Sunday, January 31, 2010

Day three.

Day three has been the most eventful yet for Hospital Stay # 4. I just changed his fifth dirty diaper! A huge step towards getting better. He has been battling some seizures because with him so backed up the last 4 days not much of his medication has been absorbed into his system. After 2 days of trying we finally convinced enough doctors that the best thing to do is change his doses to be put into his IV not his feeding tube. We have the access point while here at the hospital we might as well use it.

After a very, very, rough night last night the poops this morning was a welcomed sight. He fell asleep in the early afternoon and slept better than he has in at least 4 days. He looked calm and comfortable which has us all very excited.

Karin's turn to spend the night with Liam and I will hold down the fort at home. The cats have gotten very ornery lately without any human contact and so I'll try to pet them before I crash into bed. Very little sleep last night should keep me tired enough to fight off worry induced insomnia.

Hope everyone had a better weekend than we did.

Night all.

Hospital Stay # 4 Day 2

Day two. We continue to be stalled in 'wait & see' mode. While new x-rays and bloodwork show no changes the newest theory is that this could be a virus. We will continue to watch for any signs of progress i.e. a shitty diaper.

I am having a sleep-over with the little man here at the hospital while Karin goes home to try and get some sleep for the night. Good luck to her. It was my turn at home last night and I hated it. Its just a quiet empty building without Liam and the noise of his ventilator in it. I was anxious and uneasy all night long. I expect Karin to have the same problem. I already warned her.

Liam is finally asleep after having a rough evening and so I am going to try and get some shut eye.

Night all

P.S. The Law & Order episode tally is lower than I expected but still probably higher than you think.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Like riding a torturous bike.

It may be missing a seat and hurt like hell but you never forget how to ride.

Liam is back in the hospital.

He will be fine and although we pushed for it hard we are not admitted into the ICU. Unfortunately, we are setting up camp on the 4th floor. He hasn't pooped in three days and his full belly is affecting his breathing but more importantly we are unable to give him his meds by I.V. at home and so a short stay here at Hasbro Children's Hospital was necessary.

It amazes me how quickly we all adapt to our roles when we get back into 'hospital mode'. The little things we've learned that come back so quickly. The parking spot in the garage that no one knows about and the secret that going through the RIH ER will get you into this hospital quicker. The subtle wrist flick to show the security guard the bracelet that says 'visiting hours don't apply to me' even with your arms full of stuff. That certain elevators shut down at night and on the weekend. That it is always, always a better idea to get your dinner somewhere else instead of getting a tray of the hospital food. Its like we never left. We know how to survive this.

It came on quickly, as it always does. He was fine until yesterday afternoon. After tolerating his 3:00pm feed Liam started showing signs that his belly hurt. He was cranky and irritable and didn't want to be touched by anyone. He didn't even take his 6:00pm feed and by the time he needed his 8:00pm round of meds he was distended and angry. If he was awake he was crying; and Liam doesn't cry.

We kept a close eye on him overnight with the help of our night nurse. He didn't seem any better in the morning and by 7:30am it was apparent that we would be heading to the hospital for an x-ray at least. 8am is a perfect time to go to the emergency room. No line at check in and no wait to be seen. Walking in with your baby on a ventilator usually lets us skip to the front anyway, but today we didn't even need to.

X-rays are not showing anything serious and there is no reason to get surgery involved yet. The kid is just full of shit. For today the plan is to give his stomach a rest and let him get his meds and nutrition through his IV. Tomorrow we'll try something more aggressive. We've been weaning him off of a particular medicine that helps with his motility and this is probably just his body showing us that he would prefer it if we didn't do that. Once we get what is backed up in there out, we can simply start up the med again to keep him regular.

Karin will be spending the night here with him tonight and its my turn tomorrow. Liam is riding out this hospital stay the way he rides them all out. By sleeping through it. He hasn't woken up much today and I don't expect much activity out of him tonight. His mom will be with him to keep him comfortable and I'll be at home tossing and turning in bed and feeling guilty that I'm not here even though only one of us are allowed to sleep in the room. (not counting Liam of course)

That's where we're at. Just passing time while Liam gets better. There are a limited number of channels on the tv in his room and yet I am always able to find some flavor of Law & Order to watch. Guess how many you think we'll see and I'll post the tally on Monday. Have a good weekend everybody and pray that my little guy poops.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

What happened to me this afternoon with a couple of new pictures

"Its the whole neighborhood right? I mean... you guys are working on it?" The rain was coming down in buckets while I stood next to the pickup truck of the power company supervisor. "My son inside is on a ventilator and we have about 8 hours of battery but after that we'll have to go to the hospital unless you can get the power back on soon." I was glad that I had stepped onto the porch at just the right time to flag down this guy. The power had been out for about a half hour at this point.

"Looks like a fuse blew on the pole here." He said pointing across the street from my house at the same time a large cherry picker rumbled up to the pole. "He's gonna re-fuse it now and you should be all set." He seemed to be annoyed with my questions but I didn't care.

"Well, as long as it doesn't take 8 hours, I really don't want to spend time in the hospital because of a bit of rain and wind." We actually had 12 - 16 hours of battery life but he didn't need to know that. The old man assured me it would only take a few minutes and I ran inside to get out of the rain. Liam was resting in his special tomato and never in any danger but not having anywhere to plug in his equipment was stressing me out.

I watched the tech jump into his basket and put new fuses into the transformer on the power line and the lights were on in a flash. I hooked Liam back into the main power and got the battery recharging just in case we'd need it again. The trucks drove away and Karin and I got Liam ready for his visitors. Within a few minutes the whole gang was here. His physical therapist, his occupational therapist, the services coordinator from Liam's early intervention program and a nurse from the same program all got comfy around Liam on the floor and we started his exercises and talk about any changes needed for his care. I am usually at work when PT is here and so I was excited to work with his therapist to make sure the stretches that I work with Liam are the right moves. While normally we meet with only one or two of them at a time today was just a meeting to ensure that everyone is on the same page.

Starting at his toes and working our way up with stretches, we barely made it to his knees when the power went out again. We hooked Liam back up to his battery and put an HME into his circuit. The HME acts as a nose, humidifying and warming the air pumped through his circuit while his humidifier and heater are without power. Nothing that we could do would change the power problem so we proceeded with Liam's work. I'm so proud of all that he's accomplished. His flexibility and muscle control have improved so much since we started meeting with physical therapy. Today he was active and eager to participate. He recognized himself in the mirror and was quite enamored with what he saw. That kid of mine is amazing.

When your child has the kind of medical needs that Liam does your life is filled with contingency plans. Most of them end with "and if that doesn't work, just go to the emergency room." Its not an option I like to think about. Simply walking in the door will more than likely leave us stuck there for a few days no matter the reason and going there for a non-health related reason would really piss me off. As well as probably pissing off my shitty insurance company. Yes we could go to my parents' house with all of our portable equipment for a while and we would, long before we would go back to the hospital, but that doesn't make it any less stressful. The waiting. Which would come first? Our contingency plan or the repair to the power lines? It made me miss the days of worrying only about the food in the fridge when the power went out.

It was only a few minutes before the supervisor from the power company pulled up and parked in front of the house. We are on a registry with the state Department of Health and with the power company for people on life support equipment but I'm sure that it was because I flagged him down earlier that he stopped by and not some sort of protocol. Either way it was much appreciated. He let me know what was going on, and that a second truck was needed for the repairs down the road. It would be almost an hour and a half before the work would be completed. It didn't take nearly that long but at least I was prepared for it. I was useless for the remainder of the appointment as my attention could not by taken away from the two crews of guys working to restore my power. The rain and wind made what is already a dangerous job look even more terrifying.

The power was back on again in half the time we thought it would take. The trucks took off and all of our visitors finished up their paperwork and left in almost the same order they arrived. All of the sudden Karin, Liam and I were home alone and all was well. Liam, tuckered out from his workout, lay asleep on a quilt on the floor. Karin and I settled in on the couch for a relaxing cup of coffee and something to watch on TV.

It was an eventful afternoon but we are none the worse for wear. As I said I couldn't be prouder of Liam for all of the progress he's made and his willingness to work hard for us during his workout. 9 months in a hospital bed and his syndrome have left his muscle tone a bit weak for his age but he remains undeterred and is still getting stronger by the day. Go Liam!

Its back to work tomorrow for me and Karin has plans throughout the day with a very, very close friend who she doesn't get to see very often. It will be her first meeting of Liam and it is a very big deal. I'm sorry that I'm going to miss it. Have a good night all. There are a few pictures since I haven't posted any in a while. The one of his lion hat is a few weeks old but the other was taken during the power outage.

Night all.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Cleaning up some bookmarks.

Kurt Vonnegut Motivational Posters. It took some doing for me to decide on which poster I wanted to use for the link. I decided on this one because I love the photo. Little gems of wisdom from my favorite writer of all time. Ting-a-ling.

Financial Times has a fascinating article up about stray dogs across Moscow that are able to use the mass transit system.
They also acted differently. Every so often, you would see one waiting on a metro platform. When the train pulled up, the dog would step in, scramble up to lie on a seat or sit on the floor if the carriage was crowded, and then exit a few stops later. There is even a website dedicated to the metro stray ( on which passengers post photos and video clips taken with their mobile phones, documenting the ­savviest of the pack using the public transport system like any other Muscovite.

It was of consequence, I should think; verily, it tied the room together

What if Shakespeare wrote The Big Lebowski? This has been floating around the Internet for a while and I think I remember reading somewhere that a small theater company in NY is going to stage it this spring. Funny stuff though I am not sure it stays consistently in Iambic Pentameter. Then again, I could be wrong on that. Shakespeare has never been my strong suit.


That's all I've got. Funny, I thought I had more links to post but can't find them in my reader or my bookmarks. Oh well. I should be writing my own content anyway right? In home news there really isn't any, and, as has been the case since Liam was born, no news is good news. Liam has been having tons of fun with his mommy while his daddy works all weekend. Some progress has been made on the printer project and while I did take this morning off, Karin and I have been going to the gym nearly every day.

Its 3am now and Liam is actually sleeping. Karin is upstairs getting the rest she needs (and deserves) while I hold down the fort. Ventilator has been double checked, feeding pump has enough formula to make it through the night and some old Law & Order episode just started on cable. Good night all, time for me to stretch out on the couch next to Liam's crib and try to sleep.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

A day off for the ages folks. Both fun and productive which is a good combination since its usually one or the other. Or neither.

Anyway, the day started with Karin and I getting to sleep late. The new nurse impressed us enough yesterday that we felt confident enough we didn't need to be hovering over her today. Karin came back to bed after greeting her and we got a few restful hours. Liam finally fell back asleep for the nurse around 8:30am after being awake most of the night and we new he'd be done for until the afternoon. After leisurely making breakfast and checking emails Karin and I took advantage of our nursing situation and left the house together.

Let me say that again, really let it wash over you this time. Karin and I were able to leave the house together and spend a few hours out there in the world.

We went to the gym and worked out together before going out to lunch. It was fun and calming and we both needed it.

After lunch I took the christmas lights off of the house and attempted to clean the leaves from the yard that I wasn't able to get before the first snow. That's when I realized I didn't have a rake, only a leaf blower, and even though the snow is gone most of the leaves are still frozen to the ground. "Mission leaf-clean-up" was quickly abandoned in favor of "Mission cup-of-coffee-on-the-couch". A mission that I was well suited for and accomplished with relish.

Already one of my more productive days, I wasn't done yet. At about 3pm my father came over and we got to work on finishing up some shelving units we built for my basement. There is still some unpacking work to be done down there but I'm better prepared for it now. Hey, give us time, we only moved in 8 months ago! Dad finished up our last project and I organized a spot for our next.

My father has given me his two Epson 3000 Color Printers. Fickle machines they are, one will be used for parts. A beast of a printer, it needs some cleaning but I can't wait to get it up and running. I feel like Gutenberg and I'm ready to start my own print shop. Producing my own prints has already gotten me excited about photography again. I needed a place to put my new equipment and so my dad and I built another shelving unit for it and in the process put together a small office space for it in the basement. I can't wait to get started.

My mom came by as we were finishing up and my parents got to spend some time with a decidedly sleepy little boy. The day was capped with an excellent shepherd's pie made by The Wife and watching TV while holding my boy who of course woke up ready to play at about 10:30 at night. I'm beginning to think that we have spawned a vampire. Not a sparkly girly Twilight vampire but a badass tough guy vampire like in Lost Boys. I'm on team Liam.

Well that's that. Karin is upstairs getting ready for bed. Liam is being read to by his favorite home nurse and I am boring you all with lame stories about shelves and leaves. Have a good weekend folks. Oh, and for the "pics or it didn't happen" crowd, if you thought reading about it was boring try this on for size...

Now who's got something that needs printing?

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Its all about Liam.

I'm blogging earlier than usual today as Karin is at the gym and I am up to answer any questions for our new nurse who just started. The first day with a new nurse is always a bit of work to put together. They need to get to know Liam. They need to get to know us. More importantly we need to get to know them and whether or not they will be a good fit for our family. These people are in our home; having a nursing degree and some experience is not enough to ensure that they'll work out.

So far so good with this nurse. She seems knowledgeable and pleasant enough. One concern is that she is allergic to cats. I can't tell you how many times we have told the agency about our cats but nurses who are trained to handle trach and vents aren't all that common and sometimes we have to take what we can get.

Our usual daytime nurse needed to take some time off which Karin and I can completely understand. It will take some time before we can both leave the house or sleep late again. Hopefully this new nurse will catch on quickly and Liam will like her and we can get back to planning our mornings to include running errands and going to the gym together. We'll see. Liam hasn't woken up yet so we aren't even sure how he will respond to her. I think he'll like her but we'll see.

Liam did great at his pediatrician's appointment yesterday. To get all the dirty details out of the way he is now weighing in at a lean 21lbs 7oz and 27inches long. He is now officially, and for the first time in his life, tracking along the growth curve. Gone is the ever increasing chunkiness he's now a lean mean pooping machine. We discontinued one of his GI meds and are on our way to getting rid of another in the next month. Yay!
Liam and his daddy at the Doctor's office.

He had to get his 12 month immunizations and so got 3 shots all at once and then needed a blood draw to check a CBC and Electrolytes. My boy is one tough cookie because he took all those needles like a champ. HE even fell asleep as the lab techs in the office hemmed and hawed over where oh where to stick him for the blood work. They were so distraught made worse by the fact that when they asked where he would get blood work when in the hospital Karin told them that he had to have a central line put in by a surgeon. They were not happy to hear that. They did their jobs well though because since they took so long t find just the right spot once they did stick him they were able to get everything they needed rather than be forced to make multiple attempts.

After his appointment we all came home and since I had the day off from work we were all able to take a nap in the living room together. Wonderful Quiet. It was a wonderful day. There truly is nothing better than taking a nap with the boy.

So there you have it. Liam has had an exciting couple of days and is still sleeping as we speak. It is possible though that he is playing possum and pretending to sleep because he doesn't know the strange older woman sitting next to his crib. He does that sometimes, hoping that if he doesn't open his eyes the strange woman will just go away. No such luck buddy, her shift ends at 2pm.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Can you fall asleep with the hiccups?

Liam has finally fallen asleep for the night. It's 1:44am. He has decided that 2am suits him as a bedtime and we are powerless to stop it. Try as we may to keep him up through the day to tire him out, he simply refuses to settle into bed early. Tonight I hope he sleeps well. He should.

He had another seizure tonight. This one was a doozy. He settled quickly after his diastat but the dose doesn't guarantee sleep the way it used too. His post seizure hiccups kept him up for a while. But he's asleep now. Good thing too as we are due in the pediatricians office for a visit and another round of immunizations bright and early at 8:30am. I've got the portable ventilator all set up and ready for a quick exit in the morning. We're getting pretty good at the travel thing. Me? I'm going to need a nap tomorrow for sure. Luckily I have the day off from work, since today was originally scheduled for a trip to the eye doctor in Boston for a fairly complex procedure. With the night Liam had I'm glad we'll only have to drive a few minutes away.

Don't get me wrong the kid is doing fine. His numbers and lung sounds are great but the seizures take a lot out of him and he'll probably be a bit cranky in the morning. Liam, like his daddy, has never been a morning person. I better get myself to bed soon too.

We had a good weekend. Liam got to spend a lot of time with his Meme and Grampa (my parents) while Karin and I got some work done around the house. The second floor is shaping up nicely and I only wish I had this weekend off as well to really finish it up. My father and I also spent most of Sunday working on building a shelving system so that I can organize the rest of the junk we have accumulated over the years. Its surprising how many christmas decorations I already own given that this is the first year we've really decorated for christmas. We had some major stress that involved one of Liam's meds and the morons who run its only distribution pharmacy and he had a few strong seizures as we work on adjusting his dose of that med. Par for the course in Liam's world. He handles it all better than I do. We finished it all off by cheating on our diets and ordering chinese food and watching the end of the football game. (How does a team with a quarterback who is NOT ALLOWED TO THROW THE FOOTBALL end up in the AFC Championship game???) Although I had some plans with a friend that I wasn't able to make, it was still a very good weekend.

The slow rhythm of Liam's vent is starting to put me to sleep now so I will end here. Hope everyone had a nice Martin Luther King Day, and I hope that you give to the Red Cross as much as you can spare. The people of Haiti need it more than you do.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

No Brainer

I was going to write a nice blog post tonight. I was going to tell you about our almost trip to Boston on Friday and again on Tuesday but it needed to be rescheduled for next month because someone at the Dr.'s office dropped the ball. I was going to tell you about more of our insurance woes and how a letter sent to our house in error could have caused far reaching confusion of Liam's care had we not waited to act until speaking with some of our experts (yes, we have our own experts). I was going to tell you how going to the gym 5 of the last 7 days has been going well and we both feel great. Liam is doing great even if the frequency and strength of his seizures has increased of late. I was going to tell you about all of these things. But, ...

HBO is showing Army of Darkness right now.

So you see I really don't have much choice in the matter. Maybe Liam will pick up his dad's excellent taste in movies. Night All.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Up, up and away, or actually Away and then "Up"

A banner day for Liam as it was his first venture out of the house that had nothing to do with medical issues or doctors. Tonight Liam went to his grandmother's house for dinner. He even ate there. It was a wonderful change of pace for the whole family to have all three of us leave the house together. We didn't stay long, only a few hours but it was completely worth it for Liam and my parents who couldn't contain their excitement. I was a bit frustrated in packing all of his equipment into the car and spending the half hour getting ready to go only 4 blocks away but I was quickly sure that it was absolutely necessary. We all had fun and got more practice being on the go. It truly was a very worthwhile adventure.

Speaking of adventure, we watched Pixar's Up when we got home.



I cannot remember the last time I enjoyed a movie this much. Story, Visuals, Script, this movie was incredible. I am absolutely cheesy enough to tell you that I laughed and I cried at this movie. Not just the best animated movie I've seen in quite a while but the best movie I have seen in quite a while. I had read nothing but glowing reviews for this movie online when it was released and thought the hype might overshadow it but I could not have been more wrong. If for some reason you waited as long as I did to see this movie, go and get it now.

Karin and I joined a gym. We have both been trying to start living healthier and this will also give us a reason to get out of the house a bit more often. While I get to socialize when I'm at work Karin seldom spends time out with people other than Liam and his nurses. This will help there too. Needless to say after only two visits I'm pretty sore today and figure I will be for the next few weeks as I get used to so much activity. I'm pretty pumped about getting into better base ball shape for this year's Providence Grays season. I can't wait for Liam to watch his dad play.

Well, Liam is falling asleep and so am I, so I bid you all good night.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

The coolest cupcake website I have ever seen.

Step one: Bake 100 cupcakes.

Step Two: Decorate them all as some of the coolest video games, board games, paper games, and party games.

Step Three: Post them on a website in a random list and have the game titles hidden so it can be played as a quiz.

The coolest cupcake website I have ever seen.

Here are two of my favorite Atari 2600 games in cupcake decorations. I'm not telling the names of these. Check out the page if you want to figure it out.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

The essence of this blog project was always a lesson in self-discipline. To get me writing every day (or two, or three). It's been a while since I wrote any true blog posts. I have notes jotted down on some things I really want to talk about but those things take time and energy to write. And I'm tired. Waa, waa waa, I worked all day, I have a baby at home, I didn't get much sleep last night (last week, last month, last year) blah, blah, blah.


Anyway, I may not have the energy to write the longer pieces I want to write so I'll throw together a bunch of smaller bits and see what sticks.

I may not have written much lately but I have been reading a lot. I finished the graphic novel Signals to Noise by Neil Gaiman. It was interesting. Dave Mckeon's artwork in this is stunningly beautiful and darkly adds layers to Gaiman's writing. It won't top my lists of favorite graphic novels or anything but it was a good read and I'm glad The Wife added it to my library this christmas. I've been plugging through Unseen Academicals by Terry Pratchett. Its the latest in the discworld series and I think I may put it down until I read more of the earlier books in the series. Characters from earlier books have popped up without much of introduction and I want more of the back story before I get here. I'm sure I could read this without starting at the beginning of the series but I think I'd enjoy it more if I knew these characters better. I was very interested to see if Pratchett's writing had changed much since his diagnosis of Alzheimer's. None that I could see in the 150 pages I've gotten to in this. I also started reading Gaiman's Fragile Things which is a nice little collection of short stories and poems. I think I'm going to start reading more and more short story collections for awhile.

* * * *

Liam has been doing very, very well. He made it through the Holidays and his birthday without incident or illness and we are starting to get back into the routine of home nursing. Over the Christmas and New Years holidays we had very limited nursing help due to the calendar and some unfortunate family emergencies for our nurses. It was wonderful to spend so much time alone with Karin and Liam. The holidays are of course, a time for families, and having so much of it privately (especially since it was our first) was very special to us. Nursing care started getting back to normal last week and we are now able to get back into our routine of sorts. Routine can mean comfort.

Liam is of course growing like a weed and pushing through more and more teeth. His seizures have been controlled very well but he is getting a shot tomorrow that may give us a few more attacks in the coming days. We're ready. He'll be fine. Physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech and language pathology, and his vision specialist will all be starting to come to the house more often so Liam's schedule, which has been relaxed the past three weeks, will come back to a full sprint soon.

* * * *

This is one of my favorite songs of all time. Trying to find some footage of the Talking Heads performing it I found this. Not bad. Veder's range can't pull it off the way Byrne did though.

* * * *

A fantastic collection of photos of the urban decay of Detroit. Some of these seem pulled right from some post-apocalyptic movie. Sad.

Well, that's all I've got right now. Liam needs a new diaper and needs to be suctioned. Then, bed.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Not much to say today.

It was a very nice weekend. It was actually a pretty good monday for that matter. We didn't do much but relax at home and take care of some house hold things. I spent most of the time away from the computer. Tonight instead of turning on the computer I watched the new Star Trek movie. Loved it. Too tired to write about it. Liam watched it with me because he decided that he wanted to stay up until after 2am tonight. You can imagine my excitement. I just got him to sleep a few minutes ago. Unless I jinx it by typing this, I'm going to try and get some sleep for myself. I owe this place a post and so here it is. I'm going to bed.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

In which I discuss the relevance of hockey

There have been two developments that have greatly altered my hockey watching in the last 10 years. In the last ten days really. . .

  1. The acquisition of Hi Def Television.
  2. The Bruins played a game at Fenway Park.
Due to these two events Liam and I spent the afternoon watching a sport where he knew about as much about the game and teams as I did. I haven't watched a hockey game since I was manager of an East Side Mario's restaurant in Ramsey New Jersey. The NJ Devils played into the early morning against the Colorado Avalanche in a triple or quadruple overtime Stanley Cup Finals Game. We kept the bar open late that night and even though we stopped serving booze when we were supposed to, I remember worrying that if the cops came in and found that many people in the place after the state 'Last Call' I'd lose my job.Well they didn't and I didn't. We had a large bell behind the bar and were ringing it like crazy when the devils finally scored. (truth be told I'm not sure who won but I'm almost positive we ended up leaving in a good mood.)

That was about ten years ago. Today I ran some errands in the morning and I was reminded that the Bruins were playing the Flyers outside at Fenway today. It was all everyone was talking about on sports talk radio. I've been told by friends at work that watching hockey on HD is much more fun since seeing the puck is easier. They were right. The first period and intermission were entertaining in the way that watching any novelty sporting event is for me. Sure I'll watch the lumberjack competition but I'm not going to follow the careers of the North American axe throwing champion. Montages of Fenway and all its historic moments scattered throughout the broadcast made me miss baseball more than enjoy hockey but midway through the game that started to change. It wasn't a particular play or moment but I found myself yelling at the TV. "Get it out of the zone!" "Pass it, PASS IT!" and "What the hell is icing?" echoed through the house as Liam tried to ignore his dad and nap. (He'll learn not to even try sleeping during sporting events. Wait til Red Sox season starts.)

With about 7 minutes left in the game the Bruins scored to bring the game to a 1-1 tie and I really got into it. My Mom, Dad and Sister were over to visit so they could keep the baby occupied while I laid on the floor in front of the TV and cheered for a local team I know nothing about. It was fun. Made all the more fun when the Bruins won in overtime. Watching Fenway celebrate is fun no matter the sport. We all took notice of the win and celebrated and I found myself extremely happy that I spent the time watching. I doubt I'll watch another Bruins game this season. Maybe, if they make it to the finals I will, but probably not. That doesn't mean I can't be a fan today.

When the Red Sox lost the '86 Series I cried my 9 year old eyes out. It was the beginning of a lifelong lesson my dad would try in vain to teach - "Its only a game". The lesson wouldn't take for another 24 years. Until last year I was a horrible person to watch sports with. My wife the Yankee fan would choose not to watch her beloved team because she didn't want to deal with my comments and yelling. I wear losses on my sleeve and can be very loud in my disappointment with both the athletes and the umpires or officials. It's not "just a game" to me.

Until last year. Liam changed all that. How could I really get upset over the bounce of a ball when Liam was going through so much? I learned what's really important in life. Family. And even though I may have made a smart comment here and there, I was able to sit calmly and let Karin watch the Yankees win the World Series. No longer would I shout and scream at an MLB conspiracy and pointless rants about payroll and fairness. Not this year. After all its "just a game" right?

But sports is more than a game. Always will be. In 2004 thoughts above Boston were not only happiness that people's favorite team had won, but that loved ones also got to witness it. "I'm just glad my Grandmother got to see them win" and other sentiments flooded the talk radio airwaves the next morning. That win brought families and loved ones together. When the Boston Celtics won their last championship all I could think of was a friend of mine who had been called away on military service and was unable to watch the championship run of his favorite team and how much it meant to him to miss that. Today I watched the Bruins beat the Flyers in a regular season game in Fenway surrounded by the people I love. It was supposed to be "just a game" but about halfway through, all sorts of family togetherness and fun broke out. Cheesy I know, it's like a hallmark movie around here lately. But what happened at Fenway today, that wasn't just a game to me.

What a way to start the new year.

Hope you all have a happy and safe 2010.Taken by his Mom of course.