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Mary and Brendan are thrilled to announce the birth of their son Michael Gabriel January 10th at 9:05 am weighing 3331 grams (7 pounds, 1 ounce) and 47cm long.


Getting bloodwork done the day before was largely uneventful aside from taking nearly an hour and a half waiting around. They still have the little blinking coaster to tell you when it's time to have your blood work. The other main task was to pay for a private room. I was surprised by how little information they otherwise wanted the day before.


The surgery had been originally scheduled for 10am but a few days earlier I was asked if 7:50am would work for me. I figured that less time being hungry in the morning was probably preferable and so said yes, although we did wonder what we were thinking when we had to be at the hospital for quarter to six! It was so early that Tim Horton's was closed and the nurses station was deserted!


In any event, we were soon set up in the triage room and the nurse began entering all of my information. I have to say that given I've done this at the Montfort FOUR times now, it's a bit strange that the hospital got a nurse to spend time re-entering all of the information rather than having the admissions staff simply verify and update the information in advance. Surely that would be more efficient and less likely to result in errors? In any case I got my various bracelets and then it was time for the dreaded IV.


It turns out that putting in an IV is much more difficult if you are extremely swollen. The nurse took her time locating a vein, but it promptly burst, spraying blood all over the sheets. Nurse number two managed to get it in with only two tries. I will say that once it was in, it was the least painful IV I've ever had.


Dr Gravelle came by to say hello, and the anesthetist did too. Since I had an itchy allergic reaction to something after Matthew's C-section, I told the anesthetist that I wanted her to avoid whatever drug it was. This was complicated by not knowing what it was I reacted to! Unfortunately, the files have since been digitized but only the surgeon's report was available. So we had to wait while they located my file from the "vault". Of course the doctor last time didn't write down what he had avoided, and in fact no one even noted that I had had a reaction in 2013. Poor doctor was all "I'm sorry if you have an anaphylactic reaction!!!" I assured her that it had been a mild reaction and that I was only hoping to avoid discomfort rather than being worried about dying. So we proceeded to the operating room, after a slight delay when we realized Brendan hadn't yet been given any scrubs to wear.


I got up on the table and then we sort of awkwardly waited around for Dr. Gravelle who had meanwhile gone missing (it turned out that her phone had died). Soon enough they located her and started the various meds. I got to keep my glasses and they didn't strap my arms down. The reflective light gave me the best view yet to watch the operation, but after the first cut I actually felt so terrible I was sure I was about to throw up - I gather my blood pressure was all over the place. They adjusted something and I felt better, but after that I didn't watch for a bit. I was quite anxious that they were going to forget to bring Brendan in, but he did show up.


The surgery itself went well; I gather it takes longer for every subsequent C-section but they worked away busily and soon enough I got to watch baby being lifted out.


We spent less time in recovery than usual because there was another C-section immediately after ours. They waited until I was just able to start moving my legs and then whisked us back to our room where Grandma J was waiting for us. Sadly there was no private room available, but the other occupant of the room was very quiet. Michael was quiet as well and latched fine.


Soon Grandma J headed out, but Grandma H, Auntie Janice and the kids were en route from school to meet their latest sibling. Amelia was very solemn - not quite sure what to make of the baby. She cuddled next to me for a while and finally was coaxed into saying something. "Dat baby is liddler dan I fought he would be"


Matthew and Elizabeth (especially Elizabeth) were over the moon. We had a slightly scaled back birthday party with cupcakes and decorations before the visitors headed out to Swiss Chalet to finish celebrating!


Not too long later the other occupants of our room left. We kind of hoped their replacements would be equally quiet. We were just settling down for the night when a nurse came along to let us know a private room had opened up, so we decided to move. In the morning all the rooms were full so we were glad we did!


Michael is so far a very obliging baby, and the nurses mostly left us alone once they realized we basically knew what we were doing so we had a pretty good first night. 


Christmas is over (sniff) so it's time to move on to the next season. The tree came down, decorations put away and out came the magi! We might have lit the advent wreath and sang O Come O Come one last time. After all, Elizabeth hadn't had a chance to ring Auntie Janice's big bell yet!


For supper I ordered a Galette des rois from Olive and Chili again. We tried to have tourtière too, but had to settle for a beef pot pie instead when our local store was inexplicably out of tourtière. Sigh.


As usual, I forgot to find some frankincense. Our myrrh is still going strong though and I remembered the chocolate gold coins.


Matthew chose the piece with the fève and got to be king. We had crowns for everyone though because we decided to do a little parade this year. Brendan and Janice opted to be stars.


After supper we did a slightly abbreviated liturgy of the chalking of the doorway (it was already past bedtime and it was COLD out there!).  Then Daddy lit our sparkler and we all sang We Three Kings while marching around the "star". It was so cold the sparkler had a hard time staying lit.


As soon as sparkler was done we came in and (still singing) headed straight to bed.


We really wanted to see the butterfly exhibit at the Museum of Nature but their online system wasn't allowing us to reserve tickets so we went to pick some up.


Since the kids (and let's be honest - mommy...) were getting squirrelly at home, we decided to spend some time at the museum while we were there.


There's a new arctic exhibit that I hadn't had a chance to see yet which was nice. The kids loved the ice part, although Amelia wasn't too sure about actually touching it. The most interesting part for me was the arctic camel, which I'd never heard of before. There was lots of seating for the first part of the exhibit so I didn't get tired until suddenly there was no seating anymore. After that I just sat - mostly near the beginning of each section - while super Janice wrangled the kids through the various other exhibits.


In addition to taking my blood pressure and trying to keep my feet up, we've tried to do a few fun things these holidays.


It's been pretty cold, but they've spent a lot of time outdoors, especially between Christmas and New Year's when the wind was slightly less wicked. The neighbours helped Elizabeth and Matthew build an ice slide. Dec 27th Elizabeth had a playdate with her friend Ruici.


I cleaned out the craft cupboard (at least for some value of clean). Elizabeth graciously allowed her siblings to do some of the crafts that have been languishing there for several years. I was surprised by how long the princess sticker craft kept Matthew busy - he was quite determined to finish it and he managed to do most of it by himself. Once Elizabeth realized he was actually going to finish, she decided she needed to as well. This is actually her third attempt in the last four (five?) years but I guess her competitive nature needed to get engaged in order to actually capture her interest for longer than about five minutes.


We also pulled out Amelia's rocket ship from last Christmas and finally assembled it. I think the kids must have spent a solid hour colouring it inside and out.

We've done some reading and demolished the gingerbread. Elizabeth and Matthew built an obstacle course for his robot cockroaches. There were more dance parties.


On January 2nd, Elizabeth had a playdate with Olivia while Amelia went to the hardware store with Daddy. Matthew and I read about the sinking of the Titanic and did some work - which in his case involved playing Pokémon on the iPad. After lunch Brendan, Amelia, Matthew and I met up with Olivia and Elizabeth, Dianne, David and kids and Marit, Francesco and their kids at Landsdowne for more skating! Elizabeth was pretty excited to see so many people she knew on the ice. This time we were there for about 3/4 of an hour and Elizabeth completed 40 laps.


Brendan, Margaret and the older two kids went back one last time the following day and Elizabeth managed 67 laps in about 30 minutes (!)


Over the holidays Matthew had some homework to complete showing what he did, which I decided needed to be captured for posterity (we didn't actually see fireworks on Jan 1st but he was so proud of his idea that I just went with it)


New Year's Eve started out badly with Amelia announcing she had thrown up in her bed. So she crawled into ours and promptly threw up there, too. After a bath she insisted she wanted breakfast and ended up eating quite a lot despite my best efforts and then was pretty much fine for the rest of the day. Having finished off her food last night I'm still a wee bit worried just in case, though she does have the same wicked cold I do and it could have been coughing fit related.


After breakfast we decided it was time for a hotly anticipated "Dance Party" (one of the Christmas activities that the kids decided we must do). We played wii games, some Apple TV dance thing and DDR. You will be relieved to know I did not unduly exert myself. Amelia danced with great vim and vigour, leading us to decide that probably she does not have stomach flu.


After lunch the kids all needed to get out of the house so I proposed a little grocery shopping expedition. I know it hasn't been 24 hours since I last left the house but I was feeling serious cabin fever so I insisted on going along. Brendan made me take my blood pressure first (it was fine).


We had beef fondue in front of the fire, with broccoli and peas. We hadn't intended to have peas for supper but according to Elizabeth we ALWAYS eat peas New Years Eve.


Then the kids put on glow in the dark glasses and we watched the grand finale fireworks Auntie Janice taped in August and counted down to Brazilia midnight.


Happy New Year everyone! May you have a wonderful 2018!


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