Thursday, September 29, 2005


Team BisonWeb took a major step forward today, as my magic word on a comment on my blog was bisalo. The bisalo is obviously a cross between bison and buffalo. Someone is trying to tell me something. What they're trying to tell me is that BisonWeb is inevitable.


The question is: Where does BisonWeb go from here?

Obviously, word must spread.

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Back at work

Time flies when you're not getting any sleep.

Twelve working days after the birth of my daughter, I'm back at work and ready to go. Things have changed so much for me in the past two-and-a-half weeks that it's going to take a bit of time for me to figure out my new role.

Not only am I a sleepless father of two but I am now officially the new Data Management Supervisor for Sperry Nisku.

Money aside, what does this mean? It means that all the things that I was doing before, I am now expected to do. All the things that they appreciated before -- overtime, training, mentoring -- these are all part of my job.

Does this mean that my job got harder? Probably not. I was able to do these things and get them done properly and on time. It just means that upper management's expectations of me just got a lot higher.

I know, I know, serenity is inversely proportional to expectation. Normally, I live my life by this. I try not to have any expectations of anyone else, but in this case, serenity is theirs, not mine, and the satisfaction of their expectation is directly tied to my continued employment. So, I'll have to find some new tricks, work harder and try to live up to their expectations -- with my serenity hanging in the balance.

It's a great day for work!

Sunday, September 18, 2005


On Friday, Lillian had her first seizure. We took her to Emergency at the Grey Nuns and they said it wasn't a heart thing, and that if there were more, we should take her in. I didn't say anything here because we were kinda just hoping it would go away.

She had two more yesterday, and now she's had two today. The second one today was in front of the pediatric resident at the Grey Nuns. When I was a baby, I had convulsions, and my brother and cousin both had them as well. The neo-natalogist (I didn't even know there was such a thing) called it "fifth-day fits". He can't rule out infection without testing, though, so they drained hooked my daughter up to monitors for her heart rate and oxygen saturation, as well as hooking up an IV to her. Nothing has ever broken my heart like seeing my baby's blood run down the nurse's hand, onto the blanket, hearing her scream and knowing there's nothing I can do about it.

The pediatric resident told us it would be a good idea to take a walk while they poked at her spine for some more fluids. We took that advice.

The good news is, now we know why Lillian has been having seizures, coupled with 20-30 seconds of apnia(not breathing, for you non-medical, non-scrabble types). It's most likely going to go away with semi-regular doses of phenobarbitol (a mild sedative) and if the tests come back negative and the seizures don't return after two days (which is getting off relatively light, since I was in there for a couple of weeks as a baby), she can come home again.

I'm just home right now to update this, get some things for Kim since she's staying at the hospital, and to get stuff ready for Nick's school-day tomorrow.

Speaking of my amazing Kindergartening son, he's staying with Gramma while Kim and I are with Lillian in the hospital.

Come home soon, Lillian.

A study in contrast



These two shots made me realize how much Lillian looks like Preston did a couple of years ago.

If only I'd gotten that shot of Lillian as a profile.

Still, they're both babies, so they look alike, right? Right??

At least they're cute.

I'm just about even with those bastards

Six months ago, I was riding the bike in the morning, and still getting to work plenty early to earn extra money. Then the bastards stole my bag, with my shoes, sweats, a t-shirt and Deadhouse Gates, a book that I was thoroughly enjoying.

I've since replaced the shoes and t-shirt. Tonight I took another step against the bastards and bought Deadhouse Gates again.

It's the second book in the Malazan Book of the Fallen. It's fantasy (don't lynch me) but it's written by a Canadian, and it's good.

The first book, Gardens of the Moon, drops you in the middle of the action and gradually explains some of the background. It was a little hard to get into, seeing as how most of the Fantasy I've read puts you right in the beginning, when the hero is still a modest farm-boy, and then all hell breaks loose.

This one is nothing like that.

Now I have the book. All I need is some sweats and a bag and I'm back at even (even though I'm down the cost of replacement).


Saturday, September 17, 2005


Kim will tell you she knew it was a girl. My sister will tell you the same thing. So will various people around my office.

Well, they were right.

Saturday morning was supposed to be a day of sleeping in, with Nick at his grandparents’, and the morning to doze. That dream was shattered, however, when Kim came back to bed around a quarter after seven to tell me that she was wet.

Holding pee-jokes back, I asked if her water had broken. “I dunno” was the reply (which had been the reply to countless “Was that a contraction?” questions I’d asked over the past two weeks). I suggested that we go to the hospital to get it checked out, since they wanted her in nice and early for some antibiotics against a group-b strep (whatever that is) that they’d discovered some time earlier.

Three hours later, I finally had Kim convinced and we were off to the hospital.

After an interminable wait in what I will call the “four-to-a” room, where up to four pregnant women can wait to be taken to a delivery room, we learned that Kim’s water had indeed broken and that they would eventually want to hook her up to an IV to get the clendomiacin into her.

After another interminable wait in what I call the “four-to-a” room, Kim got her antibiotics, and we went for a walk, trying to get the baby to re-engage the pelvis, a position that the kindly Dr. Evenson had told us the baby had already reached. Apparently, it’s not likely that a baby will disengage the pelvis, but our Lillian is up to many impossible things. She re-engaged (or engaged for the first time, depending on whether or not you believe Dr. Len) and we headed home.

We spent the afternoon fairly restful and Nicholas came back to us fairly early on. Four games of Pokemon-Sorry later (I won the tournament, 3-1), Howard and Mary Jane (or Mr. And Mrs. MacPherson, if you prefer) returned to take Nicholas and bring us our doula. For those of you not in the know, a doula is a childbirth facilitator. Kinda like a midwife, but not quite as technical. Kinda like a birth-coach (me) but more technical. As a side note, Kara did an amazing job, and if any of you bloggers ever need a doula, I would recommend her.

We returned to the hospital around eight-thirty for the second round of antibiotics, and the nurses talked Kim into keeping the needle in her arm. This turned out to be a mistake, as the needle bent and sent a bunch of saline into the part of Kim’s arm that isn’t vein, and puffed up the arm painfully.

We left the hospital after spending another couple of hours in the four-to-a, convinced that Kim was not in labour, despite some contractions that had seemed to be leading somewhere.

The night was spent for Kim, trying to start labour. I helped when I could, but the rest of the time was spent playing solitaire and waiting.

5:30 saw us back at the hospital. We knew that it was getting close to the time they would want to induce labour, and that was something that Kim had said she wanted to avoid. She got the antibiotics, and by the time the doctor was ready to see her at 10 or so, she’d already decided she’d be induced. She didn’t want to be too tired to give birth, so it wasn’t too much of a blow when Dr. Corbet came into the room and told us that induction would be happening now.

With this stunning piece of news, and the oxitocin drip started, I was so excited I fell asleep for a half-hour. Kim and Kara did – well, whatever it is that expectant mother and doula do when labour is imminent.

When Kim was allowed off the fetal monitor and could get up and go, we went walking the halls of the third floor of the Grey Nuns hospital. Kim had wanted to walk through her labour and, while this was not the off-leash area, Kim was walking. When the contractions started, I didn’t know what would work best for Kim, so I just walked up to her and gave her a hug. The next few contractions allowed us to fine-tune our technique and before too long, Kim would allow me to support her weight with my knees while I held her.

We walked for a good half-hour, circling the halls, looking at baby pictures, contracting (well, Kim was contracting. I wasn’t.) Kara was there, talking Kim through her contractions, helping Kim to learn how best to manage her pain. I started taking a more active role as well, talking to Kim while she breathed through the contractions.

When walking was over, Kim and I stepped into the shower (once I figured out how to make the thing work) and continued the process. She felt the baby drop and had to start squatting during contractions. She hung off of my neck while I stood there and told her she was doing a good job. At one point, she wondered if she was doing any good at all – if she should find some way to deal with the pain. I talked her through her uncertainty, and pretty much immediately, she said she needed to push. We got her out of the shower, and into bed where they told her she was 8 cm dilated. 10 cm is fully dilated and time to push, so I figured it would be pretty soon. I dashed into the bathroom and changed back into my underwear and pants (not socks, though, Sean) and returned. After that, she was in bed the rest of the way.

Fifteen minutes of pushing saw the birth of my baby daughter.

She was born at 6 pounds, 14.2 ounces, and 21 inches long. She enjoys sleeping, eating, pooping, shrieking (Cry your rage, Lillian), and plotting to take over the world with Jack.

She is very, very cute, despite a disturbing resemblance to grampa Bob, and I think she's actually trying to be cute when she yawns. It works, though.

Welcome to the Johnstones, Lillian. We're all wack-jobs, but we all love you.