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3 Years Already!

Jacques the long road ahead

Jacques Pneumothorax, not good but not worseThree years ago tonight I was sitting in the NICU of the Jewish General here in Montreal thankful that my youngest son had made it through the worst part of his pneumothorax without a chest tube and hopeful that he continue to get stronger. The fact that I still get upset stomachs and a little freaked out every year when I look back at this site and the pictures of him in the hospital is something that will probably never stop. I don’t welcome it, but it does make me feel a little more human. It also makes me appreciate how fragile and short life can be. I look around at friends whose kids have been in the hospital and we all seem to have the look; a little older, a few more lines in the face and a much softer tone in their voice. I’m not in anyway saying that we let these little guys get away with anything either but there is this bond between parent and child that really grows strong after something like that. Jacques was merely hours old when all this happened, yet even today, all I ever see is this little fighter who is so determined. He wakes up into morning and just never stops until his head hits the pillow and even then we have sometimes have a hard time convincing him that he needs to sleep.

Freddie_Jacques_3BDAY_ 34
Now when you look at him play with his brother, friends and cousins you would never in a million years think that he almost didn’t make it though that first night. Our paediatrician always says that kids heal fast, that they are practically made of rubber, but I am tempted to say that they are like memory foam. They might bounce back to their original shape but deep inside that remember everything like a sponge and use that to grow and fight harder to regain their original shape.

Denise and I are so lucky to have been blessed with 4 awesome children, each with their own special gifts and ways of making us smile, cheer and burst our laughing as well as occasionally pushing all the wrong buttons. Yet we are truly blessed by their health and great spirits. There are so many kids that are less lucky and don’t bounce back so well. Their parents have it so much harder and often struggle to make sense of something that was never supposed to happen. Having gone through the first 5 days of Jacques’ life, Denise and I are always aware of what might have been and we have never forgotten. Even though life with twins is as busy as it is, we’ve tried to be there for those who needed someone to listen, some advice or a few minutes of respite to catch their breathe and make it through the next few hours. We did it because we knew our fiends needed it, we did it because of how much we needed it and appreciated it. We’ve always tried to pay it forward and this year, thanks to my new job we are continuing to do just that. We are giving to the Montreal Children’s Hospital who just happen to coordinate all the logistics of transporting sick kids to the various children’s hospitals in Quebec, the whole province: top to bottom, east to west. They do it all: helicopter, ambulances, nurses, first responders. The whole works. My buddy John is a top notch Paramedic in Oz and one of the best lifeguards I ever had the pleasure to work with, but this Paediatric Marine Corp makes him look like a boy scout. We owe them Jacques life and we can’t ever thank them enough. So do us a favour, and in the name of Les Boys: Freddie & Jacques, please give generously to your Children’s Hospital wherever you are and then reach out to your friends or colleagues that are going through a rough patch and can’t seem to see the light past the mountains of kids appointments, treatments and just be there. Be supportive even when they say they don’t need it, because I can guarantee that behind their pride they are so very thankful you are there.
So glad your back Jacques

Living Room RTA, Call the CAA!

Living Room RTA, Call the CAA!

Every once in a while things get a little crazy in our living room. Just this week, there was an incident involving this sports car and a train. After taking a breath test, we can confirm that the driver of this sports car had in fact just finish a full 8 oz bottle of full fat milk… He currently resting comfortably with his mother.

Unfortunately, the train was derailed and took out an entire Little People Farm and several innocent stuffed animals. The train conductor was able to crawl away from the incident without any injuries. It is believed that the conductor’s crawling condition preempted the accident. Doctors believe he will be able to walk without any special therapy withing 2 to 4 months.

Stereo Maddy See

Stereo Maddy MC

To the left
To the right,
Step it up, step it up

The girls worked on their balance training this week in their skiing lessons, which means they needed to hold their arms out a lot and even ski on just one ski.  Things most of us seasoned skiers would really struggle with, yet these little bundles of energy just see it as a game and excel at them with such ease.

The title and lyrics are from the late 90′s hit Step it Up! by Stereo MC on their album Connected.

Ready, Steady, GO!


Ninjas Ski as They Please

Ninjas Ski as They Please

The girls and I love to go skiing and on the way up we tend to listen to either some Gilles Vigneault’s Un Dimanche à Kyoto, The High School Musical 3 sound track or my personal favourite the Barenaked Ladies kids album SnackTime. This week we made our way up to Vallée Bleue listening to Snacktime so it became the soundtrack in my to my whole ski day.

When I saw “Thing 1″ get off the chairlift, all I could think of was Ninjas.  Stylish blond Ninjas, but still Ninjas!

The lyrics to the song are truly awesome:

I woke up this morning and everything was different
Something was strange in the air
I woke up this morning and everything was different
I knew that the Ninjas had been there

I looked all around my bedroom
Underneath the dresser
Behind the bed, but nothing could be found
There was nothing left behind them
No way that I could find them
No fingerprints or crumbs on the ground.

The Ninjas are deadly and silent
They’re also unspeakably violent
They speak Japaneses; do whatever they please,
And sometimes they vacation in Ireland.

The Ninjas are deadly and silent
They’re also unspeakably violent
They speak Japanese; do whatever they please,
And if you tear off their masks, they’ll be smiling.

Special Thanks to Gracenote  for not letting me copy these lyrics and force me to relisten to the song on repeat (many many many times) in order to post them here and possibly give the Barenaked Ladies a better mention. (#WhenDRMKillsMarketing&FairUse)
NOTE: Gracenote does not get a free link or tag due to their obvious “suckage” in this matter.

Les Boys are 10 Months Old

Les Boys are now 10 months old.

Freddy - 10 Months

Freddy weighs about 30lbs and can now crawl about 4 feet in front of him but only if there is a doughnut waiting for him, even if it is just a toy one. He can sit himself up and although he still prefers to roll or slide backwards he’s really solid and strong when he does get himself moving. Everything in its time with this guy, but if you’re late but will he let you know.

Jacques - 10 Months

Jacques be nimble, Jacques be quick… Jacques be into absolutely anything.  This little rocket is crawling circles around his brother and will even try to steal the odd plastic doughnut from him. He’s cheeky, curious and always happy to be around his sisters and brother. Sure he still weighs about 5 pounds less than Freddy, but he’s just about as tall and eats as much too.

Also this little guys can totally stand up now!

Look What I Can Do

Hey You! Get Into My Car!

Hey 'Sup? Yeah it's my ride.

Hey 'Sup Dawg? Yeah it's my ride.

We went to a birthday party at a friend’s house this weekend and Les Boys really took to the red Little Tykes car that you have all surely seen in most backyards and day care centres across North America. But Freddy was having so much in the car that I just had to take some pics. Jacques on the other hand just slid right out of it and decided to have no more of it for the rest of day.

There are a few more pics right after this:


Go Josiah Go!

Go J Go

A fellow photog and mac addict, Stephen Hackett, of ForkBombr fame has been going through a pretty tough year! His son Josiah, who is just over a year old has been fighting a brain tumor. He’s such a remarkable little guy, and even though I don’t Stephen and his family personally, Josiah’s story has really touched me and I’ve been rooting for his progress from up here in Montreal. Just about 9 months ago, our little monkey above had his own scare at birth, so Josiah’s hit pretty close to home.

I’ve been wanting to take this shot for a while, but tonight little cousin Eddie’s visit was just the right setting for the pic.

Fall Foliage

Considering the last two posts, I just couldn’t resist.

From Fall Foliage

From Fall Foliage

If you haven’t read XKCD before, click on through and enjoy. I can’t promise you won’t be reaching for the High School physics or chemistry books though.

Bloody Hands and Threading the Needle

On Top of the Needle

It’s been about 9 or 10 years since I chalked up my hands and laced up the old Boreale booties and tried to haul my aging butt up anything steeper than than a 5.4. Yet the harness is still in great shape and the booties still fit, and as chalk is already about 1000 years old, applying it lavishly to my sweaty palm felt as fresh as I when broke in the ball all those years ago on Poke-O-Moonshine.


Valois Bay Panoramas

Valois Bay Fall Panoramas
I was reading a Scott Kelby book on Safari online books and in one of the chapters he talks extensively about Adobe’s Photomerge feature. A feature I’ve been using for a while but it wasn’t until I read Scott’s book that I realised I have been missing out on a great trick.