Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Boxing Day

Molly and I hit the road for some Boxing Day festing, feasting, and revelling...  The first order of business was to tuck Shelly in for the day for some much needed rest and recovery.  Then we were on the road to Clinton to meet up with a few fine folks on the Macaulay side of the family tree.  It was to the Fish'N Game....

(Scott & Alden)

(daughter & dad)
There was a super terrific meal waiting for everyone - a small group actually of about 15 people I suppose.  Anyhow we all had a few drinks and got caught up on the year's happenings.  Molly just hung out lazily for the better part of 2 hours before waking up and wanting to eat.  She got fed and changed, then she was ready to go for the rest of the day - Oh, and she got sick all over me....  Maybe a touch of too much to drink.

From Clinton we hit the road out to Molly's first visit to the Wright's - Boy was she at home there!  My associates Joel, Trista, and their two, as well as Bob and Sally of course, were home celebrating their own traditions and received the two of us with open arms - Molly was fast asleep.

We all hung out and rumbled about 2010, knowing what a great year it had been.  We all shared quite a lot - with our Rossland adventure, Port Dover'n in June, rat'n in July, and all the tires we threw...  So ya, Molly and I kicked around out there and by the time I had a drink, a left-over turkey sandwich, fed and changed Molly again, it was about 7:00 and time to hit the road to see what was shaking back in Goderich.

Joel does have a magical touch with babies as he had Molly smiling and nearly laughing for the first time.  Seriously - she was grinning from ear to ear and quite content to be in such capable arms.  
So it was another great day - Shelly got feeling better, but was still under the weather by the time we got home after eight o'clock or so.... 

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Merry Sickmas

In the past 72 hours either Shelly or myself have been battling a bit of the seasonal illnesses - I didn't feel like my typical self on Christmas Eve and had to shut it down quite early, and Shelly felt much, much worse then me on Boxing Day....  Molly has been hanging in there - not too much has thrown off her routine of some eating, sleeping, washrooming, a bit of screaming, and return....

Nevertheless it has shaped up to a wonderful time of year...  We have seen nearly all of our imediate family, minus Trevor, Tara, and their munchkins, and Shelly's grandmother is in the hospital recovering from just old age and those things that 94 year-olds get.  Other then that anybody who's in the know made an appearance - Far too many names or pictures to mention.  But that really is what is good about this time of year - seeing the family.
On Christmas Eve Shelly, Molly and I had a few appointments.  We started the night over at the Coup's house for a drink, snack and a hello with those fine folks, and the Pottroff/Goddard's were there too.  Then we went over to my dad's for dinner.  His clan, as well as Marsha, Jeff, Loch, and Alden were there too.  We hit the road by 9:00 and illness quickly set in - Not because of the food or drink, but just a sore throat and headache....  Shelly dropped Molly and I off at her parent's house and she went out to her aunt's for some more Christmas cheer. 

On Christmas morning I woke up feeling much better.  Shelly's dad and I chored for an hour and got the livestock settled....  Shelly and I opened a few gifts (nice life-jacket Shelly!... she is easily pleased) and by 11:30 or so her brothers and their families were on the way over.   We all had a huge scoff and opened a few gifts....  By 3:00 the three of us were on the road to the next gala.

We went out to my uncle Larry's for the rest of the day.  At one given time there were something like 30 people out there...  4 of which were very small kids under 2 years old...  Plus there was a 2, 3, and 4 year old as well.  At any rate, it was a great get-together and everyone had lots of different reasons to be happy and joyous this time of year...

Monday, December 19, 2011

Christmas With The Mother-In-Law's Family

They are truly animals on this side of the family...

They are nice, you know, but they eat while standing up and from a trough, wallow in their own waste, expect others to wait on them hoof & hock - err, hand and foot.  It was a crazy time with the Gawley's....  Oh, the holiday season....  I got a few pictures, but nothing turned out that great.  These pictures are from Norman and Velma's farm outside of Kincardine.  I don't suppose they mind being displayed on the internet (the horse and cows).  The other pictures I snapped are of Shelly's cousins' and brothers' kids - I should have asked permission to post their pictures on this site - But since I didn't ask, I will hold off.

But seriously, they are great people, those Gawleys.  Great, generous people who have welcomed me and provided Molly with another amassment of baby belongings.

So it has actually been pretty quiet and not too much has been going on - No epic stories or milestones to note.  We are all just getting through the days.  I hit up work and put out those flames without too many problems - Shelly and Molly are doing their thing around here;  they get out for walks, sleep in, pick away at different things around the house.  Wrap my Christmas gifts - NOT!

Things will start to rock on Friday around here...  More family, food, fun, & festivities.  Marsha and her family are flying in for a few days.  I'll cross paths with many cousins and inlaws.  There will be a lot of young babies around and pandenmonium will certainly eventualize!

So stayed tuned and hopefully there will be a few good "Christmas Vacation" moments.  Until then, Molly pretty much looks the same.

Her first smug look...

Monday, December 12, 2011


We have been well settled and adjusted to life on Quebec Street....  Yes, there has been a lot of changes.  But that is the way it goes I suppose.

Sure there have been sleep issues and cranki-ness, but Shelly was usually like that anyway...

Molly is hanging in there like a champ - She has pulled a few great sleep sessions, eating well, not too fussy.  All in all it is probably pretty normal 5 week old behaviour.

One of the biggest adjustment is all of the extra "stuff" around the house.  We have and incredible amount of clothes, blankets, onezies, and the like = It would seem like were raising a brood like the Octo-Mom or Kate Plus 8 does - But alas, it is just Molly and she has drapery that is outlandish.  While saying that, 95% of it has been gifted or donated, so we are very thankfully to the generousity of our friends/co-workers/relatives who are so thoughtful.  But WOW!

Deer hunting ended this past Sunday.  I was shamefully skunked.  This past Tuesday I turned on a doe that was about 20 feet away from me and through some trees.  We locked eyes for 20 - 30 seconds....  Its innocent looks had no effect on my decission to pull the trigger of the Mossberg 930.  As I raised the gun, it unbelievably stood still...  I fired and missed.  I fired again, and missed again.  Shame.

Periodically I went out again through the week.  There were no sightings.  On Saturday and Sunday morning I went out with Bill, Ted, and Larry.  We hit an area hard, only to be let down even harder with no sightings.  Larry and I would go out once more on Sunday night.

Just before 5:00 I heard rustling in the bushes 110 yards across the field.  10 minutes later, a nice buck ambled out in the open.  It was pretty far away, but walking towards me.  It was sniffing the air and I raised my gun.  The flourescent bead was fixed on my target.  It plodded more slowly, but still in my general direction.  My heart was racing a bit, but nothing to great because of my overall fitness and superb cardio-vascular stamina.  In haste, I took my shot.  Another miss.  The buck was gone.  Deer hunting season is done.

Well after a very busy weekend Molly and I were very tired so we hit the couch for a bit of a rest.  She doesn't eat meat yet anyway...

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Home Sweet Home

I have written a few good "returning home" posts...  The first was in September of 2010 after the 23 day motorcycle adventure which took 8000km, 5 provinces, 3 states....  Awesome trip.   Then it was March of 2011 when I returned from my 80 day, two and a half month, down hill ski, hockey, and brother visiting trip out to Rossland, BC.  Another terrific adventure....

But this time I am happy to write about Shelly's return home.  She was gone for about 35 days in London... Her and Molly arrived home Wednesday at nine o'clock.  There is no place like it = home.

So yes, the brass at the hospital seemed to think that Molly was good to go.  I had about 24 hours notice...  So that ment a lot of last minute scrambling to organize, set up, put away, and get my head around the idea of the girls return.  It wasn't too much of a big deal after all. 

The big surprise here was the overall revitalization of the house.  That included painting mostly everything, new furniture, and new rugs.  I got a new furnace, hot water heater and central air.  There was the gas dryer in the basement that needed to get hooked up - so that was done too.  Three guitars and the ukelele got hung on the wall and I moved the piano, amp, and micro-phone too.  The aquarium is gone....  I got the ducts all blown out and cleaned....  Washed curtains, scrubbed the floors, painted all of the cupboards......  The only thing that is the same is the cat is still here.  There was quite a bit of stuff done while Shelly was away.  She was pretty surprised when she returned home. 

And for the truth - My mom and John did quite a bit of it all...  Quite a bit....

So anyway - the first few nights are under our belts.  The weekend has been going well.  There has been plenty of visitors stopping in and saying welcome back....  Molly is decently adjusted as far as I can tell.  No big meltdowns or moments of insanity.  She either wants something to eat, to sleep, to be changed, or to be held.  That is pretty much it so far.

So most of the immediate family members have had a visit, hold, and a picture.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

A Steel Cage

No, Molly isn't in prison, but her new home for the time being is in a very industrious, stockade like steel crib.  She finds the accomodations quite suitable - judging by her total hours of sleeping per day that is.  Life seems rather easy for this young lass.

Her feeding tube has been out completely for the past few days.  All sources of caloric intake are "au-natural".  She gives one nipple a go for a bit - and finishes off with another via the bottle.  As picture indicates, I take the secondary feeding to top up.  My genetic disposition dictates it is impossible to take the primary feed.

So Molly has been in the section of the NICU which is closest to the exit.  There are 3 sections, labelled A, B, & C - she is in the "C" unit in a solitary room with a comfortable couch.  The one drawback is that there is a meager view out of its large picture windows.  Nevertheless it is closest to the door as indicated, and it gets a good deal of morning sunshine.
We have gotten many nice gifts and notes of congratulations lately.  I haven't opened anything that has arrived in Goderich.  Shelly however has received a few things in London.  Larry and Diane Grail sent a terrific outfit consisting of a poncho for our little chica - I will get a photo.  And we got a very creative homemade card made by Shelly's cousins Mark, Jen, & their 3 boys from Toronto.  It was very well done and I will use this idea in class around Mother's Day.  Thanks guys - level 4!

There is a big move coming....  My paternal senses feel it.  When?  Sooner rather then later.  All is going very well in London and it faintly seems reasonable the girls should stay much longer. 

Notice and compare Shelly's card making skills to those of her cousins who made the card shown above....  They are in Kindergarten, the first and second grades.  Shelly is a few years removed.....  Thanks anyway my sweet baby - level 1!  I love you too.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Lots To Lead With

I was in London, of course, this weekend and spent it with the two girls.  So there are lots of pictures and plenty of stories....  All is going quite well.

Santa was in the NICU for a visit with one of his trusty elves.  The only difference one would notice is that he wore white surgical/disposable gloves rather then white cotton ones.  Other then that all appeared normal; lots of Ho Ho Ho'n, jolly laugh'n, gift give'n, and bell jingle'n.  He assured us Molly has been very well behaved this year and she is, infact, on the "Nice" side of his T-Chart.  That is good because Shelly and I aren't around 24/7 to monitor her conduct.

And one more which may become a tradition.  See you next year Santa, but not in the NICU!

Molly's stitches are out, but she is far from healed.  It also doesn't diminish the sensitivity around the area...  It probably hightens it.....  However she has been cleared for "pick-up" and Shelly, deservedly so, got her right into her arms as soon as possible for a bit of a squeeze.  I had a go kangaroo style....
That is the basic turn of events from this weekend - This ain't no adventure'n motorcycle'n or down hill ski'n blog lately = This is my new reality.  No information about having the girls back to Goderich - Still around the second week of December perhaps?  But nothing has been indicated.

She is still in the five pound something weight classification.  Molly has a lot of long, skinny features such as her face for sure.  Her arms and legs are also quite long and lean.  This weekend was really the first time we have got a good look at her because we can pick her up. 

Enjoy a few more photos:

Sunday, November 13, 2011

A Face To The Name

Last week that really wasn't a picture of Molly - It was the cat, Mango...  I doubt I fooled too many people.  But Molly did strike a pose this weekend.  She has many, many less tubes and hoses in and out of this and that on her body; thus making her a bit more photogenic.  All day I said to Shelly we have got to get our picture taken, but the day just sort of escaped us.  Oh well.

Her backside is healing up quite nicely I suppose.  It is hard to describe the extent of what she has went through - the inseams of her legs and buttocks are heavily stitched.  There is a big incision across her lower back which is heavily bandaged.  All in all it isn't terrible however.  There should be no issues with muscle problems or movement of the legs and such later.  She is breathing and going to the washroom like a champ.  She is still fed through a tube, but I bet sometime this week that'll change.  She seems rather big at 5.5 lbs and probably a bit over 46 cm long...  Not too shabby for someone who had a four pound lump hacked off on November 4th and about a month premature.  Way to go Molly!

Dad couldn't be happier:

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Just Another Number

There has been much made about the 7 billionth person born in the media recently; who, where, when....  There is a website that calculates this silly statistic.  Click here to get directed to it.

Accordingly it indicates I came in as number 4,078,638,466th, Shelly at 4,366,175,444th and Molly at, wait for it, 6,997,917,075th.  Oh, so close to being that 7 billionth baby.  But alas....  There doesn't seem anything particularly special about any of those numbers.  Oh well.

Just stay tuned and I will be sure to get some photos....

Things are going pretty good in London with the three of us.  Shelly and Molly will be here for a bit yet (a month?  5 weeks?  6 max???)  I (un)fortunately am hitting the road tonight and getting back to the swing of things.  Again, I will get some pictures posted.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

It's A Girl!

Molly Macaulay - born on Thursday November 3. 

Though it may not look like it, all is going pretty well with Molly.  Her first 48 hours or so has been a bit rough (as picture indicates...), but soon enough she'll be on the go......  Dad, well, that is another story:

Mom hasn't yet struck a pose for the camera and I can scarcely blame her...  She looks and feels more tired than Molly and me combined - And those are pictures of two very tired people!

In anticipation and maybe boredom, Shelly started to dabble in crochetting and she really wanted me to post a picture of her first creation.  She thought it would make a good saddle blanket for Mango, the cat, who you shouldn't confuse with Molly despite the similar likenesses....

At any rate, times are changing around here and the two of us couldn't be happier.  Molly arrived about a month early - maybe only 3 weeks....  She is in a neonatal intensive care unit where she has some recovery to go through and get a bit stronger.  And for the staticians, she is currently about 5lbs in weight, 46cm long, and her head is 33cm in circumference....  I think anyway.  I took a quick glance at the charts and if my memory serves me correctly those are the digits we are working with.  So a pretty good start if I may say so myself.

Way to go Shelly!  I love both you and Molly so much....

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Ye Ole' Nag

The horse of course:

Shelly, her mother, and Lucky struck a pose so fashionably on Thanksgiving Monday.  All three were knawing on fresh Macintosh apples, picked right off of the tree over yonder, and enjoying the seasonably warm autumn day.  The temp reached the mid 20s, centigrade, and all three were pretty darn happy about that.

There has been enough to write about, but just haven't got to it.  There is a few things to mention.....

I got in two so-so races in the past few weeks.  A 5km in 16:15 at Thames Valley Golf Course, and a 10km in Stratford in 32:39.  They were a bit off the mark which I was hoping, and thinking.  But there is nothing I can do about it now.....  I have a 10km this weekend in Grand Bend.  I am going after sub 32:10!  For sure sub 32:10.  That will set the tone for the next few races to finish off the fall.  I am almost positive I am cabable of that.  After that is settled - half marathon in Niagara Falls in 68 minutes.  Nothing great, but for an old guy it is okay.  That will be on the weekend of October 23rd.

And on the running note, my trusty Windsor Lancer XC Team donated $200.00 to the Town of Goderich and its Tornado Relief Fund.  Thanks guys and gals.
I started this blog highlighting my motorcycle trip last year, and I have been out ripping around quite a bit on it over the last while.  No epic pictures like last year, but a self portrait nonetheless.  A few more rides and it will be time to put it away until spring.
This past weekend was absolutely terrific.  The weather highlighted most of it...  However.....
  1. Got in a great some great runs all weekend.
  2. Played hockey on Sunday in Blyth
  3. Went out to Joel's parents for a great scoff and visits on Sunday
  4. Great family meals on Saturday and Sunday as well
  5. Cut lots of grass and Lucky's hooves again
  6. Out for a quick spin on the motorbike
  7. Greased a few geese on Friday night with Larry - Turkey hunting starts this week!
Shelly and I posed for a few pictures:  Brown plaid appears to be an "it" colour for us.

So there is lots going on, I have reported little....  Shelly wanted to include a quick picture of her 3 favourite animals:  So in no particular order....

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Lancer XC Trainning Camp

I wish I had some better pictures from the weekend.....

The semi-annual University of Windsor Lancer XC trainning camp was held once again in Goderich this weekend and hosted, partly, by yours truly.  Since 2002, the team has been up about 6 or 7 times.  Each time in September to get ready for the fall racing season.  They stay in Bayfield, but come into Goderich to train.  Accompanied by coach Malloy, Weston, and Patterson, 20 athletes came and it was a great weekend.

We all worked out on Saturday morning around the Water Treatment Plant.  It went really well; including for myself.  I got rolling completing an 8 minute tempo (going through the mile in about 5:20) and then 10x1k (in 3:12s with 2 mins rest).  I thought I would be able to average under 3:10, but maybe the loop was a bit long?  Or perhaps I am not as fit as I think/hope I am.....  Nevertheless I thought it was a great effort and it will be interesting to see how the races go for me over the next month. 

On Saturday afternoon we all traversed down in Grand Bend.  I organized a bird house making competition, a picture scavenger hunt and a Lancer XC Trivia Questionaire.  The kids seemed to have a great time completing these tasks.  The coaches and I had a pretty good time in the Legion having a cold pint.

It was a great weather weekend and Shelly and I just sort of hung out on Sunday enjoy the last weekend of the summer.  Next Saturday autumn starts I think.