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Autumn leaves

5 Oct

This is the very essence of a perfect autumn day.

The definition of good timing

9 Mar

…when your daughter, who is drinking way more than she ever has in her life (in an effort to prevent kidney stones) crawls into bed with you in the middle of the night and snuggles up, only to wake you an hour later because she peed in your bed.

…and the arm of your pajamas are soaked, so you strip her, and you strip yourself and put everything in the washing machine, and freeze a little as you dig a set of freshly-washed PJs out of the dryer.

…and you head back to the bedroom to check out just how bad your mattress is.

Then you’ll be glad you didn’t get around to changing the sheets on your bed this week. Well, that’s good timing, I guess, you might think to yourself.


…you wrestle with the heavy mattress, which has just one slightly-damp spot on it, because it really needed to be flipped and rotated, anyway.

…and you wonder where the heck your husband disappeared to as you grunt and sweat to flip the darned thing over.

…then you put fresh sheets on, and while you’re at it, change the pillowcases, too.

…and you trip all over the clothes lying about the floor as you switch from one side of the bed to the other, tucking the fitted sheet under, lining up the flat sheet, noting that it’s taking you a good 10 minutes to get it just right so that the scratchy Hudson’s Bay blanket is encased in the flat sheet so that it won’t grate your face in the night, thinking this would go so much faster if only another adult were around at the moment.

…and you finally, finally, settle back into bed, in those cool, crisp sheets, read the alarm clock (4:55), and switch off the bedside lamp.


…your husband walks in, having snuggled a very distraught girl back to peaceful sleep in her own bed.

Then you might tell him he missed all the fun of helping you change the sheets on your bed, and doesn’t he have excellent timing?

A birthday post

6 May

Someone important in my life had a birthday today.


And I totally suck.  For the first time since we’ve been together, I didn’t get him a present.  I didn’t even have an idea for a present.  I did make him the Fruit Pizza he requested (as usual).  We’ve managed to consume half of it so far.  The rest is his, because he really doesn’t like to share it with anyone.

We’re not into spending big bucks for birthdays or holidays.  But I do like to do something special and thoughtful.  I like to give the kind of gift that fills a need a person didn’t even know he had.  Or that he wasn’t expecting to be filled.  Like last year, I got him a special trumpet mute so that he could play his trumpet silently in the house (using earphones).  It wasn’t a commentary on his playing, but it meant he could practice his trumpet even when Jade is asleep in the room below.

I like to find a perfect gift and put a smile on his face, just like he puts a smile on mine. 


At least I wrote him a card.  Which shows just how much I love him, because my track record so far this year is dismal.  So far this year, my sister, my mother, and my dad have all had birthdays.  But none of them got presents or cards.  I know exactly what I want to get them, but I haven’t got around to it yet.

I blame these guys:


And that’s another reason why I wanted to make sure Michael had a great birthday.  Because those kids are the best gift I’ve ever had, and he is a great dad to them.

He insists that he doesn’t want a present.  He thinks he’d rather not spend the money, but I know I’ll think of something yet. 

In the meantime, happy birthday, hon.

If you haven’t got anything nice to say…

18 Mar

Blog, I’ve been ignoring you, I admit it.  It’s not you, it’s me, and I’m sorry.  It’s just that I haven’t had much good to say this past week, and I was really hoping things would pick up so that I could tell you something funny or inspiring or uplifting.  But the truth is, things haven’t been all that great.

To get to the point, Jade’s seizure situation has been steadily deteriorating all week and by yesterday, Michael and I were getting pretty scared.  Jade had very few “lucid” times yesterday; most of the day we were seeing seizure after seizure and by evening she’d gotten to the point where there was almost no break for several hours.  I couldn’t tell if she was having absence seizures with twitches in between, or if she was actually having myoclonic jerks; absence seizures aren’t considered dangerous, but constant myoclonics should be treated with emergency medication to prevent brain damage.  I tried calling the neuro nurse we’d talked to earier in the day, but she was gone for the day.  I was scared to let her sleep alone in her room, all the way at the other end of the house.  I left her door wide open, we had the monitor on full blast, and I wouldn’t let Michael keep the fan on (not that he argued). 

This morning we reached a neuro nurse at BC Kids and, in consultation with one of the epileptologists, they determined that Jade was probably in non-convulsive status epilepticus, that was should give her a dose of Valium to break the cycle, and that we should get her to the hospital.  Ideally, they would have liked to bring Jade in to the hospital in Vancouver, but they figured the hospital here could do some initial bloodwork and then determine whether she could be managed here or have her medevaced.

I dropped Michael and Jade off at the hospital at around 9 a.m., rushed home to make some meals and snacks for Jade, trying to get back there before her 10 a.m. snack-time, but not knowing if I needed to pack enough to last several meals in case of a medevac.  My neighbour Joanne came over so that Halia wouldn’t have to stay wailing in her carseat while I weighed and measured and fretted about what meals Jade would eat.  I got back to the hospital at 10:30.  By 11:45, we were leaving the hospital and rushing home to pack so that Michael and Jade could make the 2:00 flight to Vancouver.  They decided Jade should be seen in person by a neurologist, but she’d perked up enough that she could go on a regular flight rather than a medevac.

More panic ensued as Michael tried to feed Jade lunch and finish packing the bags we’d partially packed in the morning, while I frantically packed more food for Jade, not knowing whether they were going to be staying in the hospital or out, whether the hospital could provide Jade’s food (and would we trust it?).  Poor Halia had to wail in the carseat while we all ran around, Jade had a drop seizure and hit her head and starting wailing, phones were ringing with travel arrangements being made… it was a madhouse.

Honestly, I’m getting a little carried away here.  I really only came over to Cathy’s house to do a quick update that Jade and Michael are back in Vancouver and that we really don’t know why she’s been doing so poorly.  I was going to touch on some theories, but I don’t think I have the brain power to sort through what I should mention and what is just bewildering unnecessary detail.

Last I heard (at 7:30) Michael and Jade were sitting in Emergency at the Children’s Hospital, still waiting (two-and-a-half hours later) to go through the official protocol of being seen by an emergency doctor before being allowed to see a neurologist.  Happily, Jade had perked up a bit more.  I phoned the neurologist-on-call to see if I could expedite things, but she had already arrived at the hospital and was just about to go see Jade.

Michael took our modem with him, so I have no Internet at home.  Cathy was kind of enough to sit at my house with sleeping Halia while I came over to update you, blog, since that’s the best way to keep family in the loop these days.  I’m sorry I forgot to bring my eloquence with me (I think I left it in my other pants) but my brain isn’t so very together at the moment.

I”m okay, though.  I’m okay.

The trouble with Michael

1 Feb

In my first two years of university, I met seven guys names Michael.  Seven.  I actually had them numbered to keep them straight.  Well, not really to keep them straight; really, it just amused me.  Michael Caspi was Mike 1.  My future-husband Michael was Mike 2.  And so on.

Michael always rather resented the fact that he was Michael 2.  But I can’t help it if he wasn’t the first Michael I met.  He must be over it by now, since I went and married him to show him he’s by far the most important Michael I’ve ever met.


Most of us have a few Michaels in our lives.  It was only one of the top ten most popular names for four or five decades running, so it’s pretty hard to go anywhere and not encounter one.  And yet, I bet that “Michael” is probably one of the most frequently misspelled names.

No peeking now.  Close your eyes and spell the name.  How did you do?  Did you get the A-E-L right at the end?  Or did your spell it Mich-e-a-l?

Since the vast majority of my readers are highly literate, I’d guess that most of you got it right.  But even that isn’t a guarantee.  I know because when I first started dating Michael, I sometimes spelled his name wrong.  Yikes.

The thing is, I really ought to know better because I have an Uncle Michael.  He’s German, and in German the name is pronounced in three syllables: Mi-cha-el.  Pretty hard to go wrong there.  Besides, all those other angel names end in “el”: Gabriel, Uriel, Raphael…  Not surprising, since “El” is the Hebrew word for “God”.  (Nobody ever called God “Al”, did they?)

With those rules in mind, I finally remembered how to get it right.  And I’ll bet you’ll never get it wrong again either. Right?

This has been your unsolicited public service announcent.

And you thought I was going to complain about my husband, didn’t you?

The “Best Job in the World” Giveaway

29 Jan

Do any of you remember this post?

I know!  In the blog world, that post was, like, forever ago!  But now I can finally tell you what it was all about!

My husband Michael is applying for The Best Job in the World.  It’s a 6-month job that involves hiking, snorkeling, swimming, lounging, shopping, and what-have-you, and then blogging about it.  Michael is totally the perfect person for this job, he really is.  (And I’m the perfect person to go along with it, of course.)

In order to apply, Michael had to make a 60-second-or-less video that shows why he is the perfect person for the job.  That video is what those people were laughing at.  Don’t you just have to see it now?

Well, not only will I tell you where you can see it, I will also tell you how you can win your very own brand-spankin’ new 1G iPod Shuffle while you’re at it!  Here’s what you do.

1. Click over here to watch the video.

2. Rate the video (which obviously deserves 5 stars, right?!) by clicking on the “Rating” section to the right.  (Some browsers seem to have trouble with this; if it doesn’t work for you, try using a different browser.)

3. Go to this post and leave a comment telling Michael that you watched the video.  That gets you an entry into the draw.

4. If you have a blog, write a post about the giveaway, linking back to Michael’s post and to the video.  That gets you a second entry into the draw!

(Then go and watch the video again because it’s so darned funny, you can’t resist.)still-16

Watch this spot

19 Jan