossed it in our big across-province move a while back, and so I had, but I did spot my Canadiens jacket (left) in my search. It was then that I thought to post my various Canadiens souvenirs. (For those who don't know, the Montreal Canadiens are the world's most famous and storied hockey team.)
Although it might appear otherwise from this photo, I am not that avid a fan. In fact, for almost two decades, I watched very few games on tv. That being said, I find myself more interested again now that the NHL has reinvented itself and reduced all of the clutching and grabbing that used to drive me to distraction.
The coat (or jacket) that I have already mentioned was purchased second hand in a real deal. It's somewhat too small for my present frame but could fit if I were to ever lose fifteen pounds or so. However, I would hardly wear it anyway. These days, I'm not much into sporting logos. I once was and wore various Coke items, for example, including a sweat shirt, quite proudly.
So ... I don't wear the coat or the scarf. I have worn the toque a few times but not lately (except several times this winter when I roamed around inside the house at night after we had turned the thermostat way down for sleeping), and I have donned the T-shirt a few times.
The shirt, blanket (background item) and the scarf were all gifts, and both the scarf and blanket help to decorate my den: the blanket gets draped over my recliner and the scarf over a bookcase. After I took the photo, I decided to superimpose the old photo of me at about seven years of age in my hockey regalia. That's my uncle beside me. Now that the picture's completed, I don't really like the effect, but it's done, and so is this post. Thanks for visiting.
Sunday, April 01, 2007
We did get out on our first ride yesterday, 14k/9mi to Lake Mississippi and back. I was somewhat surprised to see the lake still covered with ice because I don't see any by the riverbanks anymore. I wonder how we'll do this year. We didn't get out as much last year as we did in 04 and 05.