Saturday, September 29, 2007

and we're back!

After a month of living like Luddites we're finally wired again, thank you Gord. (How he did it is another post involving homemade satellite dishes, seriously!) But for now, on to the important stuff.

A couple of weeks ago I went to Winnipeg to hang out with my entire family for a couple of days. I wish we could have been there for a couple of weeks. We had such a great time. I was having focusing issues with my camera while we were there so there are few pictures and the ones I have are not as good but hey when the subject matter is a cute as this little girl even a bad picture turns out ok :)

I love the photo of Corrina above because it looks so much like her. She has quickly learned pointing as an effective communication strategy and she uses it a lot. In this case, I think she wanted my camera...

Rachel & Mark flew in late Saturday night, a little later than anticipated because of a missed connection in Denver. Everyone seems to have trouble flying in and out of Denver. I think it's where Dave & Janie got stuck flying down to Arizona a couple of years ago. Note to self...

It was great to see them and spend some time together. They have safely arrived in Australia now. I can't wait to go and see them there. I'm still trying to figure out the details, but I'll get there.

It only took Corrina about 3 seconds to warm up to everyone this time around. She was very excited to show her Uncle Mark how comfortable she is on a Mac. Daddy's little girl for sure. It's crazy to think that I was in grade 9 when we got our first computer at home and here she is, not even two and she's figured out the mouse. Wild world.

On Sunday Dave had the brilliant idea to have an 'All Holidays' meal to make up for missing Christmas, Easter & Thanksgiving together. Mom & Janie made a full turkey dinner and the guys were responsible for decorating.

We had Fall leaves, little, white Christmas lights, jack-o-laterns, Easter eggs, a Happy Birthday banner. We even had Christmas music. What a hoot.

Corrina really enjoyed the New Year's noise makers. I had to pause for a minute and reread that sentence. It is an amazing thing, just months after her implant surgery to be able to write that. "Corrina really enjoyed the noise makers". What a profoundly beautiful thing to be able to write.

On Monday the guys went go cart racing and the gir
ls headed over to BrushFire to decorate pots.
Turns out, we're quite a creative bunch! Janie picked the venue and it was perfect. Relaxed, colourful, warm and inviting it was just the place to let the creative juices flow. It's been a long time since I spent an entire afternoon with a paint brush in my hand. We should definitely do this again. I can't wait to see how the pots turned out but it almost doesn't matter.

The time in between was spent talking, laughing, playing board games (I was SO CLOSE to winning Pirates) and marveling over Corrina's progress. I found when I first got there that I had imagined in my head a hearing child. And that is not what Corrina is. But she is making remarkable progress. Right now she is a listening child and that is a huge improvement and the result of a lot of hard work on her part, her parent's part and all of the doctors and therapists.

One thing that really stood out to me on this trip is that Corrina is a joy-bringer. She makes people smile. Sunday morning we went to Dave & Janie's church a beautiful old, stone Anglican church complete with pipe organ. Early on in the service we were invited to greet the people around us with the traditional "Peace of Christ" greeting. Everyone got up to do so and Corrina, in her fashion beamed and waved at everyone. There was a lady in a wheelchair sitting in the row behind us, two rows behind Corrina, and Corrina leaned all the way over, nearly falling off her Daddy's shoulder to smile and wave at her. The Peace of Christ indeed, passed from a little deaf girl who can't speak to an old lady who couldn't stand to reach her. This photo is a little out of focus, I know, but it is an important shot for me because this is what Corrina does when she hears something new -- she points to her ear. It is evidence of what is going on inside her brain as she learns what sound is and how to use it. I love the focus on her face in this picture, how engaged she is in what is going on around her.This one is just a gratuitous Auntie picture :) We have a set of frames up by the door in our new place that is going to be filled with Aunties and Nieces. I don't know if this one will go in there, but it can go here for sure.
Just because....
Possible future flute player? Or is that just Auntie's wishful thinking? She would be the third flautist in the family...What a great way to spend a few days. I can't wait to do it again.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

before death parts us

Ann Packer is all over the New York Times these days for her new novel, Songs Without Words. But in reading about the new book I came across a review of her first novel The Dive from Clausen's Pier and I knew that it had to be next on my reading list.

The Dive asks one ambitious question, "How much do we owe the people we love?" One perfect summer afternoon Carrie Bell's fiance dives from Clausen's pier and breaks his neck. She knows that if they were married there would be no question, she would stand with him (in a manner of speaking). But they have not taken their vows yet and much to her surprise Carrie finds that there is a question. Will she stay or will she go? Which is the crueler choice -- to walk away from this man, a new quadriplegic or to stay and get married to someone she has long suspected she no longer loves?

Packer asks no easy questions and blissfully offers no easy answers either. Carrie finds herself torn. Her confidence in who she thought she was lies as broken and ruined as Mike's body. She finds that there is no aid to help maneuver a broken soul. Some things are so quickly stripped away and others, she finds, cannot be reduced or lessened. They simply are. As one character notes, "you cannot take away the chair-ness of it." It is what it is.

Carrie is left to navigate a new world wondering, "whether there is a single me I could be in the presence of them both?" Are we who we think we are? Are what we we do, or what we did? In times of crisis can we become someone new or do we simply reveal who we always were?

Here at the end of the novel I'm still not sure if Carrie made the right choice. Would I have acted differently? I don't know. But this is a story masterfully told. Brilliantly paced and skillfully shaded I am left to ponder, satisfied but not yet settled.

Monday, September 17, 2007

good news and bad news

Good news:
My house has books in it again. It's starting to look like I live in it.
I had an amazing time with my family in Winnipeg.
My new commute to work is slightly shorter than the old one.

Bad news:
Still no computer at home. I'm starting to get the shakes.
Canceling the old Shaw account resulted in deleting the header graphic from my blog. Argh.
Can't post pics of trip to Winnipeg unless I haul my gear to the office and stay late to post.

Back to good news:
I am reading an amazing book and if I ask nicely, just might be able to borrow a computer to blog about it.
I still have 45 minutes of lunch time left. Time to eat.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

i'm still standing

We survived the move, hurrah! Alas the computer has still not returned from its 'the good news is that's covered, the bad news is you have to send it away' warranty odyssey. Argh and argh. I hope it doesn't get lost on its way home.

The new place is great, the neighbours are stellar (hi Wall family!) and I have a plane ticket for Saturday. Not too shabby. Mom & Dad should be almost there by now, Mark has flown in from Australia and he and Rach arrive either just before or just after I do. Five whole days of Corrina cuteness are just around the corner. All in all it's only Tuesday and the week is shaping up nicely.

Now if I could just convince the boxes to unpack themselves. . . I'm sure most of the books remember where they're supposed to be. I've tried Wingardium Leviosa but it doesn't seem to work for me. (Even if I follow Hermione's admonision that it's levio-sa, not levi-oh-sa.) Ah well, it will be good to spend a little time and do it properly. Hello my old friends. Safe travels?