Arrived: Choo Choo

Well, kiddo, you made it. Despite all the worries about antibodies running amok and the placenta suddenly appearing in the wrong place, you made it into the station, so to speak, even if you were a behind schedule. (I should note that the lateness was not due to any fault of your part. You, like Mommy and I, were merely along for the ride.)

This morning started almost like any other, with the family rising from bed around 7:00. Except, of course, that neither Mommy or I had slept during the night (Mommy less so), Mommy was not allowed to eat any breakfast (as she was going in for surgery), and Grandpa was preparing to spend the day with Monkey.

And, of course, we were all looking forward to meeting you.

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Mentorship is a must

No-one is ever born knowing everything. Like all animal life, we enter the world devoid of knowledge, having only the instincts innate to our species after countless eons of evolution, adaptation, and survival of the fittest. But those instincts can only grant us so much in the act of survival — they do very little for us as higher-intelligence beings. Instincts can only assist survival, in near-epic troglodytic proportions.

We need teachers to help us move past mere instinct towards self-sufficiency, and self-learning. They teach us mathematics, communication, sciences, and art. As intelligence grows, we shift away from teachers, and look more towards peers — people who are similar, but have more experience. They are our mentors, ones who offer their abilities as examples for us to learn from, and models upon which we can hope to improve ourselves.

And anyone who thinks they can survive without a mentor has truly never had one.

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How a cold led to a new TV

Have I ever mentioned how much I hate being sick?

Well, add to that a very sick and very pregnant wife, and a sick toddler (which I suspect led to Alex and I becoming ill), and you’ve got a pretty miserable household. This is all part of parenthood and families — one goes down, chances are the rest are going down too. (How my parents managed to never seemed to be ill when I was a kid is beyond me.) But it also tends to cause problems when you’re supposed to go places. Like, say, a baby shower.

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The end of the individual experience

A few years from now, my kids will be old enough to ask me questions that will require a lot of explanation. Like, for example, what the internet was like when I was their age, how I survived without a mobile data device, did I watch TV in black and white (interestingly enough, I did, but only because the TV was black and white), and what did I name my pet dinosaur (‘cuz, you know, every kid makes that joke of their parents).

One question I also expect them to ask is how I watched TV without having my computer in front of me, firing off notes through Twitter, Facebook, or whatever social media network will be in vogue in 5-8 years from now. I’ll look at their cute, adorable little faces, and tell them as seriously as I can: There was a time when we watched TV on our own. We went to sporting events in small groups, we went shopping without telling everyone what we were doing, and we could vanish for hours on end without anyone knowing where we were.

The idea that we exist solely as individuals is rapidly becoming extinct.

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Two weeks to Choo Choo

It almost seems hard to believe, but we’re down to two weeks until you finally arrive, Choo Choo. Two weeks — well, pretty much right now — I hope to be holding you in my arms, holding you tight and letting you know that the rather unpleasant experience you’d just gone through will only be in your past.

These two weeks will be both interminably long, and over instantly. There’s just so much to do before you come home with us, and I can’t wait until you’re there. You’ll be welcomed immediately by your sister, The Monkey, by Asia the cat, and your Grandpa, who’s eagerly awaiting his next grandchild. Your second cousin — currently only known as “Baby T” — might be here by then.

Only time will tell.

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12 things I miss about Costa Rica

It’s just shy of three months since we left Costa Rica. Many people still ask us what it’s like to be back, if we’re happy to be back, and if we’ve acclimatised yet. There’s no quick or easy answer to all of that, as we’re not dealing with something as simple as changing from one temperature to another. As anyone will tell you, moving to an entirely different country (outside of North America) involves more than a physical location. Costa Rica was more than just a place, it was a way of life, and an experience that has changed the way I live now.

Almost right away, we missed some things, though most of that was due to the roughly 40 degree Celsius shift in temperature. Other things soon made themselves known, each time with the all-too-familiar pang of loss and regret.

But like when we moved down to Costa Rica, this is just something we’ll have to get used to.

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It’s Complicated

Yesterday, we went in for our now-weekly anti-K checkup. The process is fairly simple: toss the Monkey at some poor, unsuspecting friend to keep her out of our hair for the hour-or-so long appointment, truck over to the EFW in the TRW building at FMC (gotta love them acronyms, eh?), have a sonographer scan Alex’s belly, and talk to a doctor afterwards to get the run-down on the details.

Or rather, that’s how simple the process should be. But as we’re finding, things rarely seem to go the way we want them to. In fact, as of yesterday, we’re pretty much at the opposite end of the spectrum of “wants”. All of this is because of a “new” finding that almost displaces the anti-K issue as being an issue.

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I Believe

Dear Canada,

I must, in true Canadian form, say “I’m sorry”. I doubted. All I could see was fault, all I could see was mediocrity, all I could see was the world laughing at our attempts to be more than our humble selves.  I thought that Vancouver was the wrong place to hold the Winter Olympics (having lived there a couple of years, I know how finicky the weather can be).

And I wasn’t alone. Thanks to media mainstays, such as The Guardian and the Denver Post, and CTV’s frequently slipshod and amateurish approach, there was little reason for me to think otherwise.

I find myself, now at the end, relieved to be wrong, and fiercely proud to be a repatriated Canadian.

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