Three 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.
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.
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.
Getting ready to head home in few hours. We had had a wonderful time and the most glorious weather. Thanks to all in Blighty for reminding of how great this place is and why it was so difficult to leave all those years ago.
We’ll mis you all and you’re all welcome to came and visit the Great White North so we can repay the most generous Hospitality.
Mike with his favourite catch phrase. Just in case anyone from the North Atlantic Fisheries Commissions is reading this blog, we didn’t keep this one. As far as we know this little guy has already mated and will live to survive another rock hopper and his 7 year old son.
We spent a week down in Goose Rocks Beach in Maine, hanging out with the family and hunting for critters on the beach. This little guy was far too small to eat but boy was he a lot of fun to catch. Some of the critters didn’t even need catching this little dragon fly just tag along for the ride and pretty much hung out with us all day.
Click on on through to the Flickr set to see more. Some pictures are for Friends & Family only so make sure you sign for a free Flickr account and I’ll give you access.
Sadly it’s time to say goodbye to Nanny and Great Grand Dad Fred. We don’t know what we would have done without them over the last 6 months. Having twins is not very easy, even for a Super Mom and Fat Dad duo like ours. There is no way to repay the generous time put into to the late nights, early mornings, washing cloth diapers, cooking dinner, helping with Chloe her homework, school pick ups, rocking crying babies to sleep, consoling crying preschoolers and 8yr olds, putting up with the Big Game three nights a week, doing the groceries, running errands, warming bottles, sterilizing pacifiers(dummies/suces) and putting up with all the other stuff that goes on in our Magill Shoe house.
As Chloe would put it: “Nanny You Rock!”
THANK YOU! WE LOVE YOU
The 2 Fat Dads sites are going to be down this weekend with the slight exception of this blog which is hosted by Blogger (for the moment).
This is because we are making a move over to PHP after a very long relationship with ASP which became ASP 3 and eventually ASP Classic. Yes it means losing out on the awesome power of a very solid MS SQL server, but as all the sites ran off of the same database, it was becoming a real chore to manage the tables.
On the upside it will mean finally being able to adopt the awesome power of a superior PHP object oriented platform. It also means customised WordPress template and playing with the new generation of LAMP tools.
We hope to only be down for a short period over the course of the weekend, we apologise for the inconvenience and please don’t remove us from your Delicious bookmarks, blog rolls and Follow list.
We’ll Be Right Back After This.
We went for a family walk in the Ile-Bizrd Nature Park. The weather was gorgeous and the ducks were out in their full glory. I took all these shots with the Samsung point and shoot I got from Xmas party draw a few years back. I had to play around with them a bit in iPhoto to tweak some of the exposure and temperature settings in order to make these photos look as much as what we saw with out eyes on the day. I didn’t really have a choice in the camera, our nice Fuji S5000 died of a fatal zoom error on our summer camping trip. We have been debating on whether to make the jump to full DSLR, but the I’m afraid the click through rate will have to go up quite a bit if I’m going to make any decision before the twins are born.
Hope you like the Photos! You can visit any of Montreal’s Nature Parks throughout the year. We bought a parking pass for cross country skiing at Cap St-Jacques which allows us to visit and park at any of the sites for free.
Chloe and the girl’s of the Carolina Courage are the 2008 Under 8 Female Champions. The game was a nail biter against three of her very good friends on the New York Power: Elise, Patricia and Elizabeth. As John Motson would say: “In the end it’s a game of two halves and their has to be a winner and a loser, and today, the better team won.” The game could have gone either one, but half way through the first half, Gabby riccochet’ed a roller off of a few blue shin pads before rolling past the goalie and finding the back of a the net. The second half was fought with passion and grit as both teams struggled to find the net. Gabby, Jenny, Carmen and Paige all had great shots and Elisabteh and Kaninna (apologies for spelling) put up some solid defensive moves and were able to shut down the strong Courage offence. As the ref blew the final whislte, the Courage bench was cleared and the celebrations ensued.
More pictures to come…
Everyone knows that I am a little obsessed with quality electronics goods. I love my Apple gear: MacBook, iPod, Airport Base Stations, my Acoustic Research speakers are old but still sound awesome, I still love my and often use my Beyer Dynamics DT770 pro headphones for my audiophilia. And although I don’t have a big screen TV for the PS2 (incumbent Wii), it is only a matter of time before the basement wall gets adorned with 65 inches on hot liquid plasma.
So it should come as no surprise that our little Dirt Devil vacuum cleaner that was generously donated to us by my little bro decided to pack it in, we would inevitably look into a vacuum cleaner any geek would love. Bypassing Hoover all together, we went straight to the next best thing to some out of England since the Mini Cooper S and Jonathan Ive: The Dyson. We first saw the Dyson about ten years ago and simply laughed: “a $2000 yellow Hoover with no bag?” It just seems completely over engineered and the design was just just so pretentious: “Hey look at me I can afford to drop 2G on a Hoover!” I had nothing against it’s cleaning power, a very good friend spent a few summers selling Kerby’s for about the same price so I understood where this machine would position itself. But still it just seemed like such a silly looking machine. Not to mention that James Dyson himself always looked like he belonged on the deck of the Death Star along side Lord Vader. He has one of those Berkshire/Oxfordshire accents that you just want to pummel with the fat end of a Cambridge / Oxford roaring oar. Yet, like another egomaniac Tech genius for Cupertino California, you just can’t help but listening to him and then really liking everything he has to say. Dyson’s landmark battle against Hoover who turned their noses at Dyson’s bagless cyclonic wonder and then systematically cloned his devices (Hoover lost big time) is not far removed from Apple own journey with the Macintosh and iPods.
Both the Dyson vacuum cleaner and the Apple computers are superior products than anyone else in their field and sure they cost more but once you use them, even for a few minutes, you know exactly why you should pay top dollar for them. So when we got home from the mall yesterday, we ceremoniously unpacked the Dyson DC25 and tested it out on a small 5 x 8 foot living room rug. We had vacuumed this rug only a couple of days ago and we were in shock at how much dust and dirt were ripped out of the rug. After the initial embarrassment brought on from realising that we are essentially pigs in a blanket, our purchase was forever justified in our minds and we then proceeded to vacuum the whole house. The bottom line is that this Dyson really SUCKS! And we love it already.
“Yup we are slobs, but the Dyson makes sure no one else wll ever know”