Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Julie's success story

I spend pretty much all my time on here talking about our kids.  Today I'm going to mix it up and talk about someone else - Julie.  My wife truly is amazing.  She has struggled with her weight most of her life, and last year she decided to do something about it for good.  She did her research and found a company based in Saskatoon - Weight Loss Forever.  They are pretty amazing as well - from the preparation before surgery, to the state of the art facility to the care and support after.

So in October of 2011, she flew to Mexico to have a Vertical Sleeve Gastrectomy.  Basically, a big piece of the stomach is removed leaving you less space to put food and taking out a large portion of the hunger-producing hormone.

Some may think surgery is an easy way out, but let me tell you it is not.  She was on a liquid diet for two weeks pre-op and then it was eight weeks after before she could eat everything again.  Not an easy road at all.  Even now, things aren't always easy, but she has the tools she needs to be successful this time.

I kept hearing stories of husbands and loved ones who were against this surgery and people asked me if I was nervous or scared or hesitant about her having it done.  Other than the fact that it was surgery and there are always risks with that, I wasn't really.  She did her homework and she's a smart cookie and I trust her.  I had also seen her struggle with losing and gaining and losing and gaining and she felt this was the solution forever, so I was on board.

The girls weren't quite sure how to take all this, and we told them that Mommy was getting her stomach fixed so that she could have more fun playing with them and jumping on the trampoline and things.  They accepted this and are looking forward to playing with Mommy a lot more this summer.

So here we are now, almost six months later, and she has never looked or felt better.  Her journey isn't over, but she is well on her way and I am so proud of her.  So are some of her peers too:
I love you Julie.  You are an inspiration for many, but most importantly, your girls.  Later.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Ginny's sick day

Ginny had been kind of complaining of a sore throat all weekend.  We kind of poo-pooed it thinking she was just out of sorts from all the babysitters.  When I picked her up from Sunday school, she had been crying saying it was too noisy and giving her a headache.  By the afternoon she had a pretty good fever going and she actually had a nap.  Okay, she was sick.  Yes, we felt bad. 

So I stayed home with her yesterday.  Jorja went to school and CeCe still went to daycare.  We were just going to have a day to relax and get better.  She wanted so bad to take advantage of having me all to herself, but she just didn't have the energy.  First, she wanted to play Barbies.  I agreed.  She got everything out and set up the way she wanted and then just wanted to sit on the couch and watch TV.  So I cleaned everything up.  Then she wanted to play Polly Pockets.  I agreed.  She got that stuff out and set up, and then she was beat again.  She wanted to watch a movie. 

So we put on a movie, and not very long into it, the power went out.  It would end up being out for seven hours!  But we didn't know that at first.  So we were sitting there in the fairly dim family room talking about the lack of power.  The way the sun was shining in and hitting the TV really brought out all the hand and finger prints.  Ginny noticed this too and said, "Look at all those schmucks!"  Yes, I said, what's that all about?  "I don't know Dad, we would NEVER touch the TV screen."  While this was a good answer, it was obvious that someone would in fact touch the screen.  Ginny said, "It must have been CeCe back when she was still one."  That's it, throw her under the bus.  Not that I have any doubt it was CeCe, I think they are a little more recent than that.

We went upstairs after a while and did some colouring and reading.  Ginny had a lot of questions about power and what needs power and where it comes from.  Finally she asked, "Does the piano still work?"  I said that it did, so she went cautiously over to it and ever so gently pushed down a key.  Now she pushed it to softly and slowly for it to make a sound.  She looked over at me skeptically.  I told her to push harder, so she did and then she was satisfied. 

She didn't really want to eat much, so I suggested we have a nap, thinking she wouldn't want to.  But she said yes, and then she fell asleep.  Naps two days in a row!  She was definitely sick.  But she was doing a lot better today, so hopefully she is on the mend.  Later.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Princesses and pirates

Where does the time go?  I meant to write last weekend after Ginny's actual birthday party, but I didn't get around to it.  Can you tell she's the poor middle child?  Anyway, she had her party at 'Bibbidi bobbidi boo' which is where we had Jorja's last party.  It's led by the princess of you choice, there is no prep, no clean-up, it's not in your house - it's perfect.  Ginny had picked Cinderella to lead her party and it just so happened that someone new was training, so she got Cinderella and Sleeping Beauty.  Double score!  There were 5 little princesses and spiderman having a blast when I showed up with CeCe half way through the party.  We got there just in time for cake.  CeCe had a blast after that as well - running, dancing, playing.  Here's Ginny all dressed up for the party:

So that was last Saturday.  Last Sunday was a nice day, but there was still a fair bit of snow out, so we went to play in it one last time:

It was a pretty awesome snowman, but it didn't even last until the next day.  Now, one week later, all that's left is a carrot and a couple of sticks on the ground.  It has been a beautiful week out, and most of the snow is now gone.  After we came in from playing in the snow, it was time for a little snuggle:

The rest of the week was fairly normal.  Till Thursday when Jorja had her three way conference at school.  All the frustrations of every-day home life (not listening, seeming to know everything, fighting with sisters) seem to melt away when you hear how great your child behaves and does at school.  She has done great right from the start, so I guess we must be doing something right.  Now, two thirds through Grade 1, she is reading at a Grade 4 level, and spelling at almost a Grade 3 level.  Pretty amazing.  She devours chapter book after chapter book these days.  It's pretty cool, because she would sooner so that than play on the computer or watch TV most days.  I could learn a thing or two I guess.  I've never been much of a reader.  Hopefully she keeps it going.

On Friday there was no school, so I brought the girls downtown to meet Julie for lunch.  We were there early, so we wandered around the mall.  We went to Children's Place where the girls looked at skirts, tried on hats, and looked at jewelry.  I patiently waited.  I think that's something I'm going to have to get used to.  After I finally dragged them out of there, I took them next door to Jersey City.  Well, you'd have thought they were getting their teeth pulled.  I was browsing a bit, but mostly I went in there to visit with an old friend I used to work with who now manages the store.  I tried explaining that we looked at their store and now it was my turn.  It's funny how that logic didn't seem to compute with them.  I think I'll have to get used to that too.  After we met Julie and had lunch, they went to Ardene's.  Julie let them each buy a mystery bag with various hair accessories and stuff in it.  There were many squeals of excitement when they got home and opened them.  They actually got a lot of stuff for $2.50.  The only thing they couldn't use were the pairs of pierced earrings.  I held them up to my ears and then Ginny informed me that 'some boys do wear earrings.'  I said that I knew and that I myself did once.  They looked closely at my ear and saw the spot where my hole used to be.  The Jorja thought she would try to ram the earring into it.  I put a stop to that.  Then they looked at the other ear and I told them that I only had one earring.  To this Ginny replied, "You must have looked like a pirate then!"  Maybe I did.

Julie and I had two nights of freedom this weekend.  Crazy.  Friday night we had a going away party for some friends.  Steve shaves his head, so we had a bit of a surprise when they showed up:
On Saturday we were invited to a murder mystery party.  It was a lot of fun.  Everyone dressed up and really got into character.  I was a bartender and Julie was a waitress (both of us worked at the same casino) and we previously dated and I was trying to woo her back.  She was more interested in the big roller gambler type than the lowly bartender though.  We both survived the evening and didn't kill anyone either.  We didn't figure out who the real killer was though either.

I was Jim Beam, she was Mimi Martini.  We look like we could be Hollywood - maybe we should combine our names to Jimimi.

CeCe chose this time (at home with a babysitter) to crawl out of her crib.  I guess that means it's time for a bed.  Now it's just a matter of figuring out when a good time is.  There probably isn't, so we'll just have to bite the bullet on of these days.  Later.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Ginny turns four

Today was Ginny's fourth birthday.  She had a good day at daycare - got some cool presents and a birthday trifle.  But it also happened to be swimming lesson day, so it wasn't that great at home.  Swimming lesson days involve eating supper by five and then having a shower at seven when they get home.  Not much time for anything else.  Today we had some cake and she opened her presents when she got home.  There wasn't time to play with anything though.  We're having her actual party with other kids on Saturday, so today was just a little celebration on her actual day.   

Happy birthday Ginny!  We love you and are so proud of the girl you are becoming.  Later.

Sunday, March 4, 2012


This morning started out like many Sunday mornings - a mad dash to get out the door on time.  Julie was playing piano today, so she had to go in early to practice.  That left me to wrangle the other three.  I think it is fairly noticeable when I get them ready and do their hair.  It just doesn't have that same 'polished' look.  Oh well.  Anyway, I had them all ready and now I was getting dressed.  Ginny came in to see what was going on.  I was just tucking in my shirt (I was wearing a button-up shirt).  I hadn't worn one in a while.  Ginny asked, "Why are you tucking in your shirt?"  I said, "Don't you think I should?"  She said, "Do YOU think you should?"  I said, "Do you think it looks good?"  She said, "Do YOU think it looks good?"  I could see this was going nowhere.  I untucked it and we left.

When we were on our way home, I asked the girls what they learned in Sunday School.  Quite often this is met with 'I don't remember.'  But not today.  Ginny recited the whole story of Zacchaeus, the 'task collector' from start to finsih.  Jorja learned about the rich young ruler and that it is easier to pass a needle through the eye of a camel than for a rich person to get into heaven.  I guess it just depends how much of a fight the camel puts up.

On Wednesday when Julie took the older two to swimming lessons, I went with CeCe to pick up a few groceries.  On the way home, I heard her say 'boo-boo' in the back seat.  (That's what she calls her boots)  She only ever talks about her boots when she is taking them on or off though.  I turned around and sure enough, her boot was off.  "CeCe, why did you take off your boot?"  She replied, "I don't know?"  A few minutes later I heard, "Sock!"  Sure enough, "CeCe, why did you take you sock off?"  Again, her answer, "I don't know?"  At least she's not making up excuses yet I guess.

On Friday I had the younger two at home with me while Jorja was at school.  We went to pick her up for lunch, and I thought we would walk.  There was some fresh snow on the ground, but the temperature was close to zero.  In retrospect, I think I was maybe a little overambitious.  CeCe made it there not too bad, but I had to carry her the whole way home.  She walked a couple of steps and then sat down.  I guess it would be a fair hike for legs that short.  For the ride home at the end of the day, I brought the car.  Ginny had been asking for a while now to listen to Glass Tiger, but every time she did we were already driving and it was too late.  This time I remembered.  Unfortunately, there's not enough time to get through a song on the ride home from school.  So I drove around a bit and cranked up 'Don't Forget Me When I'm Gone.'  They were belting out the lyrics and slapping their legs along to the bass line.  Ahh, it was enough to warm my heart.  Then Jorja wanted to listen to 'Thin Red Line' too, so we had to drive around a bit further.  It kind of made me feel like I was back in 1986 - cruising around with no destination other than to listen to the music.  Then I looked in the rear view mirror and saw my three little doses of reality.  Oh well, I'm glad they still think I'm cool.  Later.