Tag Archives: birthday

41

It is my birthday today.  I was awoken to the sounds of my kids and Wendy coming into my room with presents.  I had plans to open the gift but Oliver made me very aware of what they were.  Wendy gave me a Sigma 70-300mm f/4-5.6 lens.  Mark gave me an old book about the City of Saskatoon’s street car system.  Believe it or not, we once had an amazing transit system in this city.   Oliver gave me a pair of hiking pants, sunglasses, and a new Starbucks Coffee mug.  Life is good.

The highlight of my day was getting my eyes checked at Prairie Optometry.  After failing my eye exam, it was off to order some new glasses.  

As I had mentioned on Twitter, I found a dog at the Saskatoon SPCA’s website.  I filled out an online application one night and they called me the next morning to pick up the dog.  Today we picked up an 8 month old black labrador mix that had been at the SPCA for a couple of months.  She had come in with her mother and siblings and was the last one left.  After visiting with her for a while, we adopted her and took her home.

Our new dog Marley

So far here is a list of things Marley has chewed on.

  • Wendy’s glasses
  • Wendy’s skull
  • My hand
  • My forearm
  • Wendy’s hand
  • Hutch (the other dog)
  • Slippers
  • Oliver’s boot
  • lip balm
  • Hutch (again)
  • My shin.

We haven’t had a puppy in my life since 1985.  I forgot how much fun they are.  When I say fun, I mean chaos.

Anyways, a word about the SPCA.  I know there are some excellent dog rescue’s out there but the SPCA was really pleasant to deal with.  We have gotten Elway, Maggi, and now Marley there and we couldn’t be happier.  

I have wanted a dog this size since we adopted Elway.  Not that there was anything wrong with Elway or Maggi, they were just bigger than I had wanted when we went in. 

Five Years

Oliver turning five

Oliver turned 5 today which his a fairly remarkable achievement considering his life so far.  Five years and a day ago, Wendy had been hospitalized a couple of weeks after struggling with pre-eclampsia for most of the pregnancy.  The hospital trip was a roller coaster as every day her condition was changing.  She went from being in the hospital to being in intensive care to being on the verge of being let out and sent home.  I had every expectation of bringing her home the next day.

Instead at 5:00 a.m., I got a tearful phone call from her saying that they were going to do an emergency c-section and I needed to get to the hospital right away. The nurse told me that I had a little time so I grabbed a quick shower and raced through the city to Royal University Hospital where the parking lot was closed.  I parked at metered parking with this kind of funny realization that I bet Oliver was going to be born at the time I needed to plug the meter again.

As I went up to the room, there was chaos in Wendy’s room with doctors and nurses in an out taking her vital signs.  A doctor grabbed me and said that Wendy was in better shape than another mother and child and they didn’t think they would survive if Wendy went first.  It wasn’t as if I had any say in it but I kind of said, “yeah, no problem”.  Sadly their child didn’t make it.

I sat with Wendy, called Lee, and just waited.  Wendy was unconscious for most of it and had no idea how serious her condition was.  A doctor came in and told me how bad it was for Wendy and said, “there is a good chance she is going to have a heart attack or stroke during the caesarean”.  There wasn’t much for me to say.  He asked what I did for a living and I told him.  He looked relieved and said, “I don’t think you will freak out in there but if you do, I am going to toss you out of the delivery room.”  I replied, “I seem to the only one who isn’t losing it this morning.  I’ll be fine”.  At this time it was 6:00 a.m. and I offered to do a coffee run for the nurses that had spent the night with Wendy.

The Starbucks was packed and my heart kind of stopped when a nurse came running up to me but she just had some money and was going to help me with the coffees.

We sat for hours as I just kind of sat there and held Wendy’s hand.  Her vital signs were getting worse and her blood pressure was getting higher.  Finally another doctor came in and was yelling at someone else that “this baby should have been taken days ago and the mother is going to die.”  I remember thinking, “Really? This is what medicare cuts have gotten us.  Doctor’s who don’t even realize they are in the room with the father.”  As they left, the nurse came over and said, “Fucking idiots”, told me to ignore them and then realized that it was going to be impossible.  She was mad at them for having that conversation in front of me and offered me another coffee.  I took her up on her offer.

Finally Wendy and I were taken into the delivery room.  A resuscitation team was there as was a team to take Oliver to the NICU. Everyone was just looking at me like, “What the heck is the father doing here” and the doctor would just say, “He works at the Salvation Army, he’s cool” and that seemed to satisfy people.

The caesarean section was over quick and more than Oliver, everyone was looking at Wendy’s vital signs.  The radio was playing the song that was on when Oliver came out was YMCA by the Village People.  There was a massive screen up between Wendy and I and the baby.  As Oliver came out, a nurse and doctor raced over the other side of the screen and kind of yelled, “The baby is fine!” while everyone was looking at Wendy’s blood pressure.  As the tensions left the room, one of the doctors came up to me and said, “I’d be okay with my kid being born to the YMCA.  If it was a Bette Middler tune, his life may have been meaningless”.

Wendy was taken to the recovery room while I wandered out.  I don’t know how but Lee and Mark were in the waiting room and they poked their head into the recovery room and said hi to Wendy who was too tired to know what was going on.  Wendy’s blood pressure hit dangerous levels off and on for the next week.

As I left with Mark to go to Alexander’s for lunch, of course I got a parking ticket.  I wanted to fight it on the basis that I had no other options but I just paid it.

I was able to go up and see Oliver the next day in NICU.  Mark was too young to see him but they made several exceptions for him and Lee.  Because Wendy was too weak to walk, she wasn’t able to see him for the first week which went over poorly.  A combination of fatigue and the medication had her believing that this was a conspiracy but we got over that.

Oliver Scott CooperOliver Scott Cooper

Oliver spent 23 days at RUH and we finally took him home on July 2, 2008.  Before we got home, we actually took him to the Salvation Army Community Services and then to Reimers so it was a late day before he experienced his new home.

Despite the stress of his entry into this world, there was one more obstacle and that was Maggi.  Maggi is like a bull in the China shop and I was nervous that a dog that physically assertive would not do well with a child who was two months premature.  We took him home, set him down in his car chair and a very gentle Maggi slowly approached Oliver and gave him a gentle lick.  It wasn’t until he walking and the height of a wagging tail that her protectiveness and gentleness diminished.

So now he is five.  Time flies when you repress some of those memories.

Today he woke up and excitedly opened his presents:

  • Spiderman water bottle
  • Kick scooter
  • Green Army men
  • An NFL football (from Mark of course)
  • Ninjago book (his two favourite things, Ninjas and Lego)
  • Some new shirts
  • An Angry Bird hat

He is off at A.H. Browne Park with Mark on his new kick scooter wearing a brand new shirt.  He is off to take over the world.

March 11th

In what is a tradition around here, I tend to live blog my birthday.  For some reason some of you care about that and who am I to mess with a stupid tradition.  (2011 | 2009| 2008 | 2007| 2006 | 2005 | 2003)

12:00 a.m. | Sleeping

1:00 a.m. | Fighting with Maggi for covers on the bed.

1:15 a.m. | Maggi won.  Darn it.

2:00 a.m. | Pretending to sleep so Wendy will get up with Oliver who is sick.

3:00 a.m. | Sleeping

4:00 a.m. | Sleeping

5:00 a.m. | Crap, forget to turn off alarm.

5:01 a.m. | Sleeping

6:00 a.m. | Might as well get up.  Dog’s had the covers all night long.

8:00 a.m. | Back to bed

Sony headphones8:08 a.m. | Oliver and Mark are up and wanting to give me my gifts.  They gave me the Generation Kill DVD set and a new set of headphones.  Wendy gave me Behind the Beautiful Forevers by Katherine Boo, a story about the slums of Mumbai, the dogs gave me Rin Tin Tin by Susan Orlean (never sure how Maggi is raising the money she spends) while they all went together and got me a new stereo/iPod dock.

The bad news is that I have to listen to the Adele album that I bought Wendy.  Doh!

10:00 a.m. | Oliver made me watch Power Rangers with him.  That wasn’t a good time.

11:00 a.m. | Off to get some Brier tickets for the final tonight and have lunch at Fuddruckers where Mark wants me to eat a one pound hamburger.  If I do eat it, it may very well decide how the rest of my birthday goes.

11:30 a.m | Brier tickets secured.

12:00 p.m. | Lunch at Asia Buffet.

1:00 p.m.  | A quick trip to Indigo where I grabbed a discounted copy of Conversations with Myself by Nelson Mandela and Arrival City by Doug Saunders.  Because the last thing I would want to do is have a totally pleasant birthday, I also picked up Invisible Chains, a book about the sex trade and human trafficking in Canada.

3:00 p.m. | I am watching Band of Brothers with Mark this afternoon while getting some work down.

4:40 p.m. | Mark has been introduced to NBA Jam on the iPad.  Boom-shaka-lacka

5:00 p.m. | What the heck?  Where did that flu come from.  This isn’t good.

6:30 p.m. | Wendy made me a nice supper and am putting back another episode of Band of Brothers with Mark.  I forgot how great the music is in the series.  Best line from the mini-series, “We’re paratrooper’s Lieutenant, we’re supposed to be surrounded.”

8:00 p.m. | I am off to bed for the night.  The flu has gotten worse.

Eleven

Mark Cooper

LG Rumor 2 cell phone About the time this goes online, Mark will be awake and opening his birthday gifts.  We bought him an upgraded cellphone, a LG Rumor 2, NFL Training Camp for the Wii, a dopp kit for the lake, and an iTunes card.  He is also getting a cell phone case (but he will want to pick that out) and I am getting him some football gloves but I need to take him to Olympian Sports to fit them later today.

The iTunes card is a big deal for Mark as it involves grabbing some pop, a snack and sitting in front of the computer for hours as he listens to song sample after song sample, evaluating recommendations, taking notes, and then making his decision.  He does not choose music randomly or quickly.

Tonight there is supper at Fuddruckers with some family and friends and some time in Grand Slam Batting Cages.  Nothing like some batting practice after eating too much.

Mark, hopefully the day is a good one and your 12th year is as good as the 11 previous ones.

37 trips around the sun

Lowepro Exchange Messenger Camera BagI turned 37 today.  Not much of a milestone but it was an enjoyable day.  I fell asleep on the sofa last night so I woke up early to the family and a really sore neck.  After some stretching and straining I got up and opened some presents.  Mark gave me a 70-210mm Sigma lens for my camera and a Lowepro Exchange Messenger camera bag while Oliver gave me a DSLR for Dummies book and a new camera strap.

Mini Riddell Denver Broncos helmetWendy gave me a mini Denver Broncos helmet, some new in ear headphones and some upgraded noise cancelling headphones while Hutch and Maggi got me an iTunes card so I could get some music.  The helmet made it’s way to my office and Oliver isn’t pleased.  He sees an Oliver sized helmet and doesn’t understand why there isn’t a football game breaking out.

While the Broncos helmet was pretty cool, our timing was odd with the negotiations breaking down between the owners and the players.  For NFL addicts around the world, it gives new meaning to the Day of Rage.

Keeping with the audio theme, Lee gave me a Best Buy gift card and I picked up some iHome Rechargeable Mini Speakers which will be making a trip to Toronto with me in a couple of weeks (as will the noise cancelling headphones).

To celebrate, the family took me out to Alexander’s Restaurant for supper with Michaela and Taylah.  Michaela decided that since we share three hugs a year (our birthdays and on Christmas), we must be family.  I am not so sure.  We just became Facebook friends last year.

Thanks to everyone who emailed, tweeted, and Facebooked today.  I appreciated them all.

One

Oliver turns one today.  It’s hard to believe.  His birth was probably the scariest thing I have ever been a part of.  There was the specialists from the Neo-Natal Intensive Care Unit taking Oliver and specialists watching Wendy to see if she was going to have a heart attack or a stroke during the delivery.  I never saw him but I heard him cry in the next room and a couple of hours later Wendy was starting to improve and as we know, everything turned out.  Wendy was too weak to see him for a couple of days so I was the first one to see him. 

This was the view of Oliver Scott Cooper when I saw him for the first time.

Oliver Scott Cooper at Day 1 at RUH NICU

On July 1st we were able to take him home.  Well as odd as it sounds, he never went right home, he went by the Salvation Army Community Centre for coffee and then to the Reimer’s to meet the rest of the family that night.

It’s wasn’t long after that, we went to the cabin for the first time. 

Oliver and me at the cabin

Of course we forgot to bring up the playpen so this Rubbermaid container did just fine.

Oliver sleeping in a Rubbermaid container

Despite the peaceful appearance, Oliver is a rather light sleeper and hates the hat.

Ollie flaked out

The car used to be Mark’s.  Mark had no use for it but Oliver has become rather fond of it.

Oliver in his car He is Ollie at Mark’s karate seminar a couple of weekends ago.

Oliver at Mark's karate seminar

Happy Birthday Oliver!

Mark turns 9

Many of you know that Wendy and I have been quite worried about Mark lately.  Mostly it revolves around the fact that he isn’t as heavily armed around the house and he should be.  Lee solved that tonight as he gave Mark a Vulcan EBF-25 Nerf machine gun for his ninth birthday.  Yes, that’s right.  My brother gave his nephew a fully automatic Nerf chain gun for his birthday with very clear instructions that he is to gun down Wendy and I in his spare time.  This could start a arms race like the world hasn’t seen since the introduction of HMS Dreadnought in 1906.

Vulcan EBF-25 Blaster from Nerf

FC Barcelona crest

In continuing with his Nerf themed birthday, Lee gave him a classic Nerf football, a Nike Dominate basketball, and a Nike soccer ball in Barcelona FC colors.  We are a kind of Toronto FC kind of family but a big yellow soccer ball is pretty cool.

The basketball is destined for the lake (this way Mark has a basketball option that isn’t pink), the soccer ball and the Nerf football will stay here and relegate some other balls around here for the lake.  I don’t think a Nerf football is designed to withstand what Maggi does to a ball she grabs.

In the end, they were gifts typical of an uncle that has no kids of his own which means that I can’t give his kids back obnoxious gifts as retaliation.  Well played Lee, well played.

We are giving Mark’s birthday presents to him tomorrow morning which is his actual birthday.  Wendy and I gave him a microscope, a Tech Deck (from Ollie), some new ear phones (really why would Apple release such an uncomfortable ear phone with the iPod?), and a game for his Nintendo DS (compliments of Maggi).  If he doesn’t like what he gets tomorrow, he can always shoot us.

Happy Birthday Mark!  There has been some rough days this year but your mom and I are incredibly proud of you.